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Thread: Fiberglass Pool, Safety Cover, and Freezing... to drain, or not to drain?

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    Question Fiberglass Pool, Safety Cover, and Freezing... to drain, or not to drain?

    All,

    Over the past five years, we've winterized our pool here in Connecticut by draining the water level down and putting some form of cover over it. Last year, it was a semi-porous mesh. The years prior, it was your basic tarp which ended up being mostly porous after a few years. But in all cases, the water level in the pool rose right back to where we started as the winter progressed, sometimes even before the first hard freeze. We never had any damage to the glued-on tile on the sides of the one-piece fiberglass pool, and the skimmer is protected with antifreeze and one of those whatchamacallits or whatever it's really called, so we didn't have damage there, either.

    And every year, as I looked out as this big puddle of water in the back yard, I thought to myself, "Gee. That's pretty unsafe. If not for humans, then certainly for an animal which might go tromping through the snow and discover the pool the hard way."

    So I got to wondering: Since we have a superb Aquamatic Hydramatic safety pool cover, and they say it's OK to use with snow (just so long as the water beneath the surface is at its usual level, to keep the cover from pulling out of the tracks), why don't I just leave the water at its usual level, plug the skimmer and winterize as usual otherwise, and let winter come?

    Based on past experience, this should be fine. But... am I missing some big, fat hairy law of physics/Mother Nature which will eat our pool alive?

    I thought about adding some air pillows under the cover, perhaps one in each quadrant of the pool, but I can't find any reason to do or not to do this.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for spending brain cells on this problem with me,
    Bill
    Bill Eccles
    Tolland, Connecticut
    16'x40' CPC Athens IG fiberglass, 23,000gal., installed 6/2010
    Hayward AquaRite Pro salt system, C5025 cartridge filter, SP4007X10 pump, H400FDP heater
    Aquamatic Hydramatic safety cover, Vantage in-floor cleaning system

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    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Moberly,MO
    Posts
    978

    Re: Fiberglass Pool, Safety Cover, and Freezing... to drain, or not to drain?

    In Missouri where I am located we use the automatic cover as the winter cover. As you stated as long as water is at a normal level all should be okay. The thing to remember is get water and snow off as often as possible. The weight of this on top of the cover will push water out from underneath the cover and can eventually pull the tracks. I have a Dr customer that every spring we replace tracks on one side or the other because he doesn't pay any attention to it once the pool is closed.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

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    Re: Fiberglass Pool, Safety Cover, and Freezing... to drain, or not to drain?

    Very good information, SwimCMP!

    The cover pump we use (a Rule... so don't get me started...) is supposed to be freeze-happy, though certainly not freeze proof. That should take care of melted snow, I suppose.

    How do you guys remove snow from the cover? Shovel off the end and open the cover a bit... repeat?
    Bill Eccles
    Tolland, Connecticut
    16'x40' CPC Athens IG fiberglass, 23,000gal., installed 6/2010
    Hayward AquaRite Pro salt system, C5025 cartridge filter, SP4007X10 pump, H400FDP heater
    Aquamatic Hydramatic safety cover, Vantage in-floor cleaning system

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    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Moberly,MO
    Posts
    978

    Re: Fiberglass Pool, Safety Cover, and Freezing... to drain, or not to drain?

    Usually we let it melt and pump it off. But that is here in Missouri where we can have warm days in January. I have been known to take a concrete rake and pull chunks of ice/snow to the edge and remove it if it gets too deep. I suppose one could try to pull the cover towards the mechanism to get to more of the snow/ice whichever it might be.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Fiberglass Pool, Safety Cover, and Freezing... to drain, or not to drain?

    Again, I appreciate the advice. The plan for the pool closing and winter maintenance is coming together nicely.

    I'll bet a roof rake would work. Connecticut has had some wicked (15 years of proximity to Massachusetts has caused that word to slip into my vocabulary) winters, so I'll need to be prepared.

    Thanks again--I'll post an update in the spring.
    Bill Eccles
    Tolland, Connecticut
    16'x40' CPC Athens IG fiberglass, 23,000gal., installed 6/2010
    Hayward AquaRite Pro salt system, C5025 cartridge filter, SP4007X10 pump, H400FDP heater
    Aquamatic Hydramatic safety cover, Vantage in-floor cleaning system

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