This is my first winter with a pool and the first time closing one. From my details below you can see what type of pool I have. I live right on the SC/NC line in Lake Wylie. I have a loop loc mesh cover with the pool and I'd like to close the pool for the winter and use the cover as I'm already sick of getting pine needles and leaves out of the pool daily. I would say average lows in the winter would be in the low to mid 30's.
Chemicals: I'm unsure how I should properly close my pool both physically and chemically. As far as chemicals go my water is in great shape now. Should I pour some extra bleach into the water before I close the pool? I read somewhere to put an algaecide winterizer in the pool but I don't think I should do this as I don't have an algae issue.
Pool Level: The pool has two skimmers and one row of tile around the top of the pool and around the skimmers. Should I lower the water level to protect the tile and skimmers, if so, how much do I lower it below the tile if thats even needed? Do I need to lower the pool to put the mesh cover on? Does it even really need to be lowered living in the area I'm in?
Equipment: I have shut-off valves to my pump, heater, and filter. I assume I should shut all of these off and drain them to be certain I will have no issues with freezing and busting something over the 5-6 month closure. For the DE filter, should I backwash the filter to clean it and then drain the filter completely by removing the plug to winterize it?