How much of a “close” in Raleigh, NC

Jenn13

Member
Sep 18, 2021
14
Raleigh, NC
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
I’ve reviewed the closing procedures link, shared here.
but I’m trying to figure out where we fall into the levels of closing being here in Raleigh. We’ve been in Raleigh for almost 5 years. I’m that time, we’ve had 1 big snow & ice storm. But since, it’s just dusting of snow & some cold snaps I guess. Google tells me that January is the coolest month with the avg overnight temp of 29

so where does that leave me?

I had an AGP growing up in CT & I remember the pool being sealed tight for the winter. I just assumed it’d be the same.
So, I started purchasing:
Cover - Robelle 6024-4 Superior Winter... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010TS59LC?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
Pillow - Robelle 3748 Deluxe 4-foot x... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ESYOFKU?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
Even shrink wrap to seal it all up tight from the wind Winter Pool Cover Seal - for... Amazon.com : Winter Pool Cover Seal - for Above Ground Pools : Swimming Pool Covers : Patio, Lawn & Garden

Then, I went to the pool store to see if the had the skimmer cover I needed & they directed me to keep the pool open, on low - for the winter. They said to super shock it, put a cover on it & keep it running
So now I’m a bit confused.
Anyone is the Raleigh area have advice for what I should do with our weather?
In reading some here, I see some notes about checking things though the winter & I have to admit, I was hoping to have a little winter break from checking all the details of the water! 😉

1st, I want to make sure the cover I got will work for a full close or this mild close…. I need to return it soon if it isn’t the right thing.
Any insight??
 
Last edited:

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,191
NY
In reading some here, I see some notes about checking things though the winter & I have to admit, I was hoping to have a little winter break from checking all the details of the water! 😉
The UV/FC demand falls off a cliff for the winter. Your daily or every other day checks become weekly, bi-weekly, then monthly. So, yes, you will need to test but it’s nothing like the summer. (y)

The nice part is seeing the issues coming with boatloads of time to adjust, instead of popping the cover months later and having a swamp.
 
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Jenn13

Member
Sep 18, 2021
14
Raleigh, NC
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Ok, thanks! Hoping I’ll get some more responses on how people handle closing in the Raleigh area! 👍🏼
 
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NCMike

Gold Supporter
Jan 31, 2020
192
Raleigh, NC
Maybe someone with an AGP in this area will chime in. I have one friend that has one and does a full closing on his. He also doesn't follow TFP so he's probably doing what the pool store tells him to do.

For my in ground plaster pool, I don't close or cover anything at all. I have a VS pump so it runs on low all year long. Once my water temp gets below 50ish my SWG stops producing chlorine so I will add liquid chlorine manually. My local Lowes was stocked up on 10% last week so I got enough to get me through the winter I hope. Following TFP methods has really made taking care of my pool very easy. I'm only adding MA in the summer once every week or so to control PH and this winter I will let my PH drift up to around 8 as the water temp falls to manage CSI ( I don't think this is a concern for you with vinyl). Since UV demand falls off in the winter I bring my FC up close to slam level and then let it drift back down over a few weeks. This allows me to go a week or 2 between testing in Jan and Feb. Pay attention to water temp in Feb and March. last year water temp shot up at the end of Feb so you will need to increase your testing as that happens.

Also, I would look around the equipment pad and make sure that when the pump is on, there are no pipes above ground or pieces of equipment that have water standing in them. On those mornings in the teens like we normally have you will want to make sure water is flowing through everything to avoid freezing. I have a freeze protection on my automation system so when temps drop the system cycles water through all my water features.

Lastly, if you choose not to close your pool, still have a plan in place in case we loose power due to a crazy ice storm. Last year the mountains to our west saved us from the artic cold that hit so hard out west. But its not unheard of for us to have a few days below freezing or an ice storm. If we find ourselves in freezing temps for an extend period of time and without power, have a plan to drain your lines and pump manually. Maybe an AGP will make that part easier since you shouldn't have any underground lines.
 
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Jenn13

Member
Sep 18, 2021
14
Raleigh, NC
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Thanks @NCMike youre correct - nothing underground here. I will continue to get the components needed to close & hope I can come up with a better game plan in the coming weeks!
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,191
NY
Jenn, how is your foliage ? My last house had crazy oaks and pulling crud out was a full time job the whole year. We moved last year and I bought a tarp to cover the above ground we inherited and ended up returning it as there was no need on the open farm field. I drained below the skimmer and used a skimmer mouth plug, which leaked so I stuffed the skimmer with cut up pool noodles and used a rubber stopper plug in the return pipe. The equipment came apart easily and blew out using the exhaust port of my shop vac. I used a couple gallons of antifreeze for good measure and plugged the pipes with more rubber stoppers. With access to the pool water I checked it a few times as needed and added bleach when it needed it. All in all it was easy peasy. If we had trees I would have covered it and drained the top water / muck as necessary. Please ask away with any thoughts or questions. :)
 
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Jenn13

Member
Sep 18, 2021
14
Raleigh, NC
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Thanks!!
We DO have trees & will for sure have to deal with a swamp in/on the pool!!
1 of the trees in our yard (away from the pool) started dropping leaves this last weekend so I shifted my planning into high gear!!

I kind of want to drain the pool below the skimmer & drain/open the filter & not worry about freezing. Is that a bad idea?
Help 😫
 

Griswald

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2014
793
Hope Mills, NC
I'm close to you...I close my in-ground just to save the electricity. My next door neighbor does not close.

We do not get long cold spells, so freezing the pool is not going to happen...you might get some surface ice, but that will be gone by 10:00 am generally.

Also, my cats like to sleep on the winter cover, it's like a 16 x 32 waterbed!
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,191
NY
I kind of want to drain the pool below the skimmer & drain/open the filter & not worry about freezing. Is that a bad idea?
Draining and or covering are both totally fine. You can even try it both ways for a season or two and then decide which worked better for you.
 
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h-man07

Member
Feb 14, 2018
10
Raleigh
Maybe someone with an AGP in this area will chime in. I have one friend that has one and does a full closing on his. He also doesn't follow TFP so he's probably doing what the pool store tells him to do.

For my in ground plaster pool, I don't close or cover anything at all. I have a VS pump so it runs on low all year long. Once my water temp gets below 50ish my SWG stops producing chlorine so I will add liquid chlorine manually. My local Lowes was stocked up on 10% last week so I got enough to get me through the winter I hope. Following TFP methods has really made taking care of my pool very easy. I'm only adding MA in the summer once every week or so to control PH and this winter I will let my PH drift up to around 8 as the water temp falls to manage CSI ( I don't think this is a concern for you with vinyl). Since UV demand falls off in the winter I bring my FC up close to slam level and then let it drift back down over a few weeks. This allows me to go a week or 2 between testing in Jan and Feb. Pay attention to water temp in Feb and March. last year water temp shot up at the end of Feb so you will need to increase your testing as that happens.
NCMike has some good advice, which I'd 2nd. I do have a follow up question. Do you cover your pool over the winter? I've kept mine open during the last 2 years, first no cover, last year with a solar cover. The cheap solar cover helped keep the temps more stable without having to run the heater as much. However, cleaning with the cover is a big PIA.
 

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Jenn13

Member
Sep 18, 2021
14
Raleigh, NC
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
NCMike has some good advice, which I'd 2nd. I do have a follow up question. Do you cover your pool over the winter? I've kept mine open during the last 2 years, first no cover, last year with a solar cover. The cheap solar cover helped keep the temps more stable without having to run the heater as much. However, cleaning with the cover is a big PIA.
I already have a cover on (black side up to heat it a bit) so we can still swim some & keep the falling leaves out. We have lots of trees. We’ll definitely be covering it over the winter.

I’ve decided I am going to drain below skimmer, unhook / open / drain filter & cover for the winter. Maybe I’ll try a different method next year!

Thanks all
 
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Jenn13

Member
Sep 18, 2021
14
Raleigh, NC
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Hi friends!
This is where I’m at.
Water lowered below jet/skimmer. Chen’s added. Cover in place, put in a pillow for good measure.

I was able to get off one end of each hose to the pool/filter. Is this ok?
There is still water in the filter. Any tips on where the drains are?
What else do I need to do? Help!! 🤪
 

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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,191
NY
I was able to get off one end of each hose to the pool/filter. Is this ok?
Should be ok. The skimmer is plugged on the inside ? If so, all good. If not, keep an eye on the skimmer hose/pipe. If the water level rises or the cover pushes down with ice/rain water, you could lose water out the hose. If that’s the case you’ll want it away from the pool si it doesn’t erode under the wall.
There is still water in the filter. Any tips on where the drains are?
Try tilting it off the base. You should see one under the filter or on the bottom corner.
 

Jenn13

Member
Sep 18, 2021
14
Raleigh, NC
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Should be ok. The skimmer is plugged on the inside ? If so, all good. If not, keep an eye on the skimmer hose/pipe. If the water level rises or the cover pushes down with ice/rain water, you could lose water out the hose. If that’s the case you’ll want it away from the pool si it doesn’t erode under the wall.

Try tilting it off the base. You should see one under the filter or on the bottom corner.
Thank you!!!
 

Jenn13

Member
Sep 18, 2021
14
Raleigh, NC
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
@Newdude sorry to keep asking you questions!
Now that I’ve opened the drains - the drains have caps. Do I keep them off? Do I need to wrorry about a critter finding their way in? Or once the water stops running, I can re-cap?
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,191
NY
@Newdude sorry to keep asking you questions!
Ask away ANYTIME!!! Sorry I dropped off the face of the earth with my own projects and your question somehow slipped through the cracks for a week.
the drains have caps. Do I keep them off? Do I need to wrorry about a critter finding their way in? Or once the water stops running, I can re-cap?
Either way is fine. Not much a mouse is gonna do to 100lbs of sand. There might even be a screen up in there too already. Or you can cap them once drained so long as the top is covered and can’t fill up. :)