Archive for September, 2010

Swimming Pool Closing for the Winter

In our last post we said we would provide more detail about closing your swimming pool for the season. Here it is. Please note that we are going to assume that the weather during the winter will below freezing and therefore you need to take special Swimming Pool Closing for the Winterprecautions when closing your pool. These instructions are also for an in ground swimming pool, however for above ground pools you can follow many of the same steps.

We have added a some details to the steps in our previous post. If they do not apply, just ignore them. Of course we cannot be responsible for your pool, since every installation is a bit different. Above all use these instructions along with the detailed instructions you received from the pool company you deal with.

Swimming Pool Closing for the Winter

  • Clean the pool and make sure that the water is clear, that there is no debris or dirt in the pool
  • Bask wash your filter in the usual manner to make sure it is also clean
  • Using the attachments that come with the pool, lower the water level below the return lines
  • Once the water is below the return lines, shut the pump off and disconnect the hoses you used to lower the water
  • If you have a main drain, plug the line coming from the main drain in your pool. Usually you place an 18 inch long foam rod into the line at the skimmer and screw in the plug
  • Make sure you use plumbers tape on the plug so that it provides a water tight seal
  • Blow the lines using a shop vac to get all of the water out of the lines
  • Make sure every drop of water is removed from the lines to the pump and the lines back to the pool.
  • Plug the lines so water cannot get back in and freeze using the plugs provided and plumbers tape
  • Drain all water out of the pump and the filter
  • Remove all plugs from the pump and the filter, the pressure gauge and the glass water observer attached to the filter
  • Place the filter control in the winter position
  • Cover the pump and filter to protect them from the elements if they are not enclosed in a shed
  • Place styrofoam in the skimmer to absorb the expansion of the ice and in the pool around the skimmer
  • Place chlorine and algacide  in the water to prevent build up of algae
  • Remove ladders, diving board and any other attachments and store them for the winter
  • Cover the pool to protect the liner from UV rays, dirt and leaves
  • Fill your water bags and place them around the pool on the cover to hold it in place
  • Shut the power off to the pump to avoid it accidentally being turned on


This is a pretty good list for most pools. However if you have heaters such as a gas heater or a solar heater, you will need to ensure that they are also drained properly and prepared for winter storage.

It is really important that all of these steps are completed properly. The most important of course is to ensure that all of the water is drained from the lines, the filter and the pump to avoid freezing and cracking of any of these things. Also you want to make sure that water cannot get into the lines during the winter. This will be equally bad and cause you a major headache next spring when you try to open your pool.

Doing this work yourself can save you a lot of money, which is the point of this blog, however if you are unsure or uncomfortable with closing your swimming pool, hire a professional and book early since everyone wants their pool closed at the same time. No one wants to keep operating their pool when it is cold waiting for the pool guy to show up!

We welcome comments and hints about closing pools for the winter. Spam comments will be deleted.

Closing Swimming Pools

I just closed my swimming pool for the season. For some readers this may seem early, however I live in eastern Ontario, Canada and the season ends pretty quickly Closing Swimming Poolsaround the beginning of Sept. The weather is still nice, but really it is not fun swimming when the air temperature is starting to cool off. Some people seem to enjoy swimming when the air is cold and the water is warm and heated by a pool heater. However we do not enjoy this and besides it is a huge waste of energy. If you live in the southern US or even in Southern Ontario, you can get another month of swimming in.

Closing Swimming Pools – Do It Yourself

Consumers can save a lot of money if they maintain their own swimming pools and open & close the pool each season. However it is important to do it right. If you don’t a lot of damage can be done to your pool over the winter months. If you are going to do it, close your pool properly. Even if this means hiring a pool company the first year to watch and learn how they do it will save you money in the long run. Make notes if you need to and follow instructions from the pool company.

Closing the pool is a sad day, since it means winter is coming with cold and snow. We still have a few months before that happens and we must enjoy the fall as much as we can. I am digressing here so back to the main point about closing your pool.

In our next post, we will explain in detail how to close a pool. However there are a few points we want to emphasize here to ensure that your pool is not damaged during the winter. If the temperature never gets below freezing then you really do not have to be as concerned. With temperatures well below freezing in Canada during the winter, we have to take extra care in closing the pool.

Here is our list.

  • Lower the water level below the return lines
  • Blow the lines to get all of the water out of the lines
  • Plug the lines so water cannot get back in and freeze
  • Drain all water out of the skimmer, the pump and the filter
  • Place Styrofoam in the skimmer to absorb the expansion of the ice
  • Cover the pool to protect the liner from UV rays(your liner will last for many years longer if it is protected from the suns rays when it is closed for the year)
  • Place chlorine and algacide  in the water to prevent build up of algae
  • Shut the power off

This is a basic list, however if you plan to do all of this yourself to save money. After all this is what this web side is all about, check for our next post for a detailed list of steps to follow in closing your pool! Some readers would rather hire a professional company to close and open their pools. This saves them a great deal of work and they also know that the pool is closed properly.

Many readers will keep their pools open until mid October. They use a gas or electric heater to keep the pool water hot enough to swim in. Some people find swimming in cold weather very exhilarating. We are not part of that group. We end up closing our pool earlier than some of our neighbors, but that is just fine with us. My family would not use it anyway. After September 1 the water is just too cool for us along with the weather. I guess we are fair weather swimmers.

Comments are welcome and appreciated as long as they benefit our readers. Spam comments will be deleted.

RVs – Do They Save Money

My wife and I have talked about getting an RV to travel across the country, stopping wherever and whenever we wish, spending time sight seeing and just plain enjoying ourselves.  The question is – RVs – Do They Save Money? This web site is about saving money and we have concluded this is a big time saver to talk about. RV’s can be enjoyable, however it is not in our opinion a way to save money. Traveling in an RV is more of a life style decision than anything else. Read on.

A lot of people every year do this and seem to have a great time. In fact if you pass RVs - Do They Save Moneyby many RV parks, you may see thousands of them congregated in one park. Not to my taste with not much room etc, and having to pay $50 or $60 a night for hook up fees. There are ways around hook up fees, however they are equally unpleasant.

Other times they will be in Walmart parking lots RV’s Parked at a Walmart RVs - Do They Save Money for the night and many are finding that the Casinos offer free parking with no services for people to park their RV rigs for the night. The casinos of course really want you to come and spend your money at the casino or perhaps in one of the many restaurants that they will have.
We have concluded that it is really about the lifestyle that you want to lead while vacationing and really not about the money you may spend or save while owning or renting one of these big RV units. If you are thinking that you will save money forget it. Owning an RV will NOT save you money at all both in carrying costs to own the RV, operating costs and then parking and utility hookup costs.

RVs – Do They Save Money

Our feeling is that you can go on a relative inexpensive vacation , staying at motels that provide free parking, free breakfast in the mornings and always having clean sheets every night.

We would like to get your comments and thoughts about owning an RV and whether an RV vacation is more expensive than a hotel vacation. The following are a few more comments about owning and operating an RV!

Drawbacks to RV’s

There are other drawbacks as well about RV’s. They take a lot of gas, you cannot just park them anywhere and what do you do with it when you are not using your RV. Most municipalities do not allow parking in your driveway for any length of time and besides your neighbors probably would not talk to you if you did. Many people need to have a special garage built for them so they can store their vehicle in the winter months or off season months when they are not in use. Unless you are retired, you cannot travel around all of the time. While it would be nice if you could head out in your RV for the entire summer, the reality is most people only get to use their units now and then during camping season.

In addition to providing  storage, you also must make sure you have proper insurance for both off season as well as during your travel time.

If your RV is going to be left in storage, it’s important it is properly insured. Check with your insurance company or find someone who insures RV’s. YOu will likely get a better deal, however it always pays to comparison shop for RV insurance.

Maintenance is or can be a major issue for many people. Although you have your house on wheels and have everything you need with your for an extended stay somewhere, this is a vehicle and like a car needs maintenance. At the very lease oil changes, battery checkups, brakes, the usual mechanical things that a vehicle needs. There are other items that need attention.


For example, the batteries which provide emergency power,  cleaning and emptying waste tanks, general maintenance of your RV, removing all fluids if the temperature falls below freezing and so on.

Even the water you use can be an issue. Water from a city source is treated and has had all of the bugs etc eliminated. Campground water is quite another thing. Empty your tanks on a regular basis  and check before filling to make sure it is good clean water.

Like a home, your RV needs to be aired out once and awhile. You cannot keep it shut up for a long time and not expect it to smell. Never leave food inside it with everything shut for any length of time or you may pay the price of smelling that odor for a long time. Damp environments need to be dried out as well from time to time.


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