AGP winterizing question.... Northern Illinois

Anthony Thompson

New member
Jun 23, 2020
First time pool owner and stressing out about winterizing pool.
already closed my pool. Chemicals done, pump and filter Removed and stored inside, all hoses removed, heater blown out and chilling in the cold.
I put in a #9 plug in my return and used a skimmer plug in the skimmer.
pat this point the skimmer plug is leaking. A few weeks ago had ice dripping down from the skimmer. Broke it off then it all melted out. Went out to check the other day and my skimmer was frozen solid withabout half way up,
It warmed up today, and I went out and removed all the ice (heat gun and hot water).
I can see that my skimmer plug is leaking, but at this point removing water from the pool as a whole is not really an option. As it is frozen for the most part.
Big question is I don’t want to crack the skimmer, if I know water is going to leak into the skimmer do I put a “gizmo” in or leave it open, and know I just have to go out every couple days and melt the ice.
want to have the best chance of success in not having to replace my 6 month old skimmer



Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
Northern NJ
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
if I know water is going to leak into the skimmer do I put a “gizmo” in or leave it open, and know I just have to go out every couple days and melt the ice.
Put a gizmo in the skimmer or cut up a pool noodle and stuff it into the skimmer.

Ice expands about 10% over water. The foam creates a space for the ice to expand into instead of putting pressure on the skimmer and cracking it.


TFP Guide
It’s a moot point now since you can’t drain, but leaving the plug out of the return allows water to escape. Therefore water can’t rise enough to touch the skimmer. Also if you remove water off the cover, it can help in limiting the amount of water that is pushed out the return.


New member
May 20, 2017
I have always drained my above ground pool water level to about 5 inches below the skimmer/jet whichever is lower. This allows for the water/ice to expand during winter without cracking my plastic skimmer housing or jet housing. I always put a winter cover on the pool which does collect the snow/rain during the winter but never has created any issues. I also put a leaf net over the winter cover which helps me remove the leaves from the pool cover before they turn into a green slimy mess. This helps me in being able to remove the winter cover in the spring.
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Reactions: Mdragger88


Active member
Jun 2, 2009
South Chicago burbs
Sorry to hear you're having some problems. Hopefully, things will work out just fine.

As Fitz said above, I've typically drained my pool below the skimmer & let the water/snow collect until I'm ready to pump it off in the spring. (I've actually had ducks swimming in the cover water). No issues with it.

What I would try if I were you, would be to connect a hose to the bottom of the skimmer... just long enough to divert the water away from the pool and other sensitive areas. As the pool leaks into the skimmer it'll drain out UNTIL the water falls below the skimmer mouth. This should keep your skimmer clear of ice and prevent washout from the base of your pool.
Best of luck whichever way you decide to go on this.