Keeping pool open in winter in Pennsylvania

OrthoBlock

Member
Sep 25, 2019
24
PA
I'm a first time pool owner, with a new build on-line since this July. I've been considering the merits of keeping my pool open year around (vs. paying for cost of closing and re-opening in the spring.) Is this a crazy idea?

I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

I like the idea of being able to keep an eye on the chemical balance through out the year, and the thought of heating up the hot-tub for occasional mid-winter dips [even if I let the pool drop to a less than civilized temperature]
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Northern NJ
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Depends if you think we will have an easy winter with little snow accumulation or a hard winter with lots of freezing temperatures and snow accumulations of a few feet.

Do you have a backup generator to keep your pump running if your house loses power during a freeze? What is your contingency plan if your pump fails during a freeze? Are you intending to rely on the freeze protection in your IntelliCenter?

I suggest you read Preparing Pool for Cooler Months - Further Reading

I would close the pool and not need to deal with it over the winter.
 

OrthoBlock

Member
Sep 25, 2019
24
PA
I think we have month or two of at/below freezing weather here per year.

Is running the pump/heater to keep the water temp at sufficient point not going to work?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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May 3, 2014
34,471
Laughlin, NV
The heater is not to be run with water temperatures maintained at under 68F. You can go from a temperature lower than 68F, but you must heat up the water to above 68F. Read your manual.
" Operating this heater continuously at water temperatures below 68° F. (20° C) will cause harmful condensation and will damage the heater and void the warranty. "
 

OrthoBlock

Member
Sep 25, 2019
24
PA
I did not realize this. This is a strong argument for shutting it down.

As a related point, how does one test and maintain the pool chemistry when the winter cover is on? [i.e., how does one access the water]

Thanks!
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,766
Atlanta Ga
Other option is leave it open longer and watch the weather and if cold is coming winterize it. I do that in Ga but our cold snap is low 20's for a couple of days usually :)
With our crazy weather in 2020 who knows what winter will bring :(
 
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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
1,639
Spring Valley, NY
I think closing the pool is a small price to pay for the comfort of knowing you have a problem free pool for the next season. The closing price has to be less then keep it going for the winter dollar wise. If you ain't swimming in it why keep it open.
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Northern NJ
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I did not realize this. This is a strong argument for shutting it down.

As a related point, how does one test and maintain the pool chemistry when the winter cover is on? [i.e., how does one access the water]

Thanks!
You leave the chemistry alone while the pool is closed. Don’t check it at all.
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Northern NJ
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Got it.

Should I push the chemicals to a specific point before the closing [vs. just leaving them in what would be ok “regular” summer usage values]?



The following is Buckman Labs’ recommendation on how to use Polyquat 60 for closing your pool for the season.

As they recommend for proper winterization, the pool should be "shocked" with about 5-10ppm chlorine to destroy any lingering oxidant demand and remove any residual ammonia or chloramine, etc. After a couple of days, adjust the pH back to 7.2-7.6 and then add Polyquat 60 at the maximum rate as instructed per the label. This approach allows you to receive the highest benefit from both chemicals.
 

PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
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Damascus, MD
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It'll cost you a lot more to keep it opened. Your pump will run on high below 37 for it's freeze protection program. That's $200/month if running constantly. Your heater probably costs $4/hour to run and in cold weather you'll be lucky to get 1 degree every 2 hours or more. Also there is no reason to pay someone to open your pool. It's dirt simple.