Winterizing - to cover or not

BowserWowser

Well-known member
Feb 28, 2021
100
Virginia Beach, VA
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17000
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Vinyl
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Salt Water Generator
I read the Pool School AGP winterizing article, and it has a bullet in the process for "if" you're using a winter cover.
As a first-timer, how do I decide? We typically get a week or two of below-freezing temps in January/February. Sometimes, we get no snow at all (at least never more than a dusting), and sometimes we'll get hit with a storm that drops 6+ inches, but that doesn't happen every year.

We don't have a ton of trees dropping leaves near our pool, but we do have some tall pine trees that drop needles and, starting probably in the next few weeks, big pointy pinecones like little Dang torpedoes.

Another thing I do not have is storage for a cover (no garage, no basement, only a small shed that's already full). As it is, I have no idea what to do with our solar cover...

It's still in the 80s here during the day, so I have plenty of time to figure this all out, but I want to start looking for whatever supplies I may need. Water is about 83 degrees today without the solar cover having been on for a couple days at all, so I likely have into November before we see the water down to <60.
 

Texas Splash

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Jun 22, 2014
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Using a cover is really an owner option - not mandatory. Some use one for safety of kids/pets (should be N/A for your AGP), excessive leaves falling, and some who are concerned about getting too much water that could get above and behind the liner. A small sump pump can take care of that last one. Remember that while covers do have their advantages, they can be tricky as well, especially in windy areas for AGPs. Good tie-down and security is important. I'm sure others will give you their thoughts.
 
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Donldson

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LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
5,151
NW Ohio
I used to be a big believer in covering the pool for the winter. But the past two years I decided not to and... Well, I've changed my tune on it being absolutely necessary.

One thing I've done that's made it work is I keep my pool open until the absolute last second. I'm talking 40 degree water and just dipping below freezing at night. Then in the spring as soon as the water even gets the slightest tinge of green I put a submersible pump in to circulate the water and start balancing and chlorinating the water. I use the submersible pump because this is usually before the chance of a significant freeze has dissipated and I don't want to risk the pump icing up. Indeed, this year we got about 8 inches of snow one night while the water was circulating. And it worked out great.

So IMO if you're prepared for whatever might blow in to the pool and ready to clean it out in the spring, then you can give it a try and see how it works for you.
 
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BowserWowser

Well-known member
Feb 28, 2021
100
Virginia Beach, VA
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
I'm thinking we may try to go topless 🤭

It took 3 adults to get our solar cover on. Without a deck, just hoisting that bad boy up to get it on the pool was ridiculously challenging...I had read about people putting the solar cover on every night, but there is NO. WAY. I'm also concerned about how we'll get our stairs out of the pool.

And I'm pretty over these pool expenses, so if I can try to get away without buying a cover...
 

cowboycasey

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Jul 3, 2013
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Southern OK
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I have never used a cover in 8 years now.. I also have no trees but I get some leaves blown in, nothing really.. I raise my water to SLAM level when the water temp is below 60 and after a couple days at SLAM level I close the pool in Nov.. on a nice sunny 60 degree day in Jan/Feb I test and bring my pool back to SLAM level by adding liquid chlorine and brushing the pool... I have never had a green pool doing it this way.. Here is what it looks like in the spring when I open in Mar..








 
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BowserWowser

Well-known member
Feb 28, 2021
100
Virginia Beach, VA
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
I have never used a cover in 8 years now..
Thank you for sharing! I am so relieved/excited to not have to get a winter cover. I feel like this pool has been nickel and diming me for almost a year, and the thought of dealing with another heavy/bulky object with my lack of storage was stressing me out! I'm thinking maybe a mesh cover just to keep the torpedo pinecones at bey while still allowing water through...and should be less heavy/bulky for storing.
 
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OHcabanaboy

Well-known member
Jul 3, 2016
116
Delphos, OH
I've done both covered and uncovered (uncovered mostly due to wind taking the cover off). The only issue I had with uncovered was debris being carried by our wonderful Ohio winter winds and being deposited in my open pool. I went back to covering using my "ultimate above ground pool cover" that has a center mesh material that allows water from the cover to drain into the pool. I've just added some liquid filled chlorine bottles around the pool and on top of the cover to keep it from going all "Jiffy Pop" on me. Honestly if I didn't have debris concerns, I'd probably just leave the pool open. When I did leave it open, I'd run my robot if there was no ice on the pool. Once the ice formed I pretty much had a built in cover!
 

jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
513
Flower Mound, TX
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25500
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We have so many trees that I don’t have much choice. Cedar elms are the worst - small leaves and seeds that clog the filter fast. I suppose I could remove the cover after the leaves fall, but there’s really no point other than being able to brush the pool and avoid that day of cleaning when I open up the next spring.

1632925894702.jpeg
 

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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,240
NY
I had no choice with 80 oaks at the old place. It was insane droppage year round, or old leaves would work their way out of (already cleaned 10 times) bushes and find their way to the pool.

We moved to a farmfield and now I’m torn for new reasons. If I cover, the dog will trampoline himself every time he takes the shortcut. If i leave it open, he’ll do the same but across the ice when it’s frozen. But I’ll have 4X less time frozen than covered so it won’t be an issue as long. 🤷‍♂️
 
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