Not using a winter cover this year in NY, My plan and...

smileddog

Well-known member
May 16, 2009
56
Syracuse, NY
Not using a winter cover this year in NY, My plan and my question is will it work and any suggestions.

Last year we closed the pool and used the winter cover and also used the air bladder for the middle of the pool. It worked good but was a pain to get the yucky water drained off it and then take it off and wash, dry and store for the following year. So this spring we purchased a leaf net mesh cover to keep the debris off and it has worked wonders. So this year I am thinking this is what my plan is.

Right now I did a full vaccum of the pool. I threw the air bladder in the middle and took out the stair and threw the leaf net over it and strapped it down. I plan on leaving it there throughout the fall and into the first few snow falls. Usually we get an inch or so for a few days and they melt soon after. Once I expect the first real snow fall I plan on taking the leaf net off and letting the pool go free all winter. I figure by then all the leaves and junk will be long gone. Once the snow melts and im sure its gone for good I plan on throwing the leaf cover and air bladder back on.

My concerns are. Do I leave the pump out and running up to first freeze? or can I take it off well in advance.
Second is the pool is going to get a lot more light this winter without the cover. Does this mean I need to keep adding bleach until the water freezes over? It wont be easy to agitate the water with the leaf net on and no pump running.

Is this just an outright bad idea. My thinking is I try it this year and it either works and I can do again or it doesnt and i learned my lesson.

Any thoughts or experience would be appreciated. Thanks
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
If you're willing to experiment and deal with any potential consequences - go for it!

It doesn't sound like a bad plan. The leafnet will let small debris through it and any leaves sitting in the net that are in the water will make 'tea'. However, as long as you can remove the cover and vacuum up the stuff that bypasses the cover and keep the cl level up, things shouldn't be too bad.

You will want to run the pump a few hours a day to mix any chems you add and especially any time the temp drops below freezing.

Good luck with this and please let us know how it works out :goodjob:
 

smileddog

Well-known member
May 16, 2009
56
Syracuse, NY
Thanks Ted. Luckily with the air bladder and how tight i am able to get the net its hard as a rock. So all the leaves just tumble across the net and off the other side. Yes small debris will still be able to get through like dust, ect.. but nothing a quick vacuum wont be able to get quickly come spring. Im just worried that the pump will freeze up on me once the temperatures get cold enough. I know ill be good for the fall and spring but its the initial going from fall to winter that worries me. When to pull the pump, when i will no longer need bleach, ect...
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
Hey neighbor...ok well about 150 miles away...close enough.

Sounds like you have a good plan, but I just don't know if I could get myself comfortable with that approach. I know for a fact you get a bit more snow than I do and have a hard time imagining the pool won't be encased in ice by the time Spring comes around. I think the main benefit of closing with a solid cover in colder climates is to keep the ice from going under your top rail. If for some reason your skimmer and return opening get clogged with leaves/debris/ice you may get ice/snow sitting way above the top rail.

Again, I've never tried it, but hopefully some folks who have successfully done so will chime in soon, but I just don't see how the approach overall will benefit you labor/worry wise vs. closing up the pool and being done with it for 6 months and just take a day in the spring to deal with the smelly muck on the tarp. Definately keep us posted if you decide to go with the approach and best of luck :goodjob:

PS...I do use a leaf net as well, but I leave it over the solid cover until early Nov. It certainly helped, but even then I had 2-3 garbage bags of leaves/organic debris to scoop off the solid cover once spring time rolled around. :grrrr:
 

smileddog

Well-known member
May 16, 2009
56
Syracuse, NY
Hey neighbor. Thats actually a great suggestion about throwing the leave cover over the winter cover until the snow really flys and throw it back on as soon as spring hits and i know the snow is over. I might really be able to aviod the whole leave organic junk ordeal i hate. I might have to consider that option to just to be safe.
 

AnnaK

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 15, 2007
1,138
Eastern Pennsylvania
We haven't used a winter cover for several years and it works out just fine. We disconnect the pump and plumbing around the end of October after having drained the water down to below the lowest outlet port. Prior to draining, we add enough bleach to get to about 10 ppm FC. I scoop leaves a couple of times after that but by then the water is so cold that nothing much can grow anymore. Then the pool freezes and then we wait for it to thaw which will be about mid-April. At that time I'll test and add enough bleach to get back to 10 ppm, and I'll net up leaves which will mix the bleach into the water. After that it's just a matter of waiting for the nights to be frost-free before we reconnect the plumbing and pump, put the steps in and fill it back up.

This has been successful for many seasons. Because we get the pump running before the water temp hits 50 F we have never had any algae growth from what leaves remained in the pool. It certainly beats the hassle of dealing with a winter cover, the soggy mess on top, storage, tying it down and etc.
 

Tjspree

New member
Sep 11, 2010
3
I love to hear that! I built a pool and the constuction was not complete until November, we added water, but never turned on the pump, because of the season, we have lots of leaves, which since it is a lovely day in February, I am going out to scoop right now! I am planning to add some clorine today and start it up as soon as it gets warm enough, hopefully 1st or 2nd week of april
 

Ashbourne

LifeTime Supporter
May 13, 2010
109
Western Piedmont, NC
It is so interesting to read others' experiences. We have the opposite - for the first four years of owning our pool, we did not close it down or cover it. It was awful...such a mess, so much work to keep leaves etc. out of it (we have A LOT of trees, including sweet gum). Last summer we bought a new winter cover and it has been awesome. So little to do (we've pumped water off the top 3 times) and the water underneath is - so far - as crystal clear as the day we closed it in October.