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Thread: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

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    ddpool's Avatar
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    Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    Hello...
    This is our first year with pool so I was wondering if you all could share tips/tricks/suggestions for properly closing/winterizing our AGP for the winter. We live in Minnesota, so it's never too early to start planning for the freeze!
    Also, take a look at the picture and feel free to make comments/suggestions on what/how to do anything differently.

    One question I do have is for the sand filter...how does one get the sand out of the filter? Through the drain hole at the bottom?

    Thanks for the great help!
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    TizMe's Avatar
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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    There is a section in our pool school about Winterizing (closing) Your Above Ground Pool

    Also ,if you go to our Pool School section of the forum there is a link there for spring time to open it back up.
    Les
    Don't have a pool right now. Just sharing what I have learned over the years!
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    Pool School,Pool Calculator,Cl/CYA Shock Chart,TF Test Kit
    Doing BBB and loving it!

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    searayboater's Avatar
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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    I noticed a typo in the instructions:

    * Drain water to 6' below lowest return/skimmer opening and hoses/fittings removed.

    Obviously, you can't drain water 6' (6 feet) below the lowest opening. It should be 6" (6 inches)
    18' AG Pool, 6900 gallons, 55 sq. ft. Hayward Easy Clear Cartridge Filter, 1hp Power Flow LX Pump, North Texas

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    ddpool's Avatar
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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    TizMe....Thanks for the link to the Pool School. However, I really would like some fellow AGP owners to share their "must do's" and "must don'ts" from personal experience. Don't take this the wrong way, but the benefit of a forum like this is for people to share their actual specific experiences with others. The generic "checklist" in the pool school can be found all over the internet.
    So, if anyone is interested in sharing their tricks/tips I would love to learn from folks that have the experience.
    i.e. "I have a 24' AGP too, what I found to work great is...." or "I have a 24' AGP too and be sure not to do...."

    Thanks again...just my 2 cents....hope it helps
    Coming Soon: In-Ground
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    I have a 24' AG pool....

    I basically do what the article says. I'll add the following:

    We use empty bleach/milk jugs filled with water, which we tie on rope to, and then we set them on the ground around the pool walls. The ropes are tied to the cover's steel cinch thingy, and the ropes are taught. We live in a very windy area, and the weight of the jugs helps keep the cover from blowing around, ours almost blew off once before we started doing this, our neighbors lost theirs..... we also found that if there is 3-4 inches of water on the top of the cover this helps hold it in place too. Our first three winters, we would periodically drain the water (when not frozen), and the grommets from the winter cover rubbed off the pool's paint finish. So be careful where your grommets rest, try to adjust the cover so the grommets aren't touching the pool, which is tricky. I also take some of the jugs tied with rope, and put them on top of the cover to keep whatever water is on top evenly distributed. I've seen people just hang the jugs, but that rubbed off the paint too when we tried it, so ours rest on the ground.

    We have a bottom drain system, and we use an air compressor to blow out the lines of the bottom drain and the pool heater. All our equipment goes in the shed, 'cept the heater.

    I hope that makes sense. I think I'll take a pic when I close, for an example.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    I usually take my steps out and brush pool, I'll shock for two days, add algaecide and circulate, drain off water right under the return, disconnect filter, cover pool, clean out filter and store in basement. I use bleach bottles filled with water to weight my cover too.

    Then I wait impatiently til next spring cuz winter draaaaaaags on by.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    You can also read this post. I think it may be exactly what you are looking for.

    closing-ag-pool-using-cover-where-it-freezes-solid-t2904.html?hilit=closing
    Nicole

    21' AGP (10,400g)
    Hayward PowerFlo Matrix dual-speed 1HP pump, 75 sq ft Waterway cartridge filter
    4G Liquidator, Aquabot POOL ROVER S2-40

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    ddpool's Avatar
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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    Thanks to all for the help....great advice!
    Coming Soon: In-Ground
    Previous: 24' Round AGP, 2HP Pump, Sand Filter, Solar Cover

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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    I'm also in Minnesota, here's what we do. I add 1/2 bottle of Poly 60 a few days before we close. Let that circulate. Clean the pool well and add chlorine the day of closing, let it circulate for few hours. Turn everything off and drain pool to just below the return. Remove the skimmer basket. Put the cover on (let it skim the top of the water), we place patio blocks/big rocks on the ground around the pool and tie them to the grommets in the cover. May switch those out for bleach bottles filled with water this year. I unhook all hoses, drain them and hang them up in the garage. The pressure gauge, bubble glass and drain plug for the sand filter are removed. The filter valve or function levers (cannot for the life of me remember what it's called) in position for winterized (basically put between two functions in an open position, hope that makes sense). I cover the top of the filter with a heavy garbage bag and tie it off tight. The pump basket and lid are removed and the pump drained of water. I swivel the pump intake opening down so any water can run out. Then cover the pump entirely with another heavy black garbage bag. Clean the baskets good and bring all the baskets, gauges, thermometer, lids in the house to store. If you are in a real windy area you might want to add water to the cover for weight to keep it on. Our cover is pretty heavy and we can be pretty isolated from the wind in the fall, so I don't add water. And if it rains alot I may even pump the water off the cover. Once the snow flies it will weigh it down for the winter winds and I don't have as much to drain off in the spring. I also try to clean the leaves off the cover through the fall before the snow flies, they are so messy and icky to do in the spring. There's always some but not loads like there would be if I just let them go in the fall.
    Just use the pool leaf rake.
    We don't move the filter or pump. I just cover them up, make sure all drains are open. You don't need to replace your sand.
    Mona SE MN
    24' round 48" high AG
    Meteor Sand Filter
    1.5 HP pump

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    ddpool's Avatar
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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    Thanks for the great advice! One more thing...(I am new to this)...how do you drain the pool to below the skimmer? Once it gets below the skimmer what do you use to suck the water out of pool? Thanks again.
    Coming Soon: In-Ground
    Previous: 24' Round AGP, 2HP Pump, Sand Filter, Solar Cover

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    My return is just a bit below my skimmer, so I can use that option, I also have a bottom drain so I can drain it that way. You can use a submersible pump of some sort...
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    Some people can get way with using a vac plate and hose with either the vac head or a weight attached.

    Others that aren't so lucky can use either a cover pump or a sump pump.
    8200 Gal Vinyl 18' AG Vogue Pool
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    Intex SWG
    Some of the most helpful links for pool owners: Pool School | Pool Calculator | The best test kit | Chlorine/CYA chart

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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    To drain if you don't have a pump: use a couple of hoses as siphons. One end has to be submersed in the pool and the other end has to be lower than the submersed end (easy to do with AGP). There are little plastic hand pumps you can use to get the water flowing, or just briefly suck on the lower end of the hose and the water will flow. It's a little slower than a pump but gets the job done, so I set up a few of them last Spring.

    Or you can pay my local pool store $90 to drain it to below the skimmer!

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    The original sticky is from me - it doesn't freeze any more solid than it does up here in the icebox (Northern Red River Valley)

    I put a hose in to siphon off any remaining water down to the 6" below return. A leaf net used temporarily during heavy leaf drop will really help reduce the amount of leaves you deal with on your cover - when drop is done, pull it off and store till the spring tree junk drop. As mentioned, the sand filter should have a plug on the bottom to drain water out - do this WELL before freeze up so you don't have a lot of ice in the filter. Sand does not come out. My pump and fittings are silicone lubed, stored together and brought in, hoses off, black garbage bag tied over filter. Skimmer basket comes in but skimmer is left open and so is the return eye - excess water will just run out the holes to the ground. My steps are removed and stored. The solar panels drained, removed and stored. Solar blanket rolled on reel, covered and left for the winter. I have never had freeze damage to anythng so far.

    I use an Arctic Armor Micro Mesh WINTER cover and love it - never have to pump or drain, no pillows required. I used caps on the WINTER above because its not a safety or leaf mesh, it's a winter cover made for snow and ice. Lays ON the water and freezes just fine, never have a rip, tear or shredding problem. When the ice melts in the spring, the water drops through, it lifts right off and no swamp or junk in the pool. Just vacuum up a bit of silt. WAY less hassle than the solid covers we had.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    ddpool's Avatar
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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    Thanks! Great tips. My skimmer hose is long enough for me to disconnect it from the skimmer and put it over the edge into water then I could turn on pump and suck the water to below the skimmer and return. Is that something I should do? Thanks again!
    Coming Soon: In-Ground
    Previous: 24' Round AGP, 2HP Pump, Sand Filter, Solar Cover

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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    you could do that, just make sure you dont get any air in the lines.
    18' 52" deep laguna agp with pentair 1 1/2 hp pump and 22" filter, intex swg

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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    We're also getting ready to winterize, since we don't have a heater of any sort

    I really haven't looked into the process yet, but my wife mentioned we have to use some sort of anti-freeze? I read the link on winterizing above and saw no mention of anti-freeze... is it necessary?

    Also, is it a good idea to get the pool chemistry straightened out before winterizing?

    TIA!
    26.7k gal. 33' AG AquaLeader Influence, Hayword Power-Flo LX 1.5 HP pump, Hayword HeatPro 140k BTU,
    SwimPro Voyager filter, Hayword SP1091 Dyna-Skim Auto Skimmer

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Closing/Winterize AGP in Minnesota

    Yes, it's a good idea to make sure your water is balanced before you close. Anti freeze is added insurance - I've never used it but many people do.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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