It's Not an Ice Rink: Winterizing Your Inground PoolAs winter's approach turns our thoughts toward hot chocolate and snowmen, the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas is converting its Boulevard pool into an ice rink! However, that's probably not in the cards for the average homeowner with a cold, idle pool. And while you won't need a Zamboni this fall, you will need to winterize your unused swimming pool. Here's how.The easy wayOf course, the easiest way is to simply contact a good pool contractor. They open and close hundreds of pools every year, so it's easy for them - and even easier for you. Just get your estimates, choose your contractor and write a check.The harder wayFor DIY-die-hards, here's a checklist. Understand that the pros have excellent reasons for closing pools in exactly this way, so you'll want to follow it closely.Get out your cover, plugs for the skimmers and return jets and your winterizing chemicals. You will also need an air compressor or a powerful shop vac.Backwash the filter thoroughly. Drain DE filter tanks, leaving the backwash valve open. Unplug the sand filter's drain plug and leave it off. Blow out the multiport valve if it's wet.Disconnect your pump and filter and totally drain the pump of water. Remove any drain plugs from the pump.Drain the heater and dry it with a compressor or shop vac.Dain or blow all water from your pipes and fittings.Remove all return jet fittings and skimmer baskets.Blow out all return jet pipes using an air compressor or shop vac until air bubbles become visible from the return jets in the pool. Put a plug in the fitting under the water when you see the bubbles blowing at full force.Blow out all skimmer (suction side) pipes. Put a Gizmo-type screw in the skimmer plug when bubbles become visible. Put PTFE tape on the Gizmo threads before installing. This insures a tight seal.If you have a slide, an auto vac system or a waterfall, you will have to drain and blow out those pipes too.Blow out main drain line (if any). When you see bubbles coming out of the drain, plug the pipe on your end or close the gate valve. This causes an "air lock" in the line and no more water should enter the pipe from the pool side.Put duct tape on all exposed pipes to prevent anything from getting into them.Remove rope and floats.Remove dive board and ladders.Mix any granular winterizing chemicals in a bucket so that they are totally dissolved. Dump mixture into the pool. Add liquid chemicals to pool.Test the pool for pH and total alkalinity. Adjust to normal levels. Make sure one of your winterizing chemicals is a "shock" product.Drop your water below the tile to prevent staining.Place the cover on the pool. Use floats to keep it from sagging into the water.Winterizing kitsWinterizing your pool properly prevents icky surprises in the spring – the staining and smell of algae growth. A big part of algae prevention is a combination of winterizing chemicals administered when you close your pool. Winterizing kits are premixed and formulated for different pool sizes. They eliminate guesswork, mixing and measuring. Powerful winter pool "shock" kills micro-contaminants, algae and pathogens.Need More Help? Get started by finding a Pool & Spa ProfessionalIf you need professional help with your Pool or Spa, LendingTree Home Pros can help.The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee!Let LendingTree Home Pros help you find a Pool & Spa Professional today./ Need More Help? If you need professional help with your project, LendingTree Home Pros can help. The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee! Let LendingTree Home Pros help you find a pro today!