1. Clean the pool. Vacuum all debris off the floor of the pool. Brush down the walls. Empty the skimmer basket(s) and pump basket. A clean pool now will make a much better opening next Spring.
2. Test and Balance the Water. Adjust your pH to 7.2 to 7.6ppm, Alkalinity to 100 to 120ppm, Calcium Hardness to 180 to 220ppm.
3. Gather your tools and supplies. Make sure you have all of the tools and supplies you will need: basic hand tools, an air compressor or shop vac, winterizing plugs and gizmos, winterizing chemicals, pool cover and air pillows.
4. Remove & store accessories. Store your vacuuming equipment, pole, skimmer net, brush, inflatables and pool toys in a dry place for the winter. Remove your ladder and store in a dry place out of the elements. Store any unused chemicals, with their tops tightly closed, in a cool, dry place as well.
5. Add Winter Chemicals. Add a Winter Chemical Kit to your pool. Winter Kits are sold in sizes based on the gallons of water in your pool. Purchase and add the kit for your size pool. If your pool is in between kit sizes purchase the next larger size. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the kit. Run your filter for 1 hour after adding the winter chemicals. Adding winter chemicals will help maintain your water quality over the winter months. We do not recommend using a floater that contains a strong oxidizer (i.e, chlorine tabs or bromine tabs) as that may get stuck against a wall and bleach the liner.
6. Lower the water level below the mouth of the skimmer. Sand and DE filters with multiport valves should backwash the filter first very well to clean the filter out. Lowering the water will get the water out of the skimmer throat which could be damaged by freezing water over the winter. Remove skimmer basket(s) and pump basket. Install gizmo into skimmer and an aquador winter faceplate can snap onto the skimmer plate over the mouth of the skimmer to protect water from entering the lines.
7. Disconnect and drain water from hoses.
a. Put a plug in your return fitting. This is the fitting in the wall of the pool where the water returns to the pool.
b. Disconnect the hoses from the return and skimmer(s) and/or at the filter system and drain them. You may use a shop vac or compressor to help with this.
c. Remove pressure gauge from filter and store in pump basket.
d. Drain the pump by removing the drain plug(s). Use your shop vac/compressor to blow water out of pump and pump impeller. Lubricate o-ring on the pump. Bring pump inside for the winter.
8. Drain and clean filter.
a. Cartridge Filter. Remove your filter cartridge and hose off any debris. If cartridge is in poor condition discard and start with a fresh clean cartridge in the Spring. Wipe the interior of the filter clean and dry. Store in a dry location over the winter.
b. Sand Filter: Unplug the filter drain plug and leave plug off for the winter. Put drain plug with other small removed items in the pump basket. Make sure multiport valve has no water in it. If necessary, blow it out with your shop vac or compressor. Leave multiport valve in the “closed” or “winterize” position.
c. DE filter: Drain DE filter tank and remove fingers or grids for cleaning. Clean out tank and wipe dry. Hose off fingers or grids. If fingers or grids are discolored a mild solution of vinegar and water may be used but it is not recommended to use muriatic acid at the time of the closing since the acid may disintegrate the fabric over the winter. A muriatic acid solution should be used during the Spring or during the swimming season when pool water will immediately run through the system. Make sure multiport valve has no water in it. If necessary, blow it out with your shop vac or compressor. Leave multiport valve in the “closed” or “winterize” position.
9. Empty chlorinator. If you have a chlorinator remove any unused tablets. Disconnect chlorinator, remove drain plug, rinse out, and wipe dry. Put drain plug in pump basket. Lubricate o-ring on lid.
10. Install winter cover.
a. Fill your air pillow with compressor to 80% full.
b. Attach rope to the grommets on the pillow and center pillow in pool.
c. Place your winter cover over pool and pillow. The cover should drape over the sides of the pool. Install cable into the grommets on the edges of the cover and secure cable tightly with the winch device that came with your cover.