Lower Water Level in AGP for Winter - exactly why?

Zwrickers

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2019
60
Louisville KY
Hi, this is my second winter closing my AGP. New vinyl liner approaching it's first winter. Last year I lowered the water level 6 inches below the skimmer and left the skimmer mouth open. This year, I got a skimmer plate plug (which has a slow leak, so the pool drained out to just the bottom of the skimmer) and a return plug for my Aqualimunator light. So, no bugs can get in, and a small trickle of water, if it somehow got into the pool, could get out via the plate. (I have a solid cover.)

I've read on here a lot about the merits of draining down to say 4? inches below the skimmer or return. Mine are at about the same level. I WILL drain if it makes sense. I've also read that as long as you plug the return and the skimmer that you can leave it as is. We do get ice and cold temps in southern Indiana. I have two AquaBeacon pillows under the cover right now. What happens if the pool freezes? Does ice mess with where the skimmer plate is attached and pop it? Does it mess with the return plug or surround? Just trying to understand what actually goes on, worst case. I can understand if you don't use a skimmer plate plug, then the water pools in the skimmer and turns to ice and can crack the skimmer and damange/bend in the pool wall. But what are the other potential problems if I left mine as is?

Kristin
 
Last edited:

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,943
NY
Does ice mess with where the skimmer plate is attached and pop it
It shouldn’t but there are mixed reviews on all the plates. Some leak and/or pop out, others don’t.
. I can understand if you don't use a skimmer plate plug, then the water pools in the skimmer and turns to ice and can crack the skimmer and damange/bend in the pool wall
Exactly. Ice generally expands up and not out. Kinda like a muffin top. If the skimmer is open you need a gizmo and preferably also some cut up pool noodles to help absorb the expansion. If it’s plugged that is not a concern. But the coping on an above ground is, either way. So you can cover the pool and drain the water that accumulates on the cover when it gets high or leave it open and drain the actual pool as needed. Most people get sick of draining 2 inches at a time and start draining 6 -12 inches less often.

it shouldn’t be too bad in KY but many of us north of you need to keep an eye on it and make sure to drain right before the big freeze comes. Once it does it won’t be able to drain for a month or more so we need enough room to accumulate the rain/ melted snow during that freeze period.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
24,201
SouthWest Alabama
Imagine you have an ABG in one of the places where the water freezes almost solid. In those areas it's a good idea to lower the water level so the column is mostly smooth and can easily swell up as it freezes. The instructions are designed to cover most places without damage so that's why they're written like they are. It won't hurt your pool to lower the water level, but it would certainly hurt someone's pool where it freezes solid.

It sounds like you disconnect your plumbing from your pool, and if you do and your pool doesn't freeze solid, then not lowering it may be just fine. Since the bottom of the skimmer is open nothing can collect in it so it can't freeze and burst anything.

Having said that I never lower the water level in ours (except this year - Thanks Zeta!). I just plug a vacuum hose into the bottom of the skimmer and screw a pvc pipe into the return with a 90º el on it turned above the water line, so I can blow out the plumbing (it's hard plumbed) cover it. Of course here it never gets cold enough to even for a solid sheet of ice on top of the water.
 
Thread Status
Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.