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Thread: Drain water 6" below skimmer intake for winter

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    moze229's Avatar
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    Drain water 6" below skimmer intake for winter

    From my reading (and the Pool School here), above ground pools should have the water drained to ~6" below the skimmer (or return). If I do either of these, it seems like I won't be leaving enough water in the pool. LOL Am I just worried about nothing? I have the typical above ground pool setup, where the skimmer and return are close to the surface of the water. I haven't measured it, but it's no different than the 400 million other above ground pools.

    The reason that I'm trying to verify this is because I've not drained this far before. When I plumbed my filter, I used union fittings so that I could just disconnect the line from the skimmer and return - any water that may have overflowed from the weight of the cover over the winter would have just went out onto the ground. However, I don't want to crawl under my deck anymore to undo the fittings. And, I had a hard time getting everything back together leak-free last year. So, I'm just going to drain farther this year and waste more water.

    So, am I worried about nothing draining down that far?
    24' X 54" Sharkline Matrix AGP ~ 15,200 gallon
    1.5 HP Dynamo Dual Speed ran 24/7 at low speed w/250lb. SD60 Pentair Sand Filter
    Plumbed with PVC - buried.

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    Re: Drain water 6" below skimmer intake for winter

    i was wondering the same thing about the 6" drop. i had issues w. my Gizzmo last year and luckily actually heard the skimmer dripping. was able to stop gap it till opening. this year, i'm thinking drop below skimmer etc, so no worry about leaking
    15K AG, w. Chlorease SWG; 150 sqft cartridge (ClearwaterII); Two Speed pump, seems to only work on one speed; less than 10 yrs old; partially decked.

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    moze229's Avatar
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    Re: Drain water 6" below skimmer intake for winter

    I guess the 36 other people that have read the thread don't know either. I'm just going to drain to where I feel comfortable, and then learn from my experience and keep it all to myself.
    24' X 54" Sharkline Matrix AGP ~ 15,200 gallon
    1.5 HP Dynamo Dual Speed ran 24/7 at low speed w/250lb. SD60 Pentair Sand Filter
    Plumbed with PVC - buried.

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    Re: Drain water 6" below skimmer intake for winter

    Quote Originally Posted by moze229
    From my reading (and the Pool School here), above ground pools should have the water drained to ~6" below the skimmer (or return). If I do either of these, it seems like I won't be leaving enough water in the pool. LOL Am I just worried about nothing? I have the typical above ground pool setup, where the skimmer and return are close to the surface of the water. I haven't measured it, but it's no different than the 400 million other above ground pools.

    The reason that I'm trying to verify this is because I've not drained this far before. When I plumbed my filter, I used union fittings so that I could just disconnect the line from the skimmer and return - any water that may have overflowed from the weight of the cover over the winter would have just went out onto the ground. However, I don't want to crawl under my deck anymore to undo the fittings. And, I had a hard time getting everything back together leak-free last year. So, I'm just going to drain farther this year and waste more water.

    So, am I worried about nothing draining down that far?
    The only reason people say to drain below 6" is if it rains and fills up.

    You don't won't water in the plastic skimmer during a freeze. I only lower mine about 3" below the skimmer because I have a loop lock cover and don't want a heavy snow on it.

    But I do keep an eye on it, if it gets close to the skimmer mouth, I siphon some out with the garden hose to maintain 2 or 3 inches below. You can do the same.
    19,000 gal - Vinyl IG - Sand filter -1.5hp. - Taylor k 2006 - Loop Loc cover

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    moze229's Avatar
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    Re: Drain water 6" below skimmer intake for winter

    Thanks for the reply. I actually only went a couple of inches below the skimmer mouth. Any more and my cover won't fit anymore. I'll have to keep a close eye on it.

    I keep my cover drained pretty well. I also have a rubber expansion plug in the skimmer. We are in NC, so our winters are usually quite mild anyway.
    24' X 54" Sharkline Matrix AGP ~ 15,200 gallon
    1.5 HP Dynamo Dual Speed ran 24/7 at low speed w/250lb. SD60 Pentair Sand Filter
    Plumbed with PVC - buried.

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    Re: Drain water 6" below skimmer intake for winter

    When closing AG pools, I use an Aquador and plug the return. I don't take any water out of the pool for the winter. Some water is lost out of the pool through displacement from winter snow load though.
    -Kevin
    X-Pert Pool Service
    x-pertpool.com
    X-Pert Pool on Facebook and @XPertPoolServic on Twitter
    22,000 gal / 16' x 32' / Vinyl / Hayward s244t /Pentair SuperFlo 1 hp

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    moze229's Avatar
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    Re: Drain water 6" below skimmer intake for winter

    Quote Originally Posted by X-PertPool
    When closing AG pools, I use an Aquador and plug the return. I don't take any water out of the pool for the winter. Some water is lost out of the pool through displacement from winter snow load though.
    I was going to do that when I first got my pool, but I learned that I had to go messing with the seal around the skimmer mouth. It may be completely ok to do that with pools, but my experience with any kind of seal is that if it's not leaking - don't mess with it. If you touch it the wrong way, it'll start leaking.

    Again, that may not be the case with pools, but on anything that I touch, it is.
    24' X 54" Sharkline Matrix AGP ~ 15,200 gallon
    1.5 HP Dynamo Dual Speed ran 24/7 at low speed w/250lb. SD60 Pentair Sand Filter
    Plumbed with PVC - buried.

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    Re: Drain water 6" below skimmer intake for winter

    Quote Originally Posted by moze229
    Quote Originally Posted by X-PertPool
    When closing AG pools, I use an Aquador and plug the return. I don't take any water out of the pool for the winter. Some water is lost out of the pool through displacement from winter snow load though.
    I was going to do that when I first got my pool, but I learned that I had to go messing with the seal around the skimmer mouth. It may be completely ok to do that with pools, but my experience with any kind of seal is that if it's not leaking - don't mess with it. If you touch it the wrong way, it'll start leaking.

    Again, that may not be the case with pools, but on anything that I touch, it is.
    my long lost twin? lol i am the same way when it comes to water based connections. if I touch it, I guarantee a leak or two. thanks for reminding me - after seeing X-pert's post i was tempted to go that route. looking to close mine tomorrow. hopefully this is a 1 shot deal.
    15K AG, w. Chlorease SWG; 150 sqft cartridge (ClearwaterII); Two Speed pump, seems to only work on one speed; less than 10 yrs old; partially decked.

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    Re: Drain water 6" below skimmer intake for winter

    this is an alternative to an aquador, but I've had it not work so well in the past. Didn't fit that great.

    http://simpooltec.com/skimmer-plug.html
    -Kevin
    X-Pert Pool Service
    x-pertpool.com
    X-Pert Pool on Facebook and @XPertPoolServic on Twitter
    22,000 gal / 16' x 32' / Vinyl / Hayward s244t /Pentair SuperFlo 1 hp

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    moze229's Avatar
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    Re: Drain water 6" below skimmer intake for winter

    Quote Originally Posted by X-PertPool
    this is an alternative to an aquador, but I've had it not work so well in the past. Didn't fit that great.

    http://simpooltec.com/skimmer-plug.html
    Great idea. The problem is, it doesn't help us folks who want to leave plumbing connected. According to what I've read on the site, it's not a complete seal. It's like they expect it to leak.

    Maybe that's why you had problems getting it to fit
    24' X 54" Sharkline Matrix AGP ~ 15,200 gallon
    1.5 HP Dynamo Dual Speed ran 24/7 at low speed w/250lb. SD60 Pentair Sand Filter
    Plumbed with PVC - buried.

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    Re: Drain water 6" below skimmer intake for winter

    If you want to leave your plumbing connected just use a gizzmo. Using a skimmer plug in conjunction with a gizzmo will allow you do blow the water out of the skimmer with the water level still high. Kinda like how a blow-through gizzmo does.
    -Kevin
    X-Pert Pool Service
    x-pertpool.com
    X-Pert Pool on Facebook and @XPertPoolServic on Twitter
    22,000 gal / 16' x 32' / Vinyl / Hayward s244t /Pentair SuperFlo 1 hp

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