Every year I make sure my water is balanced prior to closing. I also drain the water below the returns, blow them out and plug them. After that I always refill the water level to a few inches below the skimmer, which basically means adding another 8" of water or so.
I refill it because the pool guy that taught me how to close said i needed the extra water in there I guess for weight. My question, is....why balance the water and than refill with water that is potentially unbalanced? It seems like taking a step backwards.