Freeze Protection for Pool Equipment

frozen-pool-equipmentFreeze 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.


There are three ways to prevent pool equipment freeze damage:

  1. Winterize your pool equipment and plumbing.
  2. Keep pump(s) running with all valves open.
  3. Install Freeze Protection equipment.

Pool Winterization

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, and set up text alerts, and choose a temperature, and receive alerts when the temp in your area drops to 37 degrees, for example.

freeze-warn-VOr, 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.ecotech-ez-variable-speed-pump-motorsA 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.


POWER-FAILIf 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.


frozenIf you missed the chance to do any of these things above, and your pool equipment is frozen solid – here’s what to do.

  1. Shut off all power at the breaker
  2. Place heavy woolen blankets over the equipment
  3. Safely place a small space heater inside the ‘tent’
  4. Monitor closely until thawed, Inspect closely for cracks
  5. 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.

Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor



Freeze Protection for Pool Equipment — 5 Comments

  1. I am in the south of Louisiana. we have been having a freeze over the last 2 days and my pool is constantly running 24/7 due to the freeze mode. I am having to also run a hose in the pool 24/7 because the water keeps getting too low and the pool cannot circulate the water. Why does it need so much water in the pool? Is this normal?

    • Hi Jean; not normal to run a hose 24/7, your pool has a leak. Even on the hottest of summer days, evaporation is only 1/4″ per day or so – the most common leak areas are around the skimmer opening, specifically where the plastic skimmer meets the concrete pool wall, or on vinyl pools, around the gasketed faceplate. Pool lights can also leak thru the light conduit. Multiport valves can leak water out of the waste line if the spider gasket is twisted or scored. And also there could be cracks in the tile line, or cracks in the pipes, or leaking o-rings around the filter, pump seal – lots of other possible leak sources. See this post for finding and fixing Leaks on Open Pools, or this post for Leaks on Closed Pools

  2. My dog got ahold of our feeze sensor wire and destroyed it, making our pump/filter constantly unless we turn it off manually. We have no idea where the pup got the wire from in the yard. Can you give any suggestions on what to look for so we can repair the wiring/sensor? Is there a common place that people put these sensors or anything that would stand out to us as we are searching the yard. Thank you for your time.

    • A freeze control sensor wire is usually tan colored, and runs from the outdoor control box to a mounting on the PVC pipe. Follow the wire from the box, sometimes they are buried in the ground, but not always, and they are often strapped to the PVC pipe.

  3. Pingback: Sunbelt Pool Closing for Off-Season Pools | InTheSwim Swimming Pool Blog

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