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Thread: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

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    Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    Hello everyone,

    I have a small problem, and the pool store no mater how I explain it to them say don't do it! Her it goes. We live in NY and closed up the pool late August, I did full pool install and deck myself Anyways, before covering the pool, I drained the water to just below the return line about 1 inch before covering. I felt this would be enough to keep water out of the skimmer and just leave the skimmer hose removed for the winter. I did pump the cover off a few times befor winter hit.

    My problem is with all the rain and wet snow I believe the water has crept up to the bottom of the skimmer and as the sun coms out slowly let's some water in the skimmer and then freezes. I have large ice cyclies coming out the bottom of the skimmer where the hose attaches for the pump. When the hole fills with ice during cold snaps the hole plugs and I'm afrade the skimmer is going to crack. I can not drain any water out due to it solid ice.

    My thought was to go get one of the skimmer gizmos and put it in the skimmer to take up some of the expansion of the ice. The drain gets plugged anyways with ice, the gizmo will plug the drain so it does not crack and the gizmo will take up the expansion of the ice that does not drain. I know it's not ideal....but it still be better to have it then fill with just solid ice. Pool store said do not plug the hole! I tell them it's already plugged with ice! They also tell me it's only for In ground pools.

    Any suggestions? I'm stumped on what to do. I totally understand you don't want to plug it, but if water is going to get in to it anyway what would be better?

    Thanks,

    Geo
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    21 10500 gal AGP 52' sides, haward 3/4 hp xl pump and earth filter ec50
    Using the bbb method. Tf-100 kit. My first pool so learning in progress!

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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    Also thought about plugging the bottom of the skimmer to keep ice out and put a few 1/2 watter bottles of antifreeze in the skimmer to take up the expansion. Maby Im just thinking too much...
    21 10500 gal AGP 52' sides, haward 3/4 hp xl pump and earth filter ec50
    Using the bbb method. Tf-100 kit. My first pool so learning in progress!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    Using a Gizmo, if you can find a way to get it installed, would indeed help.

    It's kind of unusual for the hole to completely plug up with ice. Normally you leave it open so the water can run out and that takes care of it. Leaving the skimmer open also prevents to pool from overflowing. However there are other (fairly simple) ways to prevent the pool from overflowing (just pay attention and pump/syphon out some water as needed in the Spring when things melt).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    Thanks, I can find a way to melt the ice enough to remove it. The skimmer door hole is not plugged, it where the hose attaches to the bottom of the skimmer. We go from 50's one day to 10's the next. The warm days are melting enough water to let a little in the skimmer then drains and freezes into a large solid ice. The hose connection plugged solid. I will slowly melt it to remove it tomorrow and buy the gizmo. I really don't think it will hurt. Thanks for the reply!
    21 10500 gal AGP 52' sides, haward 3/4 hp xl pump and earth filter ec50
    Using the bbb method. Tf-100 kit. My first pool so learning in progress!

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by rpm90001
    Thanks, I can find a way to melt the ice enough to remove it. The skimmer door hole is not plugged, it where the hose attaches to the bottom of the skimmer. We go from 50's one day to 10's the next. The warm days are melting enough water to let a little in the skimmer then drains and freezes into a large solid ice. The hose connection plugged solid. I will slowly melt it to remove it tomorrow and buy the gizmo. I really don't think it will hurt. Thanks for the reply!
    A little salt will go a long way in helping you melt the ice in the skimmer
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    I would not put a gizmo in an above ground skimmer. I will guarantee it to cause the skimmer to freeze and break. try to drain water from under your cover and get the ice melted out of the skimmer.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    Swimcmp,

    How do I drain water out when it's 6 inches thick? Even getting to the water, will the whole ice top drop with the water level? I think Its a bad idea to try to lower the water at this point. I think the gizmo is my best option, It has to be 1000 times better than what it is now. At least there will be no water in the hole out the bottom, and just a will give some give when the rest freezes.
    21 10500 gal AGP 52' sides, haward 3/4 hp xl pump and earth filter ec50
    Using the bbb method. Tf-100 kit. My first pool so learning in progress!

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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    If you block water in the skimmer with a gizmo, the water will freeze and break the skimmer. Guaranteed. 30 plus years in this crazy business and have seen it done first hand. If you have a warm day when you drain it down yes ice will follow it. Worse case scenario get a drill with a cheap drill bit and drill through the ice.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by rpm90001
    Swimcmp,

    How do I drain water out when it's 6 inches thick? Even getting to the water, will the whole ice top drop with the water level? I think Its a bad idea to try to lower the water at this point. I think the gizmo is my best option, It has to be 1000 times better than what it is now. At least there will be no water in the hole out the bottom, and just a will give some give when the rest freezes.
    6 Inches! Wow.

    (Tongue in cheek...) Start a wood fire on top of the middle of the pool!

    Can you melt out the water from the inside of the skimmer while protecting the wall of ice from melting just outside the skimmer door? I'm thinking if you put some type of foam board in place and used warm water you could slowly melt out the ice in the skimmer - and no additional ice will come in other than the minor melt refreeze from the ice wall. Then periodically you can check it to be sure. If the ice ever melts then it wil drain down and your problem will be solved.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    Thanks, right now the ice is solid to the sides, and I don't expect any warm days soon. I have always learned to listen to the experts....but I'm just not seeing clearly here. You say not to block it with the gizmo... But it's already blocked. Ice is hanging 6 inches below where the hose attaches, and is solid ice in the hole all the way to the bottom of the skimmer opening. Nothing can drain now. At least with the gizmo there would be no water freezing from the bottom of the skimmer because it will be plugged. And the inside that is also solid ice would have the gizmo in the center that would take up some of he expansion when it freezes. This has to be better than solid ice. I understand lowering the water is much better, but not an option at the moment. If I try lowering it now, I feel it will damage the liner.. Next week we will be getting a bad cold snap, and want to do what ever I can to save the skimmer from cracking.

    Please do think I'm arguing with you, I'm just trying to make sure I understand correctly.

    Geo
    21 10500 gal AGP 52' sides, haward 3/4 hp xl pump and earth filter ec50
    Using the bbb method. Tf-100 kit. My first pool so learning in progress!

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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    Ok, it may not be 6 inches... But it's thick and attached to the walls all the way around the pool. If it would stay cold I would just clear it out and not worry about it. But one day it's 10 deg, and the next it's 60. If it gets warm I will drain it.

    I put a little salt to see if it helps melt som of the ice. Tomorrow will be 40 then get really cold.
    21 10500 gal AGP 52' sides, haward 3/4 hp xl pump and earth filter ec50
    Using the bbb method. Tf-100 kit. My first pool so learning in progress!

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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by rpm90001
    Ok, it may not be 6 inches... But it's thick and attached to the walls all the way around the pool. If it would stay cold I would just clear it out and not worry about it. But one day it's 10 deg, and the next it's 60. If it gets warm I will drain it.
    OK - then boiling water applied next to the outside of the skimmer to melt the ice and then put on an Aquadoor.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    This was the first year with our pool, I will not make this mistake next year. I thought 2 inches below the return was more than enough. Next year I will be prepared! Thanks everyone for the help......

    I thought about warming the outside and just pulling the whole chunk out But the bonding wire is attached to a copper plate inside the skimmer basket...just my luck.
    21 10500 gal AGP 52' sides, haward 3/4 hp xl pump and earth filter ec50
    Using the bbb method. Tf-100 kit. My first pool so learning in progress!

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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    get a heat tape and wrap around the skimmer t melt the ice
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    Update. Well sun out today and about 40 deg. I unhooked the cover and looked around the edges and ice not as thick as thought. I was able to break all around the edges so it is free from the liner. I'm now draining some water out, going to drop it 3-4 inches below the bottom of the skimmer, this will solve water getting in the skimmer. As for the frozen skimmer... I added salt to it last night, today it was just mushy slush, got it cleaned out with no issues. Lesson learned. I bought the gizmo, but not going to use it because I lowered the water level. Thank you all for the help. Next year I will check it from time to time to make sure the level did not rise.

    Thank you!
    21 10500 gal AGP 52' sides, haward 3/4 hp xl pump and earth filter ec50
    Using the bbb method. Tf-100 kit. My first pool so learning in progress!

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    Fantastic news!

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    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    well i have a 27ft above ground and live in northern sask,normal winter temp here is -30 below freezing,i drain it just slightly below the skimmer(about an inch below) the pool freezes solid,i have been doing this for 3yrs now and no problems at all,i just pushed a wood plug in return and thats it, removed pump of course,

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian friesen
    well i have a 27ft above ground and live in northern sask,normal winter temp here is -30 below freezing,i drain it just slightly below the skimmer(about an inch below) the pool freezes solid,i have been doing this for 3yrs now and no problems at all,i just pushed a wood plug in return and thats it, removed pump of course,
    The concern in this case was that it was thought that water from rain and melting snow had caused the ice level to rise into the skimmer where it could cause damage due to expansion.

    I would expect where you are the ice and snow stay frozen until spring and there is little chance for rain while deep freezing is still likely.

    Sent via Tapatalk...
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Winter issue with our new pool. Pool store correct?

    My situation is one day we get 18 inches of snow in dec/jan and 45 degrees the next day. That's what caused my issue.
    21 10500 gal AGP 52' sides, haward 3/4 hp xl pump and earth filter ec50
    Using the bbb method. Tf-100 kit. My first pool so learning in progress!

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