When the winter season comes around you will need to close your pool to prevent any damage from occurring from the harsh elements of the cold. One of the most important steps in properly closing the swimming pool is to make sure that the skimmer or skimmers on your above ground or in ground pool are properly winterize and protected.
You can protect your pools skimmer(s) is a number of different ways and of course protecting an in-ground swimming pool skimmer is a bit different then an above ground pool skimmer. Years ago the only choice was to lower the pool water to protect the pools skimmer. Now you have a choice of using a Gizzmo, a winter protection plate or using the traditional method which is lowering the water below the skimmer line.
Above Ground Pool Skimmer Winterization
If you have an above ground swimming pool and you are looking to protect the skimmer from freezing during the winter, there are a few things you can do to accomplish this task fairly easily and without “breaking the bank” as we say.
The first way you can protect the skimmer on your above ground pool from the winter season is to use something called an Winter Skimmer Plate. A winter skimmer plate can be either made from metal or plastic. These two different types of winter skimmer plates also mount to your skimmer in different ways. To install the standard type of metal winter plate onto your skimmer you will just have to remove a few of the skimmer face plate bolts, then place the skimmer plate foam and plate up to the face of the skimmer, while replacing the bolts you just removed. This type of place can be installed while the pool is full and takes only a few minutes and a Philips head screwdriver to do so.
The second way you can protect your above ground pool with a skimmer plate is to use a plastic style skimmer plate such as the AquaDor Winter Skimmer Cover Plate. This type of skimmer plate is made from plastic and once the outer frame is installed on the pool, it can be an even faster way of protecting the skimmer Vs the metal style skimmer plate. The AquaDor or plastic type of winter skimmer plates require you to remove your inner skimmer frame from the pool and then you will need to replace it with the special skimmer frame that comes with the plastic plate. You will have to also drain the pool below the skimmer if you are going to install this special frame for the AquaDor Winter skimmer Protection Plate or any other type of plastic winter plate. But once this special frame is installed onto the skimmer you can then easily just pop on and pull off the plastic winter plate. You will not have to remove any screws or drain the pool any longer. When the time comes to winterize and close the pool you will just be able to install the plastic winter plate in a snap.
In Ground Pool Skimmer Winterization
There are two steps to properly protecting your in ground pool skimmer from all of the harsh elements of winter. The first step is to blow all of the water out of the swimming pool plumbing above the ground and also under the ground. You can do this buy either using a shop vacuum, an air compressor. a liner blower, or you can alternatively have a professional swimming pool company remove the water from the lines for you.
Just as a note, you should also lower the water level below the skimmers. You can do so by using your filter system to drain the excess water from the pool.
Once you have the water blown out from the swimming pool lines, your next step will be to insert the Gizzmo into the skimmer and then you will want to tighten in down. The Gizzmo will spin into the threads that are molded into the bottom of the skimmer. Once the Gizzmo is screwed into the threads in the skimmer you will want to place the skimmer cover back on top of the skimmer box.
As an extra step you can also add some non toxic anti freeze inside the pools plumbing if you like as well. Once you have blown out the pool lines and before you insert the Gizzmos into each skimmer, you then can pour the anti freeze into the pool skimmer. Of course you will have to have the water level below the skimmers if you want to add the anti-freeze this way.
If you have any questions or need additional help, please leave them below.