Closing without a cover?

rockyboy

Well-known member
Jul 13, 2007
175
Hello from Oklahoma City! This is sort of a two part issue but deals mainly with closing. We are coming up on the end of our third summer with our IG (Liner) pool. For the past two winters, we have left our pool open. The Auto Pilot does an excellent job of making sure the pump runs when the water gets too cold although I am a little paranoid about a possible ice storm that might knock out our power for an extended period of time. Sorry for rambling…here is my question(s): We do not have a cover and don’t really want to spend big $$$ on one. Is it OK to winterize without a cover? Do I need to do anything special over the winter? We have no leaves to worry about although I am sure with our wind, there will be plenty of dirt and construction trash. We are also grappling with a small “very annoying:” leak. Spent yesterday afternoon in a very cool pool and was not able to locate anything obvious with the liner although scuba would be a much better alternative to my limited lung capacity. I was thinking that closing the pool would eliminate the plumbing as a possible source for the leak. If the plumbing is taken out of the equation and we continue to lose water over the winter, then maybe the liner is our culprit. Would appreciate any input from the group…thanks in advance!!!!
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,036
SouthWest Alabama
The problem is that without a cover you'll need some way to circulate and add chlorine over the winter. The cover takes the loss of chlorine from the sun out of the equation and without one you will lose chlorine at a fairly good rate even when it's cold.
 

acroy

Well-known member
May 11, 2010
186
Dallas TX
I've only had the pool for a year, and the previous owner did leave the fabric cover. But we left the pool open, let the pump run about 2hrs a day and whenever it was below freezing via the freeze switch. I plan to do the same this winter. Just check once a week or so on pH and chlorine. Easy to dose it up with a jug of bleach as necessary. And the pool looks nice in the yard all winter! all this FWIW....

As for the leak: the pool stores will be hurting for work soon. I'd suggest call around and get a few quotes for leak detection services. Best of luck!
 

rockyboy

Well-known member
Jul 13, 2007
175
Hmmmm....never really considered that but was thinking that Algae was biggest concern for low chlorine content. If water temps are low, algae doesn't grow...right? Neighbor has new gunnite pool (no cover) and is having a local company come close. I don't think they told him he would have any issues but maybe they just want his money......
 

rockyboy

Well-known member
Jul 13, 2007
175
Acroy....thanks for the information. I have considered a leak detection service but they told me that a leak of less than 1" per day could probably not be detected and mine is probably 1/4 to 3/8. The company is American Leak Detection and they are about the only ones who do pools in my area. :(
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,036
SouthWest Alabama
While it doesn't take much chlorine during the winter I wouldn't want it getting to zero. Even in OKC you probably have a few days in the winter where it gets pretty warm and all it takes is a start and then a warm day and you have a full bloom to clean up. Maybe if your add Polyquat 60 it'll last all winter uncovered.

Have you done the bucket test to make sure it's a leak and not evaporation?
 

rockyboy

Well-known member
Jul 13, 2007
175
I did earlier in the summer when we had a bigger leak. Found a tear in the liner and patched it but it would probably make sense to do another. Maybe I am just overly sensitive to the water level since we already found one leak.
 

Anemone

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 9, 2007
48
Northeastern Maryland
Sorry, I can't help with the leak issue but can answer the closing part. We have not covered our IG vinyl pool for the past 15 years. We live in northeastern MD where it definitely freezes. We blow out the lines and disassemble the filter, but we don't cover the pool. It is a swamp every spring, but only takes about a week to clear.
 

rockyboy

Well-known member
Jul 13, 2007
175
Anemone....thanks for the input but "swamp" sounds a little ominous to me and anything remotely similar would not go over well with the boss. :lol: I suppose I was thinking that the water would be crystal cear all winter for some reason. I suspect that I will stay open and let the freeze guard protect the equipment. A portable generator tied to the circuit breaker panel should guard against the doomsday scenarior. Thanks!
 

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