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Thread: How low to drain?

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    How low to drain?

    Hi,
    I'll be closing my AG pool for the first time this winter and I had a question about draining.
    I'm in one of the highest snowfall region in the country (Upstate New York by the Lakeshore) and the average snowfall here is about 100 inches a year. I found some numbers saying that this will be about 10 inches of rainfall. Since I don't have any idea how I'd get that off my pool I figured a solid cover would be a bad idea (I would imagine the sun shine would melt snow on top and it would run to the bottom, but with snow still on it I couldn't really run a cover pump) so I bought a mesh winter cover. Someone here posted their setup with the mesh cover and 3 Intex floats to hold it up.

    here is my question: if I am anticipating an average of 10 inches of rain via snowfall, do I need to drain the pool at least ten inches below the return? What bad thing happens if my pool fils up from melting snow water so that water runs out my return valve? (Given that it would be rain or snow melt I assume this would happen slowly)

    That also wouldn't account for more fall and spring rains, so I could get 15-20 inches of Rainfall while the pool is closed.
    it it just seems a bit excessive to almost drain half the pool, but I don't really know what I'm doing.

    Thanks
    24' round above ground 52" vinyl pool - 12690 gallons at 45'' fill.
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix SP1510Z1XEHC (1HP, SP).
    Hayward S180T 150lb Sand Filter.

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    Catanzaro's Avatar
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    Re: How low to drain?

    I actually have a regular cover for an in-ground pool. Each year, at the beginning of the season, I make sure that all the leaves and any other debris that blows on the cover is removed and vacuumed up. In the winter, when the rain and snow fill up and the cover is full of water, I take a regular pump and the garden hose is tucked in the skimmer basket (that has a sock in it), pump water off the cover and into the pool. So I basically am recycling the water, which is a little dirty and bringing it back in the pool (This happens in the spring). This works for me as then I do not have to remove all the water and fill up again, making my life easier. The water clears up pretty quickly.

    I would be concerned with the weight of the snow. Chances are that the heavy snow, freezing rain, etc., would bring the cover down in the water, kind of defeating your purpose. The solid cover will work if you purchase a small utility pump that attaches to a garden hose. Mesh covers allow a lot of sun in during the year, which could create a nice green pool in the spring-summer. Solid covers do a little better (IMHO). And yes, I would drain down 10", to make room for the winter.

    Maybe others will chime in and provide other feedback. Maybe you can return the mesh cover if you already have a solid cover.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
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    Re: How low to drain?

    depending if you have any nearby trees?
    I did the solid cover for 2 years after first getting pool.
    Got waaaaay old removing snow every time it fell.I am in my mid 50's and every time I was removing the snow I thought, how much longer can I do this?
    I don't have trees around pool but still get some leaves in fall from neighbors.
    Where I am at we get around 40" to 60" average of snow and then rain/ freezing rain on top of that.
    Last year I decided to go without a cover.
    Lowered water 6 inches below return, plugged return and capped off skimmer,disconnected everything and put in garage.
    Around spring the water level was above return but below skimmer.
    A little more work cleaning and alot more dust/silt to get out when opening but for me, not covering again
    Even with cover on, I still lowered 6 inches below return,and tried those worthless blue air pillows that last until the first hard freeze when pool water turns to a solid mass.
    Doughboy AG 16' x 32' oval, 13,700 gal.
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    Re: How low to drain?

    I've asked this question as well, but I haven't really got an answer...One thing to keep in mind is where your wall features fall (for example, how close is your light or suction to the surface is you drain 10"?). I don't know how much of the pool freezes, but a thick layer of ice may damage wall features. I bought a pool cover pump to try to maintain a certain water level (I have a mesh cover). This is my first year actually closing a pool, so this only comes from reading various threads on the forum here....
    20000 gallon vinyl liner in ground pool
    16' X 34' rectangular diving pool
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    Larryh86GT's Avatar
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    Re: How low to drain?

    I put my winter cover on last week. The instructions for the cover say: "Before placing cover over the pool, pool water should not be less than
    6" from top of pool." Seems odd to me. With our weather, cold, and snow I drained it down about 1 foot. We'll see what happens.
    Coleman 16' x 48" power steel pool.

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    Re: How low to drain?

    The reason the pool cover states to not drain your pool down too far is: The weight of water will stretch the cover down to meet your water level. this will cause strain on your pool cover causing it not to last as long.

    I have a solid loop-loc safety cover and I do not drain my pool. But I do live in Georgia and the winters are not as cold as some parts of the US. I blow out my return lines by using a one-way pool valve. This replaces the eye ball fittings. You just blow out your lines without draining your pool at all. The one-way valve will allow air to bubble out of the return lines but will not allow water to go back into the lines. You just keep blowing and when all your lines have air bubbles coming out good then cut off the air supply. Then you put the safety cap on the one-way valve for extra protection. I then blow the skimmer line and use a gizmo to plug it up.

    You blow these with compressor by installing a pressure fitting into one of the pump drain holes.

    Then you drain your pump, heater, cleaner etc and you are done.

    I use a small pump on top of the solid safety cover. It turns off and on automatically to keep water drained.

    My pool is 37 years old and my present safety cover is 7 years and no problem.
    Tom

    18 x 36 Grecian Polynesian Fiberglass Walls with Concrete bottom - 3 ft to 9 1/2 ft. deep -
    Hayward Variable Speed Super Pump SP2600VS 1 1/2 True HP,Hayward sand filter S200, and Hayward auto clorinator. Hayward 250,000 natural gas heater. PoolKeeper automatic water leveler. Loop Loc Ultra Solid Safety Cover. Hayward Color Logic 12 volt light. Dual Pool Deck Jets.
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    Re: How low to drain?

    Thanks everyone.

    i think the first answer may be right. I have a ton of trees around my pool so no cover isn't an option. I also don't want to shovel 100 inches of snow off a 24 foot pool (I couldn't even get to the middle) and with 3 months of straight snow cover a pump wouldn't do much good. As far as pillows go, I heAr the "pool pillow" are worthless which is why I ordered the river run things.

    i think I will just drain 6 inches below and if there is a melt day I may just stick the sump pump back in the pool if the water levels get too high. I'll report back how this works.i suppose. Ore than 6 inches below return would be too much of a stretch for the cover.
    24' round above ground 52" vinyl pool - 12690 gallons at 45'' fill.
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix SP1510Z1XEHC (1HP, SP).
    Hayward S180T 150lb Sand Filter.

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    Larryh86GT's Avatar
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    Re: How low to drain?

    Quote Originally Posted by TGMcCallie View Post
    The reason the pool cover states to not drain your pool down too far is: The weight of water will stretch the cover down to meet your water level. this will cause strain on your pool cover causing it not to last as long.

    I filled it back up to the 6" level which for my pool is full. I plugged the outlet and returns with expandable rubber plugs. The cover does appear to be riding better.
    Coleman 16' x 48" power steel pool.

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    Re: How low to drain?

    Similar question. First time closing the pool. The previous owner always lowered the water level 2-3” below the returns. I did the same. However, just not sure if I should be concerned about the automatic safety cover. I haven’t measured how low the water level is from the top of the pool, I’ll try to do that tonight. I have an automatic pump cover.

    Previous owner had the pool for 10 years and always did this and the safety cover was OK. I guess I shouldn’t worry.
    Bill

    14000 Gal, Vinyl Lined Pool, No salt

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