Closing your inground pool means that you are closing with you all the happy memories of summer and getting ready for the cold season. It may seem difficult, especially if you are doing it for the first time, but we are here to help make the process easier. This is a crucial time for pool owners to pay close attention to their pools so that they do not have to spend a lot of money on pool repairs when summer comes. By personally closing the pool, you are able to save some money depending on your location.
What is closing (winterizing) a pool?
Winterizing your pool is a vital step in ensuring longevity of your inground swimming pool. If you are located in a region where there is snow during summer, then this is a must do pool maintenance activity. One of the major reasons of winterizing your inground pool is to ensure the pool water does not freeze at the wrong places and bring destruction to your pool equipment. When water freezes, it expands; this can damage the inground pool filtration and plumbing system.
Still, it’s important to winterize your pool in warmer areas so that you control algae and sediment buildup. Additionally, covering your pool helps in preventing pool accidents.
What you will need to close your inground swimming pool
• Inground swimming pool winter cover
• Inground swimming pool leaf net
• Pool water chemistry tester
• A leaf skimmer or pool rake
• Swimming pool maintenance chemicals
• Winter cover accessories and water tubes
• Pool shock
• Swimming pool cleaning brush
• Winterizing chemical kit
• Halt Algaecide
Ensure you have all your winter supplies
Check all your swimming pool winterizing chemicals. Throw away any containers that have expired, are unsealed or were stored in direct sunlight. Take out your winter pool cover and inspect it for any tears and rips. If there are just minor tears, then you can seal them with strong duct that you can buy from your local pool store. If you do not already have a winter cover, you will have to buy one.
Clean the area around the pool area
Sweep the area that surrounds the swimming pool to get rid of leaves, dirt and branches from the patio. Prune all the bushes around the swimming pool so that you prevent further contamination before you cover your swimming pool. Ensure you also check the fencing gates to prevent unwanted guests from accessing your swimming pool. This is really important if you live in a neighborhood where there are kids and pets.
Guide On How To Close An Inground Swimming Pool
Here are some general instructions for closing you’re inground swimming pool. It’s important to bear in mind that all swimming pools are different and your pool may need some specific care. If you are unsure of how to close your inground swimming pool, consult your local pool professional to do the work for you.
Thoroughly clean and brush your swimming pool.
With a leaf skimmer or pool rake, remove all the debris and leaves from the pool. Clean the bottom and walls of the swimming with an automatic pool cleaner or use a brush to scrub the pool. This is important in ensuring there is no algae growth and discoloration on the liner.
Maintain your pool water chemicals
Adjust your pool water pH, calcium hardness and total alkalinity. This is best done several days before closing your pool so that you are sure no more adjustment is needed. It’s recommended that you shock your pool with granular chlorine a week earlier before closing your inground pool. This allows the chlorine levels to drop before you can put the pool cover on the pool. High levels of chlorine can make your winter pool cover weaker, be careful so that highly chlorinated pool water does not get into contact with your winter pool cover.
Decrease the pool water.
If you have mesh safety covers, the level should be between 8 to 12 inches below the tile. If you have solid pool covers, the ones that float on the surface and are held in place by use of water bags, then lower the pool water level by 3 to 5 inches below the tile. If your inground pool is made of vinyl liner, you can use a product known as Aquador, which is similar to Tupperware for the skimmer. Fit this at the front of the skimmer and you will not have to lower the water levels at all.
Time to add your winter pool chemicals
A lot of pool owners use pool closing kits which often contain; non-chlorine shock, borate floaters, algaecide, stain and scale. Read the instructions in the package and follow them. The instructions will recommend that one adds the chemicals before lowering water levels but we suggest that you add them after you have lowered the water level so that there is a stronger concentration. Pour the contents of the bottles into the pool and ensure it’s evenly distributed. You can use your pool brush to evenly distribute it. If you have a mesh safety cover, it’s important to use a pool enzyme product so that you can control algae growth in the winter seasons. Another helpful tip is to check your water chemistry during spring, just a month before opening, and then refill the floating chemical dispenser or add an extra quart of algaecide.
Clean the backwash filter carefully
Clean out your backwash filter and drain DE filter tanks then leave the backwash valve open. If your pool has sand filters, unplug the filter drain plug and leave it like that. Put the drain plug and any other items you may have removed into the pump basket. Ensure the multi-port valve does not contain any water. You can blow it out with a compressor if needed.
CAUTION. Do not acid wash DE filters when closing the pool. This is best done during summer so that you are able to instantly run water through the system. Using acid on a DE filter and storing it away may damage the filter parts during the winter season.
Disconnect drain plugs
Remove all the drain plugs from pump(s), heater, filter and chlorinators. Check through all the pipes and each piece of equipment then remove any drain plugs. Open up all the directional valves which will allow water level to drop to the level of water in the swimming pool. Store all the parts in a pump basket so that when opening your pool, you can get them easily.
Blow the lines
Blow out all the lines with air. This is a crucial step in closing an inground pool. Blowing out the plumbing equipment will ensure there is no water left in the pipes that can cause freeze damage. If you decide not to blow out the lines, then ensure all the equipment is totally drained and that you put non-toxic pool anti-freeze in the plumbing lines. The lines can be blown with a mighty vac, a strong shop vac or a small air compressor.
Seal the lines
Using freeze plugs, or expansion plugs seal the cleaner lines, skimmers and returns. Ensure you have sealed them all.
Put your inground pool’s winter cover
Carefully read the manufacturers instructions for information on how to properly and safely install the cover over your swimming pool. Spread the cover evenly on your inground pool.
Put skimmer bottles
You can make use of a Gizzmo, which comprises of an ice absorption device and a skimmer plug. If you will be sealing the skimmers with rubber freeze plugs, use 1 gallon empty bottle (you can put some inches of small pebbles or anti-freeze). This will give the bottle some weight and allow it to float on the surface of the pool while a bit submerged. When the water comes up in the skimmer and freezes, the increase in size will crumple the bottle and not the outer sides of your skimmer.
Shut off power to the pump
Shut off all the power to the pump by closing the circuit breaker. It’s also good to get rid of timer dogs on the time clock in case someone decides to turn the breaker back on during winter.
So that’s all. As earlier mentioned, every pool is different but the most important thing is to ensure that there is no water in the plumbing and the equipment. Additionally, do not cover equipment with plastic as this can trap moisture which can lead to rust. Heat covers are the best.