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Thread: Skimmer plug for AGP?

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Skimmer plug for AGP?

    Has anyone ever done this for winterization?

    Here's the background....when I moved into my house a few years ago, the previous owner had closed the pool with the Aquador faceplate/cover combo. Basically a Tupperware lid over the skimmer mouth which negates the need for draining the pool for winter. Over the last three years, the faceplate has become brittle, and last spring at opening I cracked the lip. Normal summertine operation was unaffected, but when I put the lid on in the fall, the seal was gone.

    I really like the idea of not draining the pool in the fall, both to not dump the water (it ends up being a couple thousand gallons) qnd to not dump the chemistry. I can buy a replacement plate, but they're $30 each (I'd need 2), and the reviews say they just leak anyway (mine had slow leaks as well, but I assume that was due to the plastic deterioration). One of the reviewers said they just gave up and used a skimmer plug instead.

    My question is, how would using skimmer plugs in an above ground pool be any different than using them in an in ground pool? It seems like it would serve the same purpose, be much cheaper, and be a huge order of magnitude easier to install.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    Re: Skimmer plug for AGP?

    I would think that for AG pools, the likelihood of the water in the skimmer freezing and cracking the skimmer is higher than for IG pools. If you also used something like the Gizmo or noodles or something to protect against the expansion, then I would think performance would be similar.

    Disclosure, I have zero experience with AG pools or pools in freezing weather
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer plug for AGP?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I would think that for AG pools, the likelihood of the water in the skimmer freezing and cracking the skimmer is higher than for IG pools.
    That was my thought too, but I couldn't come up for a reason why other than a gut reaction.

    An addition to the original post: another reason I want to keep the pool full is that with the biggest winter cover I can find, it still can't handle the snow with the water level lowered. I was planning on buying a new cover next year anyways, but if I lower the water every year, I'll have to buy a new cover every year.

    In the last few years of using the leaky skimmer covers, as they filled up with water and the temp dropped, ice would start to form. Eventually after enough freeze cycles, the skimmer box would fill with a block of ice. I assume this happened every winter (although I can't prove it), and I haven't had any damage yet. I would think that three full winters of that would take me out of "you got lucky" country and in the realm of "it's probably ok."

    Can anyone who winterizes their inground pool tell me why the skimmer box doesnt crack from filling up with ice?

    I'm tempted to buy plugs and try going that route next fall.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Skimmer plug for AGP?

    We use the skimmer plugs. The biggest problem I have with them is that they don't always stay in the skimmer opening. Not everyone but usually will find maybe 10% of them come out. We always seperate the pump from the skimmer line and usually try to have a union pointing straight down so water will get away from the skimmer itself.

    We have gone to selling these covers, www.hurricaneabovegroundpoolcovers.com . This is the only cover in over 30 years that I have installed on an ag pool and felt safe enough to walk on it. Really a good cover customers are extremly pleased. Add on the drain kit and really good.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
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    Re: Skimmer plug for AGP?

    I think I'm using the wrong terminology. Plugs go in the skimmer opening from the pool side, correct? I'm wondering if I can plug the opening at the bottom of the skimmer box with a gizmo. Or is that just a totally insane idea....
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Skimmer plug for AGP?

    I think he means what your talking about. A plug in the bottom of the skimmer. Not the actual skimmer opening.
    I use the aquador you've used. My cover rests on the ice. I've actually had to let some water out of mine this winter. My cover has a mesh strip down the center to let water seep in the pool.
    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: Skimmer plug for AGP?

    On an above ground pool I wouldn't take the chance of plugging the outlet in the bottom of the skimmer. I would use either the aquadoor or a skimmer plug. Actual product name, made to fit most skimmers, has a hard plastic cover mounted to a foam piece that fits into and seals the skimmer so you can remove the water.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: Skimmer plug for AGP?

    If you live in a freeze / thaw area by no means never plug your skimming on an above ground pool on account if you do and you have a small slow leak in the liner, the water that is needed to support the 2' thick block of ice that has now frozen in the skimmer will slowly drain out and as it does the ice will pull and or tare the wall down right where the skimmer is. The safest way to winterize is to lower the water and leave the hoses off the pole. If you don't want to do that, then but a stainless steel freeze plate for the front of the skimmer, you will need to remover a few screw from the face plate in order to attach the S.S. freeze plate. it's easy and the plate will last you a life time or at least as long as you own your pool.



    Quote Originally Posted by Smykowski View Post
    Has anyone ever done this for winterization?

    Here's the background....when I moved into my house a
    w years ago, the previous owner had closed the pool with the Aquador faceplate/cover combo. Basically a Tupperware lid over the skimmer mouth which negates the need for draining the pool for winter. Over the last three years, the faceplate has become brittle, and last spring at opening I cracked the lip. Normal summertine operation was unaffected, but when I put the lid on in the fall, the seal was gone.

    I really like the idea of not draining the pool in the fall, both to not dump the water (it ends up being a couple thousand gallons) qnd to not dump the chemistry. I can buy a replacement plate, but they're $30 each (I'd need 2), and the reviews say they just leak anyway (mine had slow leaks as well, but I assume that was due to the plastic deterioration). One of the reviewers said they just gave up and used a skimmer plug instead.

    My question is, how would using skimmer plugs in an above ground pool be any different than using them in an in ground pool? It seems like it would serve the same purpose, be much cheaper, and be a huge order of magnitude easier to install.

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    Re: Skimmer plug for AGP?

    Don't plug the skimming! it's too risky. if the pool leaks the frozen is will tear the pool apart as it drops lower and lower because of the water that leaking out from under the ice.



    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I would think that for AG pools, the likelihood of the water in the skimmer freezing and cracking the skimmer is higher than for IG pools. If you also used something like the Gizmo or noodles or something to protect against the expansion, then I would think performance would be similar.

    Disclosure, I have zero experience with AG pools or pools in freezing weather

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer plug for AGP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolie Knows View Post
    Don't plug the skimming! it's too risky. if the pool leaks the frozen is will tear the pool apart as it drops lower and lower because of the water that leaking out from under the ice.
    Thanks....that's the explanation I was looking for.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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