AGP problem with winter cover

ghall6292

Bronze Supporter
Jun 10, 2018
84
North Central PA
I'm on my 5th year with our AGP. I'm experiencing a similar issue as the OP. Did a complete winterizing, as usual. Drained water to 4" below the skimmer and plugged the return with a threaded winter plug. A Gizmo was placed in the skimmer as a precaution. We covered the pool with the winter cover, using a 4' x 4' pillow inflated to 3/4 full. All the leaves were cleaned off the top after the leaf drop finished in mid- November. Everything has been done this way since we put the pool in, with great results.

Throughout Oct., Nov., and early Dec., I would pump any excess rain water off the cover, leaving only an inch or two to help keep the cover from billowing whenever we got heavy wind. Then in mid-Dec., we got a forecast for a very heavy snowfall 12-15 inches, with high winds possible. The night before, I again pumped the cover down to about two inches of water. That water subsequently froze overnight. It ended up snowing 36 inches without stopping the following day and night. Temps dropped into the low 20's. After getting sidewalks and driveway shoveled, I finally got to the pool on the third day after the storm. Once I began shoveling, the snow on top was only about a foot feet deep -the remaining 10" had turned into an icy inch or two with slush underneath. I can never completely reach the middle to remove snow; usually have about a 6' circle of snow' counting the cover. Temps remained in the low 20's, and the remainder froze once again.

Three days later temps warmed up to near 50 degrees, and we got 3" of rain in 12 hours. Our basement flooded slightly with the combination of heavy rain and massive snowmelt. Our area was in a flood emergency state for about 16 hours. The rain stopped as the temps plummeted back into the low 20's again. When I could finally get back to the pool, the pool cover was now a slushy/frozen mess.

It became obvious that the weight of this accumulation had pushed the unfrozen pool water up to what appeared to be about 2" above the bottom of the skimmer plug; the skimmer itself had about 2" of frozen rain water, but the Gizmo was intact. At this point I discovered that the cover's cable was banjo-string tight, and the adjuster was frozen. I thawed the adjuster with hot water and released most of the tension on the cover to avoid a wall collapse. The mess on top was now frozen too hard to remove. The next day when I checked it, the cover tension was still loose and nothing appeared to have changed. However, when I looked at the skimmer, it was now half full of water on top of the small amount of ice. I siphoned it off and went to bed. When I checked it a day later, it was full of water which had a thin skim of ice on it. I siphoned this off again, chalking it up to snow melt from a 2" snowfall the night before. I now believe this to be pool water slipping past a leaking skimmer plug, and it has now frozen solid.

Should I thaw the skimmer and remove the Gizmo, or just have faith that the Gizmo will do it's job, or maybe just get some water thawed a couple inches and add a few pieces of pool noodle on top of the gizmo?

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to give all the relevant info for our experts to be able to guide me.

Thanks,
Gary
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,782
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Some pieces of pool noodles added to the skimmer is the most I would do if it does not take much to get them in the skimmer.
 

ghall6292

Bronze Supporter
Jun 10, 2018
84
North Central PA
Thanks, Allen. Everything is now frozen almost to the top of the skimmer, but the top 3-4 inches is relatively clear ice; it may not be a hard freeze in that section yet, but I'm not gonna tap on it to see. High today is forecast to be around 36 degrees with a low tonight right at 32-33. We're due for some sunny 40 degree days Wed & Thurs this week, with overnight temps above freezing. Hopefully this assist, with a little help from a hair dryer, will allow me to get a few pieces of noodle into the mouth and top third of the skimmer of the skimmer. I'm gonna wrap it with a dark trash bag today to catch and keep any heat from the sun. This may be the only attempt I get at salvaging my equipment at this point. Wish me luck!

One other thought. What's your opinion on using a piece of 2 x 4 to support the bottom of the skimmer to keep it from buckling my steel pool walls?

Thanks again for your help. Happy New Year! Stay warm and keep safe.
Gary
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,782
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
One other thought. What's your opinion on using a piece of 2 x 4 to support the bottom of the skimmer to keep it from buckling my steel pool walls?

Can't hurt, may help.
 
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