You will have to winterize and close your in-ground pool properly before the onset of winter
if you wish to prevent the possibility of damages caused by the freezing of water. Improper closing or winterizing can cause serious damage to your in-ground swimming pool
and the repair expenses can be very high. An added advantage of winterizing is that your swimming
pool will be ready for use very quickly when you want to reuse it with the arrival of spring and it will save a lot of work at that time. Below are the step by step procedures for winterizing in-ground pools.
Step 1. Before you start the actual process of winterizing you have to keep a few things ready. They are Gizzmos, a swimming pool cover, winterizing kits, return jets, duct tape, tools like wrenches, screwdrivers, hammer, air compressor or shop vac, plugs, etc.
Step 2. The next step is to make sure that the pH of the swimming pool water is balanced. This will prevent the stagnant water from staining or damaging your swimming pool surface. Chemical kits for winterizing are available for buying. Add the winterizing chemicals to the water as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Some people recommend draining the water to the level below the mouth of the skimmer but keeping the water level high will reduce the stress on the cover. Draining the pool will also expose the liner and cause it to dry out.
Step 3. It is the inherent property of water to expand when it freezes. The water trapped in the plumbing and filters can cause a lot of damage when it freezes and expands. Therefore it is important to drain out water from all confined spaces and prevent the pool water from getting into them. Use the plugs and Gizzmos for this purpose.
Step 4. The next step is to blow out the water from the pipes and fittings with air. For this you can either use a compressor or the air from the discharge end of a shop vac. Blow out the water from each pipeline of the filter system using air pressure. Blow out the water from all return jet pipes. Once the water is blown out from each line plug it from the pool side so that water cannot reenter. For plugging you can use threaded plugs with gaskets if they can be used or else use rubber freeze plugs. Blow out the water from the skimmer also. To seal the skimmer line, use the Gizzmo. This will protect the skimmer if water enters and freezes inside it. Make sure that the Gizzmo does not have cracks or holes. This is the most important step and should be carried out diligently.
Step 5. The filter needs to be backwashed to clean it. Disconnect the pump and drain it fully by removing the plug, if necessary turn it upside down to make sure that there is no water left in it. Keep the pump and other small parts away in a dry storage area in a separate basket.
Step 6. Cover all exposed outlets and pipes with duct tape so that nothing can get into them. Remove any extra items like ropes and floats and keep them away in the storage area. Do the same with ladders and dive boards. In fact, it is safe to remove everything that can be easily removed and stowed away.
Step7. The final step is to cover your swimming pool to protect it from rain and debris. Check your cover for any damage or tears and repair them if necessary. Make sure that there are no sharp objects that can damage the cover. Cover any sharp points with rags. Place the cover on the pool and you are done.