Winterize a skimmer by removing all of the water from its body and pipe. Doing so will prevent the water from returning to the pipe. You’ll also need to protect yourself from the rain water and pool water that will freeze and expand the skimmer.
Drain the Skimmer
The water level must be lowered to below the skimmer. If your pool has a sand or DE filter, then you can also close off or plug the skimmer, and set your filter valve to backwash, waste or drain.
Pull the pipe's valve open to suck the water out. If you have multiple skimmers, do each one separately.
Plug the Skimmer
After a skimmer pipe has been emptied, the second step is to plug it. This prevents the water that escaped from the pipe to return to the pool.
You can use threads with O-rings or expanders, and a Gizmo or a small cap can be used to winterize a skimmer. When used with caution, make sure that the O-ring is tight enough to prevent slippage.
The Skimmer Plug is a great product for winterizing vinyl pool skimmers. It prevents the plug from fogging up against the inside of the faceplate.
Protect the Skimmer
After draining and plugging the skimmer, the final and often neglected step must be done. If pool water overflows into the skimmer, or as it slowly fills with rain and snowmelt, the water inside the skimmer, on top of the plug, may freeze during winter.
The water that's inside the skimmer well creates pressure on the walls of the skimmer. This causes the ice sheet to freeze.
- Fill a quart or gallon jug one-third full of pool antifreeze, and drop in skimmer
- Use a Skimmer Guard or Gizmo type of skimmer plug
- Add pool antifreeze to the skimmer, on top of the plug
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