First Major Inspection of Winterized Pool

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,887
Damascus, MD
I opened up my pool cover this past weekend to look for leaves since I saw a few under the cover the last time I was taking a water sample. There was a TON of leaves in the pool. I had no idea so many were in there. I had meticulously cleaned the pool the day the cover installers were coming. I cleaned in the morning and they came sometime in the afternoon. I did not realize they were there until the cover was already on and I could not see under it. I had hoped to skim out the few leaves that might have blown in after they got here before they finished but figured how many could have blown in for that short time-frame? I was really annoyed that they closed my pool with so many leaves in it. The guy that did it was a total jerk and has been at my pool before he is the one that did the initial startup from my builder (they will not be here ever again). He was the one that told me you guys (this forum) doesn't know Richard about pools and his vast knowledge is infinitely better. That was right before he told me to just leave my variable speed pump on high all the time it'll avoid problems.

So anyway I cleaned them mostly all out. I had to lift my full cover 1/2 at a time and chase the leaves to the other side. I probably got 95% of them. I saw staining from the leaves and lots of just dirt everywhere. The next nice day should I throw in my robot and let it go to town again? It is supposed to be 70 here tomorrow. Water temp is around 35 I'd guess. The pool did at one point have 3" plus of ice in it but when I was cleaning it the ice had totally melted so there is none in there right now. I also put a gallon of muriatic acid in since the last time I checked pH was sky high. Water was looking greenish (not algea green, new pool-water green like when I first filled it). I did close with an algaecide (not copper based) and high(ish) chlorine level. I also put 2 gallons of bleach in 2 weeks ago.

Also my skimmers had a good 5" of water in them. I am sure it was frozen at some point but I did not see any cracks. Both skimmers had a plastic jug in them. I used a sponge to get all of the water out and then poured a splash of pool anti-freeze into each skimmer (like 1/2 a cup) and replaced the empty gallon jug in each one. Will that suffice for the rest of the winter?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
I'm surprised you haven't had a few locals from up north reply to your thread, but I'll be happy to get to started. :) You did good to get those leaves out. Organic staining can be a real pain and take a little while for aggressive scrubbing and elevated FC to clear. Since you now have access to the water, you can't really test accurately unless you have a way to mix the water (i.e. submersible pump), but you can continue to add a little bleach from time to time and manually brush around. I'd be careful with the muriatic acid as it will be very tough to really know what your pH is right now. I would hope the plastic jugs did as intended and absorbed the pressure of the ice in the skimmers. You'll know soon enough I suppose. Overall it sounds like you made a good effort to keep the sanity there in the pool. Once our crazy weather settles and you open, you'll be able to really get back to bascis and take care of any algae issues - if there are any.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,887
Damascus, MD
Thanks! I do have a submersible pump. It is in the deep end I turn on the power when I need to mix and let it go for a few hours. For the Muriatic I put that in right before I started fishing leaves out so it was well mixed. I did not get a sample right after I was done but will this weekend and do a full testing battery. The pool company that did my closing guarantees no damage so I think if there was any damage to the skimmers (or other components) they would cover it.
 

PoolguyinCT

In The Industry
Jul 21, 2014
3,083
Connecticut
Tannin “stains” aren’t that laborious to remove, high FC & debris removal, should do it..
I remember viewing your cover install & property. Some high wind pools benefit from perimeter waterbags.
Also leaves or not, didn’t you purchase a UV block cover???
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,887
Damascus, MD
Tannin “stains” aren’t that laborious to remove, high FC & debris removal, should do it..
I remember viewing your cover install & property. Some high wind pools benefit from perimeter waterbags.
Also leaves or not, didn’t you purchase a UV block cover???
I thought about the water bags I have seen the cover waving up with the wind.

I don't think the cover is UV blocking. It is basically a looplock. I don't know if those block UV. I am not concerned about Algae. I'll open my pool as soon as the weather permits and I keep the Chlorine up as well even though it is cold.
 

PoolguyinCT

In The Industry
Jul 21, 2014
3,083
Connecticut
For the 3k I recall you paid, I doubt it’s a UV block..

“When the trees start bud so does the pool”
that’s when I hit the road & start bringing up FC in the UV Penetrable covered pools..
timing is everything..
 

laprjns

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2012
364
Ellington, CT
The pool company that did my closing guarantees no damage so I think if there was any damage to the skimmers (or other components) they would cover it.
Are you sure that they will still honor this now that you have pulled up the cover and screwed with the skimmers? Once the pool is closed properly, there is really no need to test the water. Just leave it until you open and deal with the leaves then. Just make sure that you get FC circulating in the pool prior to the water temperature gettings above 65 deg F.
Regarding the skimmers, the plastic jugs are in there for the purpose of relieving the force on the skimmer body from ice formation.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,887
Damascus, MD
Are you sure that they will still honor this now that you have pulled up the cover and screwed with the skimmers? Once the pool is closed properly, there is really no need to test the water. Just leave it until you open and deal with the leaves then. Just make sure that you get FC circulating in the pool prior to the water temperature gettings above 65 deg F.
Regarding the skimmers, the plastic jugs are in there for the purpose of relieving the force on the skimmer body from ice formation.
Screwed with the skimmers? All I did was empty the water out of them. I don't think pulling up the cover would matter would it?

I'd also like to keep some chlorine in the water. I also think testing 1 or 2 times a month while it is closed is prudent. It is nice to know what the chemistry is doing.

FYI: I know what the jugs are for I replaced them back they were already in there.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,033
Pacific NW
You mentioned throwing the robot in with 35 degree water.

You should check the user manual first, it will likely indicate not
to use the bot in water under 45 degrees.

Something to do with how the lubrication / bearings in the
mechanism are affected and could shorten service life.
 

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
9,074
Eastern Ohio
I'd also warn against adding MA without a working pump. For starters pH will go up on it's own with cold temps however will decrease on it's own once the water warms up. Additionally a sump pump doesn't move water very much so you just don't know if the water is mixed well enough or not. Lastly when adding the acid you risk creating streaks on the new plaster where the acid was poured. None of this may have harmed your chemistry/pool but some of it may have. As I suggest to many users up north......put the cover on and leave it.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,887
Damascus, MD
The M/A is fine. I turned on my sump pump, added the M/A, and then proceeded to fish out the leaves. The leaf removal thoroughly mixed the water.

I do have a question. My skimmers are those dual purpose ones that have a second port to tie in the main drain if you want. This was not used my main drains go directly back to the equipment pad. My concern is that the hole in the skimmer will fill with water and that water will freeze and crack that portion of the skimmer creating a leak. Is this a valid concern or does this never happen? I have considered maybe putting a permanent gizmo in that hole or maybe just filling it up with plaster or something like that so no water can get into it.
 

laprjns

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2012
364
Ellington, CT
I do have a question. My skimmers are those dual purpose ones that have a second port to tie in the main drain if you want. This was not used my main drains go directly back to the equipment pad. My concern is that the hole in the skimmer will fill with water and that water will freeze and crack that portion of the skimmer creating a leak. Is this a valid concern or does this never happen? I have considered maybe putting a permanent gizmo in that hole or maybe just filling it up with plaster or something like that so no water can get into it.
I wouldn't worry about it. I have the same skimmer setup, unused main diverter port, and for 13 years have never done anything more than put some anti freeze in them. Never had a problem. Here's what they look like today, which I'm sure is not any different from other years:
20180216_105855.jpg
 

Attachments

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,887
Damascus, MD
This is what my skimmers look like now. Note the hole on the right. That is the one I am concerned about. Like you, I put in some antifreeze. It actually has a bunch of rocks in it too from the build that I could not get out. I am very tempted to just put a PVC plug/cap in it.

 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,033
Pacific NW
This is what my skimmers look like now. Note the hole on the right. That is the one I am concerned about. Like you, I put in some antifreeze. It actually has a bunch of rocks in it too from the build that I could not get out. I am very tempted to just put a PVC plug/cap in it.
uuh, if you plug that other hole, then you will block the inlet to the pump.

Or is the one on the left plugged goes to your pump?

Man look at that huge crack / gap around near the top, looks like the ground shifted
or the water was over filled and it freeze damaged. (My last house/ pool had that too)
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,887
Damascus, MD
uuh, if you plug that other hole, then you will block the inlet to the pump.

Or is the one on the left plugged goes to your pump?

Man look at that huge crack / gap around near the top, looks like the ground shifted
or the water was over filled and it freeze damaged. (My last house/ pool had that too)
The hole that has nothing in it does nothing. The left one with the plug goes to the pump. The "crack" is because the deck needed to be raised on that end for proper level. It didn't crack it was installed like that. FYI this is my first winter. The water level never got above about 1/2 way up the lower section (where the basket sits) in that skimmer.
 

laprjns

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2012
364
Ellington, CT
Note the hole on the right. That is the one I am concerned about.
That what mine looks like also. Like I said all I have ever done is to put some antifreeze in there. Are your skimmer blocked off from the pool with Skimmer Plugs? Mine are not so there is no way for them not to get filled with water and freeze like you see in my pictures. It's been like this for every year since I put in the pool and never had a problem with the skimmers. One thing I would recommend is to remover the weirs.