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Thread: How To Winterize?

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    How To Winterize?

    So within a few weeks, the temp in the pool will be down to where it isn't fun anymore even with a wetsuit. We had some very significant rain Friday night that dropped the temp 10 degrees and it hasn't been sunny since. (Also did a number on my salt level).

    So last year I just kept the system on all year long, but I've come to understand that the salt cell doesn't run/generate anything under 50 degrees anyhow. So it would seem to make sense to just unplug it for the winter and go with straight chlorine. Save the wear and tear on the salt cell and actually provide chlorine in the timeframe where the salt cell wouldn't be making any.

    So if (a) that's the right thing to do, then (b) what's the best way to do that?

    I've seen some threads in here refering to something called a trichlor (sp?) puck but that seems to have problems by raising your CYA up to levels it shouldn't be, making the chlorine ineffective anyhow, right? I suppose those are the pucks that they used in the chlorinator when the pool was first started? Are there different types of pucks? Advantages / disadvantages?

    Or do I toss in liquid bleach all winter long?

    How often do I test things during the winter? Am I still going for the same levels as during the summer and swimming months?
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: How To Winterize?

    The good news is you probably won't be using too much bleach because the water's too cold for anything to grow in (last winter was my first using bleach, and l hardly used any). This year, w/swg, I'll do exactly what you questioned. Do NOT use pucks. I tested a couple times/week and found my levels stayed pretty level. I probably only used 4-5 bottles of 8.25% all winter. I did run my pump and cleaner for 4 hrs daily. And my freeze sensor turned it on anytime the air temp got below 32
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    Re: How To Winterize?

    Quote Originally Posted by timerguy View Post
    The good news is you probably won't be using too much bleach because the water's too cold for anything to grow in (last winter was my first using bleach, and l hardly used any). This year, w/swg, I'll do exactly what you questioned. Do NOT use pucks. I tested a couple times/week and found my levels stayed pretty level. I probably only used 4-5 bottles of 8.25% all winter. I did run my pump and cleaner for 4 hrs daily. And my freeze sensor turned it on anytime the air temp got below 32
    Thank you. I appreciate your response. I suspect my pH could continue to rise during the winter as well, since the sconces will still be on causing the same amount of aeration as during the summer. So I might be putting in both acid and bleach. Will certainly be interesting to see how it goes.

    What's the target FC one would go for during the winter. There's no bathing load, so does it need to stay at the same range as the summer? As you mentioned, water too cold to allow anything to grow anyhow?
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: How To Winterize?

    You would target the same FC levels as summer maintenance. However, the colder the water is, the less FC you'll CONSUME so you'll use less chlorine than with higher temperatures. Also, below 60 degrees you'll have much less chance of algae growing. If you cover the pool you'll use even less FC. Low temps + covered would mean very little FC usage. FC levels would be the same for minimum and target but you likely would only need to test every few days at first to get a feel for it and then maybe once per week as you're FC level would be very slow to drop.

    pH rise would also likely be slowed as carbon dioxide outgassing is less at lower temperatures. I'm not entirely certain on this but based on typical gas solubility coefficients, carbon dioxide is more soluble at lower temps, so outgassing would be slower.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: How To Winterize?

    You sure your water is going to get cold enough to shut down the SWG? You might just need to dial the SWG output and pump run time down and continue to maintain the same levels.
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    Re: How To Winterize?

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    You would target the same FC levels as summer maintenance. However, the colder the water is, the less FC you'll CONSUME so you'll use less chlorine than with higher temperatures. Also, below 60 degrees you'll have much less chance of algae growing. If you cover the pool you'll use even less FC. Low temps + covered would mean very little FC usage. FC levels would be the same for minimum and target but you likely would only need to test every few days at first to get a feel for it and then maybe once per week as you're FC level would be very slow to drop.

    pH rise would also likely be slowed as carbon dioxide outgassing is less at lower temperatures. I'm not entirely certain on this but based on typical gas solubility coefficients, carbon dioxide is more soluble at lower temps, so outgassing would be slower.
    Thank you. I appreciate the information.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    You sure your water is going to get cold enough to shut down the SWG? You might just need to dial the SWG output and pump run time down and continue to maintain the same levels.
    Based on last winter yes. Water was often between 40-55. Never froze, but was certainly not inviting. I'm guessing it's a trade-off of SWG lifetime vs. the need for bleach, etc?
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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