This is another post in the Talkin Pool School for Dummies series. This series is aimed specifically at community managers and HOA board members who want to know the basics of their community pool operations. There are other methods of winterizing a pool. Again, this is purposely NOT TOO MUCH INFORMATION!!
Pool Closing Steps
1. Turn heater off, if there is a wall switch, turn it off as well. A supervisor will go around checking progress and shutting off the gas valve. Add four or five pounds of Soda Ash to pool. We want to get the pH up to around 8.0 and let the pool circulate for a day or so. This “softens” and “lubricates” the internal parts of the filter, pump, and heater. After circulating the pool for a day or so at 8.0 pH level, turn pump off. Empty chlorinator and leave the lid off. Take drain plugs out of pump, heater, and the filter!! Put all drain plugs in the pump basket so they will be easily found next spring. If you know where and what the pressure switch is, undo one of the lines to it and spray the switch with WD-40.
2. Find pool lights breaker switch and turn pool lights off, this is very important as lights will shatter if they come on after you drain pool below them.
3. Drain pool to approximately 6 inches below the lowest return line in side of pool.
**At this point, it is critical that you use an air compressor and attachments. Blow out all lines, including the heater and all circulation lines.
4. Plug all return lines using the rubber expanding plugs which should be in a container in the pump room. Each plug has a number stamped on it. The most common plugs are #8, 9, 10 and 12 with 8’s and 9’s being the most commonly used to plug return lines and skimmer suction lines. Twist the butterfly to tightly secure the plug into the hole.
5. Pour anti-freeze down all skimmer lines and any fill spout lines. Plug the suction skimmer holes (the ones you would use to vacuum the pool) with expanding rubber plugs, leaving the drain holes unplugged. The drain holes are the holes in the skimmer bottom that drain water back into pool and have no suction. These holes are usually the holes closest to the water in the bottom of the skimmer housing. Place an empty, capped, bottle of tile cleaner or super blue, etc in each skimmer housing. This works as a shock absorber over the winter when the skimmer housing fills with snow, then melts and freezes. Instead of cracking the skimmer housing, the empty bottle “cushions” the expansion. Take skimmer baskets out, leave skimmer lid in place.
6. Remove all ladders, rails, fill spouts and put them, with skimmer baskets in pump room.
7. Add 7-8 pounds of chlorine granules, spread around whole pool as best you can.
8. Add another 3-4 pounds of soda ash.
9. Add 1-2 bottles of algaecide if there is any left.
10. Add ½ gallon jug of Wintertrine.
11. Fill bucket with holes drilled into it half way with chlorine tablets or sticks, also put lids on Wintertrine and Anti-freeze jugs, put these empty containers inside the bucket with the tabs, or tie to bucket handle, and float in the deep end of pool.
12. Screw cover anchors up, put cover on, making sure the rubber part of the straps are on the bottom not facing up. KEEP TRACK OF ANY ANCHORS THAT NEED TO BE REPLACED!
13. Store all pool furniture where it was stored to begin the season.
14. Make sure any left over chemicals are stored properly with all lids secured!!!
15. Clean pump room, any trash, empty bottles, etc.
16. Empty all trash cans at pool side and store them.
17. Put any chains/locks on, making sure a key to the lock in the lockbox first.
18. Winterize restrooms. Turn water off; pour some anti-freeze in toilets and urinals.
19. Turn water supply off to building, unless it is a club-house that is used throughout the year.
20. Complete any end of year checklists or inventory required and submit to supervisor.