SWIMMING POOL FREEZE PROTECTION

Winter Guide for Houston Swimming Pool Cold Weather Care

Do not turn your pool heater on when temperatures are below 50*, this can damage your heater and void your warranty.

UPDATE:  February 18, 2021 6:30pm

If your pool pumps are shut down, keep them off until all freeze dangers have passed.
Please follow this advice for checking and restarting your swimming pool after freeze conditions are over.

CLICK HERE:  >>>   Turning On Swimming Pool Pumps After Freeze


UPDATE:  February 13, 2021  1:30pm

We are doing our best to answer all phones, emails and texts.   
We will try to respond to you as soon as possible.
 
Since they are predicting unprecedented cold temperatures we are trying to get everyone the best advise possible to protect your pool.
 
No one knows for certain what temperature you should drain water versus keeping pumps running.   In Houston, the warmer circulating pool water "should" stay warm enough to not allow the pipes to freeze while the pumps are running.
 
HOWEVER,
IF we get enough snow, pool water temps could drop below the 40's and that could be too cold if the air continues to stay below freezing (32 degrees).  
If this extreme cold happens, it would be advisable to shut off all equipment, open filter air relief, open plumbing valves at least half way and remove drain plugs (from heaters, pumps and filters) to allow as much water as possible to drain from above ground equipment and plumbing.
 
Everyone's instructions will not be the same.
We advise using our guidelines to decide what is best for your property based on what the "real" conditions look like for your property.
 
Covering your equipment and plumbing as described below is now looking like a minimum necessity.

Please stay safe and warm!  
Bill & Renee


PREPARATION ADVICE IS AS FOLLOWS:

During All 38 degrees or Below Temperatures:

- KEEP ALL PUMPS RUNNING CONTINUOUSLY so the warmer pool water (50-60 degrees) will circulate and not allow water in equipment or plumbing to freeze.
- For variable speed pumps, make sure they are not running on low speed when the cleaner booster pump is running.
- Variable speed pumps should have a temperature sensor that will make sure the pump runs at a minimum speed to keep the computer from freezing.
- 38 degrees with a wind chill can create freezing conditions.
- If freezing temperatures will only be for a few hours, nothing below needs to be done.


IF FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED FOR LONGER HOURS
OR IF ACCUMULATING SNOW OR FREEZING RAINS ARE EXPECTED:
KEEP ALL PUMPS RUNNING CONTINUOUSLY for short term freezes/overnight.

1.  Place blankets or seat cushions on top of higher equipment and plumbing.

2.  Loosely cover equipment with a WATERPROOF tarp
DO NOT USE ANY TARP THAT IS NOT WATERPROOF, IT WILL FREEZE AROUND EQUIPMENT.
Make sure tarp is not in direct contact with pumps, equipment or plumbing, using blankets and cushions as a spacer between tarp and plumbing.
*** IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DON'T PLACE ANYTHING MAKING CONTACT WITH THE MOTORS,
SO THE AIR CAN CIRCULATE AND NOT OVERHEAT THE MOTOR.  

Lay the tarp to prevent puddling snow or ice that will sit directly on top of the equipment or plumbing.

FOR HEAVY DEEP FREEZES WITH EXTENDED DAYS OF FREEZING TEMPERATURES AND SNOW:

3. TURN OFF Main Power To Pump(S)
So Pump Will Not Automatically Turn On Until You Manually Turn It Back On, After Deep Freeze Danger has passed.

4. Open Filter Air Relief Valve(S).

5. Remove Pump Strainer Pot Lid(S).

6. Open Any Drain Relief Plugs On Pumps, Valves, Heater To Allow Access Water To Drain And Makes Air Gap Room For Any Frozen Water Expansion.
Drain Relief Plug Locations will be different for every make and model equipment.  Here are general locations.
Pumps - 1 or 2 thumb drain plugs will be located at the bottom of pump housing either in the front or on the side of pump.
Filter - Air Relief is located on top of filter and should have a pressure gauge attached to it.
    The 1.5" filter drain plug will be located at the bottom of the filter close to the ground, either in the front or on the backside of the filter.
    Channel lock pliers will help make removal the easiest.
Heater - On the plumbing side the drain plug will be located on the lower part of the header where the pipes go into the header.
    On the opposite side the drain plug will be located on the return header which is usually behind a small removable access panel.

IF PUMPS ARE INOPERABLE DURING FREEZE CONDITIONS LASTING MORE THAN 4-6 HOURS:
- Follow steps 3-6, then 1-2.
Do not turn pumps back on until everything is completely defrosted and all freeze dangers have passed.

 

How to turn your pump(s) on:

Automatic Remote Systems

These systems should already be programmed to turn ALL your pumps on anytime the air temperature drops below 38.
If all pumps do not come on, or you cannot turn them on from your indoor controller, then:

1. Go to outside Control Panel.

2. Place Controller into "Service" Mode.

3. Turn on All pumps (Filter, Cleaner, Fountains, Etc.)

4. After Freeze Danger - turn outside control back to "Auto" mode.
*Remember, if you turn pump on or off from inside controller, then the scheduled programming will take over control turning on or off at the next scheduled time.
To avoid this, you will have to put controller into "Service" mode as stated in 1-4 above. 

Manual Time Clocks

If you do not have a freeze protector installed on all pumps, then you will have to switch each pump on before any freeze dangers (temps less than 38 is standard) At pumps controlled by Mechanical Timers:

1. At each timer: Slide Switch(s) to "ON" positions and pump(s) should come on.

2. If needed: Loosen and Remove "OFF" Trip Switches on Timer Dial so pump(s) will stay on.

3. After Freeze Danger - Replace "OFF" Trip Switches on Timer Dial.

4. Adjust Timer Dials to Correct Times by Pulling Outward on Dial and Rotate to Correct time.

5.  Check that dial feels like it seated properly back down into the gears.

If one of the trip switches is near the current time indicator (the silver marker pointing downward from center of dial), you may have to offset the dial or the trip switch to move dial.


Variable Speed Pumps - VS pumps should be automatically protected to run a minimum speed to keep motor and computer warm.
1.  If VS pump is not running at any time during freezing temperatures then it may need to be manually operated to run continuously at 2000-2400 rpm.
2.  Make sure VS pump is running at least 2400 rpm when the cleaner booster pump is running.

 

If at any time pumps need to be turned off the remainder of the cold weather, we advise turning off all electric breakers to pool equipment to power everything down.
 

* At All Times Of The Year, If You Notice Any Equipment Not Working Properly:Turn Off Power To Equipment And Contact our office For Additional Service.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please email us at: [email protected]

We make every effort to help everyone as quickly as we can.