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Instructions for Closing Your Own Above Ground Swimming Pool


Winterizing is the most important thing you can do to make your spring pool opening as easy as possible. There are enormous benefits to correctly closing your pool, including:


  • Protecting your pool surfaces and equipment; protecting your investmentsKeeping water looking its best all winter long

  • Protecting equipment from freeze damage

  •  Saving time and money on extra maintenance when you open your pool

Whether you completely cover your pool or just reduce maintenance, BioGuard® can make winterizing painless. Convenient Arctic Blue® Winter Kits include the products you need for cold weather care.

Winterizing Your Hayward Sand Filter

  1. Completely drain tank by unscrewing drain cap at base of filter tank. Leave cap off during winter.

  2. Depress Vari-Flo control valve handle and rotate so as to set pointer on valve top between any two positions. This will allow water to drain from the valve. Leave valve in this “inactive” position.

  3. Drain and winterize pump according to pump instructions.


How to Winterize/Close a Chlorine or Bromine Pool

  1. The day before closing, make sure your pool is clean and balanced.

  2. That evening, shock the pool with double the amount of pool shock normally used throughout the pool season.

  3. The next morning vacuum the pool to waste dropping the water level 2 to 3 inches below the skimmer.

  4. Put winter plugs in inlets after taking off the “inlet cover and eyeball”.

  5. Add 1 quart concentrated algicide, diluted in a bucket of water.

  6. Secure air pillow into place after blowing it up (do not fill all the way).

  7. Add leftover chlorine or bromine to winter floater and put in the pool.

  8. Take filter hoses off skimmer and filter and store in garage or basement.

  9. Drain filter and pump by taking off the drain cap located at the bottom of the filter. Put the vari-flow valve in between any two positions (or newer models – winterize position). This allows any water that may be trapped in the “head” to run out and therefore prevent freezing and cracking the head. Put drain cap, pressure gauge, etc. into strainer basket (located in pump) and store in garage or basement. Also, remove and store skimmer basket.

  10. Put winter cover on, allowing the cover to drape down on top of the water. Tighten the cable around the pool so that no air can get underneath and cause it to blow and tear the cover. You may want to use cover seal wrap to also aid in preventing this.

  11. For rectangle pools with a large deck, use water tubes to hold the cover down and add extra protection against wind.

  12. If using a brominator/chlorinator, remove bromine/chlorine, clean thoroughly and store in garage or basement.

How to Winterize/Close a SoftSwim® Pool


Follow the steps below when you’re ready to close your pool for the cold weather season.

  • Go to your BioGuard Dealer for complete water analysis.

  • Balance pool water according to the Dealer’s winter instructions.

  • Brush and vacuum pool with BioGuard handheld accessories.

  • Backwash and chemically clean filter with SoftSwim Filter Cleaner.

  • Add an initial dose of SoftSwim A (1 quart per 25,000 gallons of water).

  • Add SoftSwim C (1 gallon per 10,000 gallons). Wait 3 hours.

  • Add SoftSwim B to top up to 50 ppm.

  • Run filter continuously for 24-48 hours.

  • Winterize equipment according to manufacturer’s directions.

  • Follow recommended water draining and covering procedures appropriate to weather conditions in your area.

How To Open Your Own Swimming Pool

Avoid a summer filled with headaches by opening your pool the right way. With a well-ordered system, you can prevent future problems and lay the groundwork for a pool care plan that’s simple to maintain. We’ve outlined a few important steps to help ensure a smooth, carefree opening for your pool. Of course, we are always ready to assist with information tailored to your specific pool care needs.

Remove the Pool Cover
If you use a solid cover, drain off the water- but not into the pool. Sweep the cover and clean it with BioGuard Stow Away® to prevent sticking and unpleasant odors. Store it in a dry place that’s free of debris and protected from the sun and weather.

Fill the Pool
Your pool must be filled to the middle of the skimmer opening to circulate properly.

Check your Pump, Skimmer Basket, and Filter
Make sure all equipment is clean and in working order. Start the circulation system and remove debris from the pool. If the filter (sand, D.e. or cartridge) is dirty or wasn’t cleaned before your pool was closed, remove grease and oil with BioGuard Strip-Kwik®. For scale build-up (white or gray flaky mineral deposits), use BioGuard Kleen It®.

Bring in a Water Sample for Testing
Circulate the water 24 to 48 hours before taking a water sample. Using a clean plastic container, scoop about a quart of water at elbow-depth from the pool away from skimmers and returns. Seal the container and bring it in to Caldwell Pools for testing and analysis. You’ll get personalized instructions for starting up your pool.

Test Sanitizer and pH Levels
Use one of the BioGuard Test Kits or Test Strips to regularly check the sanitizer residual and pH levels. To maintain proper balance, you should be in the following ranges:

  • Free chlorine residual 1 to 4 ppm for chlorinated pools

  • Total bromine residual 1 to 3 ppm for brominated pools

  • Sanitizer residual (“B”) 30 to 50 ppm for SoftSwim® pools

  • pH 7.4 is ideal pH. (7.4-7.6 is acceptable)

  • Total alkalinity 125 to 150 ppm (80-150 ppm for Mineral Springs)

Calcium hardness:

  • Plaster & SoftSwim® pools 200 to 275 ppm

  • All other types 175 to 225 ppm

Pool Cover Care 


A few simple steps will maintain or extend the life of your solar blanket.


Handle with Care

Be sure to lift your solar blanket over sharp, rough, or ragged items when placing your blanket on the pool and when removing. Sharp, rough, and/or ragged surfaces can damage your swimming pool cover!


Protection from High Temperatures

Water temperatures above 90° F can shorten the life of your solar blanket. If pool temperatures rise above 90°, remove your solar blanket and place it in the shade or cover it with an opaque white protective cover. Direct rays from the sun can cause delamination and will void your warranty.

Maintain Proper Chemical Levels

Monitor chlorine levels to ensure they do not pass 3 parts per million (PPM). If you need to raise chlorine levels to more than 3ppm, be sure to remove your solar blanket. This includes the use of chlorine pool shock (oxydizer). Do not put the solar blanket on the pool immediately after shocking – wait until morning so chemical levels can return to normal. Damage caused by chemicals will void your warranty.



Your solar blank will heat the water more effectively and last longer if you keep it clean. You can do this by hosing off leaves and debris and cleaning it with a soft brush.



When pool season ends, clean your solar blanket and allow it to dry thoroughly. Fold it on the seams and roll it from one end. Place the blanket in a clean, dry area, free of rodents and out of the reach of pets. The storage temperature must be below 120° F.

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