general closing questions


In The Industry
Jun 11, 2010
Vernon BC
So i have been reading alot of different posts and replies recently, and have come to the conclusion that closing ANY pool is actually quite a simple feat. Preparing the water, draining the pool down, blowing out lines, pulling drain plugs (filters, pumps and heaters), using rv antifreeze if needed. Do you have to plug all the lines after they are blown out to seal them?
I realize you have to plug off some to blow out others but should you seal them all when done?
Covering it up, MPV inbetween ports and.... :?: am i missing a BIG step or making too large an assumption? :?:
Before I approach my employer about adding a winterizing service I want to make sure it really is as simple as you all make it sound and it seems.
Also, it seems having a good blower makes a big difference, but its like that with anything, good tools make the job alot easier.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009

Hopefully some in the industry members can provide some guidance?

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
SouthWest Alabama
Yeah it's a bit general and seeing how you're asking for a service related reason it's even more difficult to answer.

As for the lines. If there's even a remote possibility of water getting in them I'd plug them. Especially since you (the company) will be held responsible if they are damaged from it.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
Coastalish 'down easter'
Hey again, lets talk closings.

Very basically, we're trying to protect the plumbing and equipment from ice expansion and prepare the pool so that it won't be a swamp in the spring. (I assume you've read JasonLion's thread on closing)

At the places I've worked for, having the pool clean and the chems in line was the homeowner's responsibility. If we had to scoop a few trees worth of leaves out of the pool, the homeowner would get charged at the standard service rate :shock: . All we'd do is lower the water and dump in 2 gal. 12.5% sodium hypo and a quart of algaeside. After the water is below the skimmer mouth, we'd blow the lines and cap them. We used the industrial vac/ blowers that we also used to set liners (they are ~3+ HP and push a huge volume of air). Down in VA, we lowered the water below the returns, up north, we plugged the returns wet - let the air bubble out of them for ~ 30 sec. and plug them underwater, with the air still blowing (this SUCKS! for the person doing the plugging, it's very we and cold :rant: )

Main drains are winterized by blowing air through them until they bubble for ~ 1 minute, then slam the valve shut to create an airlock that keeps the water in the line below the frost-line. The skimmers are blown a few times, until just vapor (or vapour, if you prefer) comes out, then a gallon of propylene glycol (antifreeze) is dumped down it and a Gizzmo is installed.

Filters are backwashed thoroughly and/ or broken apart and manually cleaned (chemical cleaning is extra - we'd take the grids or carts with us and dip them in the spring and reinstall them when we open the pool).

One place where it can get a little 'tough' is when the PB didn't plumb the pool to be able to winterize it :grrrr: When this happens, you've got to either figure out a work- around or hack into the pipes to properly blow them (I'm joyously anticipating watching the wanks who installed the 6 pools where I now work winterize them :twisted: there are no unions, push/ pull valves on all 8 sand filters, 4 pumps have no valves on them to kill the MDs - and sit on an island in the middle of the pool and most of the returns aren't threaded - I'm gonna love watching that spectacle :mrgreen: )

Please let me know if I can offer any additional info for you, so that you go into this as informed as possible.


TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
South Central NJ
Slight hijack due to waste's issue, bet they drain the pool.

Back on topic for In ground pools:

The company waste used to work for over does it, IMHO. I tell homeowners to lower the water only if they have tile and no step pump. DE filters get cleaned in the Spring. The grids have drip dried and are much lighter and easier to

All returns are plugged while air is being blow out. This traps the air. Air doesn't freeze on Earth.

Skimmers may be tied to drains or they may not be. If they are run individually to a control valve at the pad, the use of Blow Through Extensions or Blow Through UltraGizmos (registered Trademark but does the same thing as the other one and herein referred to as a gizmo) allows the water to be blown out without the splash.

If a drain is tied to the skimmer body's second port, a second gizmo is suggested. Blow this one from the gizmo and quickly seal it to air-lock the drain's line.

If the drain is tied to the skimmer below the skimmer body, capping the gizmo should cause the drain to blow. Then valve it off or plug the pump, as needed.

Drains that are direct to the pump except for the valve are blown and air locked. Use a plug in the pump's suction port if the valve controlling the drain leaks.

Deck jets get the nozzles removed, blown and sealed with small plugs.

Waterfalls get blown and if possible, plugged.

Shear descents get blown and a cover made for them is inserted. If the covers are missing/broken, vinyl liner bead can usually be substituted.

Laminars (lit deck jets) get lifted, disconnected from the pool plumbing (normally a flush union 1/2 for each hose), blown and the union ends are connected, not the jet , then onto the next one.

Once all lines are blown and sealed, work from the the furthest point at the pad to remove plugs, gauges, pressure switches (if applicable), filter drains and pump plugs. If the pool has an energy kit bowl and filter, remove them too. Hayward off-line tablet feeders should be removed and brought inside. There is always a bit of water in them and bringing them in the house prevents freeze cracks.

Per Pentair, Intellichlors should be brought in if possible. Plug the ends or use the available spacer.


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