We wanted to give you a few basic tips on how to winterize your vinyl liner swimming pool. Please note that this is just a generic information list and not intended as a complete winterizing guide. Every pool is different so please be sure to follow all the instructions found in your owner’s manuals. If you have any questions regarding your particular installation the company you purchased the pool or equipment from should be more than happy to help you. As always, when using any chemicals be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and safety precautions. They are there for a reason.
This article is being done in several parts. The first part deals mainly with the area around the pool itself.
1. Vacuum your pool thoroughly. Remember, the cleaner your pool is when you close it, the easier it will be to open it.
2. Clean your filter with a chemical filter cleaner compatible with your pool sanitizer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and the instructions on the cleaner’s label for the proper procedure.
3. It is highly advised that you purchase a winterizing chemical kit compatible with the sanitizer you are using in your pool. Whatever chemical system you are using, you must make sure that your water is chemically balanced. Do not leave chlorine on the liner - it will bleach it. Then add the appropriate amount of algaecide to your pool according to the instructions on the container.
4. Remove the ladder, rails, diving board, slide, and any other deck items around your pool.
5. Bring the water level up to at least your normal summertime water level. For in-wall skimmers it is highly recommended that you purchase a Skimmer Plug and a Gizzmo to protect your skimmer from freezing.
6. Install the Skimmer Plug and (using the Waste setting on your multiport valve) suck the water out of your skimmer. This should only take a few seconds.
7. Install the Gizzmo in the skimmer and then fill the bottom portion of your skimmer half way with a non-toxic antifreeze solution. Keep checking this during the winter.
8. If you have a dry niche light (such as the Lumi-O) it is not unusual for your light boxes to fill with water over the winter months. It is a good idea to remove your bulb from your light and coat the light socket with WD-40. It is also not unusual for the light boxes to fill with water even during the summer months. This is considered an act of God and the amount of frequency upon which it happens depends on the amount of rain you have and the speed in which your ground can absorb water. If this is your case then you should also coat your light socket with WD-40 during the summer months as well. If you have water in your boxes in the summer months you can put a cover pump in your light box periodically and remove the water.
9. Cover the pool. If you are using a safety cover, refer to owner’s manual for the proper installation procedure. If you are using a winter cover that requires water tubes, use the following instructions:
o Concrete blocks to hold down the cover are NOT recommended. USE ONLY WATERTUBES.
o Do not stretch the cover. Let it sit loosely around the coping.
o Fill the water tubes only halfway to allow for freezing.
o It is completely normal for poly covers to leak water through the top. These covers will not always seal 100%. It is even better for your cover if you keep a thin layer of water on it.
Please check with your local pool store for their winterizing advice for your location. Every area of the country is different and may require additional steps and precautions.