So I am closing my AGP for the 4th time.
I've always drained it below the skimmer basket and return. And I've always had SOMETHING under the winter cover to create a hump (usually 2 semi-truck inner-tubes with a basketball taped into the middle of each to create a nice hump). For the record, no matter what, the wind blows the water on top of the cover around enough that the tubes always move under the cover to the side of the pool, but that's not the point...
Question 1 - WHY do we drain the water below the skimmer and return? I've seen in places here on TFP that it's advised to cut up a "noodle" and put it in the skimmer - WHY bother doing that if you lowered the water? I assume this is advised for those that DON"T lower the water. If I put Noodle in the skimmer basket and a plug in the bottom of the skimmer exit, and a plug in the outside entry of the return (and some noodle on the inside), can I just leave the water up? God I hate draining the water.
Question 2 - WHAT is the point of making the pillow/hump under the cover? Is it simply to help keep the water out of the MIDDLE of the winter cover? If so, I feel I can skip that b/c my never stay in the middle of the pool anyway. I've seen reference to "the ice can squeeze the pillow rather than putting pressure on your pool sides" - Does that really make a difference? I mean, those pillows or tubes are floating mostly on TOP of the water, it's not like they sit down in the water a foot or 2 where they can really get squeezed - It doesn't seem like they sit deep enough to help take pressure off the sides.
Any comments out there?