Draining pool for Winter

Hi folks,
I have a 27 foot-round above ground pool, and I drained it for Winter. This is my first winter in this house, and with a pool, but I was wondering what other pool-owner's ideas are on this. Did I make a mistake in draining the pool?
The reasons for draining are mainly chemical costs. I figured $30-$55 a month in chemicals for the pool for winter, and draining and refilling is MUCH cheaper... but once I drained the pool, two obsticals:
1) The liner has pulled away from the edges of the pool... this isn't a big deal, but will there be any issues with the liner bunching up when I refill?
2) The small amount of water left at the bottom is starting to grow TONS of algae. I've worked on sucking it out with a larger wet-dry vacuum, but with our everyday weather and dew, water keeps collecting. I could get a pool cover, but my reasons for training are cost... and a pool cover is rather expensive.
Anyway, what are the opinions of other pool owners of similar pools? Did I mess anything up with my decision to drain the pool? Also, some background.. the pool is about 3-4 years old and in fairly good shape. I guess dryrot is always a factor... but dunno. Also, I live in Texas were freezing isn't generally an issue. We have maybe 2-3 freezes a year on a COLD year, so never anything serious.
Thanks again for any suggestions or ideas.
Alex.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Alex wrote:

I don't know about above ground pools, but my experience in a similar climate (occasional light freezes) is that chemical costs drop dramatically in the winter due primarily to the decrease in chlorine consumption caused by the colder water and reduced sunlight.
What does the pool manufacturer recommend?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It has been a while since I owned a pool (I had an above ground before) but to winterize the pool, the water should be drained to just below the lowest fixture in the pool. In my case it was the water return in the wall of the pool which was lower than the skimmer. The hose to the water return was removed from the pool so that if water got to that level it would drain.
The filter was drained and so was the debris trap and all the hoses. Chemicals were added to control the growth of algae.
This seems like an avoidable expense but you will make it back in the spring when you go to refill the pool and don't have to add as much chemical to the water and you don't have to add as much water either.
Removing all the water from an above ground pool will ruin the liner in short order. If that is what you have done and the liner walls have pulled away from the pool sides, the liner is probably toast and will have to be replaced.
--
Ron
Port Dover Ontario
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My gosh, where are you buying pool chemicals? The most expensive winter chemical for me is hardness increaser which is about $30/yr. The chlorine is also about $40/yr with a much lower usage in the winter (and I don't shock in winter either). Baking soda from Costco is about $25/yr. Chemical test strips are less than $1/week -- my largest annual expense.
I don't drain my inground pool in the winter, but I do have to pump the rain water out after heavy rains. Rain water is also very soft, so the hardness has to be increased or else my plaster gets eaten. I think it is a good idea to drain out perhaps 25% of your water every year to remove total dissolved solids and any chlorine stabilizer. This kind of happens for me over the winter with the rainwater pump outs. Biggest potential danger is freezing, and I leave the pump on 24 hrs/day when it is around 32 degrees or less outside. The pump costs $.07/hr to run, and I run it 3 hours a day during the winter to keep it chlorinated and filtered.
In some ways, I think chemical management is easier if you keep things correct all of the time. Otherwise, you may have wild swings when you first open your pool until things settle down.
-- Mark Kent, WA
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My chemical expense runs about $50/year for chlorine & shock and ~$35 for all necessary to close-
1. Lower water ~ 6 inches to just below skimmer 2. Drain & plug the lines & filter - 3. Shock the pool with ~2lbs winter shock 4. Cover 5. Don't worry about a thing until Spring (pool water has always been crystal clear) where I...
A. Drain water off cover B. Uncover C. Shock & run pump for 24 hours D. Swim
Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Your liner is done, expect to buy a new one which is not going to be cheap.
Over time your liner loses it's elastisticy and becomes brittle. The water in your pool is what keeps the liner in place. When you drained the water the liner no longer had enough weight on it to hold it in place. Since it's about 5 years old, it probably has or will crack somewhere.
Something else to consider about above ground pools: The water is part of what keeps it from collapsing inwards. If you get a strong wind, or something else pushes against it hard...

That's a lot of money for chemical costs... In the winter, as the pool gets colder it will consume less chemicals than at higher temperatures. Around here everything freezes in the winter, standard practice is to drain to below the skimmer, and put a cover on. The water underneath gets one hard shock before the pump gets shut off, and another hard shock in the spring upon re-opening. The cover keeps the sun from burning off the chlorine/bromine

That, and more severely cracking.

Is a pool cover used by neighbors who have pools? If so then you should have one too. You should probably call your local pool supply: You're going to need them to help replace and or (if you are very very lucky) re-seat your liner.

I'm in the great white north. Things freeze anywhere from mid-november to December and don't thaw out until March or April. Around here a pool cover is mandatory. Draining to just below the skimmer is mandatory, draining plumbing lines is mandatory. Draining the entire pool isn't mandatory, and wrecks liners. In this climate it would also result in the bottom of the pool being subject to frost heaving.
The cover serves to block out the sun (and damaging UV rays) for the 6 months of the year the pool is closed. It also keeps the chemicals from being burned off, and debris out of the water.
-- Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Winter chemical costs are quite low. To deal with algae I'd suggest visiting some place like Leslie's and buying some lanthanum carbonate (they used to sell it as NoPhos.) It binds the phosphorous necessary for algae to grow and if used correctly you don't even need chlorine to inhibit algae. Some chlorine is still a good idea though to limit bacteria growth.
Boden
Alex wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Up here in the northeast we never drain a pool. Some may drop the level to below the skimmer basket, some just block off the skimmer. No one drains them.With out the water they will just blow away. We remove the filters, to protect from freezing, and put on a cover. Takes about 3 days in the spring to get it back to life.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

YES!
HOW DID YOU FIGURE THAT?

YES... YOU WILL NEED A NEW ONE... $$$$

YOU SEE! YOU STILL HAVE TO USE CHEMICALS.
I could get a pool cover, but my reasons for training are cost... and

I THINK, IT'S TOO LATE NOW!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@lycos.com (tb) wrote in message

Hi Folks,
I started filling the pool last night to see if the liner could be saved, and I think it can... but there are a few wrinkles preventing the liner from staying flush with the pool wall. I only have a foot of water (near walls) thus far, but I'll drain it enough to get the wrinkles out... which hopfully will do the trick.
And if the liner is ruined, I guess it's time for a new one anyway as this one is going on 6 years old. It's discolored and it has been patched several times (by previous home owners). At http://www.poolproducts.com they have MANY different liners for my 27' pool, and most are between $200 and 300, which is about what I guessed. This would be a good time to redo the deck around the pool and replace some parts that show lots of wear as well... so maybe this is a good thing. (I'm a cup half full kind guy [grin]).
Oh, and for pool chemical costs... I buy the shock in 1 pound bags, 12 per box, and this is $35 at my local pool store. I was told to use one bag each week and once a month use two bags instead, which is 5 bags a month. I also add algae killer and some stuff to keep the white build-up off the pool liner (can't remember what it's called). This plus chlorine tablets (probably 2-3 per week) comes up to around $30 a month. I haven't figured exact cost, but this is my estimate.
At any rate, if the liner is ruined, I'll just order another one and make some additions to the pool (add lights, etc). When the world gives ya lemons, make iced tea :)
Take care, and thanks for the comments,
Alex
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Draining a pool is not a good idea. You are going to ruin your liner. Chemical use should not be that bad in the winter either. I might use $50 worth of chem all winter. I dont have a pol now but the house I used to live in did. When I bought the house the pool was drained.I insisted that the pool be filled and be brought up to good condition before I would buy the house. Owner assured me all I had to do was add water. I balked and the owner relented. The liner had to be replaced because it had sagged and stretched. Cost , about $2000

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.