Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Trying to correctly winterize and freaking out!

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Trying to correctly winterize and freaking out!

    Hi ~
    I have read every post on here about winterizing my above ground 24 foot with 54 inch sides. The store I bought my chemicals from told me to drain it down past the skimmer.

    My pool installer said since I have the skimmer cover I didn't need to. Which way is it?

    I live in Northern Indiana and get alot of lake effect wind and snow. This is a brand new pool and I really don't want the skimmer to be cracked in the spring.

    Also, I put the winter cover on (per instructions) which was to weave the cable and snug it tight. Then we had a incredible wind storm for two days and it looked like a giant cupcake in the back yard. Now I read that people have had the top rails tear off because of this. What should I do?

    Do I need to purchase an air pillow for the middle to prevent the sides from bursting? We get some wicked cold winters and I do believe that it will be freezing solid.

    And how can I possibly keep the wind from howling thru it again. Some say milk/bleach jugs... others say clamps. I have waited years to get this pool and the last thing I want to happen to it is something horrible cause I did something wrong. Please help this newbie out.

    All responses will be greatly appreciated.

    A freaking out pool owner

  2. Back To Top    #2
    TizMe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Covington, Georgia
    Posts
    920

    Re: Trying to correctly winterize and freaking out!

    If you live in an area where your temps go low enough to freeze then you need to drain below your return line.
    Read the section in "Pool School" about Closing and winterizing your above ground pool
    Les
    Don't have a pool right now. Just sharing what I have learned over the years!
    Helpful Links:
    Pool School,Pool Calculator,Cl/CYA Shock Chart,TF Test Kit
    Doing BBB and loving it!

  3. Back To Top    #3
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11,963

    Re: Trying to correctly winterize and freaking out!

    Howdy neighbor

    I live in a very windy area. (I know of the winds you describe - neighbors lost a tree....our sirens went off)

    I cover, I don't drain. I haven't drained in 5 winters. I use a pillow, sometimes they collapse, sometimes not. The pillow keeps rainwater towards the sides for easier draining of excess water...which I didn't do last winter. the skimmer won't be cracked because it is covered, you still drain the lines, the skimmer is empty so it should be fine.

    The excess water weighed down the cover, pushing the water inside the pool up the sides and out under the top rails. This, over the years, has caused the sand in the cove area of the pool floor to have washed out a bit, and we now have some depressions along the edge there. When we took the cover off the water level was down about 1 foot. This hasn't happened every year, but this winter we had a lot of rain.

    A little bit of water on top of the cover is a good thing - kind of acts like a ballast to keep the cover from blowing around. But it is a good idea to periodically go out an drain a bit, I have purchased a pump from HD for about $75 for this purpose.

    We experimented the first few winters...now we have our method - we make sure the grommets are not touching the pool surface, (the first year we weren't careful and the paint was removed wherever the grommets touched)....we use milk jugs and tie them every few feet, and we set some on top of the cover, tied to the cover, but resting in the pool, to keep the water evenly distributed on top. The milk jugs hang all the way to the ground with clothesline. One year we hung them, and the wind made them dangle around and they scratched off the paint from the side walls.

    My neighbor uses bungee cords and anchors the cover to the ground with stakes.

    Another friend swears by the clips. We tried those year two and they just popped right off. Another neighbor used the plastic-wrap looking stuff - but we have a partial deck so can't testify if that method works...(supposed to keep the wind out).

    I think if you have a couple of inches of water on the top, it won't blow around as much, or resemble a cupcake . I would use something to hold it down, jugs or stake it, or maybe you can find a combination that works for you.

    I've never heard of anyone losing their top rails that way, maybe they did something to try and anchor the cover to the pool and it backfired, they just didn't admit what they did wrong?....

    The other thing to consider is some people don't cover at all (which still after three years on TFP seems so strange to me ) if you don't have a lot of trees to contend with you might consider that...but I think you do have to go out and tend it more often.

    Hope this helps
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  4. Back To Top    #4
    NWMNMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Waaay NW MN
    Posts
    1,582

    Re: Trying to correctly winterize and freaking out!

    also, just an FYI - your pool water will not freeze and expand OUT and burst your sides - when it freezes, it goes UP, unless you have something on top of your pool holding the water down
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Solon, Iowa
    Posts
    170

    Re: Trying to correctly winterize and freaking out!

    Winterizing as described on TFP is pretty straightforward, though time consuming. The confusing part is sorting through differing opinions here. If you stick to the basics, you really can't screw things up, and you should open to a clear pool in spring.

    You'll see recommendations to drain below the returns because as the water freezes and moves up, it can drag over anything sticking out (skimmer and returns) and possibly damage them. Clearly, damage isn't a certainty, as you can see from the above posts. It depends on how much risk you want to take. I'm a panzy (and I don't have a skimmer coverplate) so I'll drain below the return again this Sunday. Saturday I'll brush, vacuum, and shock, letting the pump circulate everything well. Sunday I'll drain (backwash, then pump to waste until the water level prevents this, then out comes my electric transfer pump), cover, and remove the pump, and some of the solar plumbing). I believe in covering because subjecting vinyl above the waterline to midwestern winter assaults seems to be begging for premature failure. In my case I tie my cover to my decking substructure - hate that cable/winch system.

    I use an air pillow to keep the rain water and snow melt to the edges (mine collapsed around early February). I let some water accumulate on the cover to act as ballast. Takes a lot of water on top to act as ballast to keep the cover from billowing, so use your judgement. I pump off water to avoid too much ballast.
    15X30 AGP, Lomart beaded liner;
    1.5 HP Sta-Rite pump with 21 inch sand filter (Zeobrite media)
    Mineral Springs (Aquatrol) SWCG, Rigid PVC plumbing, 2 inch
    Four 4X12 Techno-Solis solar panels, rack mounted, Goldline Solar Controller

  6. Back To Top    #6

    In the Industry
    X-PertPool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Exeter, PA
    Posts
    1,385

    Re: Trying to correctly winterize and freaking out!

    Make sure you have the cable laced correctly, most of the wire should be on the outside of the cover to hold it down. For lots of wind I would recommend to put some water on the cover, but this shouldn't happen if the cover fits correctly and is laced properly. If there is no water in the skimmer it shouldn't crack, also make sure your wire isn't on top of your skimmer when ratcheting it down.
    -Kevin
    X-Pert Pool Service
    x-pertpool.com
    X-Pert Pool on Facebook and @XPertPoolServic on Twitter
    22,000 gal / 16' x 32' / Vinyl / Hayward s244t /Pentair SuperFlo 1 hp

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    512

    Re: Trying to correctly winterize and freaking out!

    So....dumb question here..but HOW DO you lace a cover cable correctly? my cover has nylon loops sewn into it all along the edge, and the hang straight down, then the vinyl coated cable runs through those loops..I just have it cinched down tight through the loops..it doesn't lay against the cover anywhere.....

    Inquiring minds want to know!

    Dan
    33' x 52" Swim and Play Inc. PARAGON AGP. Hayward H200 Heater. Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.5hp pump. Sta-Rite Cristal Flo T-210WF Sand Filter. Stenner 45M5 chlorine pump

  8. Back To Top    #8

    In the Industry
    X-PertPool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Exeter, PA
    Posts
    1,385

    Re: Trying to correctly winterize and freaking out!

    nylon straps? from what you are describing it sounds like a in ground pool cover, those loops are for the water bags. The cable should run through the metal grommets on the cover. The grommets are spaced 2 close together and 2 far apart from each other, the cable goes on the outside from far to far grommet and loops behind when the grommets are close.
    -Kevin
    X-Pert Pool Service
    x-pertpool.com
    X-Pert Pool on Facebook and @XPertPoolServic on Twitter
    22,000 gal / 16' x 32' / Vinyl / Hayward s244t /Pentair SuperFlo 1 hp

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    512

    Re: Trying to correctly winterize and freaking out!

    Nope, it's an above ground, round 33ft pool cover (cover is 36ft round)...it has no grommets in the plastic, but sewn in each position where a grommet would be are nylon "loops..not metal grommets..and the cable runs all the way around in these loops. It's a very nice cover, but has no grommet holes anywhere..just the loops on the outside

    Dan
    33' x 52" Swim and Play Inc. PARAGON AGP. Hayward H200 Heater. Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.5hp pump. Sta-Rite Cristal Flo T-210WF Sand Filter. Stenner 45M5 chlorine pump

  10. Back To Top    #10
    cubbybeave08's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
    Posts
    881

    Re: Trying to correctly winterize and freaking out!

    Two things you need to do...I also live in Northern Indiana. Get Cover Clips...This is the most important thing you can do...It keeps a great deal of wind from getting up under the cover...Just the cable alone does not do it. Last winter we had severe winds for about two weeks in December, I ams sure you remember. My cover stayed on tight. I put three clip on each section of rail. The other thing I want you to do is to put balast on top of your cover...see this picture. Pool stores sell bags that you fill with water, but they cost...I use bleach containers...I have already paid for them...so they are free. Fill half way with water...See picture

    http://i658.photobucket.com/albums/uu30 ... tos190.jpg

    This shows how I have them tied to my fence brackets on the side of the pool. This keeps the cover from blowing. I only had one problem last year when a strong NW wind blew my clips off on once section and the cover blew into the pool and then the temperature dropped...When I went out the next morning I had to chip my cover out of the surface ice. Extra clips on that section helped...I didn't have that problem the rest of the winter. Use light clothesline rope to tie the jugs to the brackets...If you don't have brackets, you can tie the rope through the gromlets, they will stay in place as long as you have clips that hold the cover to the top rail.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Trying to correctly winterize and freaking out!

    If there are no nearby trees (like me) - I'd say - don't bother with the cover, it's a lot less work and worry for me to just drain the pool down, disconnect all the equipment and call it a day then it is to worry if each wind storm is going to kill my pool. Cleanup in the spring consists of dumping in a few gallons of bleach, throwing the cuda in after I connect up my equipment and letting the cuda clean the pool in a day or two.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •