Proper water level for closing the pool?

Old 10-14-13, 08:59 AM
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Proper water level for closing the pool?

Have been closing my own pool and have seen/tried different water levels ranging from below the return lines to the top of the skimmer. Opinions seem to differ, but I liked he way the pool cover performed and the cleanliness of opening with the higher level. Wanted to get the opinion here as to what the level should be.

In-ground 25,000 gal vinyl-lined, 20x40 3'(shallow) 5' (deep)
Chlorinated (if that matters) 2 skimmers, Coverstar automatic cover (closed in winter)
Located in WI, fairly harsh winters.

Old 10-14-13, 09:07 AM
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it is best to leave pool level just below skimmer to allow for possible water in pool and the water on cover. Some lower their water below returns to blow out lines then cap and refill.
Old 11-04-13, 09:20 AM
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I agree.

We normally close our pool with the water just below the skimmer which is roughly the same level as the return lines. We have a mesh cover, though, so we try to keep room for seasonal snow melt/rain. A solid cover might require a different level.

We use a 5HP 12 gallon Rigid shop vac to blow out the return lines and skimmers. With so little water at/above the return lines, the pressure and flow (>100 CFM) are usually sufficient to blow out the lines without having to lower the water any further. Though you'll likely get a refreshing spray of water in your face as you screw in the threaded winterizing plugs.

I use gizmos in our skimmers and make sure that there's no water in there before installing. This can be done by blowing out the skimmer lines from the skimmer itself, so the water exits the pipes at the equipment pad. I once had a pool guy try to install the gizmos in the skimmers while there was still water in there, with another pool guy blowing out the skimmers from the pipe end on the equipment pad. He couldn't see what he was doing, threaded them in wrong, and the skimmer pipes filled with water in a day.

I also put a gallon of RV antifreeze in the skimmer lines and return lines before plugging those up with expansion plugs, just as a precaution. With gizmos, one can't air lock the skimmer lines (the gizmo tops aren't pressure tight). One can air lock the return lines using threaded plugs and expansion plugs, however.

For the main drain, I actually use a blow through expansion plug and a bicycle tire pump. I basically pump air through the Schraeder valve until I hear bubbles exiting the main drain in the pool. Unfortunately, a shop vac can't generate enough pressure to fully blow out the main drain in a deep pool. But a simply bicycle pump will do the trick without much effort.

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