It is important to make sure the pool chemistry is properly adjusted before closing the pool. Ensure that the pH is 7.5 and the chlorine is 2-3 ppm. If using a salt system, the chlorine should be 2-3 ppm as well. If you are using a Baquacil or Biqunide product, your sanitizer should be 30-50 ppm and your oxidizer should be in the good range as well. Adjust these levels before proceeding.
Add winterization chemicals (non-chlorine shock, metal control and winter algaecide) by the recommended dosage to the water and allow to circulate 12-24 hrs.
Vacuum pool one last time and net off any debris.
Clean the filter (backwash and rinse if you have a sand filter, or remove your element on a cartridge or DE filter – rinse and store outside of the filter canister to allow it to air dry).
Leave water level at the normal operating height -do NOT drain any additional water out of the pool. We want the walls to stay fully expanded at all time.
Pull the top float and basket off of the skimmer assembly inside the pool.
With the filter system turned off, insert a #8 plug in the bottom of the skimmer to block the water. The skimmer will be fully removed before winterization is complete – this is just temporary so you can place the plugs in the wall fittings on the outside of the pool without getting wet.
Unscrew the short black “hold down fitting hose” that stabilizes the skimmer. Skimmer will hang further out in the pool without this fitting attached.
Carefully twist the long blue “skimmer hose” a few turns to release it slightly, but not fully, from the bottom wall fitting. If careful, you can do this from the outside of the pool by using the skimmer as a steering wheel. If you are unable to do it from outside of the pool, you will need to have someone hop in to remove it. A second hand on the outside of the pool to assist would be crucial if this happens.
Once you get it unthreaded slightly, but not fully from the fitting, discount your hoses, remove ball valves from the outside of that fitting and place a rubber #9 plug inside the fitting. If doing this from the inside of the pool, place the black rubber plug inside of the fitting centered evenly and tighten down the wingnut on the front of the plug to tighten until secure. If you are doing this from the outside of the pool, push the plug deep into the fitting with the wingnut facing you on the outside of the pool and tighten down securely. Don’t push the rubber plug through the fitting too far or it will pop out into the pool.
Once the #9 rubber plug is secured, you can place the white screw in cap with an oring on it, onto the outside of the fitting. Due to this cap being plastic, it should never go on the inside of the pool in the water, or it could freeze and cause damage to the fitting and/or pool.
Finish unscrewing the skimmer and blue hose the rest of the way out. Make sure all of the pieces are intact and come out together. The lower fitting of the pool should now be totally sealed off from the inside and outside of the pool and should not leak or seep.
Do the same process with another #9 black rubber plug on the inside of the return fitting (make sure to remove the entire eyeball on the inside of the pool fitting in order for the plug to fit properly). Place the white screw on cap with the oring on the outside of the wall fitting.
On the “Hold Down Fitting”, insert the #8 plug used to temporarily block off the skimmer that is now removed completely from the pool, into the inside of the Hold Down Fitting. The cap will always remain on the outside of the pool.
Upon completion, there should be a black rubber plug on the inside of the skimmer wall fitting – the lowest fitting on the pool – as well as a white screw on cap on the outside of the pool fitting.
The return fitting – the highest fitting on the pool – should have a rubber plug on the inside of the fitting and a screw on white cap on the outside of the fitting.
The hold down fitting – in the middle of the pool – will have a rubber plug on the inside of the fitting with the original “cap” still on the outside of the pool.
Recommendation: Dab the Hold Down Fitting and the Return Wall Fitting with Lube Tube product to prevent ice from building up. Dab on the face of the plug as well as all the way around the face of the wall fitting. You should be able to reach these from the outside of the pool, leaning over the pool.
Place winter cover taunt over the pool and secure with cable/bungee cords. On a rectangle pool, fold corners over like wrapping a present and make sure they are sealed tightly. The cover should be tight like a drum once completed. It is NOT recommended to use pillows under the winter cover on this style of pool.
The pool should be properly winterized at this time, now on to the filter system! To learn how to properly winterize your filter system, click here!