Closing Your Pool
Every year it’s the same thing, and yet it never gets any easier! It’s that time when the air cools and alerts you that summer is over, and it is time to start preparing your pool for the winter. We suggest you keep your great summer days and all the fun you had in mind as you use this checklist to do a good job of protecting your valuable investment for the winter. And remember, spring is only months away and you will be back swimming again!!
The closing procedure should begin well before the danger of a freeze, to allow all equipment plenty of time to fully drain and dry and prevent the chance of any damage to hoses, fittings or equipment.
Clean and brush the entire pool and bring the pool water to “shock” level. Maintain shock level for 24 hrs with the pump running to make certain that there are no remaining algae blooms there to great you next season when you open back up!
All steps, ladders and mats should be removed from the pool and cleaned and stored. Some like to spray with chlorine before storing as a dose of added insurance. Make sure to thoroughly clean beneath steps and in any nooks or crannies where algae can hide.
Drain the pool water to approximately 6 inches below the lowest return or skimmer opening and remove hoses and fittings.
At this point, skimmer or return plugs or “gizmos” may be installed, or they may be left open. There are different views on this and it is a personal choice for each pool owner
Some pool owners prefer to add a polyquat algaecide, which may be administered per dosing instructions on the product itself. This is completely optional, and again based on personal preference. If you do decide to go this route, distribute the product evenly with a brush, leaf rake or leaf skimmer.
Remove and drain any solar panels, if applicable, and store for the winter. Solar covers or reels should also be cleaned and properly stored for the winter at this time.
Drain filters and pump wells and remove pump(s), hoses and fittings, inspecting all items for evidence of damage or excessive wear. Make a note to plan and order replacements before spring, so that you are ready when the weather warms again. One benefit of doing this is that you may be able to find good deals on parts in the off season, saving money as opposed to buying them at a premium during the season.
Remove the muti-port or spider gasket. Smaller pool fittings, hardware and filter drain plugs can be stored inside the pump pot basket. Remember to lube the pump pot basket with silicone lube, making sure that the lube is made for this purpose. Magic Lube is a great product for this, and seems to be relatively easy to find. Any remaining pump hardware or fittings can be placed inside a one gallon Zip-Lock bag and taped to the side of the pump, where you will be able to easily locate it again later.
Store the pump, smaller filter systems and muti-port or spider gaskets inside for the winter, where they will be protected. Taking a little care to do this now will save you from buying expensive replacement parts next season.
If you have not already done so, now if the perfect time to mark or identify your hoses and fittings so that you can quickly reattach them next season, and store them for the winter.
Take a few more minutes and secure a large black plastic garbage bag or tarp over filters to prevent any debris, snow, ice, or water damage. Remember, you may not be looking at this equipment for quite a while, so a little extra time and effort now will allow for a bit of extra piece of mind.
If you are using a winter cover, install it per manufacturers instructions regarding pillows or anchoring. This will help to maintain your warranty as well as prolong the life of the cover.
You may very well want to consider a leaf net over the winter cover until the majority of leaves and autumn debris are done falling. This can help avoid a rotting leaf swamp in the spring, and you’ll just have to trust us that the time and money spent on the cover will pay off when you open up again! Make sure and remove the leaf net and any accumulated debris prior to a hard freeze, and store away until spring when it can be used just prior to start up for early leaf or tree pollen drop.
We know that the end of swim season always comes too soon, but with a proper closing, once the first signs of spring emerge you’ll be that much closer to swimming again!