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Thread: Closing pool vs. keeping it open all winter

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    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Central VA
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    Closing pool vs. keeping it open all winter

    OK here's my dilemma, I've been holding this question to end-of-season, even though I've been wanting to ask it all summer:
    How feasible/expensive/reasonable is it to keep my pool open all winter instead of shutting it down, and how would I go about it?
    My local PB (central VA) mentioned to me back in May, when I was purchasing a SWG, that he keeps his pool open all winter (he may cover it for a few weeks as the leaves are falling, but then he uncovers it and keeps it open for the winter).
    This got me thinking
    I live in VA, where we do get sub-freezing weather, but not the entire winter. How would this work? Do you just leave the pool open (same water level, etc.) and just run your pump 2 or maybe 4 hours/day, unless temps. dip below freezing? Then you run the pump 24/7 while temps are below freezing?
    And do you keep the water balanced at all, or just ignore until springtime?
    Any other issues besides the pump running?
    thanks 8)
    Todd
    --------------
    Pool: 16x36, 16,800 gal., vinyl, sand filter, SWG & AquaCal Heat Pump
    Spa: Hot Springs Sovereign, 355 gal., ozone/ion
    The most helpful tool you'll ever have for your pool:
    http://www.poolcalculator.com/

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Closing pool vs. keeping it open all winter

    I think you captured most everything except perhaps that you will be using much less chlorine as the temperature of the water drops and when it gets below 50, you probably won't need much at all.

    I don't close my pool but we never get cold enough to freeze the water in the pool or the pipes for that matter. Sometimes I will shut the pump off while the water is below 50 degrees since the SWG doesn't work and algae is not a problem. But that is usually not more than a few weeks a year.

    Also, I run the pump about 2 hours per day and test every other week. It is a good idea to keep everything in balance although as I mentioned before, you can drop the chlorine level quite a bit when water temp drops.
    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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    May 2007
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    Re: Closing pool vs. keeping it open all winter

    There are two possible issues with leaving a pool open in your climate. If the weather is significantly colder than usual, very unlikely I know, you might get a freeze hard enough to cause problems even with the pump running. Also, if there is a regular hard freeze and you lose electricity overnight you could have damage. Neither of these are likely, but they are a small risk.

    Other than those small risks, it is really quite easy. Pump run time can often be cut back all the way to one hour a day. You do keep the water mostly balanced, but that gets to be really easy. You hardly have to bother with chlorine at all when the water temperature is below 50, once a week or less.
    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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    mitch08's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    Re: Closing pool vs. keeping it open all winter

    IMO, in that area it is not worth the risk. You aren't going to use the pool in the freezing cold anyway...

    If those pipes freeze and break, you are looking at a very expensive fix.
    Much more expensive than the $200 it would cost to hire a guy to blow out the lines and throw a cover on it

    In my humble opinion, drop the level, take apart your filter and put it away, and blow out your lines. No reason to risk a major problem for something you arent going to use.
    18x38 Inground Liner (25k gal) Paver surround, multi-speed pump, DE Filter, Raised spill over spa, TF-100

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Closing pool vs. keeping it open all winter

    I worked in Richmond for 7 years, doing pools. There was 1 we left open, but the equipment was inside and the heater ran all year. As partial insurance we wrapped insulation around all exposed pipes - which I think would help you even if the power went out for a couple of hours on the coldest night.

    It's your choice and decision to make, but if I had the option to keep a pool open all year - I would!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Central VA
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    Re: Closing pool vs. keeping it open all winter

    cool, thanks everyone!
    I'm still debating it, but this is alot to think about.
    thanks again
    Todd
    --------------
    Pool: 16x36, 16,800 gal., vinyl, sand filter, SWG & AquaCal Heat Pump
    Spa: Hot Springs Sovereign, 355 gal., ozone/ion
    The most helpful tool you'll ever have for your pool:
    http://www.poolcalculator.com/

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