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Thread: Winter cover for a MN winter

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    98xc600's Avatar
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    Winter cover for a MN winter

    I know it's only August but I need to get a cover order before the snow flies. Just hoping I could get some advice on what brand of cover would hold up over the years in MN winters? And anything else I would need for closing an AG pool for the winter. Not sure what I need to do to handle all the pressure that the ice will create?
    Thanks for any help!!!
    16' by 32' cornelius AG vinyl liner, 6' deep end, 14500 gal.
    Hayward 250 Lb sand filter
    Hayward 40 GPM pump
    2-2' by 20' sun grabber solar heater.
    4 gal Liquidator. BBB

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Many people use no cover at all for an AG pool, or if they have trees nearby they use a leaf net until the leaves are down and then remove it. This eliminates the risk of snow and ice on the cover causing damage to the pool, as well as the hassle of trying to get one tied down so it won't blow away. It also let's you keep an eye on the water so you can take action if algae starts in the spring.
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    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    winter cover for ag pool

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Many people use no cover at all for an AG pool, or if they have trees nearby they use a leaf net until the leaves are down and then remove it. This eliminates the risk of snow and ice on the cover causing damage to the pool, as well as the hassle of trying to get one tied down so it won't blow away. It also let's you keep an eye on the water so you can take action if algae starts in the spring.
    No cover at all? I have been starting to think about the end of season myself- September will be here before we know it, and closing the pool is a total pain for those of us in the midwest or up North.

    I'm new to BBB this year, in the past I have used the pool stealer's "winterizing kit" and cover. Was wondering what will be different with BBB and I don't want to buy a "kit" if I don't need it. I also would prefer not to open next spring with green water (every year with the kit, the pool opens clear).

    I thought the air pillow for the ice expansion and winter cover were necessary to prevent the pool from being damaged but is that only a result of covering it? I'm having difficulting imagining not covering it, I've never seen one around here not covered....also, we get quite a bit of rain and snow, without a cover, the pool would overflow and be awfully dirty...

    any thoughts on to cover vs. not to cover and "winterizing kits"? Thanks.
    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

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    as far as the winterizing kit, you really just need to shock your pool, and maybe add some Poly-quat 60%.

    Regarding the cover, you will find varying opinions. Some don't like to have to pump the water off the solid cover and would rather vac the silt that falls through a mesh leaf cover. Some say a pillow is necessary, some say it is not. I don't currently have a pool, and the previous ones were donuts, so I have no opinion one way or the other!

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: winter cover for ag pool

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    I thought the air pillow for the ice expansion and winter cover were necessary to prevent the pool from being damaged but is that only a result of covering it? I'm having difficulting imagining not covering it, I've never seen one around here not covered....also, we get quite a bit of rain and snow, without a cover, the pool would overflow and be awfully dirty...

    any thoughts on to cover vs. not to cover and "winterizing kits"? Thanks.
    The air pillow just holds the cover up to avoid standing water and snow. I think I've seen more damage from covers than would have resulted without covers, and the dirt on the cover almost always ends up in the pool anyway. The standard mesh AG cover doesn't stop the water anyway. It either runs out through an open skimmer or fills the pool completely and spills over, which doesn't hurt anything. The solid ones are always a worry for standing water or accumulating ice and snow. All covers are pain to worry with for wind during the offseason.
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Okay, let me add this.

    The past six years, we have added the kit, run the pump for 24 hours; covered the pool; disconnected the pump and put the equipment away for the winter. The rain and snow collects on top, freezes in Jan/feb....fills with absolutely nasty stuff...... May comes and we carefully remove the cover trying not to get any of the nasty in the pool; connect the pump and check the water. Every year the water is clear.

    IF one were not to cover the pool, does that require running the pump/filter year round? I think I would rather cover it. Does the water in the pool freeze otherwise- with the cover on I could never tell, but I always assumed it was a giant icecube under there....? One shock will last the winter-even with the pump/filter off?

    I'm sorry, I know this is a lot....
    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

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom

    IF one were not to cover the pool, does that require running the pump/filter year round? I think I would rather cover it. Does the water in the pool freeze otherwise- with the cover on I could never tell, but I always assumed it was a giant icecube under there....? One shock will last the winter-even with the pump/filter off?

    I'm sorry, I know this is a lot....
    No, you don't run the filter. The shock doesn't last through the winter, but algae doesn't grow well in water less than 60 degrees. Covering is fine, but many people have so much trouble with ice and snow that they can't keep a cover on without a lot of work and water removal.
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    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    I live in WAY northern Minnesota, have very hard freezes, lots of snow and ice. We have been using an Arctic Armor Mesh Winter Cover with great sucess. No problems with rips, tears, shredding, etc. It does not require a pillow - the water falls right through when it melts or rains on it - no pooling or puddles in the middle to create a swamp. It comes with a lot of excess for your pool size so even when it lays on the water as directed, there is additional cover over the sides to cable in/down. We leave our skimmer and return open with all hoses off so the water just drops out if it gets there. Drain about 6-8" below skimmer depending on where the return is to be sure its below return. For us, a leaf net over the winter cover early on is a must because of the trees around the pool. Once they are done dropping leaves for good, it is pulled off and put away. Anything else that drops is minor and just sits on top of the cover to be blown off or swept off, whatever.

    We open to crystal clear water with just a tiny bit of silt at the bottom.

    edit: This is not a mesh cover like a leaf net, it looks solid black with a very tightly woven mesh that only lets water through and it IS intended specifically as a winter cover to be used in areas with ice and snow. (there was some confusion at PF last year about mesh covers)
    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!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    I was always told without the air pillow the ice will exand and break the pool....it didn't make sense then and doesn't now, I'll admit I'm very confused...

    We haven't drained the water below the return in 2 years. We have a skimmer cover (it's like a tupperware top) that snaps on, allowing the water to remain at normal level. We liked not having to drain and refill as water is expensive here.

    The air pillow does sit higher this way but rain/snow still collect and freeze in cold months. Does the water in the pool freeze solid or is it just the water that sits on the cover that freezes? I have trouble picturing the pillow sitting high enough that the water just runs off....we would have to add water to the pool to make it sit that high.

    To keep the cover in place during windy days, we tie on milk jugs filled with water to the cable/winch, the jugs sit on the ground with just enough rope to reach the cable. This has worked well and prevented scratches on the pool from the grommet holes and jugs rubbing in the wind.

    We use a shop vac in the spring to drain the nasty... then carefully remove the cover so that it doesn't fall in or leak any gross stuff. Clear water, every year except this last May it was cloudy-but that cleared in 2 days of 24/7 filtering.

    I'll admit, I'm skeptical to not cover it... I have not seen an uncovered pool around here.

    I hope to see additional feedback on this, I may take some convincing.... You would think the $100 setback for a new cover and kit would be enough convincing but I'm still skeptical - I can't help it!
    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

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    The ice expands UP in your pool. The pillow keeps the cover up in the middle so that there is not a huge swamp of water, ice and debris pulling it down in the center. There is water around the base of the pillow to hold the cover down on it. Some will say that pillows are meant to absorb the pressure of the ice, but the ice goes up, not really so much out so what the??? I don't know much about them. I've heard a lot of folks have their pillows deflate/burst or whatever but I guess with our cover its not required so I don't know. We didn't use a pillow before with our solid cover anyway.

    Matt does not use a cover as he has no debris. The main reason to have one is to keep junk out of the pool while its closed. No junk falling in, no reason for a cover. We have trees so need one.

    Our pool freezes solid from top to bottom. All of it, maybe just a fraction (not noticable) slower due to the salt content.
    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!

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    98xc600's Avatar
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    Thank you NWMNMom You answered all of my questions. I think I'll try the same cover. I was looking at that brand last night along with a ton of other ones, but most of the other's said to use a pillow under them. and to me it sounded like with a pillow it would be more likely to blow off, than if it is on the surface and frozen down. NWMNMom did you buy yours online or at a pool store? and if I may ask how much $ ?
    Thanks again, I love this site!!!
    16' by 32' cornelius AG vinyl liner, 6' deep end, 14500 gal.
    Hayward 250 Lb sand filter
    Hayward 40 GPM pump
    2-2' by 20' sun grabber solar heater.
    4 gal Liquidator. BBB

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    I bought mine online. Poolcenter.com $97.99 + shipping (around $15) Not bad to fit an 18x33' pool. There are others around that price too - I order a lot from PCPools.com and PoolProducts.com They all ship really fast UPS (I order a lot of stuff online and always look for UPS - I hate FedEx - they won't deliver rural up here unless there are 2 other deliveries within 15 miles - even if you pay extra for overnight - sometimes I have to wait a week or more AFTER it hits their terminal in Grand Forks or I have to drive 100 m round trip in there to get it on time)
    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!

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