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Thread: Confusing info on water level for pool closing.... clarifications please

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    nachos23's Avatar
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    Question Confusing info on water level for pool closing.... clarifications please

    Hi. looking for clarification on the water level when closing... First time closing myself (I had previous owner's pool company close last yr as it was first yr with a pool).

    I distinctly recall them telling me that they didn't lower the water to below the return jets as mine were installed lower than normal and doing so would reduce the water level too low. You can just see the one jet below water line in left of the pic.

    My system has a main drain going into the strainer and a single line from the strainer to the pump and a single return line to the pool to 2 returns jets. I still have about 4" of water in strainer.

    IMG_20160925_0908487.jpg

    Now the question; In pool school, it indicates that I should lower the water level to 4" below returns; however the pool company that's been servicing this pool for the last 20yrs suggested otherwise as I indicated above.... If I drop the water another 5" it will be just below the return jets, but their caution was too low water will cause liner issues in the spring (not enough water to support liner over winter)... I'm in Toronto, Canada and we can get some nasty winters up here. I'm running a SWG system; not sure if that makes a difference (not that I can imagine, but unsure).

    Any advice? Pool closing obviously started and hoping to finish today... Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Great forum; love the advice provided... Thanks in advance!

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    Re: Confusing info on water level for pool closing.... clarifications please

    Well, we closed the pool. reduced the pool level below the returns, blew out the returns and Capped. Blew out the main drain to make sure it was clear and get some air into the line, added 1 gallon of anti-freeze and applied air until I saw some flowing out the main drain and then capped that. Finally, suctioned out the remaining water from the strainer to the pump line. Added antifreeze to both the return line and skimmer line (about 2L each) and disconnected and drained pump, filter and heater. Now refilling to just below skimmer (to be continued tomorrow) and putting cover and mesh on tomorrow. We'll see in the spring how successful my first closing was.

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    Re: Confusing info on water level for pool closing.... clarifications please

    Quote Originally Posted by nachos23 View Post
    Well, we closed the pool. reduced the pool level below the returns, blew out the returns and Capped. Blew out the main drain to make sure it was clear and get some air into the line, added 1 gallon of anti-freeze and applied air until I saw some flowing out the main drain and then capped that. Finally, suctioned out the remaining water from the strainer to the pump line. Added antifreeze to both the return line and skimmer line (about 2L each) and disconnected and drained pump, filter and heater. Now refilling to just below skimmer (to be continued tomorrow) and putting cover and mesh on tomorrow. We'll see in the spring how successful my first closing was.
    I can't imagine draining the water that far down, i.e. below the return lines. That, for me at least, would be aLOT of water. For one thing, unless you use a solid cover, the water level is going to come back up during the off season anyway...including into the skimmer. I have a mesh cover, and so often have to re-lower the water level (I go down about 3-4 inches below the skimmer) with a cover pump. I do this until I can't anymore (once the pool is frozen). It sounds like you should be fine since you have the returns capped and also added antifreeze. Often by the time spring comes and time to open the pool, my water level is at normal operating level or even higher from all the snow and ice having melted on the cover.
    12,000 gallon gunite, original construction 1989, renovation 2014 using quartz plaster finish

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    Re: Confusing info on water level for pool closing.... clarifications please

    Nacho, my pool co. used the same approach for the same reasons. You should be fine.
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    Re: Confusing info on water level for pool closing.... clarifications please

    Quote Originally Posted by anthonypool89 View Post
    I can't imagine draining the water that far down, i.e. below the return lines. That, for me at least, would be aLOT of water. For one thing, unless you use a solid cover, the water level is going to come back up during the off season anyway...including into the skimmer. I have a mesh cover, and so often have to re-lower the water level (I go down about 3-4 inches below the skimmer) with a cover pump. I do this until I can't anymore (once the pool is frozen). It sounds like you should be fine since you have the returns capped and also added antifreeze. Often by the time spring comes and time to open the pool, my water level is at normal operating level or even higher from all the snow and ice having melted on the cover.
    . If we have a traditional Canadian winter, I too may run into the same scenario. Last winter (my first with the pool, there was virtually no snow and so water level hardly raised and was essentially the same as when they covered in the fall. Next year I will likely not lower the water as I probably replaced 1/4 to 1/3 of the pool water using this method, but it was better safe than sorry this year. Next year may try to do it just blowing the lines and capping while underwater...

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman View Post
    Nacho, my pool co. used the same approach for the same reasons. You should be fine.
    My neighbour uses and suggested this method to be certain he's cleared the return lines prior to bringing level back up. Does consume a lot of water refilling, so may try to do by just lowering below skimmer next year... Poured a 4L jug into the main drain line and used air momentarily until I just saw some blue bleeding from the main drain and stopped the air and capped... hopefully enough anti-freeze to avoid freezing the main drain line....crossing my fingers..

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    Re: Confusing info on water level for pool closing.... clarifications please

    In spring, be sure to pump to waste for a few minutes to get rid of the antifreeze before circulating through the filter. You used RV antifreeze, right? (You said blue and I thought RV was pink.) either way, best to pump it off and not et much into water come spring as it can mess with your testing.
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    Re: Confusing info on water level for pool closing.... clarifications please

    I've been wondering on this as well. My pool company re-closed my pool last year (I had just bought the house and didn't open the pool, but it was done questionably by previous owner, so I had them check the work), and they didn't drain the water even an inch. Capped the return jets, put blow-through gizmos in the strainer lines, and good to go.

    What's the benefit/need behind draining down so low instead of what I described?
    IG Vinyl, free-form 25' x 40', 30,000 gal., Hayward 1-1/2 hp Superpump, Hayward S310T 500lb. Sand filter, AquaLogic T-Cell 15 SWG and Automation, Hayward H300 Milivolt 300k btu NG heater, TF-100 Test Kit w/spinner

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    Re: Confusing info on water level for pool closing.... clarifications please

    Quote Originally Posted by Scout101 View Post
    I've been wondering on this as well. My pool company re-closed my pool last year (I had just bought the house and didn't open the pool, but it was done questionably by previous owner, so I had them check the work), and they didn't drain the water even an inch. Capped the return jets, put blow-through gizmos in the strainer lines, and good to go.

    What's the benefit/need behind draining down so low instead of what I described?
    Some people live in areas where they get a hard freeze and also a lot of rain before freeze up. They don't want the water to rise and fill up the skimmer boxes and be more prone to cracking with a hard freeze. If I didn't lower my level, mine would over flow and areas near the pool would be ice where we walk. I lower to my returns and when it's time to open in the spring the pool is full again from rain and snow melt.

    Everybody's situation isn't the same.
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    Re: Confusing info on water level for pool closing.... clarifications please

    I DO live in a freeze area (New England), but was just questioning the why/benefit of it, as the guide says yes, but the pool guys said no. It seemed to be so you could just blow the lines out easier and ensure they were dry upfront, but with blow-through gizmos, seemed like a non-issue.

    IMO, seems that with rain and snow after closing date, there's going to be a certain amount of refill anyway, so not sure what it's really buying you. Only been in the house for a year, but didn't see any issues with the pool overflowing, and that was with the water level pretty high because the pool had been closed a few years and collecting rain water.
    IG Vinyl, free-form 25' x 40', 30,000 gal., Hayward 1-1/2 hp Superpump, Hayward S310T 500lb. Sand filter, AquaLogic T-Cell 15 SWG and Automation, Hayward H300 Milivolt 300k btu NG heater, TF-100 Test Kit w/spinner

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    Re: Confusing info on water level for pool closing.... clarifications please

    Different water levels for different pool set ups.

    Generally in colder climates at a minimum, it's recommended to drain below the skimmer openings at least. This allows the use of antifreeze in the skimmer bucket area, the most vulnerable part of the pool to isolated freeze expansion. Gizmo devices and simply putting a plastic bottle in the skimmer can help this area as well.

    Draining below the returns reduces risk of expansion damage to return fittings. Some pools with lower height returns, this is not feasible or practical. Lowering water below returns also eliminates risk of return plugs leaking, allowing water into return lines and freezing, then causing damage.

    Some pools, such as those with autocovers, are recommended to be close with water still at skimmer level. This is necessary to support the weight of the autocover, prevent damage to it. In this case, covers are usually put over the skimmer openings then the skimmers, returns are still blown out. This also requires a cover pump until fully frozen and in the spring when thawing begins.
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    Re: Confusing info on water level for pool closing.... clarifications please

    thank you, that helps
    IG Vinyl, free-form 25' x 40', 30,000 gal., Hayward 1-1/2 hp Superpump, Hayward S310T 500lb. Sand filter, AquaLogic T-Cell 15 SWG and Automation, Hayward H300 Milivolt 300k btu NG heater, TF-100 Test Kit w/spinner

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