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Thread: question on winter operations for inground w spillway Texas

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    question on winter operations for inground w spillway Texas

    All,

    This is my first year owning a pool specs are below. My question is we have a spa that is a spillway into the pool, so we can't close the pool if we want to use the spa (or maybe I am wrong, but don't think so). What do I need to do, if anything in prep for winter. I am in the DFW (sothern suburbs) area and there is a mix of folks who close their pools and folks who don't of course the winter is very short and sometimes is not much of a winter at all.
    So if I plan on using the spa in Dec/Jan/Feb etc...is it just operations as normal? Can someone help with advice?

    Thank you...
    IG, Gunitie/Plaster (darker blue "lagoon" color), Jandy 1400 SWG (with inline chlorinator option), Jandy AquaLink System w/ 2 HP pump motor, 20,000-23,000 gals, spillway from spa to pool runs when pump is on, waterfall feature and bubbler on tanning ledge, pool is in full sun all day (Dallas Texas), Polaris automatic cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: question on winter operations for inground w spillway Te

    I actually have the same question, so I'm hoping someone answers.

    My plan is to close, but not cover the pool. Then make sure all the numbers are in spec at least a week prior to when I plan on using the spa.

    I do have the luxury of being able to set the valves so that all the water is only flowing to/from the spa.
    --------
    10k-18k gallon Gunite pool Approximately 4-6 years old
    Blue Haven built w/ all Blue Haven equipment
    Barracuda G2 'pool boy'

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    Re: question on winter operations for inground w spillway Te

    Most if not all people in Texas keep their in ground pool running year round.

    People do decrease their pool run times since its not as hot but aside from that its business as usual.

    Personally I just kick on the spa an hour before I want to use it and its ready when I get in.

    Also your system should have a freeze guard and that will kick the pumps on if temps get close to freezing.
    21,000 gallon pool w/spa, Pebble Sheen, Hayward EcoStar variable speed filter pump, Hayward DE6020 Filter, Hayward 400FDN Heater, Stenner pump with 15 gallon tank, Clear O3 ozone system, Hayward Goldline PS-8 controller, Hayward 6060 cleaner pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, Hayward EcoStar variable speed water feature pump.

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    nutjob's Avatar
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    Re: question on winter operations for inground w spillway Te

    North of Dallas here and we keep it open year round. If we want to do some winter hot tubbing we just fire it up like Cajun and step in after an hour. Or if we want to burn through a lot of money we heat the pool itself.

    The system automatically runs the water features and main pool/spa pumps when the air temperature drops below 39F. That's all the freeze protection you need in this area.
    I laughto disguise the tears.
    Size 15,000 gal 510′ | Filtration DE 48′ | Sanitation SWG+O₃ | Placement in-ground (IG) | Finish pebble
    Pumps Intelliflo VS+SVRS main WhisperFlo WF-28 feature | Location Dallas TX US (33N 97W)

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    Re: question on winter operations for inground w spillway Te

    Keep your pool open, keep chemicals in it, and amke sure that the pump is running during times that it is expected to freeze.

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    Re: question on winter operations for inground w spillway Te

    thanks all....i believe i will leave it running....there is a freeze sensor on it as well....I do also believe that my valves will run just the spa itself, but wasn't sure how to close the pool side and keep spa running....I believe I will just do like u suggest and keep chems in it and keep it running.....

    One question though, should I decrease my pump time and how much, right now I am at 10-6PM....should I expect different readings with cooler water. I know it is still in the 90's, but since the overnights have cooled a bit I have noticed my water temp drop from low 90's to 85 this weekend. Also, how often to shock in winter time....thanks again all
    IG, Gunitie/Plaster (darker blue "lagoon" color), Jandy 1400 SWG (with inline chlorinator option), Jandy AquaLink System w/ 2 HP pump motor, 20,000-23,000 gals, spillway from spa to pool runs when pump is on, waterfall feature and bubbler on tanning ledge, pool is in full sun all day (Dallas Texas), Polaris automatic cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: question on winter operations for inground w spillway Te

    If your pool has automated valves there should be one on the suction side and one on the return side. When you set the system for spa mode it should turn both these valves and now you are only filtering, heating and chlorinating the spa. Pool water is not being circulated at all.

    Once you put the system back in pool mode your spa waterfall will be as normal and you will now be filtering and chlorinating your entire pool and spa. For pool mode think of your pool and spa as one large body of water. The only drains in use for pool mode are the pool floor grains and pool skimmers. Water is still pumed to the spa but since the spa drains are off this is what causes the waterfall.

    Because of this you can't leave the pool in spa mode all winter or the pool itself would turn green and the spa would be clear. Now as for when to run the pool and how long. Starting in mid-late October you probally can cut your runtime down 25-50%. I know that's a big range but it varies, cut it by a couple hours and as long as things stay in check you can lower it more if you like. Some people also set their pool to run at night during the winter since in Texas that's when the temps might get below freezing anyway so they figure if its going to run at night (due to temps) I may as well just set it to run at night so it's not running night and day.

    You should never have to shock your pool. You may have to add bleach in the winter since the swg isn't effective below a certian temp (I think under 65 deg).
    21,000 gallon pool w/spa, Pebble Sheen, Hayward EcoStar variable speed filter pump, Hayward DE6020 Filter, Hayward 400FDN Heater, Stenner pump with 15 gallon tank, Clear O3 ozone system, Hayward Goldline PS-8 controller, Hayward 6060 cleaner pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, Hayward EcoStar variable speed water feature pump.

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    Re: question on winter operations for inground w spillway Te

    One thing I will add since my pool and spa is set up the same way. Like most of the others have mentioned, I run the pool year round. In the summer filer run time is about 12 hours, about 10 hours in spring and fall, down to 6 hours in the winter. Polaris run time may add some time to that if it runs outside of the normal circulation hours.
    In the winter after using the spa I try to remember to put it back into pool mode and circulate for an hour or so. I find that using the spa the chlorine is used up during one session and in order to prevent algae I need to either circulate out the used water or add a half cup or so of bleach. The heat and bubbles and more bodies per square foot runs up the pH and uses up the chlorine. Too many times I went out the next day only to find a tinge of green in the spa. Now I just take care of it as we exit the pool area.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: question on winter operations for inground w spillway Te

    Cajun,

    Great stuff, thank you. Yes my two valves turn automatically from pool mode to spa mode as you decribed. I do plan on running it all year after reading all of these posts, however, I have a curiosity question. You mentioned that if you left it is spa mode all winter the pool would turn green, and I get that. However, what is the difference from closing a pool down for the winter and just closing the pool side down for the winter....and could you not just "close" the "pool side" for the winter and only use the spa. I guess what I am asking is what is the difference from closing a pool and just closing a "pool side" of a pool?

    Again, i am going to leave it open thanks to you and amona as well as others great advice.
    IG, Gunitie/Plaster (darker blue "lagoon" color), Jandy 1400 SWG (with inline chlorinator option), Jandy AquaLink System w/ 2 HP pump motor, 20,000-23,000 gals, spillway from spa to pool runs when pump is on, waterfall feature and bubbler on tanning ledge, pool is in full sun all day (Dallas Texas), Polaris automatic cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: question on winter operations for inground w spillway Te

    I guess you could do what you described but you would need to be aware of a few things.

    - Texas is hot, even in the winter, higher temps with no water movement meens more chance of algae. To put this in perspective a mild Texas winter is similar to a summer in Canada.
    - you would need to reprogram your freeze guard to never activate pool mode. Most are programmed to alter from one to the other every few minutes when in freeze protect mode.
    - you should blow out and cap all the lines to and from the pool.
    - you can't really winterize your equipment since you need it for your spa. (If you had a separate water feature pump you could completely drain that and winterize it.)

    I'll have to defer to those up north but I think the main reason they do a pool closing is to prevent equipment damage from longterm freezing temps and not so much because they think its less work or saves money.
    21,000 gallon pool w/spa, Pebble Sheen, Hayward EcoStar variable speed filter pump, Hayward DE6020 Filter, Hayward 400FDN Heater, Stenner pump with 15 gallon tank, Clear O3 ozone system, Hayward Goldline PS-8 controller, Hayward 6060 cleaner pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, Hayward EcoStar variable speed water feature pump.

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    Re: question on winter operations for inground w spillway Te

    Hmm, I guess if you did as Cajun said as far as winterizing the pool that could work.

    I'd think you also would need a pool cover to keep leaves out for that is the thing that I need all winter is the Polaris to clean the leaves out. I went 3 years without ever needing to vacuum the pool by running the Polaris 3 hours a day, finally got some dirt in the pool and learned to use the vacuum this summer. My pool is such a main visual attraction from nearly any spot in the house that I could not stand to cover it up. Chlorine use goes down so far once the water is cold that I will admit that I go several weeks without even testing the pool -- not recommending that but it is true, I am really lazy re pool work in the winter. Winterizing sounds like a lot of work that does not save much work in return.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: question on winter operations for inground w spillway Te

    You guys have sold me, i am leaving it open....really always was leaning that way, my questions were more towards just wanting to understand.

    Amona, you said something interesting about chlorine....I have noticed in the last few weeks as we went from 100's to low 90's and from near 80's overnight to high 60's low 70's that my chlrine readings went from 6.0 to 7.5 or almost 8. As the water cools should I lower my SWG I have it at 65%. The water temps have gone from 93-95 down to 83-85 in that same time frame.
    IG, Gunitie/Plaster (darker blue "lagoon" color), Jandy 1400 SWG (with inline chlorinator option), Jandy AquaLink System w/ 2 HP pump motor, 20,000-23,000 gals, spillway from spa to pool runs when pump is on, waterfall feature and bubbler on tanning ledge, pool is in full sun all day (Dallas Texas), Polaris automatic cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: question on winter operations for inground w spillway Te

    Your pool will not be consuming as much chlorine so you need to turn it down, either by the % setting or by the run time or both. I would suggest first adjusting the run time, then very slowly adjusting the % setting to keep from getting a FC level that is above what you need for your CYA level. With change of seasons it is OK to let the CYA level drift lower, maybe 10 ppm to say, 75 instead of 85.

    I believe that at some temperature the SWG will not produce chlorine but I have no real experience with that. It seems that most people with SWG don't worry about it and things turn out OK.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: question on winter operations for inground w spillway Te

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona View Post
    Your pool will not be consuming as much chlorine so you need to turn it down, either by the % setting or by the run time or both. I would suggest first adjusting the run time, then very slowly adjusting the % setting to keep from getting a FC level that is above what you need for your CYA level. With change of seasons it is OK to let the CYA level drift lower, maybe 10 ppm to say, 75 instead of 85.

    I believe that at some temperature the SWG will not produce chlorine but I have no real experience with that. It seems that most people with SWG don't worry about it and things turn out OK.
    SWG do not generate chlorine when the outside temp drops below 50 degrees F. I just turn mine off around the end of November and use a chlorine floater until spring. Algae doesnt grow in water temps under 50 degrees so i have no algae problems during the winter months.

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