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Thread: Snowbird pool closing

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    Kathe's Avatar
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    Snowbird pool closing

    This will be our first winter with our new pool. We live in michigan, but will be wintering in FL. So we won't be around to pump water or add chemicals. If we blow out our lines and disconnect everything, do we really need to cover the pool? Planning to close in late October or early Nov and open in April.
    Above ground 27' round, 17,000 gal., 52" high; vinyl liner; TropiCal 96,000BTU Heat pump; Integrity A Frame Ladder; Solar Blanket, Aqua Cover by PolyAir Corp, thermotex clear, 5 yr. warranty, cartridge filter., Clear Bay Cartridge CBA2-10043 (two to switch out when cleaning); New pool as of 6/1/15.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Snowbird pool closing

    You will certainly have more of a mess to deal with if you do not cover it.
    Have you reviewed the closing articles in Pool School?
    Pool School - Closing (Winterizing) Your Above Ground Pool
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Kathe's Avatar
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    Re: Snowbird pool closing

    yes. We will do all the proper closing stuff, but my question is really about covers. Since we will be out of town for 3 months, I hesitate to cover it with a solid cover because of needing a pump on top.

    So, then I looked at the mesh cover idea, but that is more costly than the solid, although lighter to use. And it still allows dirt to get in.

    I have a leaf cover I could use to keep larger stuff from getting in, but I don't see that anyone only uses just that.

    It's all a bit confusing to me and I don't know the best way to go with it.
    Above ground 27' round, 17,000 gal., 52" high; vinyl liner; TropiCal 96,000BTU Heat pump; Integrity A Frame Ladder; Solar Blanket, Aqua Cover by PolyAir Corp, thermotex clear, 5 yr. warranty, cartridge filter., Clear Bay Cartridge CBA2-10043 (two to switch out when cleaning); New pool as of 6/1/15.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Snowbird pool closing

    Since you won't be there to keep an eye on things, I would go ahead and not cover the pool. Then you won't have to worry about ice buildup on a cover collapsing the pool walls. You will have quite a bit of clean-up in the spring, but if you clean it up as soon as it thaws you should be able to prevent it from turning into a swamp.

    If your pool is connected with hoses, drain the pool below the return, disconnect hoses from the skimmer and return, drain the pump and filter, plug the return and allow the skimmer and return to stay open so rain water drains out the skimmer onto the ground. Store the filter and pump out of the weather. Be sure to keep the drain plugs out if you store the equipment in an area that will freeze.
    TFP Moderator
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    Kathe's Avatar
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    Re: Snowbird pool closing

    We have one of those aquadoor things to cover the skimmer hole with. What would happen if the pool would over flow?
    Above ground 27' round, 17,000 gal., 52" high; vinyl liner; TropiCal 96,000BTU Heat pump; Integrity A Frame Ladder; Solar Blanket, Aqua Cover by PolyAir Corp, thermotex clear, 5 yr. warranty, cartridge filter., Clear Bay Cartridge CBA2-10043 (two to switch out when cleaning); New pool as of 6/1/15.

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    Re: Snowbird pool closing

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathe View Post
    yes. We will do all the proper closing stuff, but my question is really about covers. Since we will be out of town for 3 months, I hesitate to cover it with a solid cover because of needing a pump on top.

    So, then I looked at the mesh cover idea, but that is more costly than the solid, although lighter to use. And it still allows dirt to get in.

    I have a leaf cover I could use to keep larger stuff from getting in, but I don't see that anyone only uses just that.

    It's all a bit confusing to me and I don't know the best way to go with it.
    I'm a little confused about the dilemma. The purpose of the cover is to keep out the big pieces of debris and preventing them from decomposing in the water. There is a 100% chance that leaves and other organic debris will get into your water come Springtime if you have no cover. Mesh covers are expensive, so I can understand your concern there, but not in regards to dirt, IMHO. A pool cover pump costs about $50, but I certainly wouldn't leave it in all winter, especially in the Northern Midwest. You only bring it out when you use it and put it away when you're done. I would think a cover is an absolute requirement for any pool north of the Mason-Dixon line. When do you go down to FL?

    For my first six 6 off-seasons, I used the solid cover/pump method (I now have a Loop-Loc mesh safety cover). I would drain the pool to the returns, blow out the pipes and tank, antifreeze, and cap. Then cover the pool using a combination of water bags and railroad ties (i.e. landscaping timbers) to keep it in place. If there is not enough slack so the cover can gently rest on the water, I would add some water underneath the cover. It don't matter if the water level is above the plumbing at that point because they are capped and sealed with antifreeze inside. Come the end of October/beginning of November, I would then pump rain water out of the cover before the first freeze in order to make room for the snow that is about to fall. From then until about March/April, my pool wouldn't cross my mind. Come Spring, I'd scope out the leaves and pump out what used to be ice and snow, but again I would not leave the pump in over the winter. Water can't be pumped or treated once it freezes, so what's the use?

    I guess my point is that you are going to have to perform a SLAM in the Spring no matter what, but it stands to reason that a properly winterized pool will undergo a shorter SLAM than one just hanging out, exposed to the elements.
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Kathe's Avatar
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    Re: Snowbird pool closing

    Has anyone who has left their pool uncovered in a midwest winter had success with that? What was your experience?
    Above ground 27' round, 17,000 gal., 52" high; vinyl liner; TropiCal 96,000BTU Heat pump; Integrity A Frame Ladder; Solar Blanket, Aqua Cover by PolyAir Corp, thermotex clear, 5 yr. warranty, cartridge filter., Clear Bay Cartridge CBA2-10043 (two to switch out when cleaning); New pool as of 6/1/15.

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    Re: Snowbird pool closing

    I am in Quebec City where we have 4 meters of snow and the pool freezes to 8-12 inches depending on the lowest temperatures attained in mid-January. I keep a pine needle mesh cover on the pool until late October or a couple of weeks before freeze-up. I remove it, because it would be destroyed or severely torn by the layer of surface ice. I have many trees, and much debris ends up in the pool overwinter. At ice out, I run a leaf bag on the bottom and remove as much as I can even though I cannot see the pool bottom until my first SLAM operation in mid to late May. So, I am definitely in the 'no cover' camp.
    Due to a fairly long two month 'no swim' period between September and November, I have a two step closing procedure. Around mid-September, I will bring the FC to shock level, cover the pool with the floating solar cover and use this as a support for my black pine-needle mesh cover. I turn everything off until late October., or when temperatures reach 6 C. During the two month 'no circulation/no treatment period', the dark mesh cover completely inhibits photosynthesis, so algal development/organics are minimal. In late October, I will vacuum and drain to 6 inches below the inlets, and blow the plumbing using a shop vac. Drain the sand filter and pump, remove the pressure gauge on the sand filter. Finally I cap all pipes in the skimmer and pool inlet. Sure, my pool overflows above the skimmer in the Spring, but this is a very slow process, and the overflow water naturally drains in the sand bed surrounding my inground pool.
    Even though we have very cold air temperatures; the soil temperature does not easily freeze because of the snow pack depth. The pool's ice pack is never jammed up against the pool walls. Even at temperatures as low as -25 to -30 C, I can slide my gloved hand between the ice pack and the liner at the pools edge. So for an IG pool, with conductive walls (aluminium), I don't use or need to place pillows or expansion devices in the pool. For an AG pool, the pool walls are not connected to the soil temperatures, so you do need to add pillows or other ice expansion absorbing materials to prevent wall damage.
    14 x 28 Jacuzzi vinyl inground pool, Jacuzzi Laser 250 sand filter, Hayward 1 HP pump.

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    Re: Snowbird pool closing

    All due respect, Kathe, but why does it feel like you'll continue to ask the same question until you find the answer you're looking for?

    At the end of the day, it's your choice if you don't want to cover your pool and leave it to the elements for three+ months without anyone keeping an eye on it, but I think that improperly cared for pool in the winter is probably more of a headache than an improperly cared for pool in the spring/summer.

    I maintain my position: Winterize the plumbing as you planned, but cover it. A pool cover pump cost about $40 on amazon and for my money, it is SO well worth it. Ensure your water level is down below the return before you leave for the Sunshine State and don't worry about adding chemicals over the winter. You can't treat a sheet of ice anyway.

    So it occurs to me that the question becomes: what is the difference between spending $150 (ballpark) on a cover, pillow, and pump now or spending that amount or more (plus time) SLAMing your pool for 3 weeks in the Spring? Just something to think about, especially when the cover, pillow, and pump will last several years and the 3 week SLAM might be an annual occurrence.
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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