The following general information is suggested, based on over 50 years of swimming pool maintenance experience. Always refer to pool manufacturers guidelines for additional information.
ICE DAMAGE WARNING: All cuts, tears, holes and punctures in vinyl liners MUST be patched before winterization. The gradual loss of water over the winter months could cause - or be the cause of - ice damage to your winter cover, liner or the pool itself. Keep a watchful eye on the pool's water level. If a water loss is noticed, it will be necessary to add water to the pool until Springtime when the cause of the water loss can be located and patched. A number of our customers reported ice damage last winter and ICE DAMAGE IS NOT COVERED BY ANY POOL OR LINER MANUFACTURER, DISTRIBUTOR, OR DEALER. You must take the proper steps to protect your investment.
Pool Closing Tips & Suggestions
- All pools should have properly balanced water. All pools should have the PH adjusted to the 7.2 to 7.6 range.
- All pools should be thoroughly vacuumed.
- All pools should have proper sanitizer levels.
- Lower the water level, but do not drain pool.
NOTE: Many manufacturers recommend the addition of the winter chemicals BEFORE the water is lowered. We feel that if they are added AFTER the water level is lowered, the chemical concentrations will be that much greater and the chemical protection that much better. Be sure to dispense and spread chemicals around entire pool.
- Thru-the-wall skimmer owners:
- Lower water level to 4-inches below bottom of skimmerr, or (Approximately 10 inches below top rail)
- To protect the skimmer and skimmer opening, we recommend the use of a, Aquador™ or a winter plate.
- IF none of the above are used, KEEP THE BOTTOM OF THE SKIMMER OPEN. DO NOT PLUG. Keep the skimmer top ON during the winter to protect against snow buildup.
- Plug the return fitting. Remove the return "eyeball" and plug according to the style of fitting used on your pool. Store eyeball in pump basket for next spring.
- Add winterizer. Add the proper amount of winterizer for the size of your pool. This is usually a liquid and can be added directly to the water. If you use a powdered form, we recommend the pre-dissolving type.
- Add all-purpose winter kit. Algae control over the winter is essential for crystal clear water in the Spring. Gary’s now has an all-purpose liquid which is a long-lasting product that does not need a dispenser
- Use a winter pool pillow as an ice pressure equalizer. Pillows are "buffers" against the ice formation and are considered throw-away. In other words, get a new one each year. Pillows carry only a 30-day warranty, and no pillow can be exchanged as being “defective” after the first of the year.
- Inflate the pillow 1-2 days before installation to check for leaks in the pillow.
- DO NOT OVER-INFLATE.
- After the pillow passes this inflation test, deflate to the recommended ¾ full and install in pool.
- Tether (tie) the pillow LOOSELY in the center of the pool, leaving enough slack for ice expansion.
- Drain & Disconnect filter, pump, and motor and move them indoors.
- Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) filter owners:
- Drain the tank and remove the grids or fingers.
- Wash-off the grids/fingers in alternating solutions of soapy water and muriatic acid (5 to 1 ratio), and when clean, rinse thoroughly.
- Reassemble, lubricating all moving parts and O-rings. Store in dry area.
- Sand filter owners:
- Drain tank and the pump of all water.
- It is highly recommended that the sand be removed (dumped) from the tank, and the filter and pump be brought into the home for winter.
- Clean, rinse, & reassemble, lubricating all moving parts and o-rings.
- Since the purity of the sand improves the efficiency of a sand filter, we recommend using FRESH SAND next season.
- Center drain owners must remove all water from the underground pipes by draining or blowing out. Plug the main drain in the pool. Add pipeline antifreeze. As an alternate method, install minimum of 6' of "backer rod" into pipe from outside of pool. Plug pipe on outside of pool.
- Cover your pool. Secure pool cover with a winch and plastic coated steel cable on aboveground pools. Use water logs on all in-ground pools and aboveground pools which have decks or walkways. Avoid all sharp corners on the pool edges by using rags, foam rubber, etc., on these areas. Even the strongest of pool covers can be punctured if these areas are not protected.
- On solid-type pool covers (recommended), place some water on top of the pool cover after installation to help guard against "flapping" in the wind. If you are in an exceptionally high wind area, use 1-4 winter clips per top rail to minimize potential wind damage.
Warning: WIND DAMAGE IS SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED FROM THE MANUFACTURER'S WARRANTY. WIND DAMAGE IS A MATTER FOR HOMEOWNER'S INSURANCE, NOT A WARRANTY REPLACEMENT.
WHEN TO WINTERIZE - WHEN TO OPEN
For best results, your pool should be winterized once the pool water has gotten down to a 50 degree F. temperature, and then opened in the spring when the water reaches the 50 degree F. mark. The winter chemicals used in pools are designed for COLD WEATHER use, and subjecting these chemicals to warm water in either the winter or spring months could limit their effectiveness and the desired results.
During the month of April, your cover should be removed, cleaned, and dried. While draining or pumping water off the top of your cover, place your garden hose under the cover and simultaneously begin filling your pool to the proper level. When cleaning your cover, you will sometimes notice tiny "pinholes" in the cover fabric when held up to the sun - this is customary for solid-type covers once they have stretched over a winter's use. Hook up your pool filter, adjust the chlorine and PH levels, and get ready to enjoy another summer's fun.
DO NOT DRAIN
If, upon opening your pool, the water is green, DO NOT DRAIN THE POOL. POOL LINERS ARE SUBJECT TO SHRINKAGE and this action may void your pool warranty.
THESE ARE GENERAL WINTERIZING SUGGESTIONS ONLY AND PERTAIN IN PARTICULAR TO ABOVE-GROUND POOLS IN OUR WESTERN NEW YORK AREA. CHECK WITH YOUR OWN POOL MANUFACTURER FOR ANY OTHER PERTINENT WINTERIZING INFORMATION IN ORDER SO AS TO NOT VOID YOUR WARRANTY. THESE SUGGESTIONS ASSUME NO LIABILITY AND ARE OFFERED TO ALL CUSTOMERS.
- PATCH KIT
- WINTER PLATE
- AQUA DOOR
- RETURN LINE PLUG
- WINTER KIT
- POOL PILLOW
- MURIATIC ACID
- PIPELINE ANTIFREEZE
- BACKER ROD
- COVER CABLE / WINCH
- WATER LOGS
- WINTER COVER CLIPS
- POOL COVER WRAP