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Thread: First time closing - what happens over the winter?

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    First time closing - what happens over the winter?

    This was my first season as a pool-owner, so I am preparing for my first closing. I've read the info here about closing, and I've talked to several other local pool owners. I am undecided on how to proceed with the closing. I live in North Alabama so we do have freezing temps in the winter, but certainly not as cold as other areas. Currently our high temps are anywhere from 60-80 degrees. I'm tempted to close now before the leaves start falling, but I've also read it's best to wait until temps are below 60. However, here in North AL we could easily have a surprise 70 degree day in December.

    First, I would like to understand what exactly happens over the winter. I have a porous safety cover, so I understand rain water and sunlight will get into the pool. Is there any maintenance / chemical checking that has to be done over the winter? Or does the pool just sit there until we uncover it in the spring? Is it supposed to remain clear during the winter, or does it turn green? Just not sure what to expect.

    I've been told by some that it's not necessary to blow out the lines in our climate. I am nervous about this. Is pool antifreeze an alternative? If so, where is it added? I should also note that my pump and equipment sit below the water level of the pool and returns.

    Thanks for your help.
    saltwater generator - Hayward turbo cell
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First time closing - what happens over the winter?

    For those of us who live in areas that get cold, or have an occasional freeze, we can get away with leaving our pool open and not actually "closing" the pool like up north. By that I mean we don't have to disconnect/remove the pump, lower the water level, blow out lines, and add antifreeze. Our biggest concern is making sure water is moving through the pump and surface plumbing on those occasional nights/mornings when there is a hard freeze. This way we protect the pipes and plumbing, but still have access to the pool if you need to add/mix chemicals or pick-up leaves and stuff. Once your area starts to stay fairly cool or cold, your chemicals (especially FC) should begin to stabilize and not change much at all. You'll find you can get by testing once a week or so at the most. Does that help?
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    pabeader's Avatar
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    Re: First time closing - what happens over the winter?

    What Texas said. Plus a note: The 60 degree is for the water temp, not the air. You could be at 60 right now.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: First time closing - what happens over the winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by pabeader View Post
    What Texas said. Plus a note: The 60 degree is for the water temp, not the air. You could be at 60 right now.
    This is the key issue. Water temps below 60 retard algae growth. Actually, the colder the water the better before you close.

    As a rule you want to close late and open early to keep the water from going green.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: First time closing - what happens over the winter?

    Thanks for clarifying about the temps - I thought the 60 degrees referred to air temperature. Makes much more sense now.

    So do you continue to run your pump for a few hours a day, or just run it when temperatures drop below freezing? Do you still put the cover on? Leave the salt system connected?

    Honestly I think I'd rather disconnect and not worry about tracking the temperature over the winter. We've had cold winters here with several days in a row below freezing. You just never know. If that's the route I take, any other advice?

    Thanks for your help.
    saltwater generator - Hayward turbo cell
    Whisperflo multiport valve sand filter
    25,000 gallon vinyl pool (20x40 rectangular)
    Polaris 280
    TF-100 test kit

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    banditig's Avatar
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    Re: First time closing - what happens over the winter?

    Now I understand why 60 degrees is water temp for closing. Thanks!
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    wjaneala's Avatar
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    Re: First time closing - what happens over the winter?

    Hi wal81! North Alabama here as well, and looks like our pools are pretty similar. This is also my first year owning/closing. You are lucky that you don't have leaves down yet. We already have tons down. Like you, I haven't decided whether I'll do a real close or try to keep it open over the winter...
    Wendy
    1980s 20x40 in-ground beast, 36K gallons, 4' - 8', vinyl liner, Sand Dollar sand filter, two skimmers, bottom drain, three returns
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    Re: First time closing - what happens over the winter?

    Wish I had the problems that you guys down south do!! LOL Here in PA we lock up tight and hope for the best. There are times during the winter when I cannot even SEE my pool since it is literally buried under tons of snow and ice during a really bad winter! As to what happens during the winter, certainly your water chemistry can change so it is not a bad idea to periodically check and see what your saturation index is and perhaps make adjustments so as to prevent either scale or etching (assuming you have plaster) I never used to do this until I had the pool replastered last year and had to adjust my pH right up until the time that the water finally froze.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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