Are you suppous to drain your pool in winter and dont fill it up till summer?
I was wondering if its of to leave the pool empty for th whole winter. I heard that its not a good idea becuase if the pool floor is dry for a long time that it starts cracking. But a lot of people at my work at draining their pools. Please help.
No, do not drain the pool completely. Drain only to just below the level of the returns as they are typically the lowest part of the plumbing system.
There's a lot more to closing a pool than just draining it down a bit. If you want a pool closing guide I have typed up, mail me back.
Edit: As requested, princess, here's the generic guide.
Ideally, your closing starts a week before you actually get down to putting the cover on. Get your water balanced chemically first. That week allows you to do this.
On closing day: Vac the pool and drain it to just below the pool returns. They are typically the lowest point in the system. When drained to that point, add in a winterizing chemical kit (most pool shops sell them), they typically contain an algaecide, shock and sequestering agent . Remove ladders and rails. You may remove the diving board if you wish, or cover it in opaque plastic sheet and secure it. If you totally remove it, place something over the diving board jig bolts and lube those bolts or tape with duct tape that jut up through the deck. This can prevent stubbed toes and saves the jig bolts from corrosion.You're done at the pool for the moment. Head over to your pool equipment. If this is a sand filtered pool, you ought to have done a backwash, during the draining process, to clean out the filter. If a D.E. pool, then the same applies to clean off the elements. You can remove them later for a thorough cleaning. If a cartridge filter, just remove the cartridge and clean at your leisure.
For all filter types, there will be a drain plug, remove it and keep it out.
Over to the pump. All inground pumps will have 2 plugs, one midway back on one side and one directly in front.All above ground pumps have a single one, located at the front, under the impellor housing. Remove them and place them in the pump basket along with your filter drain plug. It's a nice , safe place, that you won't lose them in, as you'll leave the pump basket right where it is. This next part all depends on your pool plumbing, you'll have to decide the best route as they are all plumbed differently and the many different ways to blow out lines would be a book unto itself. You'll need to tap into both the return and the suction lines. Typically for the returns, you disconnect a line between your filter and heater (if equipped) and for the suction, you can go directly in from the front of the pump, without disconnecting anything. Doing it this way, will allow you to blow all the water out of the heater, pool returns, any waterfall or fountain(if equipped) or attached spa. Same goes for the suction line for skimmer, in wall suction for a pool cleaner and attached spa suctions (if equipped). You can rent a line blower from a rent all or your local pool shop, or you can use a medium sized shop vac that has a blow feature. The shop vac hose is actually the same diameter as the inside diameter of most pool plumbing (1 1/2 inch) so it makes a good fit. Blow out the lines, until you only see a tiny dribble at the pool, both suction and return. Charge the line with plumber's antifreeze (not automotive) and blow that through to the pool, for all lines. When you see the dye colour of the antifreeze at the pool, it means that the antifreeze protection is sufficient. Plug with your telflon taped winter plugs, all lines ending at the pool. Put something squishable (empty chemical containers or an old partially filled inner tube) into the skimmer to protect it from freeze damage. Remove the pressure guages from the filter and put them in the pump basket with your equipment plugs.
There are 3 basic types of pool heater, electric, gas and solar. You don't mention which you have, so I'll assume if you do have one, it's gas. Open the drain cocks on both sides of the heater header (you blew out all the water , when doing the lines, should just be a little anti freeze that dribbles out) and disconnect the pressure switch from it's compression fitting. No need to store it, just let it hang from it's electrical wires. Turn off both the gas valve on the interior and the gas feed line going to the heater. Toss a couple of moth balls inside the heater, to deter mice and spiders from nesting and clogging gas orifices as well as pulling out insulation.You're done here. Any pipes you disconnected during the blow out process should be hooked back up. If the equipment is located in a sheltered environment, nothing else need be done. If out of doors, some form of lean to would be a good idea. Don't wrap up the equipment in plastic. There's no cross flow ventilation and it willl expidite corrosion. Just something over head works. Sweep out leaves from the area around the pump motor as well. They promote corrosion.
Cover time.This is for a traditional poly tarp cover. If your pool cover has a different colour on each side, pick your favourite. You'll be looking at it for a few months and it doesn't matter which side of a polytarp faces down. Secure your cover with water bags, ropes and stakes, or whaterver method you choose.
If this is a vinyl pool, I strongly advise you NOT to use brick or block. If one goes in, you'll have a hole to deal with and currently the normal rate to chop a hole in ice, get the cover off far enough for a diver in a drysuit is about 300 canadian dollars to fix that little hole, mid winter. A water bag is far cheaper than a brick or block if this happens. I get called in to do far too many of these repairs. Not that I mind, I happen to like ice diving.
A proper fitting pool cover should have at least 1 1/2 feet fo cover on the deck on each side, go straight down the wall to the water and make a right angle turn at water's surface, floating on it. Loose is fine, tight isn't. If you have a tight cover, one solution is to fill the pool up a bit (lines are plugged so no water will flow back down them). This will give the cover some more slack. If that cover is too tight, I can guarantee that it won't stay on.
Add a little water from your tap to the top of the cover now. It'll help stabilize it in a high wind situation, until it fills naturally with precipitation.
If this is a lock in cover for a vinyl pool, unfold it and flip the edges into the centre of the cover, to make a "boat". This way the cover will float on the surface of the water and is much easier to move around to fit, if it's a custom shaped pool. Carefull feed it onto the pool surface, making sure it doesn't sink anywhere and move it to fit. If you have any 90 degree corners, temporarily tack the cover in there, it'll help you figure out if you have it right.Start at the steps and begin locking it into the coping track. Any slack left over will then wind up on the other side of the stairs and will make putting the stair board/cover on easier. If you have lock strip, use it on areas like inside radii first and long straight stretches or areas that look like they might pop out, until some water accumulates on the cover.
If this is a security cover, raise the pegs out of the deck .Tip: The fast way is NOT to use the tool supplied with the cover, but to use a cordless drill on reverse, using the chuck end of a screwdriver bit. It just happens to be the right size hex you need and will cut 30 minutes and a tired wrist out of the equation. Unfold the cover. Reinforcements in the cover material face down. If you have stairs, start there. It'll make sure that you get the right strap on the right peg that way, instead of finding out 1/2 way through that you have to unhook it all to move over one strap. You'll know you got it right when you can walk across the pool. You may get wet sneakers in the middle though. In spring time, dab a little lithium grease or aqua lube on the threads of those pegs. You probably noticed some were stiff, when you raised them. Not uncommon.
If you are using a leaf net over a polytarp cover or lock in, spread it out and in the case of a polytarp, pull it under your water bags, stretching it out like a trampoline. It needs to be taught or it won't do it's job. Stake it or tie it off if you need to as well. If it's a lock in cover you have, there's no water bags so you'll need to stake or use something to weigh down on the edges. Your choice here.
If the water was balanced, all equipment winterized and lines blown and the cover stays on, you should have a pool that looks and behaves exactly as it did when you closed it, upon pool opening in the spring. That's about it. I can't be more specific, without a bit more info on the pool, they are all done slightly differently and differ in equipment, but this will get you started and contains all the important bits. Go have a beer or 10. You've been at it for at least 3 hours from start to finnish. :)
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