My liner ripped above the water line in two places over the summer and patches could not hold them due to the force. My pool contractor told me I had to replace the liner before winter to avoid the rips getting worse and going down the water line, leading to the pool draining and possible wall collapse.
After I refill the water, he told me that I should balance the PH, shock the pool with liquid chlorine, and worry about the rest in the spring. I am thinking that it can't hurt for me to go through the effort of doing everything and closing the pool with properly balanced water. I would ensure TA & CH was in range, add CYA, and bring the Salt up to 3500ppm for an easy spring start-up. I would also have the pool store check for metals in the water and get rid of those. Any suggestions on what order to do all this with fresh water?
My closing / opening procedure is a little different. I have a filtering mesh cover. In the fall, I put the cover on as as soon as it is too cold to use the pool and to prevent leaves from getting in. I run the pump for 1-2 hours per day to keep the water chlorinated until the weather gets below 60 during the day. I then superchlorinate, add algeacide, and winterize the lines and equipment. In the spring, I de-winterize usually in late April to start getting chlorine into the pool so it doesn't turn green, but don't take the cover off until late May when we are ready to start using it. I should probably post this in the proper area with more detail when I have time.