I'm seriously considering closing our in-ground vinyl pool without covering it, because: we don't have the funds to buy a cover pump and we get lots of rain/snow; I'm fanatical enough to clean the water with a net until it freezes; and I'm not too worried about our far-north sun fading the pool liner, which is the only side effect I can find on TFP. But I'm wondering:
1) Are there any other possible problems with closing without covering? We did get a crack in the liner near the top of the pool last winter, which we think came from a tennis ball mis-thrown for the dog. Perhaps the liner gets more brittle and we should use extra care?
2) I'm planning to clean the water of leaves and whatever is floating with a net, but is there anything else I can do between the close and freeze-up, like stir in some bleach?
3) Before the pool store comes out to do the closing (it's our first year), I plan to have a very clean pool with FC around 10ppm. Should I also add a metal sequesterant, since we have some small brown spots on the white stairs? Or leave it until spring? Is it important that I have perfectly balanced water, or is a little imbalance okay?
4) Is there anything that the pool store can skip (e.g. putting on the cover, chemicals) that will save me money on this closing?
Thanks in advance for all your great advice!