No cover for the winter : New Jersey


Well-known member
Feb 10, 2020
NJ (shore)
Pool Size
Liquid Chlorine
First I would want to thanks this community: it's my second year following your advice. I bought last March x gallons of chlorine. I have been through the season without adding almost anything else than the chlorine, one time soda ash and at the beginning of the season a bit of cyanuric acid for the CYA level. And based on my experience last year and everything i have learnt, i have Ben pretty accurate on the chlorine as i have 6 gallons left ;-)

I am living in New Jersey and this winter i am planning to not add the cover. It was last spring in a very bad shape and as i have seen here people not using a cover in more extreme weather than the one i will have in new jersey (i have read users from main or Canada not using cover), i am planning to not invest thousands of dollars in a cover. I have few questions:
1. At which water temperature should I stop using my pump?
2. When winterizing the pool, should I only make sure the the level are fine and shock the pool and not add any chemicals until spring ?
3. Should I continue to use the robot to clean the bottom of the pool and until which temperature do you suggest me to do this?
4. What should be the water temperature of the pool when opening in spring, and what would be your guess for the month I should anticipate opening it ?

While i am planning to not out a cover i have seen people saying there are using tarp with sand bag. Is it something some of you are doing ? It sounds very unsafe to me. If by accident someone would walk in the cover, it could be fatal.

Thank you for your support, i want to make sure to make it right ?

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
I think just about all of your questions (and more) can be found in the link below. Not sure about the robot water temp though. :scratch: You might need to confirm with the owner's manual on that one. Rule of thumb .... "Close late & open early". Water temp 60F minimum, colder if you can. Good luck!



Well-known member
Aug 17, 2007
Eastern Canada
I am northeast of you in Canada and over 28 years I have closed my inground pool with and without a winter cover, and I find the pool is cleaner in the spring with the cover, is less likely to turn green before you start the water circulating, and shielding the liner from the sum for seven months a year likely makes the expensive liner fade less and last longer. Winter covers (I use the lightest one available for easier handling) are only about $50 (Swimming Pool Winter Covers - Winter Pool Covers -, plus $35 for a ten-pack of water tubes to hold it on (PureLine 10 Ft. Double Pool Water Tube (5 - pk.) - PL0209 - Filling the water bags is a bit of a pain, especially if the weather is cold, and putting on the cover is a two-person job. I likely get 5 years out of a cover, and I save the old one for ground protection when painting. A pool fence (required in most places) should keep out trespassers. I have no fence (grandfathered) and just rope the area off and have had no issues in 28 years.

1. I stop using the pump and close anytime between when the temperature drops below 60F and before it dips below freezing, but generally between mid-Oct. and mid-Nov.

2. I add a quart of Polyquat algaecide, but otherwise just close with my "normal" water.

4. I open whenever the ice has melted in the pool, usually around April 15. My goal is to get the water circulating and chlorinated before it turns green. I normally don't heat and swim until Victoria Day (last Monday preceding May 25) weekend, so I have a month or so to resolve any equipment issues, balance the water, etc. Unless I'm adding chemicals or vacuuming, I run my 2-speed pump on low for several hours a day during that time to reduce electricity use. My CYA resets to zero or low over the winter, so I run pucks/tabs in my feeder until CYA's in normal range, and then run with store brand bleach for the rest of the summer. Once I finished balancing the water on Victoria Day this year, I have added nothing to my pool but bleach -- all other readings continue to be perfect.

3. I have no robot, but I remove leaves with a leaf rake net and do a full vacuum and brush when closing. I would suggest you keep the robot in and keep the water circulating for several hours a day until you close.


Well-known member
May 30, 2012
Montville NJ
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
I'm in NJ as well ( little further North though), with a similar pool as you.

I pull my equipment in the winter. I would be concerned with freezing if I left it attached. If you are going to leave your pool uncovered then I would keep my pump and filter active for as long as possible, keep a very close eye on the weather, and be prepared to drain your lines and skimmer as soon as a hard freeze is in the forecast.

Without a cover you are going to keep using chlorine, both from the sun and from organic materials (leaves) that fall into your pool, so you want to keep adding chlorine and circulate the water for as long as possible.

As JoeRJGR said, I cannot image what my pool would look like if I did not cover it. I know the amount of leaves that get on my cover, and to have that in my pool would be insane.

I also run my FC up quite high before I cover the pool, and when I open in the spring I usually still have residual FC.
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