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Thread: First time pool owner, couple of questions as we get into fall/winter...

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    First time pool owner, couple of questions as we get into fall/winter...

    Please bear with me since this is my first house with a pool. I've been running my pool pump for 10 hours a day this summer and from everything I've read (and been told) I can reduce the pump run time for fall and winter, correct? Here are my other questions:

    1) If I reduce my pump run time, I'm assuming I will also need to increase my salt cell production percentage to keep my FC at my target level of 5? At 10 hours of run time and sufficient salt levels I can run my salt cell at 35% and keep the FC around 5.

    2) How long each day should I run my pump during fall and winter (I live in South Louisiana and it doesn't get extremely cold here)?

    3) What is the reason for being able to run your pump for less hours a day in the fall/winter? Is it just because it's colder outside and bacteria tends not to thrive as well?

    4) Can I just maintain my pool through winter without actually "closing" it, since we have a spa and may want to use it during that time? Seems like a lot of works to close and "winterize" a pool if I can just maintain it through winter with minimal maintenance and cleaning.
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, couple of questions as we get into fall/winter...

    No reason to winterize your pool in LA. If you do get a couple nights of freezing temps, just run the pump. Even then, unless it lasts for more than a whole day, not likely to cause any freezing damage.

    You can run a pump as little as 2 hours per day and maintain sanitation. Is your pump VS or single speed? If single speed, I'd run the pump for as short as required to maintain FC, with your SWG running at 100%. If VS or low-speed, then I'd still run high on the SWG output, 80% or so, but maybe run a little longer. In either case, split your run times up into a couple sessions rather than all at once to stabilize FC and skimming action. It will take some continual adjustment as water temps drop, sun exposure decreases...

    You're able to run less in the fall/winter/spring because the water is typically lower temperatures and the pool is getting less direct sunlight. This decreases the chlorine demand on the pool. There is also less organic material from wind, bugs, etc. in cooler months.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, couple of questions as we get into fall/winter...

    This is also were keeping a log of your test results will come in handy. You will start to see less demand for FC as the temps fall (IF they ever do this year )

    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit, Become a TFP supporter!

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, couple of questions as we get into fall/winter...

    Cajun,

    You might want to keep in mind that most SWGs don't work when the water temperature gets below about 50 to 55 degrees. You might want to check the specs on yours to see if, or when, it will turn off. During this time you will just have to manually add bleach to keep the FC up. During the winter months the FC will not burn off very fast, so it does not require much bleach.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2.

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    Re: First time pool owner, couple of questions as we get into fall/winter...

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    No reason to winterize your pool in LA. If you do get a couple nights of freezing temps, just run the pump. Even then, unless it lasts for more than a whole day, not likely to cause any freezing damage.

    You can run a pump as little as 2 hours per day and maintain sanitation. Is your pump VS or single speed? If single speed, I'd run the pump for as short as required to maintain FC, with your SWG running at 100%. If VS or low-speed, then I'd still run high on the SWG output, 80% or so, but maybe run a little longer. In either case, split your run times up into a couple sessions rather than all at once to stabilize FC and skimming action. It will take some continual adjustment as water temps drop, sun exposure decreases...

    You're able to run less in the fall/winter/spring because the water is typically lower temperatures and the pool is getting less direct sunlight. This decreases the chlorine demand on the pool. There is also less organic material from wind, bugs, etc. in cooler months.
    Hey thanks for the advice! I think last winter here in Louisiana, it only got below freezing (below 32) maybe once or twice (if I remember correctly) and it was only during the night. My plan was to do exactly what you mentioned, if they were predicted an overnight freeze, I was just going to keep the pump running.

    Is it consider bad to run your salt cell at 100%? I know this is probably a silly question, but I only run mine at 35%-50% usually.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    Cajun,

    You might want to keep in mind that most SWGs don't work when the water temperature gets below about 50 to 55 degrees. You might want to check the specs on yours to see if, or when, it will turn off. During this time you will just have to manually add bleach to keep the FC up. During the winter months the FC will not burn off very fast, so it does not require much bleach.

    Jim R.
    Thanks Jim, I'll check with the manufacturer!
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, couple of questions as we get into fall/winter...

    There may be exceptions, but most salt cells that I know of are always running at 100% when it's on... Let me clarify as that probably sounds ridiculous. When you set your cell to 35%, what the cell actually does is run at 100% output for 35% of the time. The cell cycles on (100%) and off (0%) rather than being set to a specific amperage output of 35% of max. You can check your owners manual for the SWG to verify, but it may not be that specific unless you contact support and ask them directly.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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