We've done lots of blog posts, about pool closing or winterization - 3 dozen in fact! But, we've never taken on the topic of closing a vinyl liner pool.
What's different about closing a vinyl liner pool? The process of winterizing the equipment and plumbing is the same, but care of your vinyl liner during winter requires some extra precaution.
WATER LEVEL: In a vinyl liner pool, if the water leaks during winter, you run the risk of complete liner failure. This is because without the weight of the water to hold a liner in place, it quickly pulls away from the wall, and shrinks during cold winter weather. Although any pool type that drains empty during winter is in danger of shifting or floating, if the water goes below the shallow end floor of a vinyl pool, you will certainly have trouble resetting the liner, and may have to replace the liner.
Keep an eye on the water level during winter. Add water as needed, to keep the pool full, and if you have an early season leak, pull the cover off and do some Winter leak detection. Also be careful not to pump out the pool water through holes in a solid winter pool cover!
Not too low, Not too high. If your vinyl liner has no leaks and you also have a mesh safety cover (like me!), you'll need to monitor the water level under the cover, and lower the water if it touches the underside of the cover. Very Important for pools surrounded by dense trees, which will turn your pool into a brown tea, which can stain the liner or plastic pool trim, a dull brownish color.
Keep the water level 3-9 inches below the skimmer opening, by lowering it with a submersible pump or siphoning water out of the pool.
To prevent waterline stains from pollution, pollen and dust, use an enzyme like Pool Perfect, or the Winter Ball, to consume oily organics that pass through mesh covers easily.
Remember that you can't just drain and acid wash a vinyl pool, keep your vinyl looking pretty with a strong pool cover and by locking up minerals and metals, and removing oily gunk with an enzyme treatment.
Do not use a Chlorine Floater in a vinyl pool. Our Winter Kits have a non-chlorine sanitizer that can't bleach or stain vinyl liners! Chlorine floaters can tip over, or come to rest on a step, or if the water leaks during winter, could come to rest close enough to the floor to bleach and/or stain a vinyl liner.
Do use a Leaf Cover - if you have a floating solid cover and trees near the pool. Dredging leaves from a solid pool cover pokes holes in the cover when you push or drag a sharp stick across the cover. With a Leaf Net, you can remove all of the leaves super-easily, without dredging with leaf rakes.
STORM WATER MANAGEMENT: Rainstorms seem to be getting stronger and heavier, at least in my neck of the woods. Make sure that your pool deck and surrounding areas can handle high volumes of water, quickly moving it to lower ground or to drains, to keep the water away from the pool.
It's best not to have water sitting up against the pool walls or coming under the pool decks, you want water to flow around the pool, and of course never spill into the pool. Dirt, you know - is very dirty! Full of germs, microscopic bugs, phosphates and nitrates, especially if it washes in from planter areas around the pool.
Often, the pool topography and flow of water changes over the years - just be sure there's not a bad corner, slab or area where water doesn't drain away from the pool quickly.
There you have it, some tips on how to close a vinyl liner pool. Actually - these ideas also apply to any type of pool!
Talk to you Soon;
SPP Pool Expert