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Thread: Winterize or leave open?

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    Winterize or leave open?

    My pool store told me that he thought it was better to just maintain the pool through the winter instead of spending the money on a cover every year and the winterizing chemicals. He said that a stable pool would not take that much in chemicals during the winter to keep it up and it would always be ready to get in when it warmed up (as opposed to having to open it and get it ready in the spring). Does anyone here have objective opinions or experience with this? We normally can swim clear into September and I winterize in October. I usually open it at the end op April or 1st of May.
    amoses (Aaron)
    Converted from Baquaqoo in the fall of 09. Best thing I ever did!!
    AG, 24 Ft Round, 54" wall, 48" deep, 13,500 gal., TF-100 test kit
    Hi-Flo II 1.5 HP pump, AquaTools High Rate 200# Sand Filter AT3120

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    Re: Winterize or leave open?

    How cold does it get in texas?
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    Re: Winterize or leave open?

    Occasionally it gets down to freezing, and once in a while it will get into the 20's, and on very rare occasions it will break into the teens. But the cold never lasts long and sometimes you will even see 70's in January, although that is not normal either.

    The pool guy said you just have to make sure that you run the pump continuously when it is cold, is that true?
    amoses (Aaron)
    Converted from Baquaqoo in the fall of 09. Best thing I ever did!!
    AG, 24 Ft Round, 54" wall, 48" deep, 13,500 gal., TF-100 test kit
    Hi-Flo II 1.5 HP pump, AquaTools High Rate 200# Sand Filter AT3120

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Winterize or leave open?

    I've never done the "closing" that they have to do up north. The first year I covered the pool but the cover got torn up while taking it off and I never replaced it. The few times the temp dropped below freezing I kept the pump running until the freeze danger was over.
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    Re: Winterize or leave open?

    Quote Originally Posted by amoses
    Occasionally it gets down to freezing, and once in a while it will get into the 20's, and on very rare occasions it will break into the teens. But the cold never lasts long and sometimes you will even see 70's in January, although that is not normal either.

    The pool guy said you just have to make sure that you run the pump continuously when it is cold, is that true?
    My inground pool has a "freeze-protect" function that runs the filter and waterfall (maybe even Polaris) pumps when the air temp gets down to some preset temp, maybe 37 degrees, maybe 47 degrees I'm not certain but could check if you want me to. The particular temperature may have to do with the natural rock waterfall that can develop cracks from even small amounts of ice forming over night with radiant cooling.

    Without that automatic feature, I'd probably run the filter overnight or whenever they were predicting a "hard freeze -- protect pipes" or even a "possible freeze -- protect tender vegetation". What you want to do is to be certain that the relatively warm pool water is circulating through pipes that are small diameter and exposed to cold winds and possible radiant cooling (which is what can create ice on puddles even when air temp did not get to 32 overnight)

    You probably also will want to check the pool water temp on occasion but my above ground pond hardly ever got ice on it and it was only 300 gallons and in shade mostly and ran a fountain all the time so it cooled way faster than a big pool ever could. That pond was at 40 to 55 degrees or so most of the winter. I think I only saw ice on it when we had that big freeze in what, 1988?, when we hit 7 degrees and stayed below freezing for a day or 2. Anyhow, what I observed was that the pool would be at something near the avg of high and low temps of the prior 2 or 3 days. So, since most of our winter (Houston) has daytime temps about 55ish and night temps about 35ish, the pond would be at 45ish then.

    I'm not sure where you are in Texas, and I do know that Ft Worth or Midland is way, way different than Houston, but what you mentioned about the range of temps sounds like Houston so I expect you don't *need* to close the pool.

    OTOH, a cover will reduce your need for chlorine over the winter no-swim months and may reduce the amount of leaf litter you collect. I sometimes wonder whether I'd like a winter cover just to keep the leaves out, but my "better-half" insists that he loves the look of the water since we can see the pool from every part of the house.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Winterize or leave open?

    Is it true that you use less chemicals and that the pool stays more stable during the winter and cooler months? Do you still have to check and adjust every day?
    amoses (Aaron)
    Converted from Baquaqoo in the fall of 09. Best thing I ever did!!
    AG, 24 Ft Round, 54" wall, 48" deep, 13,500 gal., TF-100 test kit
    Hi-Flo II 1.5 HP pump, AquaTools High Rate 200# Sand Filter AT3120

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    Re: Winterize or leave open?

    Quote Originally Posted by amoses
    Is it true that you use less chemicals and that the pool stays more stable during the winter and cooler months? Do you still have to check and adjust every day?
    Yes, it is more stable, in winter you get A LOT less sun, shorter days and the sun is less direct overhead, and algae is temp sensitive to some extent (many, many different sorts of algae out there). So, you do not need to test daily, but I cannot say much about how often it really needs to be. This winter I was busy moving in, so I used the automatic chlorinator and weekly cal-hypo shock for awhile and tested with strips weekly as instructed by the pool store.

    Eventually I noticed the high CYA and loss of water from a leak and spent some time on that adventure. And with winter rains I still had to test at least every 3rd day to keep it all in order as the rains brought a lot of leaves and occasionally dirt into the pool, as did the waterfall. We also run the spa about 2x/week or more in winter and that can use up chlorine as well with the heat and bather load and bubbles.

    So, your pool will be much simpler with out the waterfall and spa and I'd expect you'd have less chlorine usage than I do all through the year.

    What you would do it to keep records. The chlorine usage ought to be mostly predictable. At one point, at the start of swim season, my pool was using 1.5 ppm of chlorine a day and I added chlorine every 3rd day. Currently it is more like 2.5 ppm per day and I add daily or every other day. I expect that to dropoff in September as the days get shorter.






    And, if you see CYA going down due to rainwater, you'd have the luxury of using a puck in a floater for a while.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Winterize or leave open?

    Okay, Thanks. I do not have many trees around and leaves are not to big a problem. I do have a pool rover Jr that I put in the pool at least once a week and if I did that in the winter, it would keep most of the leaves and dirt out.

    So, from what I am hearing, my pool store guy is probably right and it would be just as cost effective to leave it open during Oct through April as opposed to winterizing it, and it would be ready for swimming any time we were willing to get in!

    I guess I will make the conversion when it gets a little cooler and I am lower on the chemicals that I currently own, then I will try leaving it open this winter and see what happens. I don't think my timer has a temp sensor on it so I will have to monitor the freeze potential my self and make sure the pump is running when it needs too.

    BTW, we are about 30 miles south of Fort Worth. Weather is temperamental last few years. Hot one day and near freezing the next.

    I appreciated the help and comments.
    amoses (Aaron)
    Converted from Baquaqoo in the fall of 09. Best thing I ever did!!
    AG, 24 Ft Round, 54" wall, 48" deep, 13,500 gal., TF-100 test kit
    Hi-Flo II 1.5 HP pump, AquaTools High Rate 200# Sand Filter AT3120

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