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Thread: Leave pool open this winter?

  1. #1
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    Leave pool open this winter?

    How many people leave their pools open during the winter? I have thought I might just leave mine open so I can still see the pretty water.......any ideas or something I am not thinking about?
    Lori

    7600g AG Intex Frameset 18'x48" Just installed in July '08.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Riles_J's Avatar
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    Re: Leave pool open this winter?

    I leave my pool open all winter and love being able to look out it through those cold months. I figure the cost to do so is about a wash for me. I have additional electrical costs as you have to run your pump during time when it drops below freezing to prevent your pipes from bursting. However, I save on closing chemicals, the winter cover, and the hassle factor of putting it on and taking it off. Its really a preference thing.

    As far as what you need to know. There really isn't much to it. They sell timers with freeze protection that you can install and then you don't really have much to worry about. When the temps drop below a preset temp, it kicks your pump on and when temps rise it shuts it off. I don't have one, but I might upgrade someday. I just keep an eye on the weather and when it looks like temps are going to drop and turn it on. You don't really have to worry too much about chemicals and chorine usage drops way down and algae doesn't grow well once your water gets cold. I might throw a little bleach in here or there over the winter, but I don't really worry about a regular testing regimen. Some people who leave there pool open all year continue to run their pump for 2-4 per day, but I don't. Mine stays off for a week or two at times and I haven't had any issues.

    Good luck with it.

    Riles
    16x32 IG vinyl, 19,000 gal, 1.0 hp pump, sand filter, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, diving board, slide

  3. #3
    Senior Member AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Leave pool open this winter?

    We leave ours open. Drained below the skimmer, all plumbing disconnected, shocked and poly-quatted (that word ought to cost me some bucks!).

    By January it's frozen solid and we play kickball on it with the dogs. By the end of February it begins to thaw and I start playing with the big oval ice floe, pushing it around. That's about the time of year when I start thinking of inserting an immersion heater, the kind you use to heat water in a coffee cup

    Toward the end of March the ice gets thin enough for me to break it up with a pole and when I'm able to do that and have mostly ice water, chunks of ice floating in the pool, I add a gallon of Clorox and stir it in. I've been known to test the water then, too, because withdrawal symptoms can be somewhat relieved by doing nonsensical pool things in winter.

    Because most of our trees are upward of the prevailing winds we don't get much debris in the pool. I scoop what little there is as soon as all the ice is melted - and last March I did manage to fall in. Fully clothed in winter gear. It was ugly.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Leave pool open this winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaK
    Because most of our trees are upward of the prevailing winds we don't get much debris in the pool. I scoop what little there is as soon as all the ice is melted - and last March I did manage to fall in. Fully clothed in winter gear. It was ugly.
    Brrrr!

    I'm thinking about leaving my pool open, too. We don't get too many freezing nights, and when we do, it gets only down to the upper or mid twenties and thaws out by mid morning. Don't have to worry about it becoming an ice cube, but will have to lower the water to below the skimmer and drain our lines, as our lines are flexible hoses.
    Above ground soft side Omega pool
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  5. #5
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    Re: Leave pool open this winter?

    I left mine open last winter and it was not much trouble at all. Aside from the fall when I was cleaning the skimmers three times a day, that only lasted a few weeks. I switched my pump time from during the day to pump at night, so if it did drop below freezing at night I was not pumping during the day as well. Some days and nights the freeze protection kept the pump on much longer, but I never noticed a difference in the power bill. I must say that I did enjoy looking at the blue pool all winter.
    21k gal SW, IG Gunite PebbleSheen, 1HP Jandy, Jandy 340 filter, Polaris 280, 17' fiberglass slide w/ 2HP pump.

  6. #6
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    Re: Leave pool open this winter?

    It has been 100+ for the past two weeks and I hate to admit that I am thinking about closing already. This will be our first winter and I too am trying to decide what to do. Our neighbors kept their pool open last winter and didn't have any issues. The pool got lots of dirt but not many leaves. Maybe a Kreepy would help with this a bit since my Dolphin will not work in cold water. I am weighing the cost/trouble of a large "L" shaped pool cover versus the possibility of losing power for an extended period of time. We get ice storms around OKC on occasion and some areas actually lost power for nearly two weeks last winter. Ours was only out for a couple of hours but I would have been nervous about an open pool. Maybe I can get an electrician to modify my breaker box so I can plug in my portable generator and run my pump in an emergency. Anybody ever heard of that?

    Thanks.
    inground liner Grecian "L"
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  7. #7
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Leave pool open this winter?

    You can get a transfer switch, which allows you to switch over from utility to generator power. This is easiest to install if you already have a sub-panel for the pool equipment. Then you can put the transfer switch before the sub-panel fairly easily.

    Keep in mind that it sometimes takes a fairly hefty generator to run a pool pump, depending on the size of the pump. The startup current on a pump is fairly high. The generator needs to be sized for the startup current, not the normal operation current.

    We have a generator, but we specifically don't have it running the pool pump. Instead, when the power fails, I get out the cover pump and set it up to get some basic circulation going.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  8. #8
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    Re: Leave pool open this winter?

    We have never closed our pool. We had one winter with a freak storm of 24 inches of snow and sub freezing temp for a week or more. We had no power for 5 days. As soon as the power went out, we drained the filter and hoped for the best. We had no damage, thank goodness. Highly unusual for our area of NC. We have had one ice storm since lost power for a few days, but temps rose above freezing quickly.
    It is pretty to look at on dreary winter days, takes little chemicals and after the leaves are finished not much cleaning is required. I too run the pump thru the night when cold is expected but generally leave the timer set for a few hours.
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  9. #9
    Member hodapmj's Avatar
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    Re: Leave pool open this winter?

    Leave mine open year-round too. Leaves are a pain for about 3 weeks, other than that the enjoyment of having a clear blue water pool while you are outside is much better than looking at a boring pool cover or murky drained pool water. Chemical usage is very low once the water gets into the 50's and lower and plus you are always the first in your neighborhood swimming in the spring!
    24K gal. 22 X 40' Fox Lagoon IG Vinyl, 7' Fox 25 jet raised Spa, Intelliflow VS-3050 pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Easy Touch Controller, Easy Touch Wireless Remote, Pentair Legend cleaner w/ booster pump, Pentair 250,000 BTU heater, Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, & Pentair Intellibrite LED lighting.

  10. #10
    Member Anemone's Avatar
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    Re: Leave pool open this winter?

    We close ours but don't cover it. The pool store comes to blow out the lines and plug them, disassemble and clean the DE filter, polyquat the water, and put some styrofoam pieces and an empty plastic bottle in each of the skimmers to allow for expansion (water is not drained below the skimmers), and it is good to go.

    We covered it for years with a regular pool cover and water bags but it was such a pain. We have a wooden deck and a Lazy L shaped pool so we nave never really looked into a Loop-Loc type cover. Cleaning the #@&# cover in the spring was one of our least favorite jobs so when we thought our old liner was on its last legs, we left it uncovered one winter. Well, the liner didn't seem any worse off and lasted several more years. Once we finally got the new liner, we just didn't bother. Never had a problem. If I don't get it opened early enough, we have a green pool but since I now know how to deal with green, it is not a problem.
    22,000gal IG, Lazy L, vinyl pool - 1.0 HP Pentair Whisterflo - DE filter - Blue Pearl Robotic cleaner - Glowbuoy - BBB only!

  11. #11
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    Re: Leave pool open this winter?

    Anemone.....Never gave closing but not covered much thought. I have a grecian true L which is why the cover will probably be expensive and very difficult to manage. Can you give me an idea about how much it should cost to have the pool closed but not covered?
    inground liner Grecian "L"
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  12. #12
    Member Anemone's Avatar
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    Re: Leave pool open this winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by rockyboy
    Anemone.....Never gave closing but not covered much thought. I have a grecian true L which is why the cover will probably be expensive and very difficult to manage. Can you give me an idea about how much it should cost to have the pool closed but not covered?
    Hi Rocky. Remember that I am on the East Coast and everything seems to be more expensive on the coasts vs the rest of the country.

    Last year, it was $220. I am sure it will go up again this year. They call it a "partial closure" and includes everything except covering the pool.

    Actually, I forgot to mention that our cover died first, so one year we used heavy duty black plastic to cover the pool. It came on a large roll from a farm supply store and we held it down with regular water bags on the deck. The next spring, we just threw it out (not very environmentaly friendly). It was actually way too wide for our pool and ugly as sin but it did work well. I just felt bad throwing all that plastic out so we never did it again.
    22,000gal IG, Lazy L, vinyl pool - 1.0 HP Pentair Whisterflo - DE filter - Blue Pearl Robotic cleaner - Glowbuoy - BBB only!

  13. #13
    Senior Member reindeerboy's Avatar
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    Re: Leave pool open this winter?

    We use a meyco cover. That thing is awesome. We have pets so with this cover, they walk right over it. It is a mesh cover so no pooling of the water. Keeps out all the **** from the fall and just have some fine silt dirt upon spring opening. You can get it pretty cheap at www.intheswim.com or direct at www.meycoproducts.com.

    Hope that helps!
    Chad R.

    POOL SIZE: 16 x 32' Vinyl lined pool. 22,000 gallons. 8' deep. 2009 Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump. Hayward S310S 30" 500 lb Sand filter. 1 skimmer and 2 returns. Solar Blanket.

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  14. #14
    Senior Member ivyleager's Avatar
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    Re: Leave pool open this winter?

    Here in RTP NC, I've done every tpye of winter closing.
    YEAR#:
    1-pipes/filter drained, mesh cover; open to a God-awful mess
    2-not drained, no cover; perfect pool water, turned pump on in freezing temps
    3-not drained, solar cover; cloudy opening, hardly any freezing temps
    4-not drained, mesh cover.................forgot to turn pump on in freezing temps, pump frozen, had to use drop light and cloth to heat it up.

    Not sure what I'm going to do this year. Probably drain w/ mesh cover and open BEFORE the pollen starts. That's when things turn really quickly down here.
    CaryB
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  15. #15
    Senior Member amjohn's Avatar
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    Re: Leave pool open this winter?

    I'm confused, ivyleauge. In option 1, you said drained with mesh cover was a mess and that option 2: leaving open and running pump during freezes was clean and blue. Yet you said you would drain and mesh cover again this year. Why? What do you think made it such a mess that first time? We are in NE Texas, which has fairly similar winters to R/D, NC and are trying to decide what to do for closing for the first time. I appreciate your input - we need all the help we can get.
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
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  16. #16
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    Re: Leave pool open this winter?

    You all have convinced me. I'm going to try closing my pool this year without a winter cover. We don't get too many leaves and whatever goes in before freezing, I will just get it out with the leaf net. We tore our cover last year and have been deciding what type of cover to get -- solid or mesh. Then, there's the hassle with the sand bags on top of the cover to hold it down because we have decking all the way around our above ground pool.

    This sounds like the way to go. I know what my neighbors will think though.... they will think that we're too lazy to cover our pool!
    24 ft. round Artesian above-ground pool
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