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Winterizing Above Ground Softswim Pools

Follow these Steps


Ultra Modern Pool & Patio recommends that all pools be covered with a solid or mesh cover for the winter. It is an economical and easy way to care for the pool in the off-season. The pool cover keeps debris and leaves out of the pool and protects the vinyl liner. Water should be kept in the pool so the pool doesn’t collapse or the liner shrink or suffer wind damage.

Do not winterize until your pool water temperature is 58-60 degrees. Generally, sometime late in September or early October is acceptable.

Cover Tip: Keep pool cover drained off and skim leaves periodically so the cover does not fall in due to the weight on the cover. Ultra Modern Pool and Patio offer several styles of Little Giant Pumps to pump off excess water. Use BioGuard® Stow-Away® to clean the cover and for storage and extend cover longevity.

Solar-Cover: Clean with BioGuard® Stow-Away® before storing. Remember, never leave the solar cover on the pool for winter use. You should spray BioGuard® Stow-Away® on the cover as you fold it and leave on to prevent mildew and to extend cover longevity. Fold cover accordion style for ease of reusing next spring.

STEP 1: Bring your pool water to Ultra Modern Pool and Patio for an end-of-season test. Bring us a sample of your pool water for end -of-season testing. You’ll get the prescription you need to prevent stains, scaling and damage to equipment. You’ll also avoid expensive cleanups and repairs. Come spring, you’ll start with a beautiful pool.
STEP 2: Brush and vacuum pool to remove all algae, debris, and loose dirt. Pool should be free of algae before closing pool. You must kill mustard algae before closing as this spore lies dormant and can survive the winter. Do not close pool with pink slime or white mold as it can be worse in the spring.
STEP 3: Add necessary balancing chemicals and let circulate for eight hours. The water needs to be in complete balance. Improper water balance can cause damage to the pool finish. High calcium hardness, pH, and/or total alkalinity can cause scale and the liner may lose its plasticity and become stiff and brittle. A low calcium hardness, pH, and/or total alkalinity can wrinkle the liner.
STEP 4: If using Proteam® Supreme or Optimizer Plus™, make sure levels are at 50-80 ppm.
STEP 5: Inspect above ground pools for any repairs or cleaning that may be necessary. If a pool is not vinyl coated, it is a good idea to apply a coat of high quality auto wax onto frame and side wall for added protection.
STEP 6: Add one quart of BioGuard® SoftSwim® Stain Control per 10,000 gallons and let circulate for one hour minimum before adding BioGuard® SoftSwim® C. We feel the investment you make now will save you money in the long run. When the pool water temperature drops, a chemical reaction creates “scale fall out” and a scale formation can form on the pool surface. BioGuard® SoftSwim® Stain Control will protect against scale formation. BioGuard® SoftSwim® Stain Control also removes metal which can help extend the longevity of SoftSwim® B and SoftSwim® C.
STEP 7: Backwash and clean the filter. We recommend changing the sand at the end of every season since your filter will not be operating for several months. If not possible, use BioGuard® SoftSwim® Filter Cleaner to remove scale and debris from the filter. Never store a dirty filter, since deposits and scale may harden and cake over during the winter, leaving you a tough clean up job or repairs in the spring. Do not use BioGuard® Strip-Kwik® or BioGuard® Kleen It®. (It is recommended to clean the filter once a month during the swim season.) Use BioGuard® SoftSwim® Filter Cleaner to clean your sand. DE and cartridge filters should be winterized per manufacturer’s recommendations.
STEP 8: Clean water line and liner above water line with BioGuard® Alkaline Surface Cleaner and/or BioGuard® Off the Wall Cleaner™.
STEP 9: The pool should be clear and holding a BioGuard® SoftSwim® C Clarifier level before going to step 10.
STEP 10: Add one quart of BioGuard® SoftSwim® A Algicide for every 25,000 gallons. Let circulate for one hour.
STEP 11: Add one gallon of BioGuard® SoftSwim® C Clarifier for every 10,000 gallons. Let circulate overnight.
STEP 12: Test your BioGuard® SoftSwim® B Bactericide level and add the proper amount to reach 50 ppm. One pint of Bactericide for every 10,000 gallons of pool water should raise the level approximately 10 ppm.
STEP 13: Let the pump run to circulate products for several hours. Then turn the system off and winterize your equipment:
a) Drain the water level 6” below the skimmer or return, whichever is lowest.

b) Do not install any type of plug into the bottom of the skimmer. You do not want water accumulating in the skimmer during the winter as it will freeze and crack the skimmer.

c) You can install an Aquador Skimmer Closure System if you desire. Check with Ultra Modern Pool and Patio’s Parts Department for more information on easy installation.

d) Another option is installing The Compensator in the skimmer and plugging the eyeball. Again, check with Ultra Modern Pool & Patio’s Parts Department for more information.

STEP 14: Remove all the hoses from the return, skimmer and pump.
STEP 15: Remove the winter plug from the filter tank. It is always located at the bottom of the tank. Let drain completely. Storing filter indoors will lengthen the life of the filter.
STEP 16: Remove the plug or plugs on the pump. These are most generally on the hair and lint pot that screws on to the front of the motor. If a plug cannot be found then unscrew the pot and let the water drain out that way. Storing the pump indoors will lengthen the life of the pump. If the pump is left outdoors, swimming pool antifreeze can be added.
STEP 17: If the filter valve has a plug on it, remove it or place the valve between positions. Some valves have a winter position on it, if so put the valve in this position. This allows water to completely drain from the filter valve.
STEP 18: Remove the ladders, baskets and all the maintenance equipment and store them indoors if possible. Store chemicals, test kits and plastic equipment in a cool dry place away from the sun and freezing temperatures.
STEP 19: You are ready to cover the pool. Do not use your solar cover, it is for summer use only. You should use an air pillow that can be attached in the middle of the pool using a nylon rope. This will eliminate water build up that causes the cover to collapse and prevents winter expansion (water freezing) that could cause the walls to crack. Water tubes can be placed or tied on the pool cover to prevent wind damage. Cover retainer clips can be used to secure the cover to help prevent wind damage. Pad sharp corners and rough edges with old towels, plastic foam, etc., to protect the cover from damage. Cover pool so it rests loosely on the surface of the water and drapes over the side (see Illustration 1).
STEP 20: Winter Cover Retainer Clips fit all pool rail configurations and saves replacing pool covers. The retainer clips add longevity to pool covers and reduce pool cover movement along the pool rail and eliminates the need for draw ropes or cables. Clips are designed to form a positive interlock between the pool cover and pool rail. During high wind periods, the retainer clips restrain pool cover movement along the pool rail. The adapter can remain on the pool rail when the pool cover is not in use.
STEP 21: Add one inch of water to the top of the cover to hold it down and prevent flapping in high winds.
STEP 22: If water accumulates more than four inches on the cover, remove it with a pump. If a lot of water is removed from cover during the winter, you may need to add additional water under the cover. It is also important during dry winters to make sure that there is at least one inch of water on the cover to avoid “flapping”.
STEP 23: Check underneath the cover monthly, more often in warmer weather. Test BioGuard® SoftSwim® B bactericide level and add a top off dose if needed. Test BioGuard® SoftSwim® C clarifier level and add as needed.
STEP 24: Above ground pools with a main drain will need to winterize main drain line.
STEP 25: Make certain no one is allowed near the pool during the time the water in your pool is frozen, as any sharp blows against the side wall might permanently damage the liner.


Tools/Equipment Required:
_____ Leaf net
_____ Pole
_____ Vacuum
_____ Pool Brush
_____ Submersible Pump

Tile Cleaning Products
_____ BioGuard® Off the Wall
_____ Scrub Pad

Filter Cleaning Products
_____ BioGuard® SoftSwim Filter Cleaner
_____ BioGuard® Sparkle up
_____ BioGuard® Polysheen Blue
_____ BioGurad® SoftSwim Filter Aid

Winterizing Products:
_____ BioGuard® StowAway
_____ Winter Cover
_____ Water Bags
_____ GaL/ Pool Antifreeze
_____ Freeze Balloons
_____ Winter Cover Locs
_____ Winter plugs for return lines #SP1022C 1 1/2” threaded plugs
_____ ABG Winter Closure Plate
_____ Winter Gizzmo.
_____ BioGuard® SoftSwim Stain & Metal Control
_____ BioGuard® Optimizer Plus


Bulletin #103