Help: First winter...keeping pool open.

JaySav

Bronze Supporter
Mar 24, 2019
114
Memphis, TN
Hey guys, need some advice please. I’m going to just leave the pool open this winter. It’s my first winter with a pool (just bought the house in the spring) and I’m wondering what is diff about running it in the winter vs the summer. Here are some questions I have:
-Pool chemistry, is it still the same. Test regularly or back off a little?
-At what temp will the cell stop producing chlorine? Water temp 60 degrees? Manually chlorine all winter?
-I already switched the run time to nights and kicked the cell percentage way down. Chlorine level was getting high, running 7 hours.
I’m sure I have a couple more but just curious how this works in the winter. Thanks!
 

Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
1,175
Bangor Maine
Most salt systems stop generating between 50-60 degrees. You will have to manually dose but as the water is cooler and less daylight it will be less than summer. Yes you need to test. You can run your pump 4-6 hours for mixing and filtering.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
JaySav, I will offer a couple other items as a reminders:
1 - As a typical SWG owner, just make sure the chlorine you use is just that - liquid pool chlorine or regular bleach (no splashless, scented, or Clorox brands).
2 - Pay close attention to that contingency section on the link provided above. Hard freezes caught a lot of people off-guard a couple years ago from TX to SC. Think ahead for not only power failures, but longer than usual freeze periods where you may even consider placing a tarp of some sort over your equipment pad or exposed pipes for periods of freezing sleet/rain.

See you next season. :swim:
 
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JaySav

Bronze Supporter
Mar 24, 2019
114
Memphis, TN
Thanks for the heads up, I've decided I don't want to take that risk so I am going to close the pool. I have a few questions about it...

If a Shop Vac/Compressed air/leaf blower all can't handle the main drain it looks like there isn't many other options but to get the Cyclone? I'm really trying to avoid that this year, just had a baby and wife's out of work for a little while so buying a $300 pump a month before Christmas just isn't a real good idea but if that's my only option than guess it will pay for itself pretty quick.

Also if I were to drop the water a few inches below returns would I still need to dump anti freeze in? Doesn't make sense to do that if there is no/very little water in there.

I called a pool "company", not sure if it actually was or not but I was referred to them, and he basically said he was going to use my pump to suck the system out. I questioned him about running the pump dry doing that and he said it won't hurt it for 30 seconds. Needless to say now I'm contemplating buying a $300 pump instead of taking a chance of paying someone to come out and do something I can easily do who might cause damage to my equipment.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
There are many ways to prep your pool for closing. The Cyclone is indeed a very good one-time investment, but that's something you'll have to evaluate. ShopVac's have their place, but depending on the plumbing length and design, they have limitations. A pump can run dry for a short period. Not ideal, but that's not something I've typically experienced in a closing scenario. Those who add antifreeze do so as insurance, even though the lines were purged. If you use some, remember to use RV antifreeze, not regular automotive. Below are some links if you haven't seen them already. Let me know if you still need more specific help. I can tag a person or two to help who close every year.


 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Why no Clorox?
A couple years back they started adding polymers to their products for fabric condition I guess. It does not play well with pool chemistry and causes add behavior in the water. Do you have a Home Depot nearby? That's where I go for 10%. Or, you can hit Wal-Mart. If they are out of their 10% Pool Essentials, then you can grab some of their Great Value laundry bleach (plain).
 
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Exlonghorn

Gold Supporter
Jun 16, 2019
56
Houston
Thanks for the heads up, I've decided I don't want to take that risk so I am going to close the pool. I have a few questions about it...

If a Shop Vac/Compressed air/leaf blower all can't handle the main drain it looks like there isn't many other options but to get the Cyclone? I'm really trying to avoid that this year, just had a baby and wife's out of work for a little while so buying a $300 pump a month before Christmas just isn't a real good idea but if that's my only option than guess it will pay for itself pretty quick.

Also if I were to drop the water a few inches below returns would I still need to dump anti freeze in? Doesn't make sense to do that if there is no/very little water in there.

I called a pool "company", not sure if it actually was or not but I was referred to them, and he basically said he was going to use my pump to suck the system out. I questioned him about running the pump dry doing that and he said it won't hurt it for 30 seconds. Needless to say now I'm contemplating buying a $300 pump instead of taking a chance of paying someone to come out and do something I can easily do who might cause damage to my equipment.
I leave my pool open as a water feature (and use the spa) and my pool automation (Jandy Aqualink) has a built-in freeze protection feature so when the air temp drops below a set temp the pump will run to protect all the equipment. Your Goldline AquaLogic panel like other automated systems has a Freeze Protect feature.
https://www.luxurypoolsandliving.com/images/manuals/aqua-logic-automation-and-chlorination-manual.pdf
 
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JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
433
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Why no Clorox? That’s the only brand of regular bleach I can find easily.
Poiks - I'm not sure where you are in McKinney, but I border you and have found 10% bleach at Walmart (McKinney), Pinch a Penny Pools (McKinney), Leslies (McKinney), Home Depot, Lowes. Heck, even Kroger has a small pool section and has 10% bleach. Hope that helps.
 
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Poiks

Active member
Jun 22, 2019
27
McKinney, TX
Poiks - I'm not sure where you are in McKinney, but I border you and have found 10% bleach at Walmart (McKinney), Pinch a Penny Pools (McKinney), Leslies (McKinney), Home Depot, Lowes. Heck, even Kroger has a small pool section and has 10% bleach. Hope that helps.
Thanks! I’m in the area behind Tom Thumb on Virginia Parkway. I will check out these options.
 

Poiks

Active member
Jun 22, 2019
27
McKinney, TX
A couple years back they started adding polymers to their products for fabric condition I guess. It does not play well with pool chemistry and causes add behavior in the water. Do you have a Home Depot nearby? That's where I go for 10%. Or, you can hit Wal-Mart. If they are out of their 10% Pool Essentials, then you can grab some of their Great Value laundry bleach (plain).
Thank you very much for this--for some reason I haven't been receiving alerts for my messages, so I thought nobody was replying on this thread. I will try WM or HD. Appreciate the help!
 

Poiks

Active member
Jun 22, 2019
27
McKinney, TX
Poiks - I'm not sure where you are in McKinney, but I border you and have found 10% bleach at Walmart (McKinney), Pinch a Penny Pools (McKinney), Leslies (McKinney), Home Depot, Lowes. Heck, even Kroger has a small pool section and has 10% bleach. Hope that helps.
Hey, thanks again. I did stop by Kroger last night and they told me they only carry the pool stuff in Summer. But I will try Walmart, Home Depot, or Leslie's--they are all within a mile of each other on Custer.
 

Poiks

Active member
Jun 22, 2019
27
McKinney, TX
Poiks - I'm not sure where you are in McKinney, but I border you and have found 10% bleach at Walmart (McKinney), Pinch a Penny Pools (McKinney), Leslies (McKinney), Home Depot, Lowes. Heck, even Kroger has a small pool section and has 10% bleach. Hope that helps.
Ok, not to belabor this, but thanks for the Home Depot recommendation. 3 gallons "HDX CHLORINATING LIQUID" (10%) for under $10 as you wrote. The others I tried (Kroger, WalMart) only carry pool stuff seasonally.
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
433
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Glad you found some. Walmart had some as of a month ago, but they were probably bleeding it down to make room for their aisles and aisles of Christmas junk. Our Kroger has a small pool section all the time (I checked yesterday after your post), but I guess not all Krogers have that.