First time winterizing - Above ground doughboy - Skimmer question

Elwood5487

Active member
May 3, 2020
44
SW Michigan
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hello hello,

First time winterizing. Read lots of articles and watched lots of videos. Felt like I was prepared, but now things aren't going as planned and am hoping you can help me through this last hurdle.

Some details: We have a 28' round above ground Doughboy, we have a well, and are in Michigan.

1. Our strong preference is to not dump any water, so we purchased a skimmer plate that does not fit. Looking into it further, I think we are supposed to take off the current plate but we really don't want to do that especially since we are trying to avoid lowering the water. Does anyone have a Doughboy skimmer, live in a freezing climate, and have found a way to winterize a skimmer that does not involve lowering the water or taking off the skimmer plate?

2. I've read that if you don't lower the water and use a skimmer cover you still risk the water either damaging the rail or seeping between the liner and or pool walls. Is that true? We don't want to lower the water, but we certainly don't want to damage the pool.

3. We looked into using a gizmo, but our skimmer does not have a thread to screw the gizmo into.

4. Lastly, because the trees are starting to lose their leaves we already put the cover on. We installed a pillow that deflated after 3 days. It is flat as a pancake and not even visible from the top anymore. Assuming we need to redo this step, does anyone have another idea on how to keep the pillow inflated or use another tool such as an exercise ball? Do those work? We read the instructions and only inflated it to about 60% AND used duct tape to seal the valve. Again, it did not work.

Attaching a few pics:

1. Skimmer - This was taken when we first opened the pool. We rescued a squirrel from the water and he jumped into the skimmer to rest for a while. The skimmer has the vacuum hole with a lip on the bottom, which I believe is why the aquador won't fit.
2. Took the day we installed the winter cover when pillow was still full so you can see the set up and water line.

We still need to deal with all the equipment, but we are stuck until we get the skimmer issue resolved. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Thank you!
 

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JKB121

Member
Jan 23, 2021
24
Pennsylvania
Pool Size
18000
Surface
Vinyl
I'm a little late to your post, but maybe helpful for next year. I have a 27' Doughboy with their large skimmer. I bought a special skimmer plug that fits this skimmer from the pool folks. It has foam that sort of expands after it is pushed in. It dripped constantly. I got a second one that did the same thing. The dripping causes the skimmer to freeze. Not wanting it to crack the skimmer, I dropped a small heat tape in the skimmer to keep it from freezing. I'll have all next year to figure something else out. I'll probably drop the water. I know that's not want you want to do. As far as the pillow goes. They are all cheap garbage and deflate. I got a cheap queen size air mattress without an internal pump at a discount store and it works great. Doesn't lose any air.
 

Elwood5487

Active member
May 3, 2020
44
SW Michigan
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thanks JKB. Appreciate the response even if it's late. I struggled to find a skimmer cover that fit so I didn't have a choice but to drop the water. We weren't able to replace the pillow so now the pool is frozen solid and we'll have to deal with whatever we find this Spring. Latest concern is the snow. Given the water is frozen, is it still critical to try and get the snow off of it? That will be quite an under taking at this point.
 

JKB121

Member
Jan 23, 2021
24
Pennsylvania
Pool Size
18000
Surface
Vinyl
Thanks JKB. Appreciate the response even if it's late. I struggled to find a skimmer cover that fit so I didn't have a choice but to drop the water. We weren't able to replace the pillow so now the pool is frozen solid and we'll have to deal with whatever we find this Spring. Latest concern is the snow. Given the water is frozen, is it still critical to try and get the snow off of it? That will be quite an under taking at this point.
It's my 1st winter so I'm not the expert on that. The ice and snow on the cover Should be floating on the water underneath I assume. As long as there is slack on the edge of the cover and it's not pulling on it, I would think It would be okay .
 
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