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Thread: Close - what does it REALLY mean for warmer climates?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Lafayette, Ca / USA
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    Close - what does it REALLY mean for warmer climates?

    We live in the SF Bay Area ... we really don't experience the prolonged freezing temps like other colder & snowy climates. Can you give me a sanity check on what my plan is to "partially close" our pool? this is the 1st year of doing this for me and I really want to avoid a disaster.

    - Shut off & Drain the Solar lines & turn OFF the solar system
    - Reduce daily Filter pump run time from 8 hours to what ?? 4 or 5 ? How do I figure this out given 40K gallons & 1/2 HP pump?
    - Monitor the FC & CC levels throughout the close period, maintaining FC=10 ? or what ? Do I have to be concerned about the OTHER "tests" (CH, TA, etc.)
    - Regularly skim the pool surface for leaves, empty the skimmmer daily
    - Should I dump in some Polyquat 60 or just rely on the maintaining of my FC & CC ?
    - Should I be brushing the bottom of the pool weekly to stir up any dirt that settles? (I don't have a working MAIN drain nor a pool Vacuum.)

    I was planning on rolling up the blue solar cover and storing it - thus leaving the pool exposed throughout the rainy season. Good or bad idea? The solar cover does NOT cover the entire surface of the pool.

    Any suggestions or words of wisdom? Thanks so much.
    30,000 Gal FIBER GLASS (over Gunite Plaster) Pool, Dolphin Nautilus PLUS Robot, (2) Cartridge Filter System (old), 1/2 HP Pump, Full Sun, Solar Heated, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    San Rafael, CA USA
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    Re: Close - what does it REALLY mean for warmer climates?

    You definitely shut off and drain the solar panels since there can be some freezing nights during the winter and the solar system is particularly susceptible to even slightly below freezing temperatures.

    I cut my pump run time from around 1 turnover per day to around 1/3rd of a turnover per day but I'd say anywhere from 1/4th to 1/2 turnover is OK.

    Keep the same FC/CYA levels you normally do. If the CYA drops from rain overflow, you can lower the FC proportionately.

    Clear the pool of debris as normal. In my pool, I have a mostly opaque electric safety cover so I run the pool sweep once a week instead of every day (night, actually) because nothing gets into the pool. If you don't use a cover, then you'll need to clean it more frequently, especially in fall if you have trees in the area. Also note that if sunlight gets on the pool, you will have higher chlorine usage than if you used a cover. Chlorine breakdown from sunlight does not depend on temperature, but the sun is lower in the sky so less intense during the winter (and it's sometimes obscured by clouds, of course).

    There's no need for Polyquat unless you think you won't be consistently maintaining chlorine levels. That is, you'd only use it for insurance.

    As for brushing the pool, I don't, but I have a cover. Without a cover, you may need to brush the pool if the pool sweep is not able to pick everything up.

    As for whether or not to use the solar cover, I'd say it might be helpful if it is somewhat opaque (dark blue) so keeps the sun from breaking down chlorine. It may also keep the pool cleaner. That's up to you to decide whether it has these benefits.
    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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    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Walnut Creek CA
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    124

    Re: Close - what does it REALLY mean for warmer climates?

    Clean it, winter cover and drain the solar. Done. It doesn't freeze here like it does back there, hard frost at the very most.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Close - what does it REALLY mean for warmer climates?

    About the only thing I do differently during the winter is reduce my run time to about 1-2 hours. When it is really cold and the SWG doesn't run, I just shut off the pump. Once it starts warming up a little, I will start up the pump again. Plus I have never really had a problem with algae operating this way.

    Also, I don't bother shutting off my solar other than at the controller (i.e set solar off). In fact, I don't have any valves that shut it off anyway other than the solar valve. The panels are self draining and I run during the day so freezing isn't really possible.

    As for a cover, I find that it is easier to keep leaves out of the pool without the solar cover. The skimmers work better and I find it harder to clean leaves of the solar cover. Plus I don't really want the water to be warmer. Colder water helps prevent algae and allows me to shut off the pump for several weeks during the winter.

    Lastly, I don't bother with freeze protection either. To me, it is just waste of energy. During the coldest part of winter, we rarely have sub freezing temps for more than 8 hours and that is really not enough time for anything to freeze on the pad.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Join Date
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    Re: Close - what does it REALLY mean for warmer climates?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Also, I don't bother shutting off my solar other than at the controller (i.e set solar off). In fact, I don't have any valves that shut it off anyway other than the solar valve. The panels are self draining and I run during the day so freezing isn't really possible.
    I asked my solar panel company about just relying on the self-draining to prevent damage from freezing, but they said it doesn't work reliably enough to prevent damage (I guess it doesn't drain thoroughly enough? Leaves water in some places?). Of course, they could just be saying that to get money each year for closing, but they come out and remove certain caps on key panels that presumably result in a more thorough drain and they claim that some customers who don't do this have had damage in some years.
    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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    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Lafayette, Ca / USA
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    260

    Re: Close - what does it REALLY mean for warmer climates?

    Thanks for all the insight everyone ... much appreciated.
    30,000 Gal FIBER GLASS (over Gunite Plaster) Pool, Dolphin Nautilus PLUS Robot, (2) Cartridge Filter System (old), 1/2 HP Pump, Full Sun, Solar Heated, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Close - what does it REALLY mean for warmer climates?

    7 winters without an issue and I am pretty sure they don't fully drain and pretty sure that some of the water freezes. But just because water freezes doesn't mean it will cause damage. Water expands about 9% when freezing but if there is nothing to confine it, the pressure cannot build to burst the pipe.

    Here is a pretty good article on why pipes burst and it also explains why you generally don't see bursting pipes unless air temps get below 20F for a fairly long period of time:

    http://www.weather.com/activities/homea ... event.html
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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