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Thread: Pool closing chemicals

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    Pool closing chemicals

    I just had a question about closing my in-ground pool this year. Last year I had the pool store come out and close it as I had only had the house/pool for a week's worth of use and wasn't ready to even try. I watched them do it, I opened the pool this year, and I feel confident to close it myself. The other thing is I'm going to close the pool while keeping the spa open, so I'm only blowing out half of the lines. If something goes wrong and I find one of my valves do not close completely, I'll go about doing the spa as well and fix it for next year.

    Anyways, the questions I had related to the actual chemicals I'd need; the procedure I'm familiar enough with. I read the Pool School post as well as the sticky regarding closing the pool. So shocking the pool before closing it, and cleaning it are obviously easy to follow. However, last year I know they added a bunch of chemicals (I know the pool store is just there to make money), and I wanted to find out which ones were actually needed. I had told them not to add calcium but he did anyways and my levels were off the charts all summer.

    So I believe the idea is to go into winter with 'balanced water', and since I've been managing the pool myself this year, I know that things will be fairly balanced. Then you shock it to kill any remaining algae that may be there. Since the water should be cold enough when you start, no new algae should spawn after the shock. Then the posts say to use polyquat per bottle instructions I assume to prevent algae growth when the water temp rises. Lastly, I know the pool company added a 'winterizing shock' (chlorine free) and some other chemicals (like calcium) to my water before they closed it. Are any of these needed?

    I don't want to waste a ton of money on stuff I don't need, but I want to make sure I don't skip anything. Is polyquat really the only chemical you need for winterizing? And is it a special kind of algaecide, or can I find it at walmart or Sam's Club or something? To note, I have a solid cover, so the water that is in there when I close is fairly close to the water I have in the spring.

    As a side question, where all do I need to put antifreeze in? I assume I put it into both skimmers before I seal them up. Then I put them in bottles as floaters in the skimmers in case water gets in there when it rains. What about the return lines, any way you're supposed to get it in those? If I'm keeping my pump/filter running in the winter for my spa, is there anywhere else I need to put it? And any easy way to guess how much I'll need? Last year they used 3.5 gallons, but I kept the bottles they had in the skimmers, so I assume I can reuse those.
    33,000 gallon gunite pool and Spa (in ground), SWG
    Sta-Rite System 3 Modular Media Filter (300 Sq. Foot cartridge filter)
    Jandy Lite2 Natural Gas Pool and Spa Heater

    Maryland, USA

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Pool closing chemicals

    The whole key to closing and opening your pool is water temp !! You want to close when the water temp is below 60. The low 50's high 40's would be great. Then when you open you want the water temp to be in the same range. The water temp is important in not having an algae outbreak.
    As for the polyquat 60, it's optional. It doesn't kill algae it helps to prevent it. The difference with the polyquat 60 and other algicide's is the polyquat does not have any copper in it. No reason to be putting copper in your water. You need no other chem's.
    So in a nutshell when your water temp is below 60 and your ready to close, bring your FC up to SLAM level and let it circulate for 30 min's or so and cover it up. Then in the spring get things going when the water temp is below 60. If you open early enough you should still have FC in the water. When I opened this spring I had 4 ppm of FC. I closed it at shock level of 16. It held chlorine for almost 5 months ! No other chem's or polyquat.
    I can't help you with the antifreeze. Somebody else will chime in about that. 😎
    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: Pool closing chemicals

    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
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    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
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    mickey4paws's Avatar
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    Re: Pool closing chemicals

    I only add liquid chlorine/bleach. One year I did try the polyquat 60, but I've found it doesn't make a difference so I've been leaving it out.

    Pwrstrk - regarding water temps. I like to use the pool right up until closing so water temp is still high, about 78. I haven't had a problem so far, but now I'm wondering. We have no problem opening to cold temps, usually about 50 degrees. I would wait for the temp to be in the 60's to close, but we have a maple tree that wreaks havoc on the pool.
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG T-15 - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Pool closing chemicals

    A couple of reasons I say water temp is key. Algae has a harder time starting at temps under 60, not saying it can't happen. The other reason is when you bring the FC level up to shock level with colder water your FC will hold longer at colder temps.
    It's how I handle it and I open to clear water.
    How about a leaf net for the maple ? 😎
    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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    Pool closing chemicals

    I use a shop vac as a blower to clear the lines. Since my pump is below the water level I simply if the skimmer and blow out from top side. (Skimmer side). Plug line to pump with freeE protector plug, open drain and move on. On the returns I blow from the pump side until I see bubbles, block off that return, move to the next one that bubbles, plug that one. On to the last one (we have 3). When it bubbles I put a gizmo (one way valve/plug) in that one. Put a gallon of anti freeze in the line and hit with blower quick, repeat until it blows antifreeze out of the gizmo. Plug it up and done. Cover equipment and put mouse traps/poison in the vault for the auto cover. As far as chems go I get to shock level maybe higher with LC and balance all else and dump a bottle of algecide in and done.


    30x20 vinyl IG, Hayward SD60 with Pentair Dynamo 340219 2HP pump, Compupool CPSC24 SWG, Hayward H200FDN heater. APC automatic pool cover.
    Central Illinois

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    mickey4paws's Avatar
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    Re: Pool closing chemicals

    Quote Originally Posted by pwrstrk View Post
    A couple of reasons I say water temp is key. Algae has a harder time starting at temps under 60, not saying it can't happen. The other reason is when you bring the FC level up to shock level with colder water your FC will hold longer at colder temps.
    It's how I handle it and I open to clear water.
    How about a leaf net for the maple ? ��
    Thanks, I appreciate your reply. Makes sense about the water temps. As far as the maple, I have thought about a leaf net for when we close, but are you talking about using one while the pool is still open? We are supposed to be getting the maple tree cut back again since it's been about 5 years since the last trim. Not only does the tree drop leaves and those twirly seed pods, but now when we get a hard rain, we get green moss in the pool (which mimics algae) and generally makes a mess. Personally, I want the tree gone, but my husband doesn't. So.....LOL, I guess I'm stuck for a while.
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG T-15 - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Pool closing chemicals

    You can use the leaf net while pool is still open if the tree is giving you problems. You can also use it on top of your winter cover.
    I had a maple somewhat nearby our pool. Tree made a mess. It fell victim to the chainsaw ! 😎
    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: Pool closing chemicals

    I had to reshock mine about early spring while covered. Im not sure what the water temp was but if I hadnt added any chlorine I wouldnt have had any when we opened it and probably had algae to boot. Point is, if you can check your chlorine level at some point then maybe you should.
    18,000 Gallon Aboveground. Sand Filter with 2HP 2 speed Pump.

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    Re: Pool closing chemicals

    So last year we didn't close it until mid November because we just bought the house a few months before and we were getting the heater fixed on it and wanted to enjoy the hot tub before closing. For the last week before we closed it, I was spending at least an hour a day gathering leaves off of the pool. My robot vacuum wouldn't work effectively in the cold water, so it took a lot of time and patience keeping it clean to not even be swimming. Then we opened it up in early May, just before the water started getting warmer. However, there was no CYA in the pool and it was my first time doing this, so once it got warm enough, the chlorine went away and the algae came to play.

    So as long as I open it early again and close it late (not as late this time), I should be fine. For my other question, only bdex answered and I wasn't sure exactly what he meant. I can easily pour antifreeze into the skimmer lines (the incoming lines), but what about the returns? Is there any way to get antifreeze in there? Or is it not needed because when you blow the lines there it gets 99% of the water out? I can't think of a way to get it to the returns with the exception of somehow pumping it (or blowing it) to the returns through the filter/heater/etc, but that can't make sense.

    Any thoughts on that?
    33,000 gallon gunite pool and Spa (in ground), SWG
    Sta-Rite System 3 Modular Media Filter (300 Sq. Foot cartridge filter)
    Jandy Lite2 Natural Gas Pool and Spa Heater

    Maryland, USA

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