Tips For Winterizing Your Inground Pool Kit
1 – Locate all your swimming pool winterizing supplies. This should include the swimming pool cover, the water tubes, the plugs for the skimmers (Gizmos) AQUA GENIE WINTER COVER (See Below) and return jets and your winterizing chemicals. You will also need an air compressor or a powerful shop vac. You need these items for proper winterization. If you are using the green Gizmos to plug your pool skimmers, check them out and make sure that they are not cracked. This is very important when dealing with gizmos. Gizmos with holes or cracks will not work!
2 – Backwash the swimming pool filter very well to clean it out. Drain DE pool filter tanks and leave backwash valve open. On sand pool filters, unplug the filter drain plug and leave off. Put drain plug with other removed items in the pump basket. Make sure multiport valve has no water in it. Blow it out with a compressor or shop vacuum if necessary. Please note that it is not recommended to “acid wash” DE filters at the time of the pool closing. This is best to do in the Spring so that you can immediately run pool water through the system. It is not good to use muriatic acid on a DE swimming pool filter and then just rinse it off and put it away. The acid may degrade the filter parts over the winter.
3 – Disconnect your swimming pool pump and filter. Make sure that the pool pump is totally drained out of any water. Turn pool pump upside down once to make sure! Remove any drain plugs from the pool pump. It is a good idea to store any small plugs or parts in the pool pump basket. This way you will be able to find them easily in the Spring.
4 – If there is a pool heater, drain it and make sure there is no sitting water inside. Blow it out with a compressor or shop vac. Drain the pool heater totally and remove all drain plugs (if any). Put drain plugs in the pump basket for safe keeping. We do not recommend to remove the pool heater tray. You can remove it if you want, but you may have trouble putting it back in the Spring. It is not necessary on most units.
5 – Unscrew and loosen any quick disconnect fittings or unions at your pool kit pump and filter system. Remember, the name of the game is “no freeze cracks”. If the water is all drained out of your pipes and fittings, it cannot freeze and expand and crack.
6 – Remove all internal return pool jet fittings (the entire fitting!). Use steady even pressure to turn the jet. If you crack a pool jet while removing it, don’t panic!! You can get a replacement come Spring. Remove all pool kit skimmer baskets. Put fittings and any other items that you remove in one of the skimmer baskets or the pool pump basket to avoid loss (this includes the dive board bolts too). Remove the air valve on the Cozy Cove and pour RV antifreeze down the line and replace air valve.
7 – Blow out all swimming pool return jet pipes using an air compressor or shop vac. Hook up air compressor or shop vac to the return lines at the filter system – or – some people prefer to screw the compressor fitting into the drain plug of the pump. This will give a good seal and allow you to blow out the entire system from that one spot – but this is up to you. Keep the air blowing until the air bubbles start to become visible from the return jets in the pool kit. Put a plug in the fitting under the water when you see the bubbles blowing at full force. This will mean that 99% of the water is out of the pipe. Make sure plug is in tight ! This is most important.
8 – Blow out all pool kit skimmer (suction side) pipes in a similar fashion as noted in #7. Put a Gizmo- type screw in plug in the skimmer when bubbles start to become visible. We know that this is sometimes difficult, but proper gizmo installation is important. Make sure that you put Teflon tape on the gizmo threads before installing. This insures a tight seal. If you don not want to use Gizmo plugs and want to use black rubber-type plugs instead, that is OK as long as there is something in the skimmer to allow for water expansion when it freezes. Usually a closed plastic empty soda-type bottle will work. This is very important! Do not just plug the swimming pool skimmer lines and forget about them. Water can easily freeze in a skimmer and crack the plastic. This would be bad! Also, if you have a slide, an auto vacuum system or a waterfall, you will have to drain and blow out those pipes as well.Pour RV anti-freeze in the lines to help prevent freezing.
9 – Blow out the swimming pool kit main drain line (if any). No, you don’t have to dive down and plug the drain pipe. When you see bubbles coming out of the drain, plug the pipe on your end or close the gate valve quickly. This is as much protection as you can give to a pool main drain line. By doing this you will cause an “air lock” in the line and no more water should enter the pipe from the pool side.
10 – Put duct tape on all exposed pipes to prevent anything from getting into them. Use a lot of tape, it’s cheap! Also tape over the the pool kit skimmer deck lid.
11 – Remove rope and floats from pool and put with the rest of the supplies.
12 – Remove dive board and ladders. Put in a safe spot – a shed or the garage. Put the inground pool kit pump and filter in the shed or garage as well. You probably are not going to want to move your filter if it is a sand filter. You can leave that outside ! Remember … do not lose dive bolts or pool ladder bumpers. Put them in the skimmer or pump baskets.
13 – Mix any granular winterizing chemicals in a bucket so that they are totally dissolved. Dump mixture into the swimming pool. You want to avoid any un-dissolved granules from settling on the pool floor and staining the liner. This is very important. If you are using any liquid winterizing chemicals, pour them in the swimming pool kit as well. Test the pool for PH and Total Alkalinity. Adjust to normal levels using PH PLUS or MINUS and ALKALINITY PLUS. PH should be between 7.2 – 7.6 and Alkalinity between 100-150 ppm. Make sure one of your winterize chemicals consists of a SHOCK-type product. You want the chlorine level in the swimming pool to be rather high (over 3.0 for wintertime).
14 – Water level. This is an area of a little controversy with some people, so we are going to tell you how to winterize your swimming pool kit the way we like best. You do not have to drain any water out of the swimming pool provided that you have properly blown out and plugged all your underground pipes as outlined above and you do not have a swimming pool that has decorative ceramic tiles at the water line. Some people are used to their pool kit being drained down past the skimmer. This is usually done instead of blowing out the pipes and using gizmos. Realize that the higher their water level is through the winter, the better it is for the pool cover. Swimming pools that are drained down low cause a lot of undue stress on the pool cover thereby shortening its life – as well as exposing the vinyl swimming pool liner to the air and causing it to prematurely dry out. The use of gizmos prevents the pools skimmers from cracking, plugs the pipes and allows the water level to remain high for the pool cover so that rain water does not cause a lake on top of the cover – possibly causing it to fall in. We feel that the way we have stated to close a in-ground swimming pool kit is the proper way. You really only have to drain the water down in a swimming pool if it has tile at the water level because the surface water will freeze and expand over the winter and this could cause those tiles to crack. Aside from this situation, we feel that there is no valid reason to lower the water in the swimming pool. Also, you do not have to remove or “lower” the pool kit light provided that you keep your water at the normal level.
15 – Place the cover on your swimming pool kit. If there are rips or tears in the cover that are repairable, patch them with either vinyl pool patch (for vinyl covers) or with pool cover patch tape ( for lightweight covers) or with a heavy duty duct-type tape. Remember, if your cover was declared legally dead a few years ago then patching probably is not the right thing to do ! It is probably time to get a new inground swimming pool cover. If there are sharp points that extend into the pool, like step units then it is a good idea to put rags or cardboard between the cover and the points on the pool which extend out. Do this right or the cover may rip on those stress points.
16 – If you use water tubes, lay out the water tubes, placing them through loops on cover. Fill tubes with water to approx. 85% and tightly seal all tubes. Do not overfill the tubes – when they freeze you do not want them to expand and split. Tubes should ideally be touching each other end to end. However spacing them one (1) foot apart is OK. If you find that tubes are leaking do not fill them. Replace them with new. It is not a good idea to patch the old tubes unless you absolutely have to. Remember…do not overfill tubes. They should not be totally filled with water. Allow enough slack in the tube for water expansion!
This is General Information on how to shut down an inground swimming pool in harsh winter areas. For more detailed instructions please ask your swimming pool builder or a service tech in your area.
How To Winterize Your Swimming Pool Kit – Aqua Genie
We recommend using the patented AquaGenie Winter Cover ,to order ask for part # H03116N or visit our shop and look for the Aqua Genie replacement parts in the pool skimmer section.
Installing Winter Cover Gasket
To install gasket
1. Start at the top center of the gasket channel (See Sketch#1)
2. Gasket is installed with narrow side of the gasket installed in channel(See Sketch #2). Work gasket into channel making sure is well seated.
1.Place threaded rod through hole in winter cover ,assemble in the correct order. (See Sketch#3) Note : O Ring goes between Knob and cover.
1. Remove Aquagenie Cover to gain access for installation .(See Sketch #5)
2. Orient brace from top to bottom corner of cover ,with supports facing down. (See Sketch #4)
3. Guide the assembled Winter Cover through Weir opening (you do not have to remove weir assembly) (See Sketch #5). Brace goes behind lip in pressure throat
4. Hold the cover against the faceplate with one hand and rotate the brace until it is horizontal
5. Turn knob by hand until gaskets seats on faceplate.Brace will tighten against lip on pressure throat. (See Sketch#6) (Caution: over tightening will distort the gasket)
6. Drain water in basket well and follow pump and filter manufacturer’s winterizing recommendations