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Thread: Okay to reduce pump time and Cl levels for winter?

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    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Okay to reduce pump time and Cl levels for winter?

    This will be our first winter as pool owners, and I was wondering if the pump needs to continue to run as often with colder temps and no swimmers. It ran about 8 hrs/day in the summer. I realize leaves will be an issue, but other than that, would a few hours a day be okay? Also, with water temps probably in the 50's (educated guess) during the winter, do I need very much chrlorine?

    Just thought of another question, sorry! With regard to ph, we just had the pool redone this summer so the ph is constantly going up. Is it harmful to let it stay a little high, even though I realize that makes chlorine not last as long?
    28K IG, stonescapes pebble, raised spa, hayward heater, Pentair Intelliflo, Pentair 60ft DE filter, built around 1980, remodeled 2007.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You can run the pump substantially less as the water temperature goes down. You can reduce the pump run time by somewhere around 20% for each 10 degree drop in water temperature.

    Chlorine usage will go way down as the water gets colder. You will still lose some to sunlight, but there is less of that as well.

    The rate of PH increase should go down substantially as the water gets colder. You don't want the PH getting too high as that is likely to cause calcium scaling, which can be a real pain to remove.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    You can reduce the run time and the amt off cl used as the temps get colder and there's no bather load. Leaves will increase the cl demand some, but if you're diligent on removing them it shouldn't cause any problem. I'd cut the pump run time by a couple of hours to start and watch the pool and the cl for a few days, then cut it another hour and see how that goes... I think you may be able to get away with 2 -4 hrs/ day depending on how cold it will be.

    The pH is another story, high pH can help to precipitate calcium onto your new finish you want to keep it below 7.8, though below 7.6 would probably be better.
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    thanks so much for the quick responses. I'll give that a try. Just to make sure I understand, though, I do need to keep SOME chlorine in the water, right? I didn't know if any nasty stuff would be able to grow in there when it was cold (Although cold here really isn't all that cold...).
    28K IG, stonescapes pebble, raised spa, hayward heater, Pentair Intelliflo, Pentair 60ft DE filter, built around 1980, remodeled 2007.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    There is need and then there is need. If the water is below 50 degrees there is hardly any chance of algae growing, but with chlorine there is no chance of algae growing. Since the pool will need much less chlorine adding chlorine is simple enough, so why not be sure? People do it both ways.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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