Getting Your Swimming Pool Ready For Winter

by Pool Builders on 08-09-2008 in Articles

The information you are about to read is from years of experience. If you follow these steps, you will accomplish a safe and worry free, pool closing.

The first thing you want to do is test the water and make sure all levels including pH are normal. Next you're going to want to shock your pool, and then run the filter for 24 hours. Now it's time to start closing your pool, clean out any leaves or debris and vacuum your pool thoroughly. Now you want to pour in the contents of your closing kit.

The next step will be to blow out lines or evacuate any water that might be in the lines. You can do this without emptying pool. You will need either a shop-vac or a compressor. With a compressor, you will take an old winterizing plug and remove the center screw then push a quarter inch compressor hose male adapter in the center of the winterizing plug. A # 9 plug is most efficient. You can now use this in any of the plumbing on the filter. The first way to blow lines out leave all the plugs in the filter and the pump, set the multi-port valve on filter, and close all of the plumbing line valves except for the line you wish to blow out. Open the air release on top of the filter and push the winterizing plug with the compressor line and pump air into the filter. This will push all the water out of the filter and push the water out of the line. Once you see air bubbles install the winterizing plug, do this for the skimmer and returns. Open just the main drain valve force air into the line until you see air bubbles. Then immediately close the valve this will hold air in that line and prevent water from rushing back in. If you have step jets simply open the air vents, remove the jet and plug up the fitting. Then open up the jet valve at the filter, then force air this will push all of the water out of the air vents once the water is stops coming out remove the compressor close the air vents and you're now done with blowing your lines out. Check all plugs for air bubbles.

Now you must remove to plugs in the pump remove the winterizing plug at the bottom of the filter. If you have a chlorinator, you must remove any plugs or remove the chlorinator itself. Make absolutely sure that you shake out any water that may be trapped inside the chlorinator. Set the multi-port valve in between any two selections this will hold the valve open and prevent internal damage.

Do not cover the pump for the winter. It is important that the pump to be able to breathe you do not want the inside of the pump to oxidize. If you have a heater make sure you turn off the gas, turn the gas valve off and remove the winterizing plug under the manifold. It is a good idea to cover the heater. Heater covers are available in our online catalog. This will prevent acorns and any other debris to get inside of the heater, and possibly cause a fire on start up.

Should you choose to use a vacuum to clear the plumbing lines, the easiest way to do that would be to get your-self a couple of pieces of schedule 40 PVC pipe, count how many returns you have and that is how many 1 1/2" 90A streets you will need. Count how many skimmers you have, and that is how many 1 1/2" male adapter's your need. For the skimmers measure how many inches it is from the bottom the skimmer to the top of the water, and add 2". Cut a piece of PVC at that measurement, glue the male adapter to the PVC, wrap the threads with Teflon tape and screw it in the suction whole at the bottom of the skimmer. You may also use our blow out gizmo. Make sure you use Teflon tape on the threads. This will allow you to blow out the skimmer, and it will act as a baffle to prevent the skimmer from cracking if it freezes. Now measure the return holes to top of the water and add 2 inches. Cut the PVC at this length glue the 90A streets wrap the threads in Teflon tape, and screw this in the returns, make sure the pipe is sticking out of the water. Now you can winterized the plumbing, open all the valves go over to these pieces of pipe turn your vacuum on and suck all the water and lines. After the water is out of the lines use a number eight winterizing plug in the PVC and tighten.

Open the pump trapped put the vacuum hose in the opening open the main drain valve. Reverse the vacuum and blow air into this line. You may not see air coming-out of the main drain, but let it go for 30 seconds and then shut the valves. This will push any water below the freeze level and prevent freezing. (Note some concrete in-ground pools may have to be evacuated or blown out by a compressor). If you have a problem removing any plugs or you notice places were water may end up laying it is advisable to buy our any freeze. Just for this anywhere there may be a problem. If you use the PVC in the skimmer, you must take a quart bottle, such as an empty algaecide bottle. Fill it halfway with small stones install the cap turned upside down and put it in the skimmer. This will prevent the skimmer from cracking when it freezes.

To remove handrails and ladders, simply lift the decorative cover, loosen the bolt approximately a quarter inch up and then hammer it down. This will free your ladder or handrail. Then simply lift it out of the cup. If you have a vinyl pool, do not empty it below the skimmer keep the water level as you would in the summer. This will prevent the liner from shrinking in the corners and shortening the life of the liner. There is no reason to lower a vinyl pool. Vinyl manufactures will not cover warranties on pools that have been lowered. If you have a concrete pool, you must lower the pool, at least 1 foot below the skimmer. This will prevent the bond beam from cracking causing the tiles and coping to fall off. Now you're about ready to put the cover on.

For water tube type covers, fill all the water tubes only three quarters of the way, install the cover and place the water tubes on the cover around the perimeter of the pool. Make sure there's enough water tubes used that they are touching. It is not advisable to put the water tubes in the cover loops. Should the cover blow in during the winter, if the tubes are attached to the cover this will drag the cover down making it almost impossible to reinstall the cover with the water tubes.

If you have a safety cover raise all of the brass anchors install the safety cover as you normally would. If there are any loose straps, you should tighten them.

For water tube covers place the cover pump in the center and pump the cover off when ever it rains. Do not pump the cover, when the water is frozen, this will damage the pump. If you have a safety cover and a vinyl pool, install a cover pump in the skimmer. This will prevent the water from being pumped out too much and allows you easy access.

For concrete pools, it is important you keep the water level below the tiles, if you have a step install a cover pump on the second tread down.

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