Fargo, ND 1st Above Ground Pool Closing

Gopherboy6956

Active member
Jun 3, 2020
38
Fargo, ND
Hey Everyone - After reading several threads about pool closing including the blog article - I have a few questions that might pertain more to my situation and climate.

I'll start off by saying it might not be a great idea to leave my Intex XTR 18' up over the winter (average high temps of 10-15* F) where it will freeze 100% solid - I get this - but a liner replacement is only $200 (if you can get one) and my original one already has two small patches in it. Also - Now that i've had this pool 2 years, I can say for sure that I want to invest in a semi in ground pool long term - so that's always an option, just sooner if this doens't work out.

The weather here has already hit day time highs in the 60s, and lows in the 40s and will even dip into the 30's. Regardless of an individual high temp day back in the 70s or 80s, without a heater our pool is effectively too cold to swim in. This will continue through October, as we don't usually see the temps really dip into freezing long enouigh untill November. I plan to filter and maintain the pool as usual until then.

My Plan is to drain past the filter ports and bring my sand filter etc. inside my heated garage for the winter, so it's really just the pool itself I have to worry about.

Anyways - I've been reading conflicting information on the Pool Pillows - some say they are useless, some say they at least move water on the cover to the edges for easier removal, and I don't know what's what. Can't hurt to use one, right?

As far as the winter cover - As you can see in the photo (below) my pool meets my deck about for about 1/3 of the edge - so water bags won't be an option, and my gut instinct is to put a cover and anchor it into the ground where I can. In the photo, the lower left side of the photo is Northwest, where most of my wind and snow come from, so That's where I feel i'll need the most support. Is there any tried and true solution to this or am I kind of on my own?

Lastly Chemicals - Is there anything unique about the pool turning solidly into ice over the winter that will change the chemical treatment? So far it looks like after getting to slam levels I just need to add some algaecide. Is that correct?

The support I've gotten in my first full year of having this pool has been fantastic - I was able to get up to speed on the maintenance so quick and had a really, amazing trouble free swim season beacuse of it.

Thank you!
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
I like your set-up! :goodjob: Well, since the cover and pillow are somewhat related, I guess the first question to ask yourself is do you really need a cover? Once the leaves are down, is it worth the effort? We expect AGP water levels to be lowered. For some AGPs that's a concern for cover anchor points pulling the walls inward and collapsing. For your pool it may not be an issue, but I wanted to remind you of it. So if you pass on the cover, it's one (or two) less things to worry about. Now if you elect to keep a cover due to moisture accumulations, then a pillow or some support would be ideal. They are not always perfect, but are designed to help keep water from accumulating. As a back-up plan, you should consider having a small pump available to keep on the cover should it sag.

As for the chemicals, once your water stays below 60 degrees (not a problem for you) you will be in great shape. Balance all the chemicals one last time like normal, then increase the FC level while the equipment is still mixing the water. If you take the FC to SLAM level, be sure to balance to the CYA and it should hold you to spring just fine. Plan on opening as soon as you can to be safe.

If you have a thru-wall skimmer, it will be disconnected at the bottom so water should flow out. But if there's any chance of snow/ice build up, you might keep a cut-up pool noodle in the skimmer to cover any potential expansion if exposed to water.

That's all I can think of. Maybe others will have some thoughts as well. Good luck, and see you next season. :swim:
 

Gopherboy6956

Active member
Jun 3, 2020
38
Fargo, ND
I like your set-up! :goodjob: Well, since the cover and pillow are somewhat related, I guess the first question to ask yourself is do you really need a cover? Once the leaves are down, is it worth the effort? We expect AGP water levels to be lowered. For some AGPs that's a concern for cover anchor points pulling the walls inward and collapsing. For your pool it may not be an issue, but I wanted to remind you of it. So if you pass on the cover, it's one (or two) less things to worry about. Now if you elect to keep a cover due to moisture accumulations, then a pillow or some support would be ideal. They are not always perfect, but are designed to help keep water from accumulating. As a back-up plan, you should consider having a small pump available to keep on the cover should it sag.

As for the chemicals, once your water stays below 60 degrees (not a problem for you) you will be in great shape. Balance all the chemicals one last time like normal, then increase the FC level while the equipment is still mixing the water. If you take the FC to SLAM level, be sure to balance to the CYA and it should hold you to spring just fine. Plan on opening as soon as you can to be safe.

If you have a thru-wall skimmer, it will be disconnected at the bottom so water should flow out. But if there's any chance of snow/ice build up, you might keep a cut-up pool noodle in the skimmer to cover any potential expansion if exposed to water.

That's all I can think of. Maybe others will have some thoughts as well. Good luck, and see you next season. :swim:

Thanks! Good advice - I didn't even think about not covering it. We actually don't even have leaf issues since out lot is only 5 years old and my trees are all still babies. Probably a lot more to clean up though in the spring I imagine.

I do have one of these guys that I bought last year when I drained it - should work to keep standing water out of the cover - at least until freeze. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008PPPRUK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I don't have a through wall skimmer or anything - so it will just be the two pump inlets and 1 outlet.