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Thread: How many lower the water level for winter?

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    linda1's Avatar
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    How many lower the water level for winter?

    Or do you leave it and plug skimmer and return? We have very harsh winters and the past two winters I have lowered the water 6 inches below the return. I know I've read that some people leave the water level and I am very tempted to try this approach but nervous that the ice might damage things. Would love the hear what works for you in an area that gets severe winters.
    30 ft. round Conquest agp, 19,800 gal; Pentair Easy Clean 1 hp DE EC60 filter system
    Hayward H250N gas heater; TF100 Test Kit
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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    I've had the pool for 6 (or was it 7?) years, and I have never lowered the water. In fact, (and I know no one is going to like what I say), I even pump the water off the cover into the pool. We run it through a filter first. My well water has a lot of iron, so this is really the only option, aside from sequestrant. Every year when I open the pool, it has been fine, except for leaves and lots of dirt on the bottom. I can't recommend this method, because everyone's pool is different, but all I can say is that it works for me.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    The climate is quite different in NJ than in Western PA. My climate is even more different. If I lived in Westren PA, I would lower the water below the returns religiously. The damage from freezing is real and that's why people do it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    I am in Southeast PA, I lower my water level. I did not lower it one year and water froze in the skimmer. The skimmer cracked and needed replacing and it also dented the wall of the pool where the skimmer is located.
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    We are in central Missouri and have just recently started using skimmer plug and putting a return plug in the returns and have had good luck the last two years doing this. Although last winter was really mild for us. We drain the water out of the pump, filter and all plumbing. This has seemed to help with keeping winter covers on as we have less pull on them since pools remain mostly full. Hope this helps
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    We drain here in Minnesota...we freeze up solid.

    Imo, not worth the risk to not drain if you have a potential for freezing.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    Northern Ontario, cold winters and a lot of snow, I lowered mine last year (by more than 6 inches) and I'll do it again. I don't want snow/ice getting in the return or the skimmer, it will wreck them.
    20' X 54" Sharkline Matrix Resin AGP, 9400 Gallons, Sta-Rite 1 HP Dynamo Pump, 150 lb Pentair Sand Filter, Gorilla Pad,
    Foam Cove, Taylor K-2006 kit, BBB method, 8'X20' Fafco Sunsaver Hard Plumb, DIY Fountain, Margarittaville Fiji


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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    I am in SW Wisconsin...We freeze hard here too, and I drain to about 2 inches below the return (which is even lower on the skimmer)
    33' x 52" Swim and Play Inc. PARAGON AGP. Hayward H200 Heater. Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.5hp pump. Sta-Rite Cristal Flo T-210WF Sand Filter. Stenner 45M5 chlorine pump

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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    18' above ground and live in western NY. Lots of cold and lots of snow. I have an aqua door for the skimmer and a 1.5" plug for the return. I unhook both hoses so no water can stay trapped. I drain the filter and put the pump in the garage. 15+ years this way with no problems
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    I have always drained, but would consider using a skimmer cover if enough people have had good experiences.

    How does the return not get cracked since it would be completely submerged in (frozen) water..?
    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
    Powered by: TFP, PoolMath & TFTestkits

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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    I guess maybe here in Jersey the water doesn't freeze down to the return. This year I am a little worried though, because the eyeball is loose, and when I plug it to clean the filter, it still leaks. I am afraid that come winter, it will leak and freeze, and then crack. Guess I will just have to wait and see. And I am not sure if not draining is a good idea, it might just be that I have been lucky. Although, it would be at least 6 years of luck. I can't advocate not draining, because every pool is different, and every city is different. If you think there is a risk of freezing, drain. I am sure replacing a cracked skimmer, or fixing something because of a freeze is not better than draining.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    Speedo you have to use a plug in the return fitting. We always disconnect any plumbing from the skimmer and return so no water can be trapped in the pump or filter. John you are exactly right every location is unique, the best recommendation is talk to a local pool company and see what they recommend for your area. See if they will explain their procedure for closing and go from there.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    linda1's Avatar
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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    Guess, I will lower the level like years past and play it safe! Thanks for the feed back.
    30 ft. round Conquest agp, 19,800 gal; Pentair Easy Clean 1 hp DE EC60 filter system
    Hayward H250N gas heater; TF100 Test Kit
    2 Fafco 4x20 sunsaver solar bear solar panels
    Dolphin E 10 ~ Zoomerang slide
    Majestic 8000 Above-Ground Pool Step

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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by swimcmp
    Speedo you have to use a plug in the return fitting. We always disconnect any plumbing from the skimmer and return so no water can be trapped in the pump or filter.
    I should have phrased that better, I meant with the plug, wouldn't the "collar" and plug freeze and crack?

    x2 on playing it safe, probably the best and overall easiest way.
    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
    Powered by: TFP, PoolMath & TFTestkits

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    MikeInNH's Avatar
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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    I haven't lowered the last 3 or 4 years. I just plug it all up and remove the equipment & hoses. The pump/filter goes in my basement. I'm still on the original liner. I have seen some ice dig marks above the normal water line, I'd rather have that high then under the water line. The only plastic damage was the plastic butterfly nut on my drain plug broke. Whoopee. Mine freezes solid.
    Mike
    2007 1st full year with AG pool~15k gallons 18'x33' JW
    6/2010 added 2 button Intex SWG-painless except for when reset
    Switched to BBB from Baquacil (couldn't pay me to go back)

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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    I posted a topic about a product that would enable me to avoid draining, but no one has responded with info. Could those of you who have survived winters with a full pool specify what you use to plug the openings?

    If AG, do you still need the pillow under the cover?


    Jess :) from southeastern Indiana, USA
    27' x 54" ~17,600gal AG round
    Waterway Ecco 22", 250# oval sand filter 2.6 SF, 55 GPM
    1.5 hp 1-speed pump
    pool DOB July 2012

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    MikeInNH's Avatar
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    Re: How many lower the water level for winter?

    I use the items in the links below. I still use a pillow. From what I understand it helps with ice relief.
    http://www.namcopool.com/pool/winterizi ... -plug.html
    http://www.namcopool.com/pool/winterizi ... ubber.html
    Mike
    2007 1st full year with AG pool~15k gallons 18'x33' JW
    6/2010 added 2 button Intex SWG-painless except for when reset
    Switched to BBB from Baquacil (couldn't pay me to go back)

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