Closing Pool Myself First Time

Tips and problems concerning filling new pools.
Spring pool opening and fall pool closing.
Seasonal pool maintenance tips & advice.
Swimming Pool Pro
Swimming Pool Pro
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri 02 Jul, 2021 21:00

Closing Pool Myself First Time

Postby mknmike » Sun 13 Nov, 2022 11:09

I thought I’d document what I’m doing, even if it’s just for me or my family to come back to in the future and maybe learn from some lessons.

1) Remove Solar Cover Without Dumping A Mess Into The Pool Water

I’ve put a solar cover on the pool that does a decent job of stopping debris from getting into the water while all the leaves are falling hear in the Philadelphia area. All the leaves are not off yet, and my mesh cover doesn’t fit tightly to he ground in all places to prevent any mess from getting into the pool. So I think leaving the pool open longer might help keep the water cleaner. There’s less time for the water to get nasty and collect debris. Plus, even if it’s just a clear solar cover, I still think it looks nicer that the green mesh safety cover.

Anyway, step 1 is getting the solar cover off the pool. A strong blower to get any dry leaves off the top and back into the yard is ideal. Don’t waste too much time on this though because it’s not going to get them all regardless. I will also end up blowing water onto the leaves and just making them wet.

I use the wide broom to push the dirty water and leaves to one corner (ideally the corner with the steps and not the deep end where debris will disperse more). In the corner, leaves can be collected and grabbed by hand and tossed away from the pool to be cleaned up with the rest of the leaves.

I can start to roll up the solar cover on my pvc pipes. This part would be good to have a second set of hands, one set on each side of the pool. No matter what I do, I can’t get all the debris out of the cover. It’s wet and junk sticks to it, but the broom is helpful. So a third person to use the broom would be great to collect all the water and debris to the dirty corner.

Next a shop vac is required to suck the filthy water off the top of the cover and not dump it into the pool. This is a repetitive process, but it works well.

During all this, I let the overflow drain drop the level a little with gravity, but I also understand this isn’t doing much. If nothing bc else, it clears that drain path.

Finally I get the solar cover out of the pool, and put it on a slant to let the water drain out of it.

2) Remove the Robot

This is simple, but worth noting that it makes sense to do before vacuuming the bottom. With the robot disconnected, the lack of resistance on the robot connection seemed to cause it to scream. So when it does the screaming, I just shut it off.

3) Vacuum Debris from the Bottom

Also pretty simple, this is most effective when I shut the valve that sucks water in from the wall port. I need to put the water bottle floating device back on the end of the pole again because dropping it into the pool accidentally makes things a real hassle. The suction is not strong enough to pull it out of the bottom of the pool by the hose.

Also, this should be done before dropping the water much level because the skimmer needs to be full as the hose doesn’t fit real tight in the skimmer port. So air will get in and the hose will fall out easily if the water level drops below the skimmer resulting in the repeated need to dump water into the skimmer.

4) Backflush and Rinse Sand Filter

This really can be done while vacuuming out the bottom assuming most of the debris is being caught by the pre-pump filter basket. Since there’s so much water to send down the sewer, it makes sense to clean the sand filter as much as possible during. This process, all the while I have my drain valve wide open. Switch back and forth between backflush and rinse. Open the lid to the sand filter and swirl your hand around in there to free up debris that has solidified in the top inch of sand. Repeat.

5) While doing the above, and after the debris is off the bottom, get on with the draining.

I put the vacuum hose away and pulled out the cover and put it on while it was draining.

That’s about where I got in the process yesterday before I pulled out the cover before I had to call it quits for the day.

There was debris on the cover from when I put it away this past spring. I didn’t lay it out. But maybe I will have another opportunity to open up the cover a bit and do another vacuum cleaning to assure the water is as clean as possible. I will add shock and maybe some algaecide and still have to add antifreeze and blow out the lines after the water level is dropped.

I plan on putting an attachment on the side port inlet that will suck water from lower in the pool when the water level drops more.

To be continued (and edited).


Day 2:

Pulled the cover back to see the skimmer and three ports to vacuum.

Tried to start the pump sending water to the waste line from the beginning. Fail. Tried to get the pump to prime itself on standard filter setting. Fail. Needed to hookup the hose water supply to get the pump primed to finally pull the water up the extended head AND needed the valve to be on the filter setting and also have the waste valve closed for basically standard operation. Of course the skimmer valve was closed for this because the water level was dropped.

Once I got the pump primed, I was sure to not leave it off for more than a half-second while switching from filter to backwash to rinse back to backwash and back to rinse.

That was the trick of the day.

Once the water level was dropped below all the jets, I put the shop vac hose up against the wall ports (and skimmer). Three of the four cleared pretty quickly, but the fourth (main supply jet, not the robot one) just kept dumping water.

So I decided to first drain the pump and pull all the plugs. The one still kept feeding water.

My younger son who kept helping after my older son left was getting tired of it all, and it was time to pack up. So we left the ports all open and put the cover back on.

I will open it back up to blow out the lines and put the plugs in.

I also will put antifreeze in the skimmer like my pool guy did last year. I will also buy a gizzmo after I figure out exactly what size fitting I have. My vacuum hose falls out easily. So I may need to assure I get one that’s large enough.

It’s been a good learning experience so far.

EDIT 11/17/2022:

So I didn’t plug the ports in the wall because I had more to blow out in the one line. And then we got rain. I figured it was just a little bit. But when I put my phone under the cover to take a video, it seems that the level is above the bottom of all three ports now. NOOOO!!!

So now I’m going to be trying to devise methods to blow out the lines when the water is above the ports. I understand that maybe the lines don’t need to be totally dry. Perhaps filling them with antifreeze from the pump is all I need to do to prevent freezing.

More updates to come.

Swimming Pool Pro
Swimming Pool Pro
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri 02 Jul, 2021 21:00

Re: Closing Pool Myself First Time

Postby mknmike » Thu 17 Nov, 2022 20:46

I guess I got lucky and the water didn’t appear to go much beyond the bottom of the port threads despite what this picture (from my video) makes it appear.

I vacuumed them all out on the pool side. I did not blow from the pump side.

I need to get a garden-hose size attachment for my shop vac or leaf blower to blow from the pump sides. Those ports are where I plan to pour in antifreeze.

I loosened the wing nuts on the rubber stoppers to let the rubber expand, jammed them in as hard as I could, and then tightened the wing nuts as much as I could by hand.

Now if I can pour antifreeze in from the pump side, I should not have to worry much about pool water getting into those ports over the winter.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Swimming Pool Pro
Swimming Pool Pro
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri 02 Jul, 2021 21:00

Re: Closing Pool Myself First Time

Postby mknmike » Sat 19 Nov, 2022 21:55

Filled the four lines with RV <$4/gallon antifreeze. It took 4 gallons including putting a bunch in the skimmer along with an empty algaecide bottle and 4x4 block of wood on top of that. The skimmer plastic is definitely breaking down. So I want to make sure I’m doing this right. I don’t know if maybe more materials that float on the surface would help or hurt.
Swimming Pool Pro
Swimming Pool Pro
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri 02 Jul, 2021 21:00

Re: Closing Pool Myself First Time

Postby mknmike » Tue 22 Nov, 2022 08:32

I kind of let the Bromine pool water go in the fall. I saw that my pool guy said in October last year “no more Bromine” which I guess was because it builds up a “bank” in the pool and can be deactivated by shocking. So I had put some shock in a few times. The thing is that my water might be too acidic, which I was also not worrying too much about because the walls are painted and I was planning to re-paint the walls this fall. Life got busy though.

So now when I get a chance, I should really take some water to the pool place and see what they recommend putting in the water to keep it from damaging the walls and paint over the winter.

I should be able to open the cover and add shock pretty easily too.

Return to “Opening / Closing / Winterizing the Pool”

Who is online at the Pool Help Forum

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 0 guests