1. Balance the water chemistry.
About a week prior to closing the pool, adjust your water balance within the ranges below:
- pH: 7.2-7.4
- Alkalinity: 80-120 ppm
- Calcium Hardness: 180-220 ppm
Several days before closing, shock the pool with a chlorine shock or non-chlorine shock, using at least 2 lbs per 10,000 gallons (follow package directions). Allow the chlorine level to return to 1.0-3.0 ppm before adding any winter algaecide or your pool cover. Very high chlorine tends to break down both algaecides and pool covers. Never add chlorine shock and algaecide at the same time and not right before covering it. At the very least, shock the night before you plan to close the pool, and run the filter all night long.
2. Remove cleaners, solar blankets and ladders from the pool.
Put these in a safe location during the winter. Don't coil pool cleaner hoses tightly, and be sure the cleaner and hose are completely drained.
3. Clean the pool.
Skim, vacuum and brush the swimming pool. Leaf rakes or "bag type" skim nets work best, and are useful for scooping large amounts of leaves/debris from pool floor. If the pool is especially silty or has lots of algae, vacuum the pool to waste. This means to bypass the filter and vacuum dirt from floors/walls out the waste line. This prevents constant clogging and cleaning of the filter. Place the multiport filter valve on drain to waste position (usually at 2 p.m. position if viewed as a clock face). If you have a push-pull filter valve or a cartridge type filter, there is no easy way to vacuum to waste, unless you cut the pipe coming out of the pump and then reconnect it afterwards with a union or valve. Brush the pool thoroughly after vacuuming. The pool should be as clean and clear as possible before covering, so give it one more skimming right before putting on the cover. If possible, give your pool some extra filtering before closing, and run it 24 hours a day for a few days.
4. Lower the water level in the pool.
Using the filter pump or a submersible pump, lower the water level 2"-4" below the lowest returns for mesh or winter covers. If you are using a Aqua door cover for your inground pool, the water level will not need to be lowered. For pools with a separate main drain, close off the skimmers and drain to back wash for 10 min to clean filter then to waste (DE and sand filters) out the waste line. For cartridge filters or systems with no main drain, use a submersible pump or self-priming pump on the deck to lower the water level.
5. Drain all pool equipment.
Blue Fin will drain your pump's, filter, heater and chlorinator. drain plugs or caps to allow water to drain out. Blue Fin will drain or blown out your pool equipment, if not done properly it could freeze and crack. After draining, DE filter grids or cartridge filters can be removed and cleaned thoroughly blue fin will do this for a fee. If the filter and pump is small enough to remove and store indoors, this may be desirable. some drain plugs may be removed during winter in case any pipes become un-winterized. blue fin will store the drain plugs in the pump basket for safe keeping.
6. Winterize plumbing to and from the pool.
If you have an inground pool, Blue Fin will clear all water from the plumbing lines. Use a blower to push air and antifreeze from the skimmer, through the equipment, and back to the pool returns. Next, they will plug the lines in the pool using plugs. If you do not have plugs or they are damaged. Blue Fin will replace these as needed. We use best quality pool antifreeze to prevent freeze damage.
7. Winterizing algaecide and floaters.
Vinyl pools should not use chlorine pool floaters to avoid color bleaching or damage to the vinyl liner, but you can use Winter Pill instead. Algaecide and Enzymes can also be used to reduce sanitizer demand, and they're popular for pools with mesh safety covers. If you have a warm, early spring, or you wish to prevent a green pool opening, plan to add more algaecide and mid-spring.
8. Cover the pool.
If you have an automatic cover, have the cover operational (all water removed) or open for us. After the closing, refill the pool if lowered, to the normal operating level, then close the cover.
A tight fit of your pool cover is essential. Your cover should not have holes or gaps where leaves and debris may enter the pool. A mesh safety cover provides the highest protection and safety. Winter covers will not protect people or animals from falling into the water, and they also require a cover pump or siphon to remove rain water and snow melt. Water bags are used to secure an inground solid pool cover. Above ground pool covers use a cable and winch device to secure the cover around the pool. Air pillows are used in above ground pools to absorb the expansion of ice inside the pool.
Ready to Close you pool?