Best way to thaw an iceberg in a vinyl in ground pool?

johnp98

New member
Sep 14, 2017
4
Canada - Manitoba
I have a ~16ft x 32ft in ground vinyl pool and I live in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada where temperatures reach -40C = -40F in the winter.
Because of these impressively low numbers I drain the pool below the skimmer and below the return lines (have to drop the water level ~3ft to do this). I assume this is the best way to winterize a pool where there is significant deep freezing.

The pool stays winterized for ~6months of the year and develops a pretty impressive 6-12 inch thick layer of ice across the whole pool. When it starts to get nice though, half the pool gets significantly more sun and thus the ice melts and there is a quite massive ice block that is floating on the water. Because the water is lowered the wind does not significantly move the ice, but there are numerous times where the ice does gain some speed and hits the vinyl edges.

This gives me palpitations thinking about the poor liner and developing a significant tear or puncture.

My question is what should I do about this when it is above freezing and I want to open the pool?
1) Sit and wait for it to fully melt the 'natural' way and hope that the wind does not move the ice fast enough to cause damage. This takes a good month or so based on past experience. (low risk, long exposure time)
2) Pick a warm day and break up the ice, being extra cautious about the liner. I also did this one year, and it took 2-3 days of breaking up ice, moving large pieces to sunny areas, etc. (high risk, short exposure time)
3) Wait until the edges have thawed, then fill the pool up with water to speed the thawing, +/- turn on the pump to get a current. (I have never done this, but just tossing another idea out there).

What do you think would be the best as all the options clearly have their downsides?
Any other ideas?
Any things I can do for next winter? I am thinking of using my old solar cover to line the edges to provide a little extra protection.... but it might just be placebo.

Thanks for any thoughts / advice!
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,910
NY
Well, for what’s it’s worth, consider this. We ended with a hard cold snap this year and i had 4-5 inches of ice. It warmed up with a couple of 60-70 degree days and the ice was gone in day and a half. So if it’s actually warm out, the ice will fix itself quickly. Shade or no shade, you are trying to melt ice into otherwise still cold water. It’s not like half the pool is 60 degrees and the other half is still frozen and slowing the process.

You are talking to a community of enthusiasts, so believe me we all get your desire to jump start the season, but IMHO yours isn’t ready yet. :)

Also think of all the pools in your region that have let nature decide for decades. Was there an occasional freak failure while the ice melted on its own ? Probably, but it was the .00001%. Messing with the ice will greatly increase your odds of damage and not worth the risks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: johnp98 and 1Sammy

johnp98

New member
Sep 14, 2017
4
Canada - Manitoba
Also think of all the pools in your region that have let nature decide for decades. Was there an occasional freak failure while the ice melted on its own ? Probably, but it was the .00001%. Messing with the ice will greatly increase your odds of damage and not worth the risks.
Sounds good! Thanks for the info/feedback!
Yeah I think this year with COVID I am itching more than most years to get things open.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude