ph level at closing on AGP


Aug 13, 2010
I am a newbie this year and am closing my AGP for the winter. However, I have run into 2 issues. One, I cannot get the fitting off of the return to add the plug. The fiting has 2 slots. Is there a special tool to remove this. I am worried about breaking the fitting.

The second issue is the pH level. I have shocked the pool (2 lbs shock and one bottle of liquid chlorine) and I added the algecide (Polyquat 60). However, my reading shows a low ph level. The Chlorine is at shock level and everything else looks good but the ph is low. Is this an issue for closing?

Darkside of the Pool

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 20, 2010

A- For the water return on an Above-ground pool: Don't plug it. Instead remove the hose on the other side of the return. This way, water will naturally sip out of your water return. Since the return SHOULD be lower than your skimmer, it will prevent damage to the skimmer (as water cannot reach its level, it cannot freeze there).

B- I know there's a feeling of urgency, but we need more infos. A low PH betrays the use of Bromine or stabilised chlorine in your pool. The latter being far more common, I believe you use the chlorine tabs (3'' pucks). Your Total Alcalinity should be pretty low too. If it is 0, raise both ASAP.

You (and we) need to know:

potens Hydrogen (pH):
Free Chlorine (FC):
Combined Chlorine (CC):
Total Alcalinity (TA):
Cyanuric Acid lvl (CYA):
Calcium Hardness (CH):

C- pH a bit low is not that much of an issue by itself, as in the pool won't fall apart. As what is left of the water will mostly touch the liner, it might form some wrinkles and dry the few plastic component, making them brittle. However, I doubt your pH is only a bit low. Test that alcalinity. If it is anywhere near 0, get some sodium bicarbonate in there ASAP.

Also, may I know why you shocked the pool and added polyquat? Were there algeas or was it preventive?

I suspect this was the ''Standard Procedure'' your local pool store gave you. They tend to sell Degreaser and Sodium Bicarbonate too, although remarketed as Pool Protection and Arctic Defense respectively... It is not necessary (get your own sodium bicarbonate) but compensate the low pH brought by the pucks (often blamed on rain) and ''help in spring to remove stains caused by falling leaves and other organics''.

Skeptical about that last part however.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
How are you testing your pH?

What were the actual numbers, or were you using strips?


LifeTime Supporter
Feb 8, 2009
New Jersey shore
Yes there is a tool to remove the eye ball... i always plug the return and the skimmer with the proper plugs to prevent freeze damage to the skmimmer. I odnt like draining the pool below the return for the winter.

Adding ph increaser now with your chlorine level so high may turn the water cloudy.
Its a good idea to have the ph level in range for the closing but its not gonna cause any MAJOR problems if you wait until spring. Most ppl barely even test their water at the closing so i think youll be ok.

Here is the tool to remove the eyeball.... most pool stores carry it.. Or should anway...

Put this in your skimmer ... key=594150

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