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Thread: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good idea?

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    NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good idea?

    At closing time, I drained the pool to the recommended 6" below the return, but never covered the pool. Since the closing, I've had to chop through 1'+ of ice 3 times and siphon off 6" of water as additional precip has brought the level up to the return. My guess is I'll have to do it at least 2 more times.

    My question is, had I covered the pool, what am I supposed to do with the ice that forms on top of the cover? Obviously, there's no way to drain it off, and in hindsight, the additional precip would've likely overflowed the cover anyway (and probably destroyed it, or done worse to the side walls), especially if I'd used the tractor inner tube sitting in my garage.

    Is it pointless to use a cover in a fairly harsh climate like NH? Next year, should I simply wait for the leaves to drop and drain 18" below the return? If so, the water will likely freeze solid to the pool floor. How bad is this?

    This is my first year with a pool and it seems a cover is a very bad idea.

    What say you guys?
    Mike

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good i

    Personally, I think you are worrying about something you have no control over. I have had a pool freeze solid with cover for several years with no problems. I've seen pools not covered, ice over and ignored til owner wants to clean it up for pool season. I would never drain a pool 18" below return and leave it for winter. The pool needs the water for outward pressure to keep the walls from caving, especially during high wind situations. Covering a nearly empty pool is also disastrous as adding emense weight to the cover cause the pool to collapse.

    I've gotmy block of ice outside n I just don't need to mess with it. When it thaws, I may go out and pump some water off the top... and then again... I may not.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good i

    With an above ground pool, you can plug the returns and skimmer, drain the pipes, pump, and filter and be ok. Covering is to keep out debris more than anything else. A lot of our Northern members cover until the leaves are done falling then put the covers away.
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    Re: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good i

    Is there a particular brand of skimmer plug you guys would recommend?
    Mike

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    Re: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good i

    I live in NH as well, and my new inground is literally a block of ice I think. I have no coping yet, so I'm not worried about the water level rising, but next year I would think it would concern me, as breaking up the ice is going to be a challenge. Good luck.
    24'x40' 25k gal Imperial Mountain Pond IGP, full 28 mil VynAll Ocean Breakers liner. All Hayward system: 140k BTU HeatPro heat pump, 3/4HP single speed TriStar 2" Pump, DE6020 filter, AquaPlus Automation/Salt Chlorination, remote controls, ColorLogic 4.0 lighting. Polaris 280 w/PB4-60 BP. TF100 & K1766 test kits. Rinox Palazzo pavers and Spherik coping. Pool installed 9/2013, project completed 6/16/14.

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    Re: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good i

    I lived in Mass for years as long as your lines are blown out and pluged dont worry about chopping ice 12 years i never had an issue. As a side note i never drained just blew out my lines and pluged them then poured pool antifreeze into the lines and covered the pool till spring
    Nathan
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    Re: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good i

    You guys will probably say I'm worrying about nothing still, but I gotta ask..

    My concerns with keeping water away from the return and skimmer are based off the fact water expands/moves when it freezes. Even if I had plugged both areas, I'm thinking as the pool fills with precipitation and makes its way up to these areas, water is gonna flow around the wing nut and stud on the return plug and freeze, and ultimately shearing forces will develop causing strain on the fitting/pool wall. If I'm erroneously assuming the plug is installed from the inside, and should be installed from the outside, then I'd think the same thing would happen as the water flows into the return fitting a bit, as well as around the flange where the eyeball and cover plate goes. The same thoughts apply to the skimmer plug.

    I'm cool with not using the cover at all, but am still worried about ice forming around these protruding areas and causing shearing damage due to the movement of the ice during freeze/thaw cycles.

    The other areas of winterizing are covered. Filter drained, hoses and pump are in my garage.
    Mike

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    Re: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good i

    Here is my block of ice.



    Frozen solid from several days of -15F. I use a product called Aquadoor for the skimmer cover and a 1.5" pvc plug in place of the return fitting. 12 years like this and no problems
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good i

    Thanks for the pic and info, danpik. I assume the water level under your cover is below your return?

    To all....Without having a cover AND gaining additional water from precip, my concern is having the ice freeze solid around the return and skimmer. Cover/plug, or not, it just seems like the melting and freezing of the ice would do a number on things.

    Say, for example, I plugged my return in the fall, but left the water an inch above it. On the liner, I marked where the water line was. Now, we get a multi day deep freeze and the top 12" of water becomes a block of ice. Seeing water can't compress, the mass of ice will expand upward, my guess is ending up at least 1" above the marked water line. If the block of ice is completely frozen around the return and the skimmer flange, isn't that upward movement going to stress the heck out of those areas, and possibly break things?

    ETA- Maybe, I'm failing to consider the inherent amount of flex of the sidewalls. I guess that's probably why things don't get sheared off "glacier" style, but rather just bend out of the way. Did I just answer my own question here?
    Mike

    18' Sharkline Oceanic
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    Re: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good i

    Quote Originally Posted by NHfloater
    Thanks for the pic and info, danpik. I assume the water level under your cover is below your return?
    Nope, water (ice) level is currently above the top of the skimmer. I fact about 3 days after we had the -15 weather it rained enough that the pool overflowed. I have been doing it this way for 12 years and my brother has been doing his this way for the last 20 with no problems.

    I just went out and pealed the cover back a bit. This is what I saw...







    Don't worry about the post cap. The cage nut in the post top went missing so that is just sitting on there. I wanted to open the skimmer and show you the aquadoor but, the lid is frozen on right now. The Aquadoor looks like a Tupperware lid and snaps in place over the opening.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good i

    Thanks a bunch for taking those pix. Obviously these things can take a beating. I'll check out the Aquadoor.

    Thanks again.
    Mike

    18' Sharkline Oceanic
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    Re: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good i

    I use the Aquador on my pool. Works great.
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good i

    I don't use a plug or the Aquador so I'll try and get pics of mine. I've never had an issue leaving my pool over the winter with just a cover on it.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Re: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good i

    Casey, that's my dilemma...no cover. At least the cover, assuming it stays leak free, will keep additional precipitation on TOP of it. Without a cover, like in my situation, and without having chopped through the ice and siphoned water off twice already, the water (ice) level would be WAY over the return and skimmer, both of which are unplugged. This was with a closing water level of 6" below the return. It's nutz.

    I'm gonna order an Aquador and install it on the next warmish day we have.....and also install the return plug....that's been sitting next to my inflated tractor tube and still in the box pool cover

    Next year, I'll leave the cover off again and just plug the 2 openings like I should've done in the first place. Rookie mistake
    Mike

    18' Sharkline Oceanic
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    Use DE for your filter? DO NOT use anything but POOL GRADE DE!

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    Re: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good idea?

    I have a 21' above ground and I'm in NJ. Granted, we dont nearly as cold for as long as you do, but it's been pretty harsh so far here. I have an Arctic Armor mesh cover on the pool. I drained to just below the return and used a plug. Skimmer is open and acts as a drain. I use a 6' hose on the skimmer so any overflow just runs away from the pool and onto the ground.

    I've had an inch or so of ice for the last month. The ice gets to the skimmer level and then water overflows into the hose. Doesnt freeze. Moving ice did however remove the return plug I had in there so I had to replace it. Didnt feel like taking the cover half off to fish out a plug that I could just go pay $2 for a replacement...
    21' Round Ovation Impact, 54" wall. Hayward AquaTrol SWCG, Hayward 1.5 HP pump, Hayward S180T sand filter, Aqualuminator with fountain attachment, Taylor K2006C test kit

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    Re: NH winter, pool cover and ice. Pool cover = Not a good idea?

    Thanks for all the comments here. I left my cover off this year for the first time because I hated the yucky slime that always forms on top of it. I closed the pool after all the leaves had fallen & I got most of them out.

    I had a pool disaster between yesterday and today and that is that virtually all the water drained out of pool except for a few inches on the bottom and ice on the walls. I guess I have developed a liner leak. I wondered if leaving the cover off contributed to the problem but, now, I think not. I'm adding water to the pool with the hose & am hoping the water won't freeze till the pool water level gets deep enough to protect my pool walls. I don't know if I'll be able to get someone to repair a liner leak till the spring so I may be stuck adding water throughout the rest of the winter to protect the pool structure.

    Does anybody have any suggestions?

    Could this extreme cold have contributed to the water leakage? I'm wondering if the ground may have frozen and damaged the liner.

    Forgot to include that I have a 12 ft circumference round above ground pool.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by swimcat; 02-02-2014 at 06:22 PM. Reason: forgot to include relevant info in original post

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