Taking Care of The Water-The first thing to remember is to make sure your water is properly balanced before closing the pool. This means the Alkalinity should be 80-120, the PH level 7.2-7.6, and the Chlorine 1-4 ppm. (If you are on Baquacil, the Sanitizer level should be 50 ppm) Leaving the pool sit all winter with a low pH or alkalinity will shorten the life of your liner, or be caustic to your painted or plastered pool surface. Time to Vacuum and Dip-Make sure the pool has been vacuumed and all leaves, acorns, twigs, etc, have been removed from the pool. Closing a pool with leaves or acorns in the bottom will likely lead to a stained pool bottom. Winterizing the Equipment and Piping-It is imperative that the equipment be properly winterized. Failing to winterize the pump and filter will likely lead to freeze damage resulting in costly repairs. It is also necessary to remove all pool water from the plumbing and fill the lines with swimming pool antifreeze. We recommend you get your pool professionally winterized. For your convenience, you now have the ability to schedule your pool closing right on our website at www.jocopools.com. Or, you may call at 618-833-3686 to schedule an appointment. To Cover or Not to Cover-Once the water, plumbing and equipment is ready for the winter, it is time for a cover. Installing a solid cover such as a tarp style or solid safety cover for an inground pool will increase your chances or opening your pool to clear blue water in the spring. With all solid covers, it is important to only leave 2-3 inches of water on the cover, so you will periodically have to syphon off your cover until it is time to open again. For inground pool owners, we recommend a mesh safety cover. This mesh trampoline-looking cover keeps leaves and large debris out, while letting the water seep through into the pool. These pools usually do not require syphoning during the winter. It is important after removing a mesh safety cover in the spring, that you vacuum any dirt and sediment on the bottom of the pool to waste to remove it BEFORE it gets stirred up in the pool. Parting Thoughts-Your pool is an investment in family fun and fitness. Taking the time to properly close your pool in the winter will make opening the pool next spring easier and more economical.