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Winterizing Your Pool

  Well its that time of year again! After tons of fun in the sun, its time to shut it all down.  We all know how expensive it can be to hire a professional, so why not close it yourself? Assuming you have vacuumed, removed auto cleaners and put in all necessary winterizing chemicals, first thing  is determine if you have a flooded or non-flooded system. If your equiptment pad sits below the ground level of your pool, then you have a flooded system. Having this type of plumbing requires that you blow out all the water from your lines and cap them on the end. There are several ways to do this, yet the way we will discuss I have found to be the easiest and least amount of labor. Make sure you have a plugs available for each of your return lines and Gizmos for each of your skimmers. Remove the eyeball portion of each of your returns as to leave just the threaded end of the plumbing. If its not threaded you can use rubber plugs. Open all of the valves on your suction header and return lines. Next with your pump turned off place the multi port valve on recirculate. Take your wet/dry shop vac with blower function over to one of your skimmers. Remove the lid and basket. Place the end of the hose down inside the plumbing at the bottom of the skimmer. One person may need to hold it in. Turn the vac on making sure its on blower. In just a short time you will see big bubbles comming from one of your return lines. Go to the return bubbling and place a plug inside stopping the flow of air and keeping any water from going back inside. Not long after putting in the plug, another line will pop. Continue the same way placing plugs in as the lines blow. After all the returns are capped, the other skimmer will go. Plug it with a Gizmo or similar type plug.  The very last thing that will go will be your main drain. Once bubbles start comming from the main drain close the valve to it on your suction header. This will create an air lock and keep water from going back into the main drain. Be sure to turn off the blower right as you close the valve to prevent any plugs from comming out. You also want to immediately put a Gizmo in the skimmer you were using to blow. Next you can remove the drain plugs from your filter, pump, chlorinator, mineral feeder, ect.. If you have a salt system you unscrew the unions and remove your cell.  To ensure that the water is out of your backwash line you can drill and tap a hole at ground level. Tap with 1/4 or 1/8 inch, whichever plug you will put back in when opening.  Doing it this way  eliminates the need to drain the water below your skimmers and returns. Your pool is now winterized and ready to be covered. Depending on what part of the world you live in and what your climate is like will determine what your ground freeze depth is. If you live in colder climates it may be safer to take these steps even if you dont have a flooded system. Refer to your local water supplier to ask what your freeze depth is, then determine whether or not your plumbing sits below that depth. If you feel confident that your plumbing sits below the freeze level and you DO NOT have a flooded system you can just drill and tap all lines EXCEPT the main drain at ground level. All of the water at risk of freezing will run out the hole.

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  1. Ratulacs says:

    Thanks for this post- Excellent. Very nice article.

  2. sta-rite pool filters says:

    Informative post i found here..Thanks for sharing

  3. Kathy says:

    I have an Amber inground 14×28 vinyl liner pool. Since we live in the desert, we have minimal prolonged freezing during the winter months. I have the pump running from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. I bought the most expensive (dense) liner available. Do I need to do any winterizing? cover the pool? Our temps run around 60 during the day and 30ish at night. Thanks so much.

  4. Foster says:

    Winterizing is a choice you as the homeowner must decide on. It isnt necessary, however you must maintain the pool exactly as you would in the summer months.

  5. Clarissa says:

    This is great information. It is always a great idea to do things yourself if you can to save as much money as you can.

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