Clean Out The Pool
This includes any leaves, insects, dirt and debris. Use your pool vacuum or your net. Clean the skimmer and the pump basket too. Clean the tile with the proper cleaner.
Balance The Water Chemistry
This protects the pool from corrosion or scale buildup. Adjust the water to the recommended levels using a water test kit. If you would like to add a winterization chemical kit, now is the best time. These kits put high levels of chlorine and algae ice in the water to prepare it for the months ahead. In the case of larger pools, you may be advised to supplement the kit with additional quantities of some chemicals.
Don't Let Your Chemicals Damage Your Pool
Do not add tablets or a floater that contains chlorine or bromine-they can damage the equipment nearest them. If you already have chlorine or bromine tablets in the feeder, let them run out so none remain. Pour winterizing chemicals into a bucket and then into the pool. Some chemicals advise you to turn on the pool filter while adding these chemicals. You don't want stains on your,liner from un-dissolved granules or damage to your equipment from concentrations of chemicals in the water.
Water expands with enormous force when frozen. The type of force that breaks up highways, splits garden hoses, explodes beverage cans in your freezer, and also expands and cracks pool pipes, filters, pumps, and skimmer baskets. Even pool owners in the south have learned, their regret, that freezing temperatures are a risk. To begin, drain the water down below the skimmer mouth. Do not, I say again, do not empty the pool. The expansion of the soil under the pool as the water in this soil freezes can jack the pool right out of the ground; it needs the weight of some water to keep it firmly in place.
Take Care Of Your Pump And Heater
Be sure to disconnect your pump and filter. Make sure all water is completely drained from the pump. To be sure, turn it upside down once and dump any excess water. Remove drain plugs (there may be one or two). Once the pump is drained, turn it on for just a second or two to release any remaining water from the impeller. Store small plugs or parts in the pump basket.
If you have a heater, drain it as well and make sure there is no standing water inside, You can blow it out with a compressor or shop vac. Drain the heater completely. Remove all return jet fittings. If one cracks, don't panic, you can replace it next spring. Remove all skimmer baskets.
Remove Water From The Pipes
Unscrew and loosen any quick-disconnect fittings or unions at your pump and filter system, then blow out pipes. The use of a wet-dry vacuum or air compressor is ideal for this. Force the air from the pump down the skimmer and through the skimmer pipes. Blow out the return plumbing by hooking up your compressor to the return lines at the filter system, or by screwing it into the pumps drain plug. Continue until you see air bubbles emerge from the return jets, the. tightly plug the fitting below the water line. Cover all exposed pipes with plugs. Also, blow out the main drain line (if any). When you see bubbles coming out of the drain, plug the pipe on your end or close the gate valve. This creates an "air lock" in the line, ensuring no water can enter from the pool side.
Cleaning The Filter
Remove filter hoses. Spray the cartridge filter elements and D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth) grids with filter cleaner, then rinse clean with a garden hose. For D.E. filters, drain the filter tanks and leave backwash valve open. IF you have a sand filter, clean it by back washing.
NOTE: Don't acid wash a D.E. filter at pool closing time. It's best to wait till spring. When you can conveniently run the pool water through the system to rinse it out. Simply rinsing off the acid and putting away the filter will give the acid all winter to attack filter components.
Open the drain at the bottom of the filter to let out any water in the filter outlet, be sure to open the air relief valve on top if you have one. Place the multi-port into the closed or "winter" position. are,over the pressure gauge,
The Floatation Device
Before. putting on the cover, you should install a Floatation device in the middle of the pool. It does not need to be anything fancy. The float balances the rain water and ice, sure to form on the pool cover. More importantly, it will ease the pressure off the pool walls by allowing ice to push in one the device, not outward onto the walls.
The Winter Cover
It's stronger than a summer cover. And is able to withstand the weight of snow and ice, and to protect people or pets from falling through the cover. If your cover has any rips, fix them. Stretch the cover over the pool, black side down. This can be a 2-3 person job. Run a strong wire through the holes around the perimeter of the cover and snug it up using a wrench so the cover stays down.
Remove any and all ropes and floats. Store away your dive bolts or ladder bumpers.