Why Do You Leave Water in Your Pool for Winter?

A lot of people who have pools are now starting to search for insight on how to close their pools correctly. Any pool closing checklist or resource will tell you to only lower the water below the skimmer level and the jets so that all of the plumbing lines are clear and don’t face the risk of freezing and bursting. Each of these different resources also tells you not to drain the pool completely unless you are taking it down for storage if it is a small pool that is easy to set up and tear down. What about larger pools, though?   Why leave water in them at all?  It will just be bad next spring, after all.

Actually, that’s not really the case. If you drain a pool entirely, you are putting the whole liner at risk for rips, tears, and other damage from debris throughout the winter months, not to mention that the liner will dry out, shrinks and crack.  With some water left behind, you at least have something to stop the pool from getting torn up regardless of the winter weather that you are experiencing.  The pool cover that you choose will impact how much water you leave in your pool beyond lowering it to the skimmer lines, of course, so that’s something that you have to think about, as well.

Clean Water Protects Your Pool

The main benefit of leaving water in your pool is that it will be protected from a variety of situations and elements. People who live in deep freeze areas feel like draining the pool completely is the best option so that it doesn’t freeze all the way, but the right winterizing chemicals added to the water will actually help keep your pool safe during the long winter months. That way, when you go to open it up in spring, it’s easier to reopen and the chemicals are easier to balance because you made sure they were balanced before you closed up shop.

You’ll add things like chlorine shock, stain prevention, and algaecide to your pool before closing it for the winter. This will ensure that the water is as clean and safe as possible so that you can have an easier time reopening it next spring. This clean water is going to keep the liner intact and protect it from rips and tears, as well.

How Much to Drain

The standard is to drain your pool below skimmer levels so that you can clean out the plumbing system to avoid frozen, burst lines during the winter. If you have an in-ground pool, that might mean more draining. If your above-ground pool has a removable pump and skimmer system, just take it out and drain a little water so that there is room for expansion and contracting throughout the winter and then place the cover on.

Some people use air pillows to create an area in middle of pool to minimize ice damage to liner walls and skimmer.  If you do this, you will need to leave more water in your pool than others. Additionally, if you have drained a lot of water, you might want to choose a tight pool cover so that it is less likely to collect water and debris. Having a lot of standing water on your pool cover can lead to stress, rips, and damage to the cover as well as debris and dirty rain or snow getting into the pool that you worked so hard to clean.

Owning a Pool is Work

So many people think it’s fun to have a pool. It most definitely is. It’s also a lot of work, however, and you have to know what you are doing so that you can protect your investment. This isn’t a cheap toy to have around and you will likely spend thousands on maintenance and operations in the summer months. If you take the time to do the work correctly when it comes to closing your pool, you will be able to protect your investment and make the money that you have been spending worthwhile.

Another benefit of properly draining and closing a pool is that you will have an easier time reopening it when summer rolls around again. There is nothing worse than closing up a pool poorly only to spend weeks cleaning it and getting it ready for summer. If you do a little of the work now and make sure that you do it properly, everything will work out better for you in the end. Take the time to learn about pool ownership, including closing the pool and proper draining so that you can get the best results from your winterizing.

Some Pools Need Put Away

If you’ve got a small enough pool, such as the ones that they sell at superstores for just a few hundred bucks, you’re probably going to be tearing down and putting away the entire thing for the winter. These pools are great because they’re affordable, but they’re also not made to be permanent fixtures. You’ll have to check the manufacturer’s instructions to figure out how to close the pool properly and whether it can be left for the winter or not. The last thing that you want to do is leave it out without knowing better and wind up ruining it or having to spend a fortune when it comes time to reopen your pool.

Pool maintenance in the winter is really easy if you close your pool right. Whether that means draining some of the water before you cover it or completely tearing it down and putting it away depends on the pool that you have. Either way, you will protect your investment and get more from your pool ownership if you spend a weekend doing things the right way. When you make the decision to own a pool, you’re making a commitment to take care of it properly. That means spending a day or two every fall getting things ready for winter, and the sooner the better. Now that you understand more about draining and closing pools, it should be easy to get the process taken care of.

 

 

5 Responses to Why Do You Leave Water in Your Pool for Winter?

  • Jean Blair says:

    My liner got a tear on the bottom so I had to drain all the water out. Planning on getting a new liner in the spring. Can I leave my pool empty through the winter? It’s a 24 round.

    • Trey Collier says:

      I’m sorry to hear that Jean. I wouldn’t recommend that you leave an above ground pool empty. The walls and upright supports are designed to support against the forces of the weight of the water from the inside pushing out. They are NOT designed to resist against the wind forces from the outside towards the middle of the pool. (the water normally does this) If you leave it empty, you will most likely be in need of a new pool too.

  • micheal says:

    as water and snow accumilate on the cover will the pool water seep thru this cover as i pump off the cover?

  • Vaughn Berger says:

    Great article and one I’d like to repost on my blog with your permission. Vaughn Berger (Red Square Pools- Las Vegas, NV)

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