There are two facets of pool closing. Water chemistry and the “stuff you need to do”.
Water chemistry is similar in any type of pool- in ground or above ground. Due to winter water temperatures the water balance needed for winter is different from what you need to have “in season”. The simple thing to do is to bring us a water sample from your pool. We will test the water and our computer will write a “prescription” for what your pool water needs. Our trained staff will provide you with the appropriate water balancers and the winter closing chemicals you need.
“Stuff you need to do” After you have applied your chemicals, assuming you are going to shut your pool down, during the off season, your two objectives are to cover the pool and to protect the pool plumbing and equipment from freezing.
In ground pools-Preparing your equipment. If your equipment is above your pool things are pretty easy. Look at your pool setup and determine what is at risk of freezing. Now, we need to take steps to prevent that freezing. Normally we will lower the water level in the pool to a point a few inches below the skimmer. Be sure your equipment is turned off (at the breaker, not just the timer). I f you are going to blow the water out of the return lines then remove the directional flow fittings (eyeballs) from the pool returns. Blow the water out of those lines and plug them while the air is going through them. Then blow the water out of the skimmer lines and screw the expansion plug into the port in the bottom of the skimmer.
Next we will remove the drain plug(s) from the pumps and filter. Normally there are two plugs on the main pool pump, one plug on the cleaner booster pump and one on the filter. If you have a chlorinator you need to drain it as well-either by removing a plug or taking the cap off and inverting it. Do not leave chlorine in a chlorinator over the off season. It will cause major damage to your equipment. Removing the plugs will allow the water to drain from the equipment to prevent freezing. If you have loops of pipe (above ground) or equipment below water level or anything that you cannot drain these may need to inject swimming pool antifreeze into these area. This may require specialized equipment. We can send a technician to help.
Install your cover. You will probably want to remove ladders and handrails prior to putting the cover on. If using a tarp type cover be sure to install the cover so that it “drapes” down the pool walls and onto the surface of the water. We recommend using commercially available water tubes or water filled weights to anchor the cover edges. Anchoring the cover with ropes will lead to the cover being stressed and torn when rainwater accumulates on it. Using hard objects will lead to pool damage if they are pulled into the pool by the weight of water on the cover. Be sure to keep the water, leaves and debris off the cover through the off season. With this type cover you must secure the pool area as these covers can pose an extreme hazard for a person or pet getting onto the cover. With properly installed safety covers this is certainly less of an issue.
If you have questions or if this job is beyond the scope or what you are comfortable doing please contact us. We will be glad to help.