Tips for Closing Your Own Pool

Tips for Closing Your Own Pool

Ready to close your pool, and you want to do it on your own? Check out this article for tips!

Ready to close your pool, and you want to do it on your own? Then, check out this article for tips for closing your own pool!

Step 1: Remove Deck and Skimmer Equipment

The first thing you want to do is remove the following:

  • Diving board
  • Ladders
  • Rails
  • Safety Ropes
  • Other equipment around the pool (not filtering equipment)

Then, remove the eyeball fittings from your return lines and the skimmer baskets from your skimmers.<

NOTE: Remove the plastic adapter if you have a dedicated line for an automatic cleaner. All return lines should be large, threaded openings that fit the same-sized rubber plug with a wing-nut.

Step 2: Test and Clean Your Water

The next step to winterizing your pool is to clean your pool. Grab a brush and scrub your pool walls and your pool floor. You can use your robotic cleaner to help with pool cleanup, but don’t skip brushing and scrubbing. Next, vacuum the floor and skim the water’s surface.

You can also manually vacuum your pool. If you have algae, you want to get rid of this after you’ve brushed your pool.

Next, you want to test your pool water. Bring us a sample to run it through our Alex water test system. We can then give you a printout of just what your pool needs before you close it.

It’s important to test the water because you want to ensure your levels, such as alkalinity and pH are properly balanced before closing your pool. This helps with corrosion and the build-up of scale.

Step 3: Shock Your Pool

It’s also a good idea to shock your pool a few days before you close it and put on your winter safety cover.

Follow the instructions on the bottle and run your pump overnight to help distribute the shock.

Step 4: Add Winter Chemicals

Once you’ve cleaned your pool and tested the water, you can add winterizing chemicals while your filter and pump are still operational.

Check the directions on your winter chemicals before proceeding or ask us for advice.

pool closing

Step 5: Backwash and Clean the Filter and Pump

Your next step in winterizing your pool is cleaning your filter and pump before you blow out your lines.

  • You can open your pump lid and remove debris in the basket once you backwash the filter.
  • Don’t forget to put the basket back in and replace the lid when you’re done.
  • Turn your filter back to “Filter” on your multi-port valve before blowing out the lines.
  • If you aren’t using a winter skimmer plate, drain the pool six inches below the skimmer.
  • If you have an inground pool, you must blow out the pipes. You can attempt this on your own, or we can do it for you. If you do it yourself, make sure you plug the return jets and install a Gizzmo in your skimmer to protect it from cracking.
  • If you do follow these steps, you shouldn’t have to drain your pool.
  • However, if you have a tile border in your pool, you should drain it at least 4″ below the tile to protect it.
  • Keeping the water level normal is better for your winter cover.

Step 6: Blow Out the Lines

It’s time to blow out the lines. We caution you, though. If, after reading these instructions, you are unsure about doing this on your own, please contact us to do it for you. You can crack your pipes if you don’t blow out your lines properly.

  • Turn your valves so that the skimmers and main drain are open. If you don’t have a main drain at the bottom of your pool, you only deal with one opening.
  • Hook up the air compressor to your pump by unscrewing the drain plug on the pump housing (the part with the lid) and threading your air compressor into the drain plug opening. You may need to purchase an adapter for your air compressor if you don’t have the proper threading.
  • Begin blowing air into the lines until you see bubbles coming from the return lines and the skimmers. Let it run for about 2 minutes.
  • Look for whichever line is blowing first. You should see bubbles coming from the return lines or the skimmers.
  • Take your gizmo or rubber plug and plug up the hole in the bottom of the skimmer where the air is coming from.
  • If you’re using a gizmo, thread the gizmo in the hole. A gizzmo is a long hollow, plastic tube that threads into the skimmer opening and prevents your skimmer from cracking in the winter. The gizzmo is an ice compensator, so if water gets into your skimmer and freezes during the winter, the gizmo absorbs the expansion rather than your skimmer, which protects your skimmer from cracking.
  • If you don’t have a gizzmo and are just using a rubber plug, throw in a plastic soda bottle (with the cap on) to act as your ice compensator. Do this in all your skimmers.
  • Now, walk around your pool and plug up all the return lines (the ones that are blowing air bubbles) with rubber plugs. You don’t want to see any more bubbles coming out when you put the plugs in.
  • The main drain is the last to blow, but you don’t have to swim to the bottom and plug it up. Turn off the air compressor.
  • Blow the water out of your pool heater if you have one. Again, if you are unsure of how to do this, please hire a professional.
  • Remove the drain plugs from the heater and turn the air compressor back on. Direct all the air into your heater, so close off all the valves except the one to the heater. You should start to see water coming out of the heater drains. Keep the air compressor running until you don’t see any more water.
  • Replace the drain plugs on your heater and remove the drain plugs from the filter and chlorinator if you have one.
  • Turn off the air compressor and remove it from the pump. Store all the drain plugs in the pump housing for safekeeping.

Step 7: Put the Winter Cover On

Finally, add your winter safety cover to your pool. Consult your manual on how to put your safety cover on your swimming pool.

Final Thoughts

If you are going to close your pool on your own, we want to leave with a few more very important tips.

First, you really want to close your pool before it gets below 30°F. If you know you’re doing your own pool, put your pool cover on your pool before you get too many leaves in it.

You also want to clean your saltwater generator, winterize your heater, clean your filter, and turn off all your electrical components. Do ask us about draining some of your pool water. We can help you decide how much based on the type of pool you have and your pool cover.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our expert staff at Arvidson Pools and Spas.