16' AGP Winter Cover Recommendations (First time winterizer)

JediKnight

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2019
58
Grass Valley, CA
I've been loving TFP all summer and it's been a wonderful for keeping the 16' chemistry set in balance. This will be the first time the pool is winterized and not taken down as it's buried 2ft since sometime last spring.

Got everything going the right way according to Pool School. I've not disconnected the pump yet, but the gate valves are closed off and the water level is lowered 6" below the intake as you can see in the images. We've not had a freeze yet in NorCal as we're having above average temps. Had to add some dry acid as the fall from the eyeball height increased my Ph level that's been perfect all summer while it was circulating the SLAM level chlorine.

Thought we'd try the cover that came with the pool, but it was full of intentionally placed holes from the manufacturer. We don't want a 16ft cup of compost tea in the spring, so we duct taped the holes. I reckoned that the original Intex cover was made to sit higher than the water level but planned we could work around that. Can't even get the cover on.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a 16 foot AGP cover?

Also, what is everyone using to drain the rain water off of the winter cover? Manual siphon? Small battery pump?





poolcoverfail.jpg
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
For cover pumps, here are a couple options:

I'm sure there are others. But let me ask you this ...... in your area, do you really need to use the cover? Lots of tress still dropping leaves? I ask because many folks just leave the pool uncovered as well. If you do use a cover, make sure no water can't pass "up" through those holes since the pump would probably keep pulling water out and lowering your overall pool water level as well.


 
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JediKnight

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2019
58
Grass Valley, CA
For cover pumps, here are a couple options:

I'm sure there are others. But let me ask you this ...... in your area, do you really need to use the cover? Lots of tress still dropping leaves? I ask because many folks just leave the pool uncovered as well. If you do use a cover, make s
ure no water can't pass "up" through those holes since the pump would probably keep pulling water out and lowering your overall pool water level as well.



What would be the criteria for cover verses no cover? We're about an hour from Lake Tahoe in CA. We have four distinct seasons. Freezes and some hard freezes. Sometimes we get snow at our elevation, but usually on about an inch or two.

We do have leaves (maple, oak and pine) but most have already dropped. We do get a lot of rain over the winter. However this fall has been unusually warm and dry. The pool is about 48F currently.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
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Criteria for a cover varies based on purpose such as protection from debris, kids/pets, to the type of cover, pool type, and closing process used. If you do a quick search here for "to cover or not cover", you'll see a fairly even spread either way. For your pool type specifically, with most leaves and such already fallen, closing is a fairly straight-forward process, and you've gotten a head start on it already with the water level lowered. I don't see an aftermarket thru-wall simmer, so I suspect it's just those Intex in-wall ports for suction and return? You can leave those open so any future rain/snow can leak out if you wish. If you have an occasional hard freeze, it may create a small ice shelf then later melt on its own anyways.

If you decide to cover (solid), you have to decide if you want to have a cover sit on the surface of the water (raise it back up) and pump water off, or use various products that serve as "pillows" to provide that hump under the cover to allow water to drain off. Not to scare you from covering, but they need to be secured really well too.

I lived in that region for a few years, so I know what you mean about the weather. If it were me, I'd probably ride this year out uncovered and see how I like it. You can always take a peak at the water to see if anything needs to be scooped out if it blows in. The water temp is already well below concerns for algae, so simply protect any equipment as needed and you're set. But give this thread a day or two to get more replies. Others from your area may give you more perspective on how to decide.
 
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zea3

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Jul 10, 2009
12,240
Houston, Texas
The reason you winterize is to protect pipes and equipment. If your pool doesn't have an in-wall skimmer, then you can remove the hoses and plug the openings and it won't matter how high the water rises. If you keep the pool uncovered you can add more chlorine as needed and brush the pool to mix it in. Once the water has frozen over you won't need to worry about adding bleach until it thaws. You probably would only need to add bleach once or twice. It lasts a long time when the water is cold.
 
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JediKnight

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2019
58
Grass Valley, CA
Criteria for a cover varies based on purpose such as protection from debris, kids/pets, to the type of cover, pool type, and closing process used. If you do a quick search here for "to cover or not cover", you'll see a fairly even spread either way. For your pool type specifically, with most leaves and such already fallen, closing is a fairly straight-forward process, and you've gotten a head start on it already with the water level lowered. I don't see an aftermarket thru-wall simmer, so I suspect it's just those Intex in-wall ports for suction and return? You can leave those open so any future rain/snow can leak out if you wish. If you have an occasional hard freeze, it may create a small ice shelf then later melt on its own anyways.

If you decide to cover (solid), you have to decide if you want to have a cover sit on the surface of the water (raise it back up) and pump water off, or use various products that serve as "pillows" to provide that hump under the cover to allow water to drain off. Not to scare you from covering, but they need to be secured really well too.

I lived in that region for a few years, so I know what you mean about the weather. If it were me, I'd probably ride this year out uncovered and see how I like it. You can always take a peak at the water to see if anything needs to be scooped out if it blows in. The water temp is already well below concerns for algae, so simply protect any equipment as needed and you're set. But give this thread a day or two to get more replies. Others from your area may give you more perspective on how to decide.
For me, cover purpose would be debris/dirt/bug protection. Even in the two days since I got the water level lowered, 24hr SLAM and tools removed I can already see some new dirt on the bottom of the liner that's settled.

No through the wall skimmer, I've been using the Intex clamp on type which has been removed for the season.

There are gate valves on the intake and return holes that are set to the closed position. Any overflowing rain would run down the sides where the pool is buried 2ft into the ground causing liner cave-ins or undermining the bottom.

I'll be skimming through old search posts to see what others have done in the next couple of days as well, thanks for that recommendation.

We're getting rain/snow this week (finally!) won't the added rainwater mess up my PH and chlorine levels, or will it just be too cold for it to matter all winter?

It sounds like a mesh cover might be a good option.:unsure:
 

JediKnight

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2019
58
Grass Valley, CA
The reason you winterize is to protect pipes and equipment. If your pool doesn't have an in-wall skimmer, then you can remove the hoses and plug the openings and it won't matter how high the water rises. If you keep the pool uncovered you can add more chlorine as needed and brush the pool to mix it in. Once the water has frozen over you won't need to worry about adding bleach until it thaws. You probably would only need to add bleach once or twice. It lasts a long time when the water is cold.
It doesn't have a through the wall skimmer. Although if the pool overflows it would cause issues as it's buried 2ft into the soil. I can always siphon/pump out excess either from the pool itself or off a solid cover.

It will for sure freeze, in my area nothing stays frozen all winter long. Maybe a few days to a week at a time.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
The biggest threat to pH over the winter is it rising, but the colder water tends to help counter-balance that in terms of chemistry, so once you close, consider it done. For FC, you'll probably increase it a bit just before covering, mix it around really good, and again - consider it done. The cold water is your friend to prevent algae as well. Sounds like you have several options there, so that's good. And if you decide to get a pump either for a cover, or a small submersible to help regulate water flow to protect the sides, either should work well. Let us know if you have any other questions.
 
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