Closing and Winterizing your Pool

Closing Your Pool the American Way

1. Have the water tested. We are most concerned with pH and Alkalinity.

2. Clean pool, wash water line. Vacuum pool of all leaves, dirt and debris.

3. Back wash filter.

4. Lower water level below skimmer plug return, if it is an above ground pool. (If you have a waste position on your valve, then you can vacuum your pool and lower the water level at the same time.)

5. Remove all ladders and handrails.

6. Add chlorine and our winter kit. We have used the same kit for over 20 years. We have found by using a kit pools are crystal clear when opened (provided there are no holes in the cover), even if some are opened as late as July. (If you choose not to use a kit, then use Chlorine and winter Algaecide.) Our kit includes the following:

  • Shock Plus. This destroys all organic material in the water, and raises the free chlorine, making the chlorine more effective.
  • Stain & Scale. This keeps all the minerals in suspension so when the water starts to freeze the minerals cannot precipitate out and stain the pool. If you have calcium buildup on the walls of your pool this product will also work through the winter so your filter can remove these minerals in the spring.
  • Algaecide. Our non-foaming, non-metallic Winter Grade Algaecide kills and prevents algae through the winter months.

7. Blow out all lines and antifreeze as needed.

8. Put on winter cover, water bags, and/or clips and cables as needed. Do NOT hang weights or bottles from cover. It will rip your cover and void the warranty on the cover.

9. Disconnect all hoses on above ground pools. Drain filter and pump. Take off all drain plugs, and place in skimmer basket so you can find them in the spring. Do NOT put any caps or plugs back in after draining, as condensation can build up, and freeze and crack filters and pumps, etc. Take the pressure gauge off the pump and put it some place heated so it will not freeze and crack. For above ground pools with a main drain you can tie the line up to the top rail on pool and pour in antifreeze.

Winterizing Your Pool

These are basic instructions for winterizing a pool. Many pools are different and require special procedures. If needed, you can have us professionally close your pool for you, or just blow out your lines and winterize your filter system. Keep watch over the rainfall. If you get 3 inches of rain, you can drain 3 inches of water off your pool cover. Always leave at least 2-3 inches of water on the cover. Don’t drain the cover completely dry because:

  • You need water to help hold the cover down during wind and storms.
  • The cover will sink to the level of the water in the pool and if you keep draining water off the cover you will lose pool water and in spring you will think you have a leak in your pool.

If you drain water off your pool cover and it looks like it is falling into the pool, put a garden hose in under the pool cover and fill to the bottom of your skimmer. NEVER leave a hose in pool and disconnect from the house. This will create a siphon, which will empty the pool water onto your lawn!

Bubbles or Air Pillows 
for the center of the pool are not necessary. If you live in a windy area (like New York), they can increase the chance that your cover will be blown off your pool and possibly damaged.

When water freezes it pushes up not out. Remember to lower your water level just below the skimmer opening on above ground and 1 foot from the top on in-grounds to allow for expansion.

Face Plates 
are not needed for closing your pool. You need to lower the water level of your pool because water expands upward when it freezes. (Above ground pools can actually freeze solid!) If you are using a face plate the water can expand too far and can push on your face plate, and bend your top rail, and break the caps on your uprights. Make sure you remove your skimmer basket and take the hose OFF of the bottom of the skimmer. Don’t plug the skimmer bottom.

Cover Clips are the best things to ever happen to above ground pools. They were invented right here in Rochester. They will hold your cover tight through the highest of winter winds. We recommend 2 on every upright, and 3 on your windy side. They are worth every penny.

Water Bags 
We only sell 10’ 20 gauge double chamber bags. Why? Because single bags roll. Why spend your winter chasing run away water bags? Double chamber bags do not roll. REMEMBER! Only fill water bags ½ full. You need to leave room for the water inside the bags to expand when they freeze. Also, if a double chamber water bag leaks you will still have one to hold the cover in place.

Gizzmos 
are designed for in-ground pools to absorb the expansion of water in the skimmer. It is a sacrificial lamb. The water trapped inside the skimmer will break the Gizzmo instead of your skimmer. For standard skimmers use an 8 inch tall Gizzmo, with a 1 ½ “ tapered pipe thread, and for deep skimmers use a 15” model, with a 1 ½ “ or 2” tapered pipe thread.

Cover Savers
work off the garden hose. They will help to siphon water off the cover. This extends the life of your cover and is non-electric.

Cover Pumps 
We carry American made Little Giant cover pumps for pumping water off your cover as needed.

Leaf Nets 
These work well and go on over your winter cover. When the leaves fall you pull the leaf net off with the leaves and dump it. This can be done in the fall after all the leaves have fallen. It will keep the water better on top of the cover, and make the chore of opening much easier.

Plugs 
We stock straight sided and tapered plugs. Straight-sided plugs hold better than tapered plugs, but do not work in all applications. Talk to store personnel for what will work best for your pool.

Mesh Safety Pool Covers
are for in ground pools. We do not recommend these covers because they are a mesh cover you can see through. This lets sunlight into the pool. The sunlight will remove your chemicals and leave you with a green or black pool at opening time. They are good for safety, but serve no use during the winter and your pool will be a mess in the spring.

Solid Safety Covers
are the best cover to use. They are a safety cover and a solid cover so they will keep the sunlight and debris out of the pool. It has a mesh center piece that allows water to enter your pool. This leaves your pool beautiful looking in the spring. These are attached with anchors to the deck and are spring loaded. They are a great safety and winter cover. Ask any store personnel for a price quote and if your pool needs to be measured, we will be happy to come out to measure it for you.