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How to close your pool for the season

Refer to www.maintainyourpool.com/pool-closing.html for disclaimer and cautions.

Step1. Drain the pool until it’s below the skimmer opening.

You can let the pool pump run as you drain water off of the pool with your sump pump. Place the sump pump on the second pool step, plug in and let it run.

Avoid contact with pool water while the sump pump is running in the pool.

In the meantime, you can start removing the pool railing and diving board. Since these parts are not in the water, you don’t have to worry about contact with the water.

Step 2. Clear the water from the skimmer line.

Once the water level about an inch or 2 below the skimmer, you can now clear the skimmer line. However, unplug and remove the sump pump before you proceed.

Turn the valves to the deep water suction and the low water suction to the off position. This should leave just the skimmer line open. Then, allow pool pump to pull the water through. Once it has pulled the water through, then turn off the pool pump. Then turn the valve to the skimmer line to the off position.

Step 3. Open the deep and low suction valves.

Keep the valve to the skimmer closed to prevent water from going back into that line. Open the deep and low suction valves and loosen lid to the pump trap. This will allow the water to go back into the pool via gravity from the filter housing.

Step 4. Drain the filter housing.

Remove the lid to the filter housing. Open the drain line on the side to let the water out of the housing. Also remove the filters. Clean filters with a hose and set aside to dry. Store filters outside of the filter housing.

Step 5. Remove plugs to the pump trap.

Remove the lid to the pool pump trap. Remove the tiny pump trap plugs in order to drain the water out of the pool pump. Remove the pump trap basket and store the plugs in basket so you can find them easily next spring.

Step 6. Drain the pool until it’s below the side inlet openings.

Place the sump pump back on the second or third pool step and plug in. Drain water until it is below the all of the inlets opens on the side. Once it has gotten below this level, then unplug and remove sump pump.

Step 7. Remove inlet fittings.

Now that the water line is below the inlets, go ahead and remove the inlet fittings. These need to be removed to allow the rest of the water to drain from the lines and so you can install the inlet plugs. Also remove the skimmer basket. Store the inlet fittings in the skimmer basket so you can find them easily next spring.

Step 8. Clear the lines.

Remove the connection between the filter (or chlorinator if you have a chlorinator) and the inlet valves.

Blow the water out of the lines using a shop vacuum. The shop vacuum must be cleaned out beforehand and the hose needs to be on the exhaust end, not the suction end. Be extremely careful that the shop vacuum does not fall into the pool.

Skimmer lines

Insert the shop vacuum hose into the skimmer on top of the opening and turn on shop vacuum. This should blow any remaining water in the skimmer line up through to the pump.

Inlet Lines.

Insert the shop vacuum hose into one of the inlets. Turn on shop vacuum and go around to each of the inlets to see if you can feel air blowing through. There may be separate lines to each set. Repeat for each inlet until you see no more water coming out of any of them.

Allow ample time for air to circulate and dry up any remain water in the lines.

Ask you pool installer if they recommend adding the special pool type of anti-freeze. I personally, don’t add anti-freeze. I’ll let this up to you to decide whether or not you want to add it.

Step 9. Plug the lines.

Skimmer box.

Attach the long odd shape flexible plug (gizmo) to the skimmer opening. Apply plumber’s threading tape to the threads so that the seal prevents water from getting into the skimmer line. This flexible object also prevents the skimmer box from cracking. Even thought there is no water in the skimmer box now, there will be once it rains and fills the pool or pool cover. This water will most likely freeze in the box. The first thing to give is this flexible object, not the skimmer box.

Pool wall Inlets.

Attach rubber plugs to the inlet openings and hand tighten the wing nut or if the plugs are the screw in type, then hand tighten. Make sure these plugs are in place securely. Try pulling on them to see if they loosen or pop out. If they would loosen or pop out during the winter, then the water would most likely get into the pipes and freeze causing a cracked pipe.

Inlet lines at the shutoff valves.

Dry out the filter housing and attach filter housing loosely. Disconnect any tubes on the chlorinator and attach chlorinator lid loosely. Attach plug to the line between the chlorinator and the inlet lines.

Pool Pump.

Dry out pool pump trap and attach winter plug in the pool trap at the opening where the suction line is attached to the pool pump. This prevents any water from backing up into the pump trap and freezing the pipe or the pump trap. Attach trap lid loosely.

Step 10. Remove ladder, Railing, Diving Board.

Remove railing and ladder by loosening the bolts at the base. Gently wiggle the railing out of the opening. Repeat for the ladder. Remove the diving board from the base. Remove the base. Be careful not to trip over the bolts sticking out of the pool deck. Put these items in the storage area.

Step 11. Cover the pool.

Locate the pool cover and unfold. Walk along the sides of the pool as the cover unfolds until you have it covered end to end. If this is a water bag cover, then lay out the water bags and fill with water. Or you could use sand bags if you do not have water bags. Do not use cement or cinder blocks. If one of these falls into the pool, it’ll probably tear the liner.

Step 12. Turn off the breaker to the pool pump.

If the pool pump motor is on its own breaker, then trip the breaker.

One final note: If the pool pump motor and filter and any other equipment is not under cover like in a pool shed, then cover the equipment. Do not allow water to get into any equipment.

Store items in an area together so that you’ll have an easier time next spring locating these items. Check back occasionally for more helpful tips and ideas. Bookmark this site for future reference.

Thanks and good luck with your pool closing!

Posted in Swimming Pool Maintenance.


Entertaining at your pool

Hello everyone. I’ve recently added the entertaining section to the www.maintainyourpool.com website. As the pool season begins here in the north, I’m sure you all are preparing for some summer fun by entertaining family and friends at your backyard pool. One of the features I’ve added includes a tiki bar plan that you can build yourself. I thought this was a great idea for creating the caribbean atmosphere around your pool. Even with a limited budget, you can create a vacation theme around your swimming pool. Your friends and family will be impressed with your vision to entertain.

During the summer, we frequent a few wine festivals and I thought why not have a wine festival in the backyard. I’ve located several online wine shops that are provided on the pool bar page. Also included on the pool bar page is a company that sells kits for making your own brew. So as another option, you can have your own micro brew served to family and friends by your pool.

Since alcohol is not for everyone, I’ve included several online tea shops and coffee shops.

As always, if you have any questions regarding pool maintenance, please feel free to post your questions on this blog.

Enjoy your days at the pool. Thanks! –Ron

Posted in Swimming Pool Maintenance.

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Pool Opening

Just opened my swimming pool over the weekend and used your website at maintainyourpool.com pool opening as a guide.  Everything went just as you described it.  I found that filling the filter housing resulted in the pool pump priming on the first try.  Usually, this would take me several attempts before it would prime.  

Thanks for the great info on this website.  I would like to see some photos for the pool closing page.  In the meantime, I follow your advice on the the routine maintenance page.

I also had to repair the corner of my vinyl liner.  I never thought about getting a matching swatch.   I went to the pool store in town and bought a swatch from them for a dollar.  It really does improve the look.  The clear that I applied last year turned  orange over the winter.  So I removed it and applied a clear patch.  Waited an hour, then applied the swatch.  Looks great.   Thanks again for this tip.

Joe

Posted in Swimming Pool Maintenance.


Tiki Bar

I really like the tiki bar on the entertainment page. Did you build one for your pool? Thanks.

Posted in Swimming Pool Maintenance.


Welcome to Pool Blog

This is the start of a new blog on maintainyourpool.com.  Please feel free to ask any questions related to swimming pool maintenance or any swimming pool topic.  The goal is to provide quality information to pool owners, or anyone thinking about purchasing a pool.

Also, feel free to share any stories you have regarding your experience with swimming pool maintenance.

Thanks.

Posted in Swimming Pool Maintenance.