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
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.
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?
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
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
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
5. Don't worry about a thing until Spring (pool water has always been
crystal clear) where I...
A. Drain water off cover
C. Shock & run pump for 24 hours
Your liner is done, expect to buy a new one which is not going to be
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
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.
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
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.
firstname.lastname@example.org (tb) wrote in message
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,
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
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