Freeze protection for sunbelt pools – It’s OK for the water to freeze across the pool surface, but if you have unwinterized pool equipment, and water freezes inside of your pump, filter or heater – you can have an expensive freeze damage repair on your hands.
The solution to pool equipment freeze damage is prevention.
PREVENTING FREEZE DAMAGE
There are three ways to prevent pool equipment freeze damage:
- Winterize your pool equipment and plumbing.
- Keep pump(s) running with all valves open.
- Install Freeze Protection equipment.
A partial winterization can be done by just draining the pump, filter, heater, and other aboveground equipment. Just remove the drain plugs (before it freezes). Pool Antifreeze can be poured or funneled into pipes that contain water. Complete winterizing involves blowing the water out of the equipment and pipes and then plugging the pipes at the pool, to keep water out.
Keep Pool Pumps Running
If you are in a normally mild climate, pay attention when the news reports a freeze warning, and then remove your timer clock ‘OFF’ dog, to run the pump 24/7 until the weather warms up. As long as water is moving through all the pipes, it won’t freeze.
Rather than running the pump(s) non-stop until spring, you could visit weather.com, and set up text alerts, and choose a temperature, and receive alerts when the temp in your area drops to 37 degrees, for example.
Or, install the ‘Freeze Warn V‘ alert system, to prompt you to turn on the pool pump. Set a temperature, from 30 – 70 degrees, and when reached, the 360 degree light spins with a rotating flash that’s visible for up to 1/2 mile, at night! Set the optional 85 decibel alarm to really get attention.
Install Freeze Protection Equipment
Freeze protection works with a sensor that measures the outside air temperature and turns on the pool pump when the low threshold is reached. More advanced pool controllers can also open any closed valves, and turn on other pumps, like booster pumps or waterfall pumps.
Converting your standard pool pump to variable speed is now possible with the Eco-Tech VS motor replacement. Motor available in C-flange or square flange design, fits 99% of inground pool pumps. Easy drop-in installation, with no complex wiring, the Eco-Tech includes a freeze protection mode, and allows you to convert your existing pump to variable speed, for about $750.A less expensive way to freeze protect your pool equipment and pipes, is to use the Intermatic Digital Timeclock. With the accessory Air Temp Sensor, you can program the clock to turn on the pump at any specific temperature. Purchase the timeclock and the sensor for about $300.
WINTER POWER FAILURE
If the power fails during a winter snow storm, the pool pumps will shut off, unless you have a home generator to take over.
If this happens to your un-winterized pool, don’t walk – RUN to your pool equipment pad, and unscrew the two drain plugs on your pump and heater, and the single filter drain plug. Open the filter air bleeder, and any closed pool line valves. Shut the power off the breaker, so the pump won’t turn on without water inside. When power is restored, replace the plugs, prime the pump, and start it up.
FROZEN POOL EQUIPMENT
If you missed the chance to do any of these things above, and your pool equipment is frozen solid – here’s what to do.
- Shut off all power at the breaker
- Place heavy woolen blankets over the equipment
- Safely place a small space heater inside the ‘tent’
- Monitor closely until thawed, Inspect closely for cracks
- If repair is needed, drain equipment until repaired
If you have questions about connecting freeze protection equipment to your pool pump, or if it’s too late and you need help with making a repair to ice damaged pool equipment, give us a call, or send us an email.
InTheSwim Blog Editor