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Thread: Already Overthinking Pool Closing

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    Already Overthinking Pool Closing

    First off, thank you so much for everything here! We made it through our very first season with no issues thanks to everyone here. But now for the dreaded closing...

    I've read and read the pool closing thread and just have a few questions. I've been following TFP all summer on our pool and have amazing results. We bought the house last spring and opened the pool through a lot of pure guesswork before I found this site.

    We had a lot of issues when we first uncovered the pool in late June. Emerald green swamp, no information from the previous owner. We found the tool to remove the safety cover buried in the weeds. We found a screwdriver upside down in the skimmer drain plugging things up. Liner was coming off the coping, parts of the filter were missing, and the heater never did end up working. All that said, we don't have any leaks, the filter works GREAT, and everything is running well.

    So I've been reading (and overthinking) how to close the pool. And, of course, have questions because there are so many different ways to do things.

    Our pool is inground vinyl with a safety cover. Do we drain it below the return jets or do we keep the water level up closer to the cover? When we removed the cover last spring the water level was just fine. I don't think they had that much snow/rain here that it would have risen a good 12-18 inches (does water even go through a safety cover?)

    When we blow out the lines, do we have to put anti-freeze in there? How do you get the anti-freeze out in the spring?

    Someone said not to drain the water too close to the light. Well, if we go below the return jets it will only be a couple inches above the light. Is that too little?

    What do you do about the bottom drain? Do you blow that out also? But, if you do, how do you keep the water from coming back in?

    I know we will cap the return jets. This spring there was a black bottle-thing in the skimmer. I don't think it was really in there too well. Should it have been? Is that the plug?

    I know you guys will help me through this. Hoping to get another 3-4 weeks out of the pool this year. I'm sure that means 3-4 weeks of more questions though.
    In-Ground pool: 10,000 gallon / vinyl liner /
    Hayward Vari-Flo XL sand filter / Hayward H-series heater
    TF-100 test kit

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Already Overthinking Pool Closing

    I can't help you (since we don't close our pool, whew!) but here is the Pool School article on it in case you missed it-
    Pool School - Closing an In Ground Pool
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    Re: Already Overthinking Pool Closing

    What I do differently is that I take my lights out before raising to shock level and clean the niches, etc. Then I raise to shock level, letting the lights "float" in the high FC water for a day or two depending on the weather. I also let high FC water flow through all my water features. Then I add Polyquat and put the lights back in place. Then I raise FC back to shock level. (Polyquat will lower FC).

    Overkill? Maybe. Works for me. I also open in the spring when I think pool water temperature is approaching 60 degrees. I open balanced.

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    Re: Already Overthinking Pool Closing

    Thanks! Yep, I've read through that thread and that's actually where my questions stem from.

    What is Polyquat anyway? And why use it if everything is already balanced to begin with?
    In-Ground pool: 10,000 gallon / vinyl liner /
    Hayward Vari-Flo XL sand filter / Hayward H-series heater
    TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Already Overthinking Pool Closing

    I have many of the same questions, even after reading the Pool School thread....hopefully someone will chime in....
    20000 gallon vinyl liner in ground pool
    16' X 34' rectangular diving pool
    Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter
    Hayward 1 hp Super Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit Stenner 45MPHP10

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Already Overthinking Pool Closing

    I'll try the best I can to answer these questions. Fortunately for me, our pool is designed for VERY simple and quick winterizing so my knowledge maybe off on some of these questions.

    Our pool is inground vinyl with a safety cover. Do we drain it below the return jets or do we keep the water level up closer to the cover? When we removed the cover last spring the water level was just fine. I don't think they had that much snow/rain here that it would have risen a good 12-18 inches (does water even go through a safety cover?)
    You wish to leave the water so that it holds up the safety cover. The water below the cover is what will support all the weight of the snow/ice on top of the cover. If you drain the cover will be on it's own to hold this weight, and will likely tear.

    When we blow out the lines, do we have to put anti-freeze in there? How do you get the anti-freeze out in the spring?
    It is recomended that you add anti-freeze in the lines after you blow out all the water. Once you open next year you could either use a shop vac to try to vacuum out as much anti-freeze as you can, or allow it to blow into the pool. In short time it will break down and be harmless.

    Someone said not to drain the water too close to the light. Well, if we go below the return jets it will only be a couple inches above the light. Is that too little?
    The risk here is if we get a deep freeze your pool water will freeze into a block of ice. The risk is that if it freeze too deep the ice could expand and the pressure could push up against the light, thus breaking the glass in the pool. If you leave a few feet of water above the light you greatly reduce the risk the water will freeze that far down and cause any issues. In area's however that tend to have VERY harsh winters you can simply remove the light from the niche and set on the deck until Sping. This completely eliminates any risks of the water causing issues to the light. I'm not sure how far North Oxford Mi is......but this maybe something you may look into. We have done it both ways in the past and from our experience the hardest part of removing the light is putting it back in. It always stinks trying to get the screw to start in the ice cold water each spring.

    What do you do about the bottom drain? Do you blow that out also? But, if you do, how do you keep the water from coming back in?
    I've got no knowledge of a bottom drain and will refer this question to others.

    I know we will cap the return jets. This spring there was a black bottle-thing in the skimmer. I don't think it was really in there too well. Should it have been? Is that the plug?
    I'm going to assume it looks something like this? If so then yes, that is the plug that stops water from flowing into the plumbing. It doesn't have to be in there much, just enough to form a seal to stop any water flow. It also allows the ice to expand inside of the skimmer thus reducing the chance your skimmer itself can form a leak due to the ice that will form.

    What is Polyquat anyway? And why use it if everything is already balanced to begin with?
    Polyquat 60 is the only Algaecide we recommend that you use on TFP. For the most part closing the pool is the only time we suggest members use this product, however many member have success even during closing without it's use. Over the winter your FC level will slowly go down and you run the risk of it completely going to zero before the Spring. What an Algaecide does here is give you extra insurance that you will open to a clear pool next Spring. If you luck out and keep enough chlorine in the water you'll likely open to a clear pool. If we have a warm winter (please o' please let us have a warm winter) and your chlorine drops low then it reduces the chances algae will form.

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    Re: Already Overthinking Pool Closing

    Here is a link to the Polyquat I use:
    Polyquat

    The ingredients should say 60% Poly (insert chemical gibberish here).

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    Re: Already Overthinking Pool Closing

    Thank you!!! That is really helpful!

    So it looks like I will NOT be draining any of my pool in order to hold up the cover. Will probably add antifreeze and just let it go back into the pool and will use the black thing (yes, that one link above was it) in the skimmer.

    The only remaining question then is about the bottom drain. Do you really blow that out?
    In-Ground pool: 10,000 gallon / vinyl liner /
    Hayward Vari-Flo XL sand filter / Hayward H-series heater
    TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Already Overthinking Pool Closing

    I have an auto-cover and we drain to below the skimmer. That is enough (for us) to support the cover.

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    Thimble's Avatar
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    Re: Already Overthinking Pool Closing

    I blow out my bottom drain every year. I get a steady column of air coming out of it then close the drain valve while the air is still blowing out. By doing this, most of the line is still full of air when the valve is sealed shut. Water pressure will fill a little of the line, but also compresses the air in the pipe, making it impossible for water to migrate back to the valve. Additionally, my line is over 8 feet deep in the ground at the bottom drain- well below freeze depth (unless you live in Fairbanks Alaska).
    15x30 IGP; 20,000 gallons; plaster
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    Re: Already Overthinking Pool Closing

    Re:
    I'm not sure how far North Oxford Mi is
    I'm in MI and we pull the light, wrap and bag in a towel on the deck.
    We also do not lower the water at all.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Already Overthinking Pool Closing

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman View Post
    Re:

    I'm in MI and we pull the light, wrap and bag in a towel on the deck.
    We also do not lower the water at all.

    My sister in MI does the same thing.
    16x32 IG rectangular 21,800k new vinyl liner 2014, Triton II TR 50 sand Filter, Pentair 3/4 hsp whisperflow pump, 3 returns, TF100 test kit w/speedstir. Maytronics s 300i robot.

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