Just got our first real rain here in the Bay Area a couple of days ago and along with the real start of "fall" (i.e. leaves dropping) I thought I'd check to see if my plan for getting through the winter is sound.
We're keeping the pool "open", but not heating it. Just heating the spa when we want to use it. The pool is not covered so I've got the cleaner system running several hours a day to keep up with getting the leaves out. I try to go scoop as many out as I can in the evening but really the cleaner does a pretty good job of getting them out. I empty the skimmer basket every morning and the cleaner basket once a week. I've got the SWG set at 10% and am currently running the pump about 4 hours a day although I'm likely to lower it as I still have an FC over 10. I'm testing the water twice a week and adding acid as my pH tends to creep up. I am currently lowering my pH to 7.2 to reduce the TA over the winter so I can potentially add borax in Spring. Anything amiss with this plan ?
I do have a couple of queries in this vein.
1) With the rain and weak sun exposure, the pool level is a little higher than normal. I'm not too concerned about it, but I thought I'd double check. My plan is that as long as the water level is below the edge of the coping, I'm not going to drain any water off. I feel the skimmer should still work in this case. Is that right ? What do you guys do if you need to drain the pool anyway ? Do you drain the pool to your house sewer line ? It is illegal here to drain into the storm drains and I wouldn't want to any way as the chlorine and salt would make it into the Bay.
2) How concerned do I need to be with leaves clogging the skimmer and cleaner baskets ? While I'm home I can manage emptying these myself. However, we'll be gone for several times over the holidays (one time for two weeks). The SWG will keep the FC inline and I'll make sure all other readings are inline before leaving, but I worry a little about coming home to a big mess if there is a significant wind storm while I'm gone. We have 3 80' redwood trees in our one neighbors yard as well as several liquid ambers and flowering pears which are still full of leaves. I'm thinking I'll ask one of the neighbor boys if they would come empty the skimmer. Not sure about the cleaner basket though.
Thanks for any advice. I'm glad I found this site. I learn something every time I come here and my gained knowledge has just allowed me to cancel my pool service