Yep, sad but true, we haven't been able to swim in our pool since the first week of August when the hoses blew off and we had to replace so much water with that cold well water. The night temps remained low enough that we could not catch up past the mid to high 70s in the pool and we are all so spoiled on the mid 80s temps, we won't swim in colder (except at the beginning of the season) If we had not lost and replaced all that water, we would still have been swimming but ce la vie.
So, I have been cleaning faithfully and so forth, but with some VERY cold night temps headed our way this week (low 40s upper 30s!) we pulled the steps out, cleaned the bottom well and shocked the pool way up there, and are holding shock levels - I put the leaf net on for now. When we drain down below the skimmer/return we will put our winter cover on, replace the leaf net until the leaves are done dropping, remove/store that and be done for the year. I expect our water temps will be down in the upper 50s soon so the super shock, drain, polyquat, winter cover thing is lurking near. This is always sad for me, but thats life in the great north.
After all these years of draining below the skimmer/returns and refilling/topping off in the spring, I would like to consider covering the skimmer with an aqua door or some type of winter cover/plate and plugging the return this year, but am so afraid of cracks, leaks, freeze damages. I have never seen anyone with real freezing weather like we get (sometimes down to 35 below F, 65below wind chills) talk about leaving the water in to fill and covering/capping the skimmer, etc. Anyone in a REAL winter type situation have experience with these on an AG pool?