An uncovered pool will lose water in the winter to evaporation in the same way it does during the summer. But the water loss is only about a quarter-inch on average during a 24-hour period when the pool is not in use. An uncovered or covered pool can have problems in the plumbing lines or pump.
Another reason for a pool to lose water over the winter is due to the harsh elements. Ice, snow, and water can accumulate on top of the pool cover. When too much weight forces the pool cover into the surface of the pool, water may rise up and over the pool sides. This is called displacement.
The reason you don't want to completely drain your pool during winter is because the dry, freezing air can cause rips, cracks and tears in your liner. By allowing pool water to cover the liner, you're preventing the liner from drying up and getting damaged.
In-Season Water Loss. During the pool season, water loss can occur from many things. Filter leaks, holes in the liner, evaporation, or splashing out are some of the most common causes.
Typically, pools lose water for one of two reasons: Evaporation or a leak. Evaporation naturally occurs in any body of water, but it may increase under certain conditions, such as hot, humid weather. Leaks, however, indicate a bigger problem that a professional may need to address.
You can do the “bucket test” on your pool to measure evaporation. Place a bucket of water beside the pool and mark both the water in the bucket and the pool water level. Wait 24 hours then check the loss of both. If the pool loses more water than the bucket, then you have a leak.
An uncovered pool will lose water in the winter to evaporation in the same way it does during the summer. But the water loss is only about a quarter-inch on average during a 24-hour period when the pool is not in use.
If you are using a solid winter pool cover (one that floats on the surface and is held in place by water weights), lower the water level 3-4″ below the bottom of the skimmer opening.
If your pool lost water overnight and it is more than the quarter-inch due to evaporation, you probably have a leak. Evaporation accounts for a minor amount of water lost each day. Losing a half-inch or more overnight indicates a problem.
Most pools experience between 3mm - 7mm of water loss each day, depending on where you live.
The best way to keep your winter cover on your pool is simply to maintain 2 inches of water on top of it and keep it free of leaves and other debris and monitor the water level inside the pool regularly.
This will vary depending upon several factors including: weather, if the pool is covered or not, bather load, and if it is heated or not. With pools that are covered, a good rule of thumb is that they should not have to be refilled more often than once every 2 weeks.
Your pool water level should not be too low, as the water must support the cover in situations where you receive a heavy snowfall. At the same time, ideally you don't want the water to touch the underside of the cover under general conditions as that contact will create a wet spot where debris will accumulate.
If you want to winterize your Intex pool without breaking it down, you can. Just remember how susceptible they are to ice damage, and consider whether you want to run the risk of ruining your pool for the sake of skipping the chore of closing it.
Do you need to drain any water when winterizing an above ground pool? The answer hinges on how you protect your skimmer during the winter. If you're concerned about freezing and cracking, and don't use a winter skimmer cover plate, then you should drain the water level below the skimmer and returns.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO MINIMIZE WATER LOSS
The number-one way to combat evaporation is with a pool cover. It's estimated that a pool cover will reduce evaporation by 95 percent. Solar covers can heat your pool in the off-season, too. A pool cover reduces the pool's chemical consumption and reduces your cleaning time.
On cold days, water evaporates, but it evaporates more slowly than it would on a warmer day. Although water can evaporate at low temperatures, the rate of evaporation increases as the temperature increases.
Look closely at the filter, pump, heater, and pipe valves, which is where leaks often tend to occur. If you have a vinyl pool liner, look for tears or separations around the fittings, lights, steps, and corners.
A pool leak isn't typically an easy-to-find issue but they most commonly occur in corners, at the tile line, near pipe openings, around lighting or at the throat of the skimmer.
The pressurized plumbing system pumps water back to the pool after it has passed through the filter. The filtered water returns to the pool through the jet (or return) inlets. The plumbing that returns the water from the filter to the pool is often referred to as return plumbing.
The average pool water evaporation rate is about a quarter of an inch of water per day or more than two inches in a week, which on a 33′ x 18′ swimming pool (an average pool size) is more than 2500 liters or approximately 600 gallons a week; this may vary depending on your climate and the factors listed above.
Depending on the size of your pool, we still recommend the pump run 8-10 hours per day during the hottest summer months and at least 6 hours per day during the winter months.