Water Lowered for Winter but Still at Return line Height

Coolcat

Member
Jun 1, 2021
7
Ottawa
Hi, we have an above ground 24' pool with 1 return line, skimmer and bottom drain. We are in farming area with a ton of trees overhanging the pool, pool is in a wind tunnel, in Canada. First winter with the pool.

I hired a local company to close the pool while I was at work. They are quite knowledgeable and have helped me out before(not a pool store). My water was clean and clear to start. They lowered the water below the return line, disconnected everything and put anti-freeze in the drain. We put a leaf net over top for the leaf drop and plan on removing before snow and freezing. We do not intend on putting an actual winter cover over due to the sheer amount of winter winds we get. (Our snow banks moved 20 feet down the driveway last winter)
Previous home owners 'closed' the pool when it was green, no leaf or winter cover. It was a PIA to learn how to clean and open it.

The company lowered the water to just below the return line hole. But last week we had quite a bit of rain and it has come up to the bottom of the open hole. Any more rain and it will slowly escape out the side. I'm not sure if maybe the company thought I would be putting a winter cover over top or if this is normal.
Is this normal?
Should I through a submersible pump in there now and lower the water further?
I could attach one of the plastic gutter extenders to the otherside of the pipe and move any overflow water away from the pool.

Thanks!
 

Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
1,554
Bangor Maine
return should be plugged, as well as the skimmer, then stuff skimmer with cut up pool noodles. Main drain line should of been blown and quickly plugged with a pressure plug, this line should then be elevated above the pool waters height in case any water works it’s way out.
 

Coolcat

Member
Jun 1, 2021
7
Ottawa
Return line is lower than skimmer. If I run a hose from return line away from the pool, will overflow water running through the hole cause an issue?
At this point, drain line is already dealt with so blowing it is no longer an option. I could still stuff with noodles and put a plastic bag over external part of the skimmer as a precaution.
Maybe I should throw a pump in there now and get the water a foot down below the return to give us some breathing room.
 

Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
1,554
Bangor Maine
You’re making it harder than it should be, go spend $3 on plugs and $2 on noodles. Remove lines from skimmer and return. Plug the return and bottom of skimmer, then stuff skimmer with cut up pool noodles. Store all lines and pump inside for the winter and reinstall in the spring.
 

jon63051

Member
Nov 17, 2020
5
St louis MO
You’re making it harder than it should be, go spend $3 on plugs and $2 on noodles. Remove lines from skimmer and return. Plug the return and bottom of skimmer, then stuff skimmer with cut up pool noodles. Store all lines and pump inside for the winter and reinstall in the spring.
Why would u plug the bottom of the skinmer wouldnt it be better to let any wayer drain out bottom of skimmer? Keep in mind i dont have any clue just asking..lol
 

cj133

Well-known member
May 6, 2018
504
NJ
I used to leave my return and skimmer open.
This year I'm plugging the return to keep the water level higher, but the skimmer will still be left open allowing any water that gets into it to drain freely.

I don't expect any water from the pool to get into the skimmer, but I do expect snow etc to end up in it and I don't want it pooling anywhere it could crack something.
The amount of water that will drip out will not erode anything.
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
1,046
Montville NJ
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
I used to leave my return and skimmer open.
This year I'm plugging the return to keep the water level higher, but the skimmer will still be left open allowing any water that gets into it to drain freely.

I don't expect any water from the pool to get into the skimmer, but I do expect snow etc to end up in it and I don't want it pooling anywhere it could crack something.
The amount of water that will drip out will not erode anything.


I plug my return, I put a plate on my skimmer, and I leave the skimmer open. Nothing is getting eroded around here either.
 

rootusrootus

Member
Aug 27, 2021
18
Oregon
Pool Size
10500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-30 Plus
For places that don't really see much in the way of snow & ice (it can get below freezing here for sure, but most days it goes back above freezing for a while), can I just plug the return and cover the skimmer, drain as much water as possible from everything else, and leave it? I'm planning on burying the pipes, I'm not sure how far I have to put them before worrying about the residual water freezing. It's never happened on my sprinkler system, at least. And I'm going to hard pipe everything, so I'd prefer to avoid dragging any of the equipment into the garage if I can get away with it.

I can see it now. I want a 'dribble mode' on the pump that just pulls a small amount of water from the pool through the whole system 24/7. LOL. The pool will not, under any circumstances, freeze solid (or even crust the top) with the weather we get in Portland. But it occasionally dips cold enough to freeze unprotected pipes. And then there's years like this one, where we had 1.5 inches of freezing rain and it snapped six power poles within a quarter mile of my house and knocked down more trees than I can count. I can't even imagine what that ice would have done to a pool. Fortunately that was a 1 in 40 years event.
 

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hwy17

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2021
176
Northern California
For places that don't really see much in the way of snow & ice (it can get below freezing here for sure, but most days it goes back above freezing for a while), can I just plug the return and cover the skimmer, drain as much water as possible from everything else, and leave it? I'm planning on burying the pipes, I'm not sure how far I have to put them before worrying about the residual water freezing. It's never happened on my sprinkler system, at least. And I'm going to hard pipe everything, so I'd prefer to avoid dragging any of the equipment into the garage if I can get away with it.

I can see it now. I want a 'dribble mode' on the pump that just pulls a small amount of water from the pool through the whole system 24/7. LOL. The pool will not, under any circumstances, freeze solid (or even crust the top) with the weather we get in Portland. But it occasionally dips cold enough to freeze unprotected pipes. And then there's years like this one, where we had 1.5 inches of freezing rain and it snapped six power poles within a quarter mile of my house and knocked down more trees than I can count. I can't even imagine what that ice would have done to a pool. Fortunately that was a 1 in 40 years event.
We get nights down to the 20's here so like you describe there is freezing but not to the point that the top of the water would even crust.

I don't close at all but the thing is most of my plumbing is above ground flexible hose so I don't know if that expansion ability is what saves it all. The plumbing freezes, the pump basket freezes idk how deep, and the skimmer gets ice but surely doesn't freeze solid top to bottom.

That is all to say if you're inclined to chance it I have been and it has been ok.
 
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