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Thread: Pool company closing?

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    JohnA902's Avatar
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    Pool company closing?

    What's the harm in having a pool company do my blowouts and winter chemistry? All summer I did it myself with simply bleach and acid and it was incredible. If I hand things over to the company to close won't I just be able to get it back to normal next spring when it opens? I have a porous lur lock cover.

    Thoughts ?

    John


    27,000 gal concrete rectangle, built Oct '15, DE filter, Jandy PHPM 1.5 HP, Hayward HP21104T heat pump, TF-100

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Pool company closing?

    There's nothing wrong with it as long as they don't add chemicals that your pool doesn't need. If they can supply you with an exact list of the closing chemistry they use, then ok. You want to avoid a company that just throws in lots of shocks (adds CYA) and/or metal-based algaecides (copper). The closing chemistry method we teach in Pool School is intended to do the least amount of harm to your water chemistry so that opening up in the spring is easier.

    Also, we recommend you wait until your water temp is consistently below 60F before you close. In many parts of the eastern US, that puts closing way past the time that most companies will schedule for (since many of them are seasonal and close up for the winter). So if you follow that recommendation, you may not find a closing company that is willing to wait that long.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    There's nothing wrong with it as long as they don't add chemicals that your pool doesn't need. If they can supply you with an exact list of the closing chemistry they use, then ok. You want to avoid a company that just throws in lots of shocks (adds CYA) and/or metal-based algaecides (copper). The closing chemistry method we teach in Pool School is intended to do the least amount of harm to your water chemistry so that opening up in the spring is easier.

    Also, we recommend you wait until your water temp is consistently below 60F before you close. In many parts of the eastern US, that puts closing way past the time that most companies will schedule for (since many of them are seasonal and close up for the winter). So if you follow that recommendation, you may not find a closing company that is willing to wait that long.
    So are you saying that a balanced pool can go right into the closing procedure? I assumed I would need more than just my normal since the chlorine would probably be gone within a week and then all winter would be like pond water.

    I certainly wouldn't want them to add things that aren't necessary.

    So I'm thinking simply a slammed pool going into 60 degree water temps is enough to keep things steady all winter?


    27,000 gal concrete rectangle, built Oct '15, DE filter, Jandy PHPM 1.5 HP, Hayward HP21104T heat pump, TF-100

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnA902 View Post
    So are you saying that a balanced pool can go right into the closing procedure? I assumed I would need more than just my normal since the chlorine would probably be gone within a week and then all winter would be like pond water.

    I certainly wouldn't want them to add things that aren't necessary.

    So I'm thinking simply a slammed pool going into 60 degree water temps is enough to keep things steady all winter?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yes, the method we advocate has you basically raise your FC up to SLAM levels, get everything balanced and then close it. Below 60F algae reproduction rates become negligible and water chemistry changes very slowly. The members here that follow the closing procedures laid out in Pool School close a pool that is clean and clear and, very often, open to a pool that is equally clean and clear. Very often, there is no need to SLAM the pool in the Spring when opening. Simply raise the FC up, check the water with an OCLT and then balance & swim...well, ok, no swimming in 60F water unless you're a member of the polar bear club.

    People open to green pools because they either did not get their FC high enough to eradicate everything prior to closing, they closed too early while the water was warm enough to grow algae or the they opened too late which also allowed algae to grow (or some combination of those factors).

    Just as an example, my pool remains open all winter and, when the water temp drops below 60F, my SWG's COLD WATER cut-off kicks on. I then have to manually chlorinate my pool. Last year, I used exactly four 121oz bottles of 8.25% Clorox in my pool all winter (Dec-Mar). The FC loss rate is almost immeasurably low when the water temp drops below 55F.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Yes, the method we advocate has you basically raise your FC up to SLAM levels, get everything balanced and then close it. Below 60F algae reproduction rates become negligible and water chemistry changes very slowly. The members here that follow the closing procedures laid out in Pool School close a pool that is clean and clear and, very often, open to a pool that is equally clean and clear. Very often, there is no need to SLAM the pool in the Spring when opening. Simply raise the FC up, check the water with an OCLT and then balance & swim...well, ok, no swimming in 60F water unless you're a member of the polar bear club.

    People open to green pools because they either did not get their FC high enough to eradicate everything prior to closing, they closed too early while the water was warm enough to grow algae or the they opened too late which also allowed algae to grow (or some combination of those factors).

    Just as an example, my pool remains open all winter and, when the water temp drops below 60F, my SWG's COLD WATER cut-off kicks on. I then have to manually chlorinate my pool. Last year, I used exactly four 121oz bottles of 8.25% Clorox in my pool all winter (Dec-Mar). The FC loss rate is almost immeasurably low when the water temp drops below 55F.
    Wow! Makes sense.

    But... Even with a "mesh" loop loc cover? Rain water and sunlight get through.


    27,000 gal concrete rectangle, built Oct '15, DE filter, Jandy PHPM 1.5 HP, Hayward HP21104T heat pump, TF-100

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnA902 View Post
    Wow! Makes sense.

    But... Even with a "mesh" loop loc cover? Rain water and sunlight get through.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yes. My pool is completely uncovered and open to winter's sunlight and the loss rates are still immeasurably low. Your loop-loc mesh cover will partially occlude sunlight making it such that less light gets to the pool. As for rain and snow melt, that will simply raise your water level that might require additional draining. It will dilute chemicals a little bit but not really enough to matter. Most rain water is mildly acidic and has almost no alkalinity to it so there's no a lot it's really going to do. People that close their pools with a tight cover generally do not add any chemicals so their FC is gone well before Spring time ever arrives. However, with low water temperatures, nothing really grows. A dark pool is certainly better for limiting algae growth than a partially open mesh covered pool, but temperature is really the dominant factor in the winter, not light.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    I use a service to close my pool, however, I do my own chemicals.

    I wait for under 60 degree water temps, bring FC to slam/shock level, check and make sure everything is good, add "visible algae dosage" of polyquat, and then bring FC back to slam/shock level, and close. Some people skip the final re-add to shock level. I work backwards, timing-wise with my closing date.

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    I use a service to close my pool, however, I do my own chemicals.

    I wait for under 60 degree water temps, bring FC to slam/shock level, check and make sure everything is good, add "visible algae dosage" of polyquat, and then bring FC back to slam/shock level, and close. Some people skip the final re-add to shock level. I work backwards, timing-wise with my closing date.
    Why polyquat? Do you add that routinely?


    27,000 gal concrete rectangle, built Oct '15, DE filter, Jandy PHPM 1.5 HP, Hayward HP21104T heat pump, TF-100

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    I open clear and balanced, and only have to scoop up a little debris.

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    I open clear and balanced, and only have to scoop up a little debris.
    I was just wondering why polyquat. I meant "routinely" as in do you add that all summer? Does polyquat last long during winter to suppress algae?

    Seems like cold water temp is enough?

    (I'm just trying to piece together a plan)

    Thanks!


    27,000 gal concrete rectangle, built Oct '15, DE filter, Jandy PHPM 1.5 HP, Hayward HP21104T heat pump, TF-100

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    I never add polyquat during the season. I only use it at closing to help discourage algae. It will drop your FC, so that is why I bump it back up. Like I said, some people don't bother raising FC back to shock/slam levels as it breaks down fairly quickly.

    - - - Updated - - -

    You have the same size pool as I do. I use 1-1/2Q of polyquat, around $30. I never tried without it, and if it ain't broke....

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    Polyquat is just meant to act as "insurance". The best way to use it would be to SLAM your pool before closing and then let the FC drift down naturally (but this does take a LOOOOOONG time when the water is colder). Then add the PolyQuat when the FC goes below 10ppm. Chlorine will cleave and oxidize polyquat BUT, unlike linear quat algaecides, the polyquat fragments still have algaecidal properties.

    This article in Pool School is all the plan you need - Pool School - Closing an In Ground Pool
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    Matt, since polyquat will lower FC, why wait for FC to drop before adding the polyquat? Not challenging, just wanting your opinion.

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    Matt, since polyquat will lower FC, why wait for FC to drop before adding the polyquat? Not challenging, just wanting your opinion.
    At high FC, the Polyquat is pretty strongly degraded. So essentially you're adding the Polyquat only to have the chlorine destroy it. It still works, sort of, as an algaecide but nowhere near as effectively as when chlorine has not reacted with it. You could add the Polyquat, being down the FC faster with it then add more Polyquat and close. Just seems like a lot of wasted Polyquat to me.

    Honestly speaking, I don't ever close my pool so it's an entirely academic discussion for me. If what you're doing works, don't change it. I think the consensus opinion among the TFP illuminati is that temperature is the primary determinant for a successful closing/opening. That magical 60F makes all the difference....
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    See post 18-20 I am a stranger at the pool store

    Richard also said this: "They also told me that when chlorine oxidizes Polyquat into smaller pieces, they are still fairly effective. They just won't act as much like a clarifier, but can still inhibit algae growth."

    - - - Updated - - -

    Cross-post. Reading your reply now.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Temperature is key for both closing and opening!!!

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    Ah another great chem geek post!! I'll have to bookmark that one.

    They define "shock level" as 5-10ppm without reference to CYA so my guess is what they consider a shock level and what TFP uses are very different. I think at SLAM levels of FC, PQ is going to be severely degraded but I'd really have to go look at the literature on it. It is still a very good algaecide to use either way and I think what you're doing is fine, I'm just one who always tweaks things a bit.

    For better or worse, my mantra in life is - "If it ain't broke, then you haven't "fixed it" enough yet...."
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    Sorry for the side-track. Good luck, JohnA, and please try to wait for those cooler water temps before you close!

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    And by the way, try to keep the leaves and other debris off that mesh cover when weather permits. Otherwise it can act as a tea bag for your pool and bring tannic acid and other organics into your water. My neighbor has a mesh cover and never cleans off the cover. He has opened brown...

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnA902 View Post
    I was just wondering why polyquat. I meant "routinely" as in do you add that all summer? Does polyquat last long during winter to suppress algae?

    Seems like cold water temp is enough?

    (I'm just trying to piece together a plan)

    Thanks!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    As mentioned, cold water is the key. The longer you can hold off closing and the earlier you can open the better your chances are to clear water. The last several years upon opening I've still had 3-4ppm chlorine in the water as the cold slowed the FC consumption down so much it held over the winter. About 4 years ago the east coast had an abnormally warm winter though and the water temps were high enough the chlorine was consumed by mid-Febuary. Having Polyquat algacide in the water here made it very difficult for algae to grow even with no chlorine in the water. You never can predict what Mother Nature will bring from year to year and PolyQuat is a cheap insurance to help open clear.

    If it were me.......I would follow TFP's guides to closing and do all the chemicals yourself. Then let them handle the equipment and plumbing tasks with the clear direction that they don't add ANYTHING to your water.

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    Re: Pool company closing?

    So an update as I've looked into this.

    The company's package that seems most appropriate is an open/close where I do the chemicals and the cover and they do the lines, filter and plugs. That is $725. Bare bones package.

    Of note I asked what's in their "winter kit" and they said "stain and scale", algaecide and a floating "calcium based chlorine" that won't stain the plaster if spilled. If they add this and do the cover its $1075! Wow! Ha

    So my plan is now:

    Wait for water to get to 60 degrees.
    SLAM
    let chlorine come back to normal
    Add PQ
    have company come blow the lines and deal with the DE filter and add AF.
    Cover it myself.


    My only concern is the waiting for 60 degrees. When the pool was closed last year in mid November it was so much work with leaves. If I close with 70 degree water earlier won't it just be a greener ugly mess that can easily be fixed with bleach next spring? Or is the goal of the 60 to maybe even keep it clear all winter? My confusion is that MD winters are a joke. We freeze but then it can be 70 outside the next week. I don't want to struggle with an extra month of maintaining a non swimable pool (cold) when I'm going to SLAM in early spring anyway.


    27,000 gal concrete rectangle, built Oct '15, DE filter, Jandy PHPM 1.5 HP, Hayward HP21104T heat pump, TF-100

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