Heating pool in NC and advice about pollen


Bronze Supporter
Aug 18, 2018
Rolesville, NC
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-9)
Hi everyone - I live in central NC near Raleigh. I kept my pool open all winter and everything is balanced. Weather is starting to get milder mid 70s and my kids are chomping at the bit to get into the pool. We bought a heat pump to extend our pool season for this purpose. This will be my second season in the pool.

Mid april is peak pollen time in NC - lots of yellow pine pollen everywhere.

Looking for advice on best way to heat pool in April with temps in the mid 70s for weekend swimming. I put a solar cover on this week when temps starting getting warmer. Pollen all over the cover of course

Current pool temp is 70 degrees.

A few questions:

1.) How many hours a day to run heat pump to raise temp to 83 ? Right now I have the filter running 12 hours a day. Should I run it longer to heat the pool quicker ?

2.) What to do with the solar cover while heating?

3.) When I take the solar cover off (even if I do it carefully) - there will be pollen falling into the pool - any advice on how to manage this ?

4.) Am I crazy to start swimming now ? My wife just rolls her eyes when I ask her but my kids are excited?

Thanks in advance.



TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
Quaker Hill, CT
Pool Size
Liquid Chlorine
No idea what size heat pump you have but for me it takes about a week to get my pool up into the 80s. I only run my heat pump during the warm parts of the day when it will generate the most heat. I find running it 24/7 doesn't get me to where I want to be any faster but uses a lot more electricity.

Once I open my pool in the spring I put my solar cover on the pool and it stays on the pool unless we are swimming to keep the heat in the pool. I like my pool warm and I don't like spending more than I have to to keep it that way so that cover stays on the water.

Pollen and stuff will no doubt end up on top of the cover. Some of that stuff will get in the pool when the cover comes off. Just let the skimmer and filter do their thing. They will clear the surface pretty quick. Hair nets in the skimmer basket will catch a lot of the pollen and keep it out of the filter. If pollen is heavy you will need to change the hair nets daily if not more frequently as they can get plugged enough to stop water going to your pump.

Never crazy to go swimming, Last year we were in the pool april 30th and everybody had a blast.
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Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Mar 30, 2016
Baltimore, MD
I was going to say run the heat pump 24/7 to get the heat up, but I have gas and not a heat pump so Chuck would know more about that and it sounds right. The fact that he's in CT and probably has colder nights may make a difference so you may want to experiment with how many degrees you gain over a night.

He's right about the pollen, just let your filter and robot deal with it. It will clear up quick. Hosing off your solar cover as you reel it in may help keep it clean, just hose it into the pool and let the system do it's job.

I agree, never too crazy to go swimming whenever you can. A pool is a large investment and should be enjoyed.
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