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Winterizing Above Ground Chlorine 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 can 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 to Ultra Modern Pool and Patio. 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 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 is ambient 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 30-50 ppm.
STEP 5: Inspect pool and equipment 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® Scale Inhibitor per 25,000 gallons and let circulate for 48 hours minimum before shocking. Keep chlorine at 1.0 ppm. 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® Scale Inhibitor will protect against scale formation.
STEP 7: Backwash and clean the filter. We recommend using BioGuard® Strip-Kwik® first to remove oil and grease build up and follow with BioGuard® Kleen-It® to remove debris and any scale build up in the filter. (You should make sure no one uses suntan oils with mineral oil as this will cause build up of oil in the filter and could discolor the liner at the water line). We recommend cleaning the filter at the end of every season since the filter will not be operating for several months. 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.
STEP 8: Clean water line and liner above water line with BioGuard® Off the Wall Cleaner™.
STEP 9: Do not close pools with high chlorine demand (tied-up chlorine). You must reach breakpoint chlorination before closing pool or a tremendous chlorine demand will be present next spring. Pools should have a free chlorine reading of at least 1.0 ppm before proceeding with steps 10 and 11 for most chlorine pools. If your pool has Visions or Nature II, add one bottle of BioGuard® Winter Shock per instructions in step 10, per 20,000 gallons or one bag of BioGuard® Winter Shock II per 6,000 gallons of water and circulate for one hour. Then add one quart of BioGuard® Algae All 60™ and skip steps 10 and 11. Do not use BioGuard® Arctic Blue Algae Protector™ or Winter Algicide 40. Use BioGuard® Algae All 60™, one quart per 20,000 gallons of water.
STEP 10: With the circulation system running, add the BioGuard® Winter Shock. Note: For all above ground pools, pre-dissolve the recommended dose. Follow label directions on how to pre-dissolve. Use one pound of BioGuard® Winter Shock per 10,000 gallons of water. Circulate the water for one hour – then go to Step 9.
STEP 11: After adding the BioGuard® Winter Shock according to label directions, with the circulation system running, add 16 ounces of Arctic Blue Algae Protector™ for each 12,000 gallons of water. Pour this product into the pool around it‘s edges. Allow to circulate 2 to 4 hours.
IMPORTANT NOTES: Use Arctic Blue Algae Protector™ only in pools sanitized with chlorine or bromine and that have no metals present. If metals are present, use Stain and Scale Inhibitor (chelating agent) per label directions. Then use Sparkle Up to filter out these metals. Then add the Winter Shock and the Arctic Blue Algae Protector™ per instructions on your Alex Winter Water Analysis print out.
STEP 12: After the pump has ran to circulate the products for several hours, 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 our Parts Department for more information.

STEP 13: Remove all the hoses from the return, skimmer and pump.
STEP 14: 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 15: 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 16: 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. Shut off timer clock and remove trippers
STEP 17: Visions or Nature II units need to be drained and cartridges removed and disposed of. If the unit can be removed, store it inside. If the unit is hard plumbed, after all the water has drained out, replace drain plug and add swimming pool antifreeze.
STEP 18: Remove the ladders, baskets and all the maintenance equipment and store them indoors if possible. Store chemicals, test kit 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 (freeze balloons) that can be attached in the middle of the pool using a nylon rope. CAUTION: Only fill freeze balloons 2/3 full to allow for expansion. 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 Loc 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 pool cover to hold it down and prevent flapping in high winds wrap with cover wrap.
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 the cover during the winter, you may need to add additional water under the cover.
STEP 23: Check underneath the cover monthly, more often in warmer weather. Test chlorine reading and if low, pre-dissolve BioGuard® Winter Shock or Winter Shock II and add to pool water in a couple of different areas.
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/Aid Products
_____ BioGuard® Strip Kwik (chlorine pools only)
_____ BioGuard® Kleen It
_____ BioGuard® Polysheen Blue
_____ BioGurad® Sparkle up

Winterizing Products:
_____ BioGuard® StowAway
_____ Winter Cover
_____ Water Bags
_____ GaL/ Pool Antifreeze
_____ Freeze Balloons (air pillow)
_____ Winter Cover Locs
_____ Winter plugs for return lines #SP1022C 1 1/2” threaded plugs
_____ ABG Winter Closure Plate
_____ Winter Gizzmo.
_____ BioGuard® Winter Chemical Kit
_____ BioGuard® Scale Inhibitor
_____ BioGuard® Optimizer Plus


Bulletin #102