Tips For Winterizing and Closing An Inground Pool

swimming poolWhether you are a seasoned home pool expert or a new swimming pool owner, this guide offers essential info for all types of pool ownership.

Gather Supplies

The first thing you need to do is try and look for any supplies and chemicals that are used from previous years like the cover, cover weights, gizmos or skimmer plugs, flotation devices for a cover, and antifreeze. You also need an air compressor to blow out your pool lines if you want a full winterization.

Filter Preparation

In case you have a sand or DE filter, you can begin by backwashing it. Once done, pull the filter plug so you can drain the primary tank. You also need to pull open the backwash valve and leave it as is if it is slide style or a push-pull backwash valve. In case you have a multiport or dial backwash valve, you should not take off the top and expose the spider gasket to ice build up. But it is also highly recommended to make sure that it doesn’t have any water.

Sand filters must also have the primary drain plug taken out and the water drained. It is critical to make sure that the air is inside the filter. In case you have a small filter that could be drained and moved to a warm area where it won’t freeze, then that is more preferred. In case you are taking a cartridge filter or DE inside, this is the best time to clean the DE or cartridge grids. In case you use Acid on the DE grids, you should rinse it carefully and thoroughly to prevent the acids from continuing to corrode the grids when they are stored.

You can also drain water further from the filter and backwash valve by unthreading the filter unions that link it to the plumbing pipes.

Blow Out The Lines At The Pool Equipment

You should use a shop vacuum or an air compressor to blow out the lines when possible and then plug them. Keep in mind that this job needs to be done by two people.

Pump Preparation

Detach the drain pump on your pump and place them in the pump basket. In case your pump has unions you can totally disconnect it from the plumbing. You can get the remaining water out of it by turning it upside down.

Heater Preparation

Take out the drain plugs found on the front and back headers. But there are some heaters that do not have several drain plugs. If you have an air compressor, you can use it to blow any remaining water out of the heater. This is not recommended to remove a burner tray or a heat exchanger.

Additional Equipment

It is best to use the same steps discussed above in case you have any additional equipment such as an in-line chlorinator, auxiliary valves or pumps with drain plugs. Unscrew and then loosen up fittings or unions at your pump and filter system that can that can quickly be disconnected.

Return Skimmers and Jets

Take out any return jet fittings. Furthermore, remove the weirs, which are the little flappers at the skimmer’s throat that work as a door, and the skimmer baskets.

Blow Out Return Lines

Get your air compressor and use it to blow out all of the return jet pipes. Be sure to keep the air blowing up until you can see the air going back to the pool’s jets. Place a plug in the fitting below the water once you see the bubbles blowing at full force. If you do this correctly, you will be able to get more than 95% of the water out of the return lines.

Blow Out Suction Lines

You should also use your air compressors to blow out all of the return lines. You can utilize a Gizzmo-style screw to connect the skimmer if you see bubbles. You have to be careful when installing the Gizzmo style screws. Place a PTFE tape on the threads before setting it up so it will have a tight seal.

Another alternative is the black rubber type plugs. They work well in case there’s something in the skimmer to permit water expansion whenever it freezes. In most cases, a closed plastic bottle used for soda will work well. It is imperative to set up those bottles correctly to prevent cracking your skimmers. In case you have a slide, a waterfall, or an auto vac system, you need to drain and then blow out that suction and return pipes as well.

Blow out the primary drain suction line. You don’t need pool diving. If you notice bubbles being released from the drain, you can just close the primary drain valve com make an airlock.

Extra line preparation. Cap or cover any exposed pipes that you find at the equipment. Get rid of ladders and dive boards. Store them in a safe area like the garage or a shed together with the Myrtle Beach swimming pool filter and pump.

Chemistry Preparation

In a bucket, dissolve any winterizing chemical solutions that are shock or granular based one at a time before you add them to your in-ground pool water. If you notice that some granules were not dissolved, you can brush them until they are totally absorbed into the water. In case there’s a pool liner, this is essential as residual chemicals can damage or bleach a liner. You also need to be sure that the chlorine is more than 3ppm.

You should also test the pool for PH as well as total alkalinity. Use PH Plus or Minus as well as Alkalinity Plus to adjust them to normal levels. The Alkalinity level must be between 80 AND 120ppm while the PH should be 7.2 and 7.6.

Water Level

When it comes to water level, people have different opinions. Some pool owners don’t drain the water out of the pool. This is ideal if all of the lines have been blown out effectively and sealed properly. In case your swimming pool is made of ceramic tiles, it is better to drain the water a couple of inches below them. But never go further than that.

Install The Pool Cover

Check the cover before you install it. If you notice tears or rips, tray to repair or patch them beforehand. A swimming pool heavy duty duct tape or patch tape can be utilized to patch lightweight covers. If you have a vinyl cover then you need to use a vinyl pool patch. Once done, install the cover on your pool. In case you’re using water tubes, put them through loops on the cover. Fill the tubes with water until they are about 85% full. Once the water tubes freeze, you don’t want the water inside to expand and break the tube apart. You have to replace any tube that is leaking.

Call Russell Cooper Pools if you need professional help in preparing your swimming pool for the winter season.

Russell Cooper Pools
101 Folly Rd.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29588
(843) 293-6757