Winterizing AG - Is this as crazy as it sounds?


Well-known member
Sep 20, 2007

I've read all about winterizing my above ground splasher but I have a question about 'how crazy' is what I've been thinking about doing this winter.

I've had the pool 4 years and we rarely have HARD freezes here. Occasionally we've gone cold but it's usually just a few nights and doesn't last too long. Having said that, last year we did have about 1 inch of ice on the pool but I had taken all the plumbing/pump and filter down before that so I didn't have any problems.

So, what I'm concerned about this year is having read that I should take the water level down past the SUCTION and RETURN "portholes " as they are about 1 to 1 and 1/2 feet from the top of the pool. How do I stir the water up weekly.

So here's the CRAZY I'm thinking. What if I install a single 3-6ft section of the pool vac hose and weigh it down so that it will pull water from the bottom of the pool only and allow the return to 'cascade' (hopefully!) back into the pool? Too CRAZY?

Is this too crazy a plan to work? Would I have a problem with the pump and filter since both the suction and return llines will be above the water line. I'm thinking there's concern about the vac hose slipping and running the pump dry. Also the possibly sucking air if the connection doesn't seal. However, I never run the pump unless I'm home. I'm mostly thinking "Will it be a problem to keep the pump primed?" since the return will be above water. Wouldn't it kinda be like when I run the FOUNTAIN?

I know I could have just done this but I thought I'd seek some SANE-er minds and your input -- before I drain that top foot of water off the pool. There really hasn't been any problems with leaving the water AT LEVEL in the past and running the pool as usual about once a week. The only problem I had last year was trying to close off the suction and return lines which meant putting practically my whole arms IN THE FREEZING water when I needed to take down the pump during that one HARD FREEZE week. That was awful

Is it too crazy a plan to work? Or crazy enough to just possibly give it a try?





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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida

Changing the subject just a bit but I would consider not closing the pool at all. Telling us where you live is helpful as others in your area may offer good advice but it sounds like your in a climate where most folks never close. Simply maintain your pool as in the Summer and circulate when you expect freezing temps.


Well-known member
Apr 2, 2007
Here's a helpful tip, get a small pump with a length of garden hose and run it from pool to skimmer as well, this will help keep the seal in the DRY skimmer for where your vac hose plugs in - otherwise you'll suck air eventually. Also, put your vac head on the hose - less chance of it sucking itself to the liner accidentally.
Now, for keeping the pool open, there's a bit of a chance you take - 1" of ice will cause damage to a skimmer if full, it's amazing how strong ice it, also , the pipes will freeze with just one cold night causing all sorts of problems - you can help fight that by wrapping heat trace on them, but your pump would still be a problem.

Why bother circulating - is it to keep algae away? - fyi - algae tends to not grow in cooler temps, so if you're averaging 35-50 fahrenheit, there's no real need to circulate the water - it'd be less troublesome to just do a bit of cleaning when it's opening time.

Why not get a snap on cover for the skimmer, a plug for the return, disconnect your equipment and call it a day - sounds less painful.