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Thread: To close or not to close

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Temecula, CA
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    122

    To close or not to close

    Hi all,

    I live in Southern California and I have posted here once before. One person told me that I don't "need" to worry about closing since our temps don't get down too low. My hubby, who has left the pool maintenance to me, wants me to stop filling the pool (I have a lot of evaporation) and close the pool to save money.

    I have read the site about the work involved in closing the pool, as well we only have a solar cover and not a winter cover or anything, and frankly, I'm wondering if it's worth it.

    His two main concerns are that I have to run the pump/sweeper every day (electricity costs!) and fill the pool (not quite daily but every week at least) since it seems (and I'm still learning here) that the water has to be a certain level for the pump to work correctly (no jokes please. lol). So, to him, I'm wasting water and electricity when we aren't even using it. (We bought the house with the pool, he did not particularly want a pool in the first place.)

    Can you give me some good reasons to tell him why I *shouldn't* close the pool? Is it mostly that I am shying away from the work that I will have to learn (there's a lot to be done) or is it actually cost effective not to close it? Can anyone give me benefits/ negatives to closing it so that I might bring those arguments back to him? Certainly my head would tell me to close it since we will not use it (no heater in pool).

    Any help or comments or advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm a newb and certainly new to having a pool in CA. In Washington we had to close ours every year so that was my experience too.

    Thanks
    Anne
    Temecula, CA
    16X32 (approx) 20k gal, DE filter, IG, plaster/pebble with diving board & slide
    Whisperflo pump; Pentair SMBW 4000 Series filter... that's all I know! Still learning....

  2. Back To Top    #2
    benavidescj's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    Fleming Island, FL
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    431

    Re: To close or not to close

    Unfortunately it is a personal preference. I do not close mine. I live in Florida. The costs associated with closing would be the cost of the cover. In your case you already have a solar cover and may get away with adding a bunch of chlorine then putting the cover on. Not sure if the chlorine will last till the Spring with a solar cover. Maybe an expert here can chime in. Your husband is correct that the alternative is to leave it open but you would have to keep water in it unless you have a bottom return and can shut off the skimmers. Not sure I would do this because you might get rings in the pool where ever the water line sits. If you leave it open I would recommend keeping the water line where it should be.
    Carlos
    Pool: 28,000 gallons IG; IC 40 SWG; Pentair 120 gpm cartridge filter; Marble finish; Pentair Wisperflow 1.5 hp; Polaris 360
    Spa: 350 gallon; Bromine
    How to shock your pool

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    SW Indiana
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    Re: To close or not to close

    If your water doesn't drop to 60 degrees F or below, you will almost certainly have algae unless you are able to circulate the water and chlorinate. The pool will turn into a nasty mess, and there are very likely local laws against allowing stagnant pools. You'd have to install a solid winter cover to have any hope of being able to close.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
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    12,082

    Re: To close or not to close

    Quote Originally Posted by grrltraveler
    His two main concerns are that I have to run the pump/sweeper every day (electricity costs!) and fill the pool (not quite daily but every week at least) since it seems (and I'm still learning here) that the water has to be a certain level for the pump to work correctly (no jokes please. lol). So, to him, I'm wasting water and electricity when we aren't even using it. (We bought the house with the pool, he did not particularly want a pool in the first place.)
    If you use a pool cover, then the amount of water lost from evaporation should be very low, especially if you stop heating the pool. If you are adding a lot of water to the pool, then you might have a leak and can do Leak Detection to be sure.

    You should be able to lower your pump run time at least in half if not less (I cut mine to 1/4 turnover) and the sweeper may only need to be run once a week. That's pretty much what I do for my pool in the off-season. If your pump has more than one speed, you can use a lower speed which will be much lower cost. Before I got my IntelliFlo VF variable speed pump my off-season electricity cost for 5 months was $250 at 32 cents per kilowatt-hour marginal electricity rate. Though high, it's a lot lower than my 7-month summer season which was more than $1500. Now with my variable speed pump my winter season is $70 and my summer season is around $750.

    You could also try something extreme where you only run the pump for a day or two each week and only for a couple of hours each time. So long as you keep chlorine in the pool and the water stays cool you could fend off algae. If you had 50 ppm Borates in your pool, that would help prevent algae as would using PolyQuat 60 algaecide every few weeks (assuming it breaks down more slowly in cooler water), but this is extra cost and is probably not necessary if you keep chlorine in the pool (i.e. it's insurance in case you forget or the infrequent circulation causes any opportunities for growth). The pool water temperature will usually be a little above the average day/night temperature so for November through March this would be (based on this link) 59ºF, 53ºF, 53ºF, 55ºF, 57ºF. Algae can still grow slowly at these temps so you'll still need to keep chlorine in the pool, but the chlorine should last much longer and you'll probably be able to add it weekly instead of daily.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    East Texas
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    Re: To close or not to close

    Use the approach my wife used on me. She wants to be able to enjoy the "view" of the pool instead of a covered big blue/black/green blob in the yard. You should have plenty of days where you can enjoy gatherings around it even though you don't get in. I'm gonna take a shot at leaving it open/uncovered for my first year with it anyhow. Since I do all the work.........next year it's MY decision based on this winters' results.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
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  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Georgia
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    317

    Re: To close or not to close

    Here are costs for this area. Based on 9.3 cents per kw.


    Cost to run 1hp pump
    230v @7.3 amp =1679/1000 = 1.679 kw/h x $.093 = $0.156 per hour
    15 cents per hour for 4 hours (or less) average during the off season =60 cents/day for 30 days = $18 per month

    $38 per month during the Swim season.

    cost to run 3/4 hp booster pump for cleaner for 2 hours/day average
    14 cents per hour for 2 hours each day is 28 cents per day or $8.40 per month.

    Cost to run SWCG during off season when used:
    230v x 1 amp /1000 = 0.23 x .094 =0.022 or 2.2 cents/hr for 2 hour or 5 cents/day or $1.50 per month
    or $5.28 /month during the swim season.

    Total cost of $52/month to operate pool during the swim season.
    $28/month in the off season.

    Heat Pump
    7kw/hr x $.093 = $.065 per hour for 8 hours = 5.20 per day = $156/month.
    poolschoolgrad

    20x40 free-form IG vinyl, 1hp Hayward superpump, Hayward pro grid DE filter, Raypak heatpump, Goldline Aquarite SWCG, Polaris 280 with booster, and tested using a Taylor K2006.

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