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.)