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Tag Archives: pools

The Best Way to Close a Swimming Pool

Here is a great article on the best way to close your pool by Rob Cox


The Best Way to Winterize a Swimming Pool

Every swimming pool is different – different surfaces, sizes, shapes, and with all manner of pool filtration, heating and purification equipment. Winterizing a pool also has slight differences in procedure, depending on the equipment, but essentially doing the same thing.

If you’re new to pool winterization, it involves removing the water from the underground pipes and the aboveground equipment, and then cleaning, chemical-ing and covering the pool. That much is the same for all pools, but there are other principle tenets that apply to all pools, big and small.

Winterize before first frost, for best results.


  • Balance the pool water a week before closing. If you try to dump in 3 or 5 different chemicals within an hour, they may not adjust to desired levels, and they won’t have circulation to disperse well. This can damage your pool surfaces and lead to bad winter water quality. The best way to do it is to test and adjust a week prior to closing, and then test again just before you add your winter chemicals.
  • Shock the pool water 5-7 days before closing. After balancing the water, but several days before closing the pool. When shock is added to the pool at the same time as other chemicals, all sort of interference can happen, and what usually happens is that the shock interferes with other important winter pool chemicals, such as algaecide and stain & scale products.
  • Add Stain & Scale or Enzymes 24 hours before closing. Stain & Scale should be used if you have a salt pool, high calcium hardness levels, or metals in your water. Enzymes are great for pools in dusty rural or smoggy urban areas, or mesh covered pools that tend to open up green. These products both need to be circulated by the filter pump for at least 8 hours before closing, for best activation.
  • Clean the pool spotlessly, and clean up around the pool deck.
  • Backwash the pool filter thoroughly for around 10 minutes.
  • Remove DE grids and cartridges to hose off completely and chemically clean with filter cleaner solution or a diluted muriatic acid solution. After cleaning, store grids or cartridges inside filter tank, and secure filter clamp band tightly.
  • Lower the water level in the pool by using the filter pump, a small cover pump or siphon using the vacuum hose. Vinyl pools can use snap-on skimmer covers to close the pool without lowering the water.
    • 12″ below skimmer for safety covers
    •  6″ below skimmer for solid covers using a cover pump.
  • Add the best winter algaecide like Combat 60, by walking it around the pool, 16 oz per 10000 gals.
  • Use a heavy duty winter floater, filled with chlorine tablets, tied off on both sides of the pool with a long piece to twine, to keep it stationary.
  • Blow the lines out and plug the wall fittings with rubber expansion plugs, or threaded plug with o-ring.
    • Blow out the lines with a Cyclone, a small compressor, or a large wet/dry vac.
    • Put the air in at the skimmer, or at the pool pump, to force air through all the lines, and equipment.
    • Plug the lines tightly (skimmers, wall returns, cleaner lines, spa jets) to keep water out.
    • Remove all drain plugs from equipment and store in pump basket with pressure gauge.
  • Winterize skimmers by using a Gizmo to absorb ice expansion from water inside the skimmer.
  • Cover the pool tightly with a winter pool cover, secured to keep out leaves and debris, and handle strong winds and heavy winter weather.
    • Aboveground pools should use an Air Pillow, to break up the ice sheet that forms across the pool
    • AG pools should also protect from high winds with items like cover clips, cover seal or wall bags.
    • AG filter systems and hoses can be moved indoors, while inground systems stay outdoors.Pool Closing Pitfalls to Avoid: 
  1. Make sure all the water is out of the plumbing and equipment; lines are plugged.
  2. Balance your pool chemistry and shock 4-7 days before closing.
  3. Cover the pool when spotlessly clean, to prevent stains and conserve chemicals.
  4. Secure the winter pool cover tightly, to prepare for the worst winter weather.
  5. Don’t forget to shut off power to the pump at the breaker.

Protecting the Environment

Here in Frederick County there is a lot of beauty in the area and we always want to make sure it is preserved properly. But did you know your pool chemicals can affect your surroundings? A lot of people with pools or hot tubs know there is a lot more work involved than just filling… Continue Reading

Things You Should Know About Salt Pool Maintenance

Keep pH at 7.2 despite the normal range being 7.2-7.8.  This helps the chlorine to be more effective and minimizes scaling. Use a phosphate remover annually to keep levels below 500 ppm.  High levels will make your cell ineffective at producing chlorine, can cloud your pool, and make the water fell less silky. Use Haviland… Continue Reading

How to Maintain Your Pool Through Stormy Weather

With many areas impacted by severe storms it is good to know how to maintain your pool when this happens. Here’s a good checklist to use: – Check water level and adjust accordingly – leave at middle of skimmer or slightly higher. – Balance water chemistry – Calcium, Stabilizer, pH and Alkalinity.  PP&P offers FREE… Continue Reading

Replace Caulking Around Pool Coping

On many pools there is a gap between the pool ledge, or coping, and around the concrete patio or walkway next to the pool. This is known as the expansion joint. This gap averages 1/2 to 3/4 inches and usually sealed with a high grade caulk. In the northeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S. it is critical… Continue Reading

Above Ground Pools – A Great Choice

An above ground pool is the natural choice for affordability, flexibility and low maintenance.  Loads of worry-free fun, recreation and relaxation are packed into every one of our pools.  Visit PP&P to get your pool this year while there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the season.   Continue Reading

What To Do When Your Pool Turns Green

As strange as it may sound, do NOT add algaecide to kill algae.  Algaecides are preventative products to avoid a green pool.  Once your pool turns green, add SHOCK to kill existing algae.  General guidelines are to add 2 lb of a 68% or stronger chlorine shock per 10,000 gallons. If you can’t see the… Continue Reading

We Want to Help You Enjoy Your Pool

Even though this Memorial Day weekend was a busy one we were glad to be open all weekend for business and to be a service to our clients. We are grateful for our clients and our attitude in our store is that we want you to be able to enjoy your pool! We made a… Continue Reading