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Thread: First time opening pool/ winter cover question

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    First time opening pool/ winter cover question

    This will be my first time opening pool, it was installed last winter.

    I'm in Ontario, so I drained water down 18"(I think that's what it was), and filled the lines with the anti-freeze. We had alot of snow this year but i'm really surprised how much water is on top of the winter cover. Itís about 36Ē deep in the middle of pool, which means the water underneath would have to be displaced. But I donít understand where the displaced water went?! The skimmer is still bone dry, so it didnít over flow under the winter cover. Should I be concerned that thereís a leak?

    I donít have any kind of pump to drain the water from the top. Itís not too bad since we donít have leaves or anything falling in it, so Iíd like to reuse the water (instead of draining it and refilling it. The winter cover hooks onto a track in the coping, so I was going to unhook one end, and let the cover fall in so I can pull it out. is this a bad idea?

    Itís not a traditional inground pool so I canít empty water (it needs the water pressure so the walls donít bow in.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool/ winter cover question

    Water on top of the cover tends to have a fairly high chlorine demand just at very first. If you can keep up with that you will be fine using that water. If you don't deal with it fairly quickly you will get algae, which isn't the end of the world or anything, but annoying.

    The cover was probably far from level, making the depth of the water on top fairly variable, so I doubt that there is quite as much water on the cover as you think.
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    Re: First time opening pool/ winter cover question



    Hard to tell in the pics but it's 3' in the middle, it slopes down so the edges are less.

    In my area, May 24 weekend is usually when pools are opened, so I wasn't planning on opening before that.
    Does this water seem ok to use?

    - - - Updated - - -




    Hard to tell in the pics but it's 3' in the middle, it slopes down so the edges are less.

    In my area, May 24 weekend is usually when pools are opened, so I wasn't planning on opening before that.
    Does this water seem ok to use?

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    First time opening pool/ winter cover question

    If you use that water I'd bring the FC up to SLAM level for sure. Also looks like a fair amount of sediment on the cover as well.
    Can you pump the water off ?
    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: First time opening pool/ winter cover question

    I'm not sure what bringing "FC up to SLAM" level means.

    I have a bag of "super shock" powder (I don't even know what chemical it is), and then I assume I will need to add a couple of jugs of chlorine. Then I will use the chlorine pucks in the chlorinator to maintain.

    I'm thinking I should leave the winter cover on until I'm ready to fully open pool (end of May).

    The first time I filled pool last year, all I did was add hose water, add bag of "super shock" then use pucks to maintain.

    I just don't have a pump, so trying to avoid buying one. Also there's alot of water there so I wouldn't have to fill as much.

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool/ winter cover question

    It will be very hard for you to understand our side of the conversation without a background in how we do things. I strongly suggest reading in Pool School, and I even more strongly suggest starting with the link in my signature.
    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: First time opening pool/ winter cover question

    Thanks I read through all that and understand better. It's a little overwhelming but i'll keep reading these forums.

    I think i'll unhook the cover and use water on top, but i'll wait until i'm ready to shock the water (when it's warmer). I know some people use mesh covers so they're water isn't kept separate anyway.

    Hope it work out!

    Last year all i used was test kit for chlorine and ph. Maybe it's because the water started new from hose, but it was crystal clear all year and i didn't do anything other than use the pucks. But I might try the bbb method, especially if i find the cya levels getting too high. I'll need a better test kit..

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    JesseWV's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool/ winter cover question

    You're going to have a really hard time doing anything without a pump and filter.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: First time opening pool/ winter cover question

    As a side note, but problem with OPENING that pool that late is you will for sure have a Algae fight on your hands. If you open when the water is cooler/cold it will be much less of a mess.
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    Re: First time opening pool/ winter cover question

    The pump and filter are stored in the garage. I meant I don't have the kind of pump to remove water from ontop of cover.

    I've been reading on here to open before algae can grow, but i'm in Ontario Canada where pretty much opens the May 24 weekend. Would you suggest opening sooner?
    Or should I check the temperature on a sunny day to see if it gets close to 60?

    Edit.. I see you're in Ohio so I imagine weather isn't extremely different. We're just on the other side of the lake.
    Maybe I'll start opening next week.

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    Re: First time opening pool/ winter cover question

    I would open ASAP ! As soon as the water starts getting above mid 40's things can go bad fast.

    Yes, I opened with the water (this weekend) at 45 degrees...water was crystal clear (because I BBB of course). Won't be swimming for a while, but pool is clear and open! Since it is still cold, it BARELY consumes Chlorine, so doesn't cost a ton to keep it running.
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    Re: First time opening pool/ winter cover question

    As long as it won't go too far below freezing for too long you can hook up the pump.

    Like others have said, you're much better dealing with a little algae now and maintaining versus a huge battle once it gets warmer.

    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: First time opening pool/ winter cover question

    Most coworkers have pools and always open May 24 weekend. I know each pool is different, but my parents never opened their pool before May 24 and in the 15 years also never had algae. I stopped in the pool place today and they said I could mix the water and add some shock until i'm ready to start running the pump (similar scenario to people who have mesh covers).
    Seems like everyone thinks i'm crazy to open before the long weekend, but I think i'll take the advice here and open soon.
    I tested water both on top and under cover, but used strips so may not be accurate.
    Over winter cover:
    PH 6.2
    FC 0
    TA 0
    CYA 0

    Under cover
    PH 6.8
    FC 0
    TA 70
    CYA 20

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool/ winter cover question

    Opening up early is the smartest thing you can do. Besides getting everything balanced before the water warms up, you allow yourself plenty of time to resolve maintenance snafus that are bound to pop up in the process.

    That being said, I'm going to give you 2 big caveats on your testing:

    1. We don't like strips, and I personally am very hesitant to give advice based on their results. A good drop based test kit is the only way to get precise, repeatable, accurate test results that can be acted on.
    2. After sitting all winter, taking a sample doesn't tell the whole story. The pump needs to be hooked up and the water circulating for at least an hour to guarantee uniformity.

    I do it exactly opposite of the pool store. Leave the cover on, hook up the plumbing, and get it circulating first. Then test, then you can put chemicals in it. You definitely don't want to blindly dump anything in the pool without first figuring out what it needs. Also, if you take the cover off and then figure out you have a mechanical problem with the pump, you now have water exposed to sun and the elements and no way to circulate it while you wait for parts/repairs/etc.
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    Re: First time opening pool/ winter cover question

    I don't think this type of winter cover would be suitable to turn pump on without taking the cover off first. I'm not sure there would be much circulation with a vinyl cover over the skimmer. That might work if I didn't have so much water on top of the cover though.

    I ended up taking the cover off last night, so I mixed the water. I'll still need to top up with the hose before I can connect equipment. Then I will vacuum on backwash to get rid of dirt on bottom, then shock.

    But I might have a big problem... there are 2 jets that I put threaded caps over and filled with anti-freeze. When I took the cover off one of the caps was floating in the water, and there's so much water on top that the water level was up to line for jets (but not totally submerged. So now i'm worried the lines underground froze and burst. This has been the worst winter in my lifetime so I worried about this all winter.

    This whole week will be rain so I have time to fill up and set up equipment.
    I’m working on getting a good test kit, but they are pretty expensive.

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