Advice for winter

LordDunlow

Active member
May 31, 2017
29
Melbourne, FL
Not sure if this was the right subforum to post this in, so apologies if it isn't.

We just had our inground fiberglass pool installed this summer. We decided not to close the pool, so I'm coming for advice.

I live in Memphis, so we don't usually get really cold, but we had a cold front that is dropping us to the low 30s (F°) and kicking on the freeze protection at night. We're supposed to warm up this week into the 70s, so I wanted to use this time to do anything I need to do before it gets colder.

I have a ~16K gallon fiberglass pool with spillover spa. I have a saltwater chlorine generator, and I know it doesn't work in cold weather.

I have a few questions and will accept any advice on things I haven't thought of:

1. How should I run the pumps? Should I schedule them for any time (pool/spa and spillover/either/both)? Just let the freeze protection kick them on when needed?

2. Does the spillover need to run at all or just let the spa pump run for freeze protection? It uses venturi jets. Do we need to close these off so it doesn't aerate when the freeze protection kicks it on?

3. Do I need to add any chlorine since the generator won't work in cold water, or does the cold temperature negate the need for chlorine?

4. Do I need to do anything specifically to protect the equipment (filter, pumps, etc)?

5. Do I need to clean the pool through the winter? I know I need to keep the leaves out as fall proceeds, but anything else that I need to do to avoid problems in the spring?


6. I'm noticing right now (about 9:30am) that since the sun is shining on my equipment pad, the air temperature sensor is reading about 15 degrees higher than weather service says the air temperature is right now. Will this cause a problem with the freeze protection not kicking on when it should?


Thanks in advance for any help. I just don't want to ruin our pool.

I mainly wanted to keep it open so we can use the spa during mild fall/winter/spring days (we had many days last winter that hit upper 60s/low 70s that I think would be a great time for the hot tub) and so that we can have the pool ready as early as possible when temperatures warm up for good next year.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
13,833
Evans, Georgia
1. How should I run the pumps? Should I schedule them for any time (pool/spa and spillover/either/both)? Just let the freeze protection kick them on when needed? I run my pump for 2-3 hours a day because it keeps the surface skimmed and circulates the chlorine. If the night is going to freeze, we run the pump all night long.

2. Does the spillover need to run at all or just let the spa pump run for freeze protection? It uses venturi jets. Do we need to close these off so it doesn't aerate when the freeze protection kicks it on? I'm clueless about this other than knowing that its always good to run all features at least for a few minutes daily so that chlorine is run thru all those lines....BUT...that said, I also know that if there is any algae present it is going to be so slow to reproduce in cold water that you might get away with not doing so. Perhaps someone whose pool has these features will pipe in. I don't have them.

3. Do I need to add any chlorine since the generator won't work in cold water, or does the cold temperature negate the need for chlorine? Continue testing, but you'll notice you don't have to test all that often as chlorine lasts a LOT longer in the cold water and with the sun being lower in the sky it doesn't hit the pool the same way (and burn off chlorine). I test about every 2-3 weeks in the coldest of the winter and *if* my chlorine needs a boost I use bleach. Easy peasy!

4. Do I need to do anything specifically to protect the equipment (filter, pumps, etc)? No, not really. Skippy covers our equipment during freezes with a tarp and hangs a automobile work light under the tarp. Just in hopes to keep things a little less cold as we run the pump. Your call.

5. Do I need to clean the pool through the winter? I know I need to keep the leaves out as fall proceeds, but anything else that I need to do to avoid problems in the spring? Brushing now and then isn't a bad idea. Keep checking your skimmer basket most often so that you don't find it entirely filled with leaves. If you keep the pool up during the winter you should have no problems in the spring. Just remember bleach is your winter chlorine source and test now and then. Everything else is as you feel inspired to do.


6. I'm noticing right now (about 9:30am) that since the sun is shining on my equipment pad, the air temperature sensor is reading about 15 degrees higher than weather service says the air temperature is right now. Will this cause a problem with the freeze protection not kicking on when it should? No sure, I don't have this feature.


Thanks in advance for any help. I just don't want to ruin our pool.

I mainly wanted to keep it open so we can use the spa during mild fall/winter/spring days (we had many days last winter that hit upper 60s/low 70s that I think would be a great time for the hot tub) and so that we can have the pool ready as early as possible when temperatures warm up for good next year.
Sounds like a plan... I hope the spa will heat up sufficiently for you to enjoy. I have a stand alone hot tub that I enjoy on the coldest of days/nights.

Maddie :flower:
 

peirek

Silver Supporter
Jun 21, 2017
560
Sachse, TX
1. How should I run the pumps? Should I schedule them for any time (pool/spa and spillover/either/both)? Just let the freeze protection kick them on when needed?

For me, I change my pump run time in the winter (2-3 hrs) to be overnight. This way if the temp drops and kicks on the freeze guard I am not wasting additional Watts.


2. Does the spillover need to run at all or just let the spa pump run for freeze protection? It uses venturi jets. Do we need to close these off so it doesn't aerate when the freeze protection kicks it on?

I run any feature that has piping/valves above ground.


3. Do I need to add any chlorine since the generator won't work in cold water, or does the cold temperature negate the need for chlorine?

Yes you will need to add liquid chlorine - also see #5 below.

4. Do I need to do anything specifically to protect the equipment (filter, pumps, etc)?

Just ensure your freeze guard is working and all above ground pipes/valves have some water flowing through them.


5. Do I need to clean the pool through the winter? I know I need to keep the leaves out as fall proceeds, but anything else that I need to do to avoid problems in the spring?

Don't neglect your water chemistry.



6. I'm noticing right now (about 9:30am) that since the sun is shining on my equipment pad, the air temperature sensor is reading about 15 degrees higher than weather service says the air temperature is right now. Will this cause a problem with the freeze protection not kicking on when it should?

I suspect no. I assume the sun is also shining on the pipes and valves so they should keep from freezing. This has proven successful for me for almost 20 years in DFW. My equipment pad gets morning sun and pipes/valves see the sun before the freeze guard sensor. In DFW, typically the freeze guard kicks in after dark, but not always.


Thanks in advance for any help. I just don't want to ruin our pool.

I mainly wanted to keep it open so we can use the spa during mild fall/winter/spring days (we had many days last winter that hit upper 60s/low 70s that I think would be a great time for the hot tub) and so that we can have the pool ready as early as possible when temperatures warm up for good next year.
Good luck and I am sure others will chime in.

And why wait until 60s or 70s to enjoy that hot tub? So much fun to jump out of the hot tub and roll around in the snow.