Winterizing in Gulf Coast Texas

serialian

Active member
May 3, 2016
25
Alvin, TX
I'm from Michigan so I have this idea in my head that every pool has to be closed for the winter. I'm not sure that's true here in Texas where it doesn't get that cold.

I just bought this house, this is the first winter. Do I need a pool cover? What do I do all winter long?

I'd love to hear what you do.

Thanks!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,202
Bedford, TX
I do nothing... That is also what my wife keeps telling me... :D

When it gets cold and the SWG turns off, I chlorinate with liquid chlorine or bleach. Other than that, I maintain the pool just like I was going to swim in it.

No cover or draining, no nothing..

Jim R.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,714
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Well, I'm in Tucson, AZ which is actually a higher latitude than where you are. I suspect other Houston-area pool owners will chime in but the advice will likely be this - we don't close pools this far south. Pools down here just stay open all year long. When the winter comes, you can certainly cover it with a bubble cover, but there is no need to winterize, drain, tightly cover, etc. Just make sure your pool equipment has some kind of freeze protection circuit so that when overnight temperaryres go below freezing, the water circulates. If you don't have something to do that automatically, then you'll just have to remember to do it yourself. As far as chemistry goes, once the water temp drops below 60F, algae growth rates are practically non-existent and so chlorine demand goes way down. You'll find you can for very long stretches without having to add any chlorine at all.

That's about it.....so much easier to own a pool when you don't have to wrap it up for winter....
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
13,063
Houston, Texas
Hi! Welcome to the Texas Gulf Coast! I use a winter cover to keep my pool from getting knee deep in oak leaves, when I actually have a winter cover! We rarely have prolonged, hard freezes where you need to worry about bursting the pipes to the pool. Most of the time your pool water won't drop far below 50 degrees and the frost line here is maybe 6" so your buried pipes are well protected. If we do get a hard freeze warning you will hear about it for days in advance! Running the pump during the freeze hours overnight should be enough to protect the above ground runs of plumbing. If you want a little extra insurance you can treat it like a plant and wrap the pipes in an old blanket.

You can choose to keep the pool up and running on a regular schedule or you can clear any existing algae, raise the FC to slam level, cover the pool and give it a rest. You don't need to drain below the returns, since if we do get a freeze warning you will want to be able to run the pump overnight. As long as you wait until the water is around 50-60 degrees to close and open before it hits 70 degrees you shouldn't have any problems.
 

GaryT58

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 26, 2016
571
Monroe, GA
New owner in ATL area. Just bought a AutoPilot Total Control (same basic salt water generator as Pool Pilot Digital). It will automatically adjust the generation based upon water temperature. And if you use it to control the pump (turn on and off), it can automatically run freeze prevention. I can not currently comment on how well it does these yet, as I will find out this winter, but those are a couple of the reasons I purchased the unit to replace the original one the PB installed.
 

Chris19D

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 28, 2015
102
Cypress, Texas
I'm in Houston and I do not close...in fact I occasionally heat it and swim!

I keep my FC / CYA balance as I do in the dead of summer except I don't have to replenish as much water since there's less evaporation in the winter. It's nice to have a pool in the winter here. :)
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
In my experience the majority of pool owners in our region keep their pools open 12 months per year, but just go into a semi dormant maintenance schedule during the colder weather. Some cover their pools, but they tend to be in the minority.
 

SavageStar

Member
Aug 2, 2020
5
Richmond, TX
I am a native of New Jersey and this was my first year having a pool in Houston. Never again will I leave it open over the winter.
It was messy (neighbors trees caused me to scoop leaves out DAILY from October to January, now in March I'm scooping pollen fronds out DAILY), it was expensive in maintenance and electric, and we DID get a hard, prolonged freeze of multiple nights in the teens this year. Could not have predicted it, could not have prevented it. Kept all the pumps running 24-7 and it still didn't help. Unless you're a die-hard, thick-skinned individual who's willing to heat your pool on a regular basis, close that sucker up.