Draining pool over winter - Normal?

Aug 30, 2019
21
South Salem, NY
Hi all,

First year closing our pool and have a question, though I am sure it is pretty normal. I closed about a month ago and everything was find on that end - plugged return lines, gizzmos in skimmer, put on our mesh cover, etc. I drained the water about 7-8 inches below skimmer.

We had a couple big storms in Westchester county, NY and already my pool's water level increased halfway up my skimmers! That seemed crazy to me, didnt realize how much water there was. Either way, seems that the mesh cover worked as planned!

So, questions:
  • is it pretty normal to have to drain the water every month or so during the winter, and is it something to regularly check after a storm (i have a submersible pump)? Never would have thought it would have filled up this fast already!
  • Even though i have gizzmos in the skimmers, should i be pumping water out of the skimmer after storms, especially when the skimmer gets completely full of water? Know gizzos are made specifially to absorb winter freeze, but just paranoid

Thanks!
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,628
Evans, Georgia
It isnt unheard of but of course its very location dependent and you've found you need to. In some climates once the pool freezes it doesn't thaw again till spring.
Can you pick up a corner of your cover and put a pump down on the step to lower the water level a bit? Don't leave the sump pump on it indefinitely as some folks have found the bottom of the pump rusts and stains the step.
I would pump out the skimmer basket as that area is a risky spot for damage. I'm sort of paranoid too even though I live in Georgia and have never closed my pool.

Maddie :flower:
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,172
NY
Im on Long Island fairly nearby to you. I have to drain 18 inches 2 or 3 times a winter. Last year was very wet so it was 3 times. They are calling for another wet winter so im guessing it will be 3 again. Just keep an eye on it and drain as need be. I tend to let it get almost to the top and then drain alot so i have to do it less often as opposed to draining 6-8 inches at a time.

Also, try to drain right before the big freeze if we get one. That way there will be room for new rain and snow on top of the ice rink.
 
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ba67

Member
Oct 17, 2018
5
Southern Kentucky
Hi all,

So, questions:
  • is it pretty normal to have to drain the water every month or so during the winter, and is it something to regularly check after a storm (i have a submersible pump)? Never would have thought it would have filled up this fast already!
  • Even though i have gizzmos in the skimmers, should i be pumping water out of the skimmer after storms, especially when the skimmer gets completely full of water? Know gizzos are made specifially to absorb winter freeze, but just paranoid

Thanks!
If the anchors of your mesh cover are difficult to get off and on like mine are, you can monitor your water level without opening your cover by simply going to wunderground.com and seeing how much rainfall you have received since you lowered your water level. I pump water out of my pool when it says on that website that we have received 8 inches of rain, since I lowered my water level 8 inches below the bottom of my tiles when I closed it. We typically receive 4-6 inches of rain a month here, so I usually have to drain water out every 6-8 weeks.
 
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thefloatqueen

Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
409
Columbus, OH
How much do you drain below the returns at closing with your mesh cover? This is my first closing with a micro mesh cover (above ground) so I’m curious. Thanks! :)
 
Aug 30, 2019
21
South Salem, NY
If the anchors of your mesh cover are difficult to get off and on like mine are, you can monitor your water level without opening your cover by simply going to wunderground.com and seeing how much rainfall you have received since you lowered your water level. I pump water out of my pool when it says on that website that we have received 8 inches of rain, since I lowered my water level 8 inches below the bottom of my tiles when I closed it. We typically receive 4-6 inches of rain a month here, so I usually have to drain water out every 6-8 weeks.
My anchors are actually fairly easy since my pool is surrounded by grass, just need a little elbow grease to get those things out. I'll just periodically check and drain when it gets to my tile line.

Thanks.!
 
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thefloatqueen

Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
409
Columbus, OH
We drained below the returns too but omg it was a nightmare and we still need to fix it. Cover is secure but we couldn’t get it to lay above the water!! It’s literally on top of it. I don’t know if I’m just not physically strong enough or what the deal is. It’s a super lightweight cover but neither of us knew wth we were doing. 🤦🏻‍♀️
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,172
NY
It’s all relative to the height of the returns. Mine are about a foot down so there is more wiggle room. If yours are only a few inches the cover will be on the water with any sag. You probably just need to drain more. If you only drain just enough each time, you’ll need to drain with every storm that comes with 2-3 inches.
 
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thefloatqueen

Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
409
Columbus, OH
It’s all relative to the height of the returns. Mine are about a foot down so there is more wiggle room. If yours are only a few inches the cover will be on the water with any sag. You probably just need to drain more. If you only drain just enough each time, you’ll need to drain with every storm that comes with 2-3 inches.
My worry is since it’s an Intex pool and not as strong as a “real” AGP, draining it that much plus the cover might cause it to collapse. We drained it maybe 2 inches below the returns (omg my 1/4 horsepower submergible pump and hose is SOOOO SLOW!!!!). We got impatient and it was almost dark out so we decided to put the cover on and drain excess water later since Intex pools have drains on the bottom of the pool, or we could drop my little slow pump in again lol. But the mesh cover is currently sitting right on top of the water. We will drain more and pull it tighter this weekend since my dad agreed to come help us. Should we put an inflatable float underneath the cover? I thought maybe that would make it easier to pull the cover tight since the middle won’t be submerged in water. I don’t know if this is true but just my thought process lol
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,172
NY
Your cover will also probably sag more than mine because you can only get your so tight before it starts collapsing the pool walls. So you can’t get it banjo tight like mine. You’ll just have to Get it as tight as you can and then drain enough so it is above the water.
 
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thefloatqueen

Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
409
Columbus, OH
Your cover will also probably sag more than mine because you can only get your so tight before it starts collapsing the pool walls. So you can’t get it banjo tight like mine. You’ll just have to Get it as tight as you can and then drain enough so it is above the water.
Ahhhh you’re scaring me. As soon as all the leaves from the woods behind my house drop, I may just go without a cover and fish out whatever falls into the pool whenever it isn’t frozen. I didn’t use Polyquat but closed pool at SLAM level (20 ppm) and water below 45 degrees. I brushed/vacuumed/balanced chemicals prior to closing and water was crystal clear and sparkling. Water is definitely way colder than 45 degrees now. I’d imagine it would be incredibly difficult for algae to grow if we opened super early. I’ll have to lookup posts from people who closed and left their pool uncovered.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,172
NY
If some water sits on the cover (well through the cover actually) it won’t hurt anything. Just scoop out any debris because the muddy tea water will go through the cover.
 
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thefloatqueen

Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
409
Columbus, OH
If some water sits on the cover (well through the cover actually) it won’t hurt anything. Just scoop out any debris because the muddy tea water will go through the cover.
Okay I’ll just use my mesh net to skim any leaves and any other stuff that drops on it. Do you think a pillow/float would be a good addition, though? How do you drain your water throughout the winter when the rain accumulates? Just drop a submersible pump in?
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,172
NY
Yeah that’s plenty deep enough. With your cover it will be easiest to just drain the water on top when need be. It flows right through the cover and you are draining the bottom water through the top. I’m not even quite sure how you would go about making your cover tight without using stakes or anchors a few feet away from the pool and pulling it tight like a tent. Wrapped around the pool edge like it is will always be loose like it is and at that point has no benefit over a tarp. When it’s flat ‘tight’ anything that falls will generally be kept off the water until It just blows off. While there is nothing wrong with how it is now, anything that falls will be trapped by either the water or the inside walls.


So don’t get worried. It’s fine how it is, but when this cover dies, you probably should just get a tarp next time.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,172
NY
Also you would need to have it tighter for floats to matter underneath. Right now you will just have a small teepee in the middle and the. Have the other 3/4 flat on the water.
 
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