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Thread: pool closing: water level full, below skimmer or below returns?

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    pool closing: water level full, below skimmer or below returns?

    I live on Long Island, NY and have gotten many differing opinions from local pool companies on water level for pool closing over the years.

    Some say there is no need to lower the water level. Just blow out and plug return lines, blow out main drains and blow out skimmers with gizmo. They state the positive is the pool cover is supported by the water under it and does not sink in. And my stairs are vinyl and the top steps tends to pull away from the side when the water level is dropped. Stating this is another reason to not lower water...less potential damage to top step.

    Others say just below the skimmer basket to prevent water from freezing in the skimmer and getting into the lines. They still do the same blow out procedure as not lowering the water level.

    And the extra cautious say, lower it below the returns. This would be really low in my pool. Maybe a 50% drain.

    What is recommended for my region of the country?
    38K gal, IG vinyl installed 2005, waterfall with separate pump, 2 skimmer baskets, 3 main drains, both pumps are 2 HP WhisperFlo WFDS-28 2-speed pump, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus CCP-420 420 sqft cartridge filter, AquaHeat LS MBP-150A Heat Pump, Dolphin Triton robot cleaner

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    ship of fools's Avatar
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    Re: pool closing: water level full, below skimmer or below returns?

    Quote Originally Posted by david11050 View Post
    I live on Long Island, NY and have gotten many differing opinions from local pool companies on water level for pool closing over the years.

    Some say there is no need to lower the water level. Just blow out and plug return lines, blow out main drains and blow out skimmers with gizmo. They state the positive is the pool cover is supported by the water under it and does not sink in. And my stairs are vinyl and the top steps tends to pull away from the side when the water level is dropped. Stating this is another reason to not lower water...less potential damage to top step.

    Others say just below the skimmer basket to prevent water from freezing in the skimmer and getting into the lines. They still do the same blow out procedure as not lowering the water level.

    And the extra cautious say, lower it below the returns. This would be really low in my pool. Maybe a 50% drain.

    What is recommended for my region of the country?
    Any of the above will work as long as you do it properly. If you blow out all of the lines and plug them they will be fine. While blowing out the main drain shut the valve and that creates an airlock and that is ok. For the skimmer i put a gizmo in and then pour in pool anti freeze and then stuff in then empty gallon of anti freeze jug to absorb any ice expansion.

    Leaving the water high will prevent the liner from floating
    21,000 gallon inground
    Haywood Sand Filter
    Vinyl Liner

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    Long Island NY
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    Re: pool closing: water level full, below skimmer or below returns?

    Yea you will get a lot of opinions and reasons for closing and doing things a certain way. I also live on LI and this is what I do and why.

    As soon as the leaves start to fall, I put the cover on but keep the pump hooked up and running. I run it about 1 hr a day and keep the FC at the correct level. Less demand on chlorine use when no sun is hitting pool.

    When my water temp is below 55 or so, I shock the pool and a few days later lower the water just below the returns. Blow lines and pull the pump. Being here on LI , We start to get wet weather and the pool starts to fill back up, and that's what I want anyway. I want the water level just below the skimmer mouth before the hard freeze so the ice will support the cover with snow load. Sometimes we will get so much rain, that I will have to use the garden hose siphon method to lower a little more to keep it from going in the skimmer.

    If I didn't lower at all, my pool would always be overflowing, and ice would be spreading in areas that we walk.

    Plus I don't think I would sleep good at night knowing the skimmers are filled with water and a gizzmo is going to save my skimmer boxes in a hard freeze.

    I keep the water out of the skimmers, 1/2 gal in each box along with a plastic jug 1/2 filled with AF.
    For me to replace a cracked skimmer would be very costly and that's why I do what I do.

    Also my returns are 18" below deck to give you an idea on above.
    19,000 gal - Vinyl IG - Sand filter -1.5hp. - Taylor k 2006 - Loop Loc cover

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    Re: pool closing: water level full, below skimmer or below returns?

    Are you closing the pool yourself?

    If not, go with the company that will give you a guarantee in writing that they are responsible for any winter damage and then go with their recommendation about draining.

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    ship of fools's Avatar
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    Re: pool closing: water level full, below skimmer or below returns?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    Are you closing the pool yourself?

    If not, go with the company that will give you a guarantee in writing that they are responsible for any winter damage and then go with their recommendation about draining.
    Do you find companies that make that guarantee?? That is a lot of risk to take on for a closing fee of $150 or whatever they charge and some of it is out of their control.
    21,000 gallon inground
    Haywood Sand Filter
    Vinyl Liner

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    Re: pool closing: water level full, below skimmer or below returns?

    Well, my closing company does. It covers plumbing and equipment. I pay significantly more than $150, though.

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    Re: pool closing: water level full, below skimmer or below returns?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    Are you closing the pool yourself?

    If not, go with the company that will give you a guarantee in writing that they are responsible for any winter damage and then go with their recommendation about draining.
    That may be tough, a new service provider does not know if they are winterizing broken pipes-- unless you pay for them to qualify/p-test pipes.

    Anyways - liner over steps my preferred method is to purge lines with h20 at normal operating level..


    End of summer bummer😞

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