Winterizing without winter cover

Angmarie_05

New member
Nov 26, 2019
2
Illinois
This is long, but I am looking for help.
We live in Illinois... not Chicago. Very rural Illinois. In the middle of a large soybean/corn field, extremely flat, and no wind block. It is crazy windy where we live. We finished up our 2nd pool season this year. Our first year, we winterized pool and purchased one of the above ground pool covers from the pool store with the cable ties. The wind made it balloon up terribly so they suggested these black clips,which were total junk and flew off in high winds. We ended up having to cut the cover off in an emergency situation. The wind was causing the cover to balloon up so much that it pulled the top ring off of the pool and pulled an upright out of the ground!! If I hadn't seen it, our pool would have collapsed. Fast forward to this fall. I researched and researched above ground pool covers and found one that was supposed to withstand 45mph winds. Seemed like a good one... had large overhang that you filled with sandbags and a drain in center that also worked as a release for wind coming from deck. I was out there yesterday and noticed a strange creaking sound. Turns out the sandbags and more heavy duty cover was putting a lot of pressure on top of the ring and now the top ring is kindof bent. Functional, but again, glad I noticed it. So again, we were outside in high winds, removing this pool cover that I paid about $500 for. My husband is super frustrated and said he's done covering it. Just going to leave it uncovered and check chemicals throughout winter and clean in spring. Has anyone else ever left their's uncovered like this because of a similar situation? Results?
Country life is not kind to above ground pools.?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome to TFP! :wave: Ahhhh yes ...... the cover. Can be tricky and not always great for everyone. No worries. Leave it off. It will be fine. Plus you can always see the water, scoop junk out later if needed, and add a touch of chlorine if needed in the next few months. Lots of people go without a cover. Glad you made it to TFP.


 

Angmarie_05

New member
Nov 26, 2019
2
Illinois
Welcome to TFP! :wave: Ahhhh yes ...... the cover. Can be tricky and not always great for everyone. No worries. Leave it off. It will be fine. Plus you can always see the water, scoop junk out later if needed, and add a touch of chlorine if needed in the next few months. Lots of people go without a cover. Glad you made it to TFP.


Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for the reply. I see you're from Texas. Will leaving it uncovered be ok in our cold and long Illinois winters? Do I need to be checking chemicals all winter? Thanks!
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Will leaving it uncovered be ok in our cold and long Illinois winters? Do I need to be checking chemicals all winter?
Leaving uncovered is perfectly fine. I'm assuming by now you've already prepared all the equipment and done closing chemical testing? If that's the case, with most leaves probably a thing of the past, you can leave the pool alone unless something blows-in that you want to scoop out. If you get a small ice shelf, leave it alone as well as to not disturb or tear the liner. If the water is accessible, you can certainly test the FC once or twice a month if you wish, but I suspect you won't need to do it hardly at all with such cold water.
 

OHcabanaboy

Well-known member
Jul 3, 2016
94
Delphos, OH
Timely thread! I just had my "Ultimate Above Ground Pool Cover" torn off the pool for the first (and last) time this year and it happens at least once each season for the reasons you mention. I also had a few uprights bent. I'm doing away with the winter cover and going with a leaf net cover to keep junk that blows around (corn chaff from nearby fields, leaves etc) I'm done fighting the wind. I have a neighbor down the road who has been putting a leaf net on their pool and nothing more for years.
Only issue I could see with leaving it open completely is stuff blowing in when it gets windy. I have to drop my pool robot in today to get some stuff out.
 
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thefloatqueen

Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
638
Columbus, OH
This is long, but I am looking for help.
We live in Illinois... not Chicago. Very rural Illinois. In the middle of a large soybean/corn field, extremely flat, and no wind block. It is crazy windy where we live. We finished up our 2nd pool season this year. Our first year, we winterized pool and purchased one of the above ground pool covers from the pool store with the cable ties. The wind made it balloon up terribly so they suggested these black clips,which were total junk and flew off in high winds. We ended up having to cut the cover off in an emergency situation. The wind was causing the cover to balloon up so much that it pulled the top ring off of the pool and pulled an upright out of the ground!! If I hadn't seen it, our pool would have collapsed. Fast forward to this fall. I researched and researched above ground pool covers and found one that was supposed to withstand 45mph winds. Seemed like a good one... had large overhang that you filled with sandbags and a drain in center that also worked as a release for wind coming from deck. I was out there yesterday and noticed a strange creaking sound. Turns out the sandbags and more heavy duty cover was putting a lot of pressure on top of the ring and now the top ring is kindof bent. Functional, but again, glad I noticed it. So again, we were outside in high winds, removing this pool cover that I paid about $500 for. My husband is super frustrated and said he's done covering it. Just going to leave it uncovered and check chemicals throughout winter and clean in spring. Has anyone else ever left their's uncovered like this because of a similar situation? Results?
Country life is not kind to above ground pools.?
Hello!! :) I, too, gave up on the winter cover. I just keep up with scooping the leaves out and as much debris as I can. The pool is “closed” (drained below returns, brought to SLAM level initially, all hoses removed, pump inside, the whole thing) but I decided to go without the cover and test the water weekly (it hasn’t frozen yet). I didn’t close until the first week of November and plan on opening in March as soon as water is not frozen. Keeping up with the scooping is annoying and I do have quite a bit of dirt at the bottom of the pool but it is crystal clear to where I can see the dirt particles.

If I need to add extra chlorine, I will just add and circulate with a brush. Now, this is my first winter as a pool owner, so I can’t share my experience with “opening” in the spring yet. I would assume with keeping debris scooped out (until water freezes), very cold temperatures, and making sure FC is adequate (I did not use Polyquat), my pool should be clear when I open it in March. I think closing late and opening super early will most likely result in an algae-free pool. Did you end up deciding to leave the cover off?
 

Amandajo50

Member
Jul 11, 2018
8
Canada
I know lots of people who don’t cover their above ground pools, I have tried to use a leaf net cover the last two years and it has blown in both times, so I give up, I’m not going to cover it next year.
 
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JohnFoe

Well-known member
May 29, 2017
89
kokomo IN
I know I'm very late.

But don't cover your above ground pool.

Waste of time. I tried one year and it was a cluster duck. Looks better, less maintenance, and makes closing and opening much easier.

I don't have a debris issue so it remains clean. I know many others that close early, cover it, and their swamp is horrible all winter and they just can't see it. So honestly if it is cold and reasonably clean, nothing will grow.
 
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Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
11,500
SW PA
I've covered and not covered. I will always cover my pool. Its easier for me and I'm not having to prepare a full on plan to clear the pool of debris and SLAM that takes a week to clear when I can have a crystal clear pool in one day by draining the cover, pulling it off and refilling. This is a pic of my pool a few weeks ago. Pic taken under cover with flash.
 

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thefloatqueen

Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
638
Columbus, OH
I've covered and not covered. I will always cover my pool. Its easier for me and I'm not having to prepare a full on plan to clear the pool of debris and SLAM that takes a week to clear when I can have a crystal clear pool in one day by draining the cover, pulling it off and refilling. This is a pic of my pool a few weeks ago. Pic taken under cover with flash.
Which liner is that? I love the “pearly” mosaic tile look! Very pretty!
 

gworrel

Active member
Jul 24, 2007
35
I left my cover off this past winter and I think I may never put it on again. Too much trouble putting it on and taking it off. The ice has all melted in the last couple of weeks and the pool looks great except for a few leaves that got in over the winter. I can scoop those out and add chlorine. I'll also put my robotic cleaner in to clean up the bottom thoroughly. I will probably get my water circulating within a couple more weeks. Earliest opening ever.
 
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thefloatqueen

Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
638
Columbus, OH
I left my cover off this past winter and I think I may never put it on again. Too much trouble putting it on and taking it off. The ice has all melted in the last couple of weeks and the pool looks great except for a few leaves that got in over the winter. I can scoop those out and add chlorine. I'll also put my robotic cleaner in to clean up the bottom thoroughly. I will probably get my water circulating within a couple more weeks. Earliest opening ever.
I will never use a winter cover! Even though we had a mild winter, I had zero problems with no cover and just kept up with leave scooping and checking FC and pH levels weekly/biweekly. I work from home so it’s not like I don’t have time for a tiny bit of pool maintenance. My water is crystal clear, still has FC in it, and will be opened this weekend!