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Thread: New Salt Water Pool Owner with questions about running through the winter

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    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Prosperity, SC
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    New Salt Water Pool Owner with questions about running through the winter

    We just had our pool installed a couple of months ago and I have been using the PoolMath calculator to maintain my pool. It has been awesome once I got all of the levels balanced and I have had basically zero chemistry type maintenance the 2 months of hot weather we got to use it. My question is now is what do I do this winter? We plan on keeping the pool running all winter and not "shutting it down". We will not be swimming in it because we have no heater but I don't really want the hassle of starting it back up in the spring. It is vinyl liner pool located in South Carolina. The water temperature is now about 72 degrees. Typically we can swim again in April. Obviously since it has cooled off some, my free chlorine levels are pretty high 12.5. I never got FC exactly dialed in as they were always in the 9-10 range in summer. I kept making small adjustments to the SWG percentage and the pump run time. I was down to 8 hours a day of pump time and my swg set at about 45% when I got the 9-10 FC readings.

    So with the 12.5 FC that I had today, should I dial the SWG back to about 25% and the pump down to about 6 hours a day? That is what I did before posting.

    How is the best way to run the pool all winter and not have any problems in the spring? Will high FC damage the pool in any way?

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    May 2015
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Re: New Salt Water Pool Owner with questions about running through the winter

    What's your CYA level? If you're following TFP recommended levels than 12.5ppm FC is not big deal. Your pool is fine.

    As for pump settings, I leave my pool running all winter too and, when it's cold out, all I need is 2 hours of pump time per day at the most. The SWG will stop running once the water temp goes below the cold water cutoff limit (all manufacturers are slightly different) with my Pentair IntelliChlor shutting off at about 62F. Once the water temp goes below 70F, the efficiency of the chlorine production process drops. So, once winter sets in, you'll need to manually chlorinate your pool with bleach. No big deal though as your FC loss rate per day will be so low that, if your pool is anything like mine in the winter, it will only require a bleach addition about once per week or two. Acid demand will be lower as well.

    As for your current pump setting, it saves the most money to reduce pump run time. I leave my SWG output fixed and just adjust my pump runtime. Once I hit my 2hrs/day limit (for filtration and cleaning), I then start to reduce the SWG output %. Give your pool a day or two between testing as the it takes a lot longer for changes in the SWG settings to show up as FC changes.
    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, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Jul 2016
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    Prosperity, SC
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    Re: New Salt Water Pool Owner with questions about running through the winter

    Sorry. Here are my current levels
    Ph - 7.8
    Ta - 70
    Ch - 60
    Cya - 75
    Fc - 12.5

    The most troubling part for me is making these small adjustments. I work out of town 4 days a week and I am scared to make many adjustments when I am not around to monitor the effects. My pool is 18,900 gallons. How much bleach do you think I will need to add in the winter. Being a new owner, I did not know I would be doing that in the winter but I guess it makes sense since the SWG will quit working a certain temp. Thanks for your detailed reply.

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    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    Re: New Salt Water Pool Owner with questions about running through the winter

    PoolMath will tell you how much bleach to put in. Just put some extra before you leave. During winter FC usage goes way down. If you have a pool cover that will make it go down even more.
    13k Pebbletec Pool/Spa, Hayward Ecostar, SGS Breeze 540 SWG, Pentair C&C 420 cartridge, Pentair MasterTemp Heater, Caretaker system, TF-100 & Taylor K1766 test kits

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    May 2015
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    Re: New Salt Water Pool Owner with questions about running through the winter

    Last winter I think I used a total of 3-4 gallons of bleach over 4+ months. It's really very minimal usage when the water is cold. Below 60F, algae reproduction rates plummet to extremely low levels so the only thing affecting chlorine levels is organic load from leaves (minimal) and UV (also minimal in winter time).
    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, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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