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Thread: Above ground pool closing questions in New Jersey

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    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Bridgewater, NJ
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    Above ground pool closing questions in New Jersey

    In reference to JasonLion's stickie on closing a pool, here are some questions:

    1) If I drain to 4 inches below the returns, the level will be close to the top of the pool light. Should I be concerned about that? I wondering about if ice forms in a thick enough layer that it could be pushing on the ring. (I assume I can just leave the pool light as is during the winter).

    2) My pool system is at least 2 feet higher than the pool deck so that will be close to 3 feet above the returns. I have a small Black and Decker shop vac, pulling 3 amps. Will that be enough or should I borrow a full size shop vac? Where am I blowing the air into? Through the inlet to the pump basket?

    3) I have three rubber plugs and two gizmos left by the previous owner. The gizmos go into the skimmers and I am guessing the rubber plugs are for the two returns and the Polaris supply line. The gizmos are very long. Will they go in far enough to be below the pool deck? I have a safety cover to put on that will be flush with the deck. Are fittings supposed to be opened up at the pool system, leaving open pipes, or should everything be fastened? See next question.

    4) I have read somewhere about removing the multiport valve. Is this necessary, difficult, special tools? What do I do with the opening?

    5) Should I backwash the DE filter before closing or wait until next spring? Somewhere I read about backwashing and disassembling the filter to clean the substrate. Good idea?

    6) After removing the ladder and stair rail, I have holes in the concrete that collects water that will freeze. Should I do something to prevent that? Concerned about cracking.

    7) Any precautions to take to keep ice from pushing against the side of the pool? I didn't last winter, being ignorant of all things pool-related. (We moved in December, 2014.)
    Irregular shaped vinyl pool - about 22K
    Hayward DE 6020 filter, Hayward Tri-Chlor Feeder
    Aqua Comfort Heat Pump Heater
    Polaris 380
    Taylor K-2006; FAS/DPD kit

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    Re: Above ground pool closing questions in New Jersey

    Bump

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    Re: Above ground pool closing questions in New Jersey

    1) This light should be able to be removed, you do not want to leave lights in pools if ice can happen.
    2) You want to blow all lines that come from and go to the pool. These will be, returns, which you do in succession after you get one clearn, move to the next. The Skimmer and the main drain and any waterfalls.
    3) Yes, the plugs are for the returns and the Polaris supply line. The Gizmos will indeed fit inside the skimmers, make sure they have Teflon tape on the threads to ensure a snug tight fit. The safety cover will have screw up brass fittings all around the deck.
    4)Its not necessary to remove the multiport valve on the filter, but it is easy to remove and it allows you to check the spider gasket and lube it.
    5) Just drain the filter and add some antifreeze.
    6) These holes do indeed remain open, if concerned then stuff some cut up pool noodles in them, but remember, these are made of metal and made to withstand freezing.
    7) The ice in your pool, will grow upwards if it becomes thick, no need to worry.

    My last suggestion...

    As is appears you are quite new to all this, get a qualified pool company to come over and do it this time, watch every little thing they do, write it down and then you will be more confident next fall.

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    Re: Above ground pool closing questions in New Jersey

    Pooladdict, thanks for replying. Abigail K, thanks for bumping.

    Since freezing temperatures were nearing last weekend, I went ahead and closed the pool using JasonLion's and some supplemental help from some videos by a Potomoc, MD pool company. A couple of notes and questions:

    Not all shop vacs will do the job. I borrowed a neighbor's from my old neighborhood and after getting it home, I discovered it was not possible to attach a hose to the air outlet. I rented a large 6 HP shop vac, brought it home and was blowing for 20 minutes without results when I discovered the shop vac had additional outflow vents that prevented sufficient air pressure. I then rented an Air Supply Cyclone Liner-Vac (3.0 HP) from a pool store and it blew out 95% of the water in 20 seconds, per line. Not all shop vacs have the same capability. Live and learn. The video suggested making an adapter with plumbing piping which I might do next year so no one has to hold the hose onto the skimmer piping.

    Filter - hadn't seen the antifreeze to filter idea before . Where do I add it? I have taken the pressure gauge off but not the entire top. I took off the drain plug and the filter instructions say to leave it off. The hole looks very inviting for insects or rodents to move into a move-in ready winter habitat. Should I block it with something? Duct tape with some small holes? Window screening?

    The light is still in. Some sources say it is fine to leave in, some say take it out. I guess local climate is a key factor. Any opinions from other central NJ owners? The water is probably two or three inches above the rim (guesstimate from 3 day old memory). I was thinking it would be closer. I assume the vulnerable part of the light is removable when below the waterline and without requiring me to get in the water.

    Putting on the safety cover was probably the most straightforward step, after figuring out the orientation of the cover. It was also a decent workout, even with the pry bar.

    Thanks for the answers, Pooladdict.
    Irregular shaped vinyl pool - about 22K
    Hayward DE 6020 filter, Hayward Tri-Chlor Feeder
    Aqua Comfort Heat Pump Heater
    Polaris 380
    Taylor K-2006; FAS/DPD kit

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    Re: Above ground pool closing questions in New Jersey

    Filter. We normally recommend removing the multiport and lubing the spider gasket. That's when you can add antifreeze, it's really overkill because if you leave the plug off, all water will drain out anyways. I have never had anything crawl inside as its not just an open hole, it's actually in quarters. See if you can twist the lights, if you can get them out, it's recommended to remove and just place on deck. The safety cover is easily installed if you start with the widest parts first, loosen up the straps, then work your way around. Tighten so that the springs are at 1/4 to 1/2 tension after all are on. You should be able to walk across the cover when done.

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