My husband and I are attempting to close our pool for the first time. The previous owner offered to show us how he closed it, but given the state of the chemicals when we moved in and the stories from our neighbors, I think we are better off working it out ourselves.
There are no threads in the skimmer pipe, so I do not believe a gizmo is an option for us. My husband bought an aquador, but it is not mounting flush to the pool wall. The screw holes are just slightly off, causing minor warping. This means the "Tupperware" door will not snap on.
To complicate matters, we have a pinhole leak on the pipe for the main drain, just before the (dying) pump. Our plan was to cut and cap the main drain with a valve allowing us to blow out the line. We would then replace the pump and redo the plumbing in the spring.
We also have whirlpool return jets in the staircase, a couple of inches below the bottom of the skimmer.
Could we leave an in-ground vinyl pool drained by 12-18" all winter (below stair returns)? If not, what other options do we have to manage the skimmer box? If we plugged the skimmer drain with a duck valve, could we put an empty jug/foam in the skimmer box and refill to normal levels?
This is our first pool season, so I'm not sure what to expect as far as ice thickness in St. Louis. But I'm not expecting this to be a particularly forgiving winter...
Thanks for your help!