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Thread: Northen California Winterizing?

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    Northen California Winterizing?

    Hi,
    I have a new pool this year, and was wondering if I need to do anything for winterizing in Northern California? We don't get snow here, but occasionally weather do drop below freezing temp. I know I need to clear the water from the solar panels. My pool builder said the pool pump will kick in if it detects freezing temp and that I should run the SWG as usual during winter.

    If I am not gonna use the pool, should I just stop running the SWG so that it prolong the life of the unit? Should I use Pool Winterizing kits to close the pool?

    I know the 'Pool School' have steps on winterizing but wondering if that is more relevant to places that snow/freeze often?

    What do California users here do during Winter?

    Or should I forget about winterizing, just leave it running as usual and make full use of my pool by jumping in with 7mm wetsuit?

    Appreciate your feedback.

    Thank you in advance.

    regards,
    Laurence...
    14.5K gal, spa, plaster,waterfall, 1.5hp pump, chlorine tablet

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Northen California Winterizing?

    Assuming you are in nearly the same area as I, the only thing I do is to reduce pump run time and SWG settings.

    When the water temp drops, algae is really not much of a problem. Normally I run 1.5-2 turnovers during the summer (6-8 hours) but during the winter, I can get away with about 1/2 turnover or 2 hours/day. Once the water temp falls below 55 degrees, I have shut the pump off for a few days until the temp rises again but usually I just let it run. I only really run the pump to keep the water clear and the vacuum running so I don't have a mess build up. Algae has never been a problem. Leaves drop late here so that is the biggest worry. If you can keep those out of the pool, you probably don't need to run much.

    As for the SWG, mine shuts off after temp drops below 55 degrees so I really don't worry too much about it. However, I do reduce the % setting because the sun doesn't use up as much CL during the winter. Usually, during the winter, I can get away with 1 ppm even with a CYA of 80 ppm without algae growing.

    Also as a side note, I notice that water hardness drops quite a bit during Jan and Feb so if you need a refill, that is the best time to do it.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Northen California Winterizing?

    As long as you have a freeze protection control, so the pump runs any time it is below freezing, you don't normally need to close a pool in that climate. As the water cools the bleach demand goes way down and you can run the pump far less. For most people the simplest thing is to leave the pool "open", but only run the pump say 1 hour a day.

    Many SWGs will shut down when the water temperature drops below 50. Fortunately, the need for chlorine also drops dramatically at those temperatures.
    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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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Northen California Winterizing?

    When I first had the pool, I used freeze protection but I decided some time ago to not use it anymore. In this part of the state, the temperature drops below freezing but not for very long (< 6 hours) and it is very unlikely that the pipes will freeze during that short of a period. In fact, my dog's water bowl will not freeze unless there is less than 1" of water.

    This is actually a pretty good test to see if you need freeze protection or not. During those days where the temp is predicted to go below freezing, put 2-3" of water in a bowl or bucket and place near the pad, then check in the early morning. If the water freezes solid, then I would suggest freeze protection but if it doesn't freeze or only freeze's partially then you probably don't really need it.

    There is a lot of latent heat in pool equipment and the water in the equipment so it takes many hours of below freezing temperature before all that heat can be removed and the water freeze in the pipes. If the pad is near the house, then it takes even longer to freeze. Note that this does not apply to those parts of the country with true winters where temp can drop below freezing for days instead of hours.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Northen California Winterizing?

    I'm in East Texas with a similar climate. But I have a nearby oak tree and need to cover mine. I'm tired of 'shoveling' leaves out and trying to find the bottom of the pool come spring when I have a lot of other pressing chores.
    ETexas 24,000 Vinyl lined IG cartridge filter:(

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    Re: Northen California Winterizing?

    Thanks for all the information. I'll keep it 'open' and keep the runtime to about an hour.
    Do I still need to keep the water balanced throughout winter?

    regards,
    Laurence...
    14.5K gal, spa, plaster,waterfall, 1.5hp pump, chlorine tablet

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Northen California Winterizing?

    You do want to keep the water more or less balanced over the winter. At colder temperatures this is usually very easy to do. You can let chlorine fall much lower when the water is below 50 degrees, probably only check the pool once every week or two.
    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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