As the holidays approach, pool owners across the country are bracing for record-low temperatures and the dangers that come with them. One major concern for pool owners is the risk of their pool freezing in such cold conditions. More than a million and a half people in the United States are currently without electricity. A “historic winter storm” is impacting many areas of the country.
Holiday Plans Canceled – More Than a Million and a Half Without Power
The hardest hit thus far has been the Northeast and South. As of Friday morning, 152,915 were without power in Virginia, 201,243 in North Carolina, and 182,637 in Tennessee. The entire country is watching Texas, one of the largest pool markets in the nation. The deep freeze encountered in 2021 caused many to lose power which led to catastrophic damage in pools. Currently, 73,324 consumers in Texas are without power.
A powerful Arctic front continues to spread through the eastern third of the nation. Consequently, the National Weather Service has issued a travel advisory. As the nation prepares for a hard freeze, roughly 60% of the country is under some sort of weather advisory.
Hard Freeze Has Pool Owners Scrambling
The news of a hard freeze over the holidays has had many homeowners scrambling to prepare their pools. According to the National Weather Service, a hard freeze occurs when temperatures remain at or below 28 degrees for an extended period of time. On both Saturday and Sunday mornings, temperatures in the teens and twenties are expected in many areas of the country.
How a Hard Freeze Can Damage Swimming Pools
When the water in a pool or its equipment freezes, it can cause significant damage. The expansion of water as it freezes can put a lot of pressure on the various components of the pool. Freezing temperatures can also damage equipment, such as pipes, filters, and pumps. This pressure can cause these components to crack or break, which can be costly to repair.
One of the most common problems that occurs when a pool freezes is damage to the pool’s plumbing. The pipes that carry water to and from the pool’s pump and filter system are particularly vulnerable to freezing. If these pipes freeze and then thaw, they can become damaged or burst, which can lead to serious water damage.
Another potential problem is damage to the pool’s filter system. The filter is responsible for removing contaminants and debris from the water. If it becomes damaged, it can be difficult to get the pool clean and clear.
Freezing temperatures can also damage the pool’s pump. The pump is responsible for circulating water through the pool and its equipment. If the pump is damaged, it can be difficult to keep the water moving and maintain proper circulation.
In addition to these problems, freezing temperatures can also cause the pool’s liner to become damaged or even rupture. This can be a costly repair. The liner is a crucial component of the pool and is responsible for holding the water in place.
Power Outages Can Cause Serious Damage To Pools
Power outages can have significant impacts on pool owners during a freeze. They can disrupt the functioning of pool heaters and filtration systems. In addition, power outages may prevent pool owners from being able to use electricity. Without power, it becomes difficult to prevent their pools from freezing.
There are a few practical steps one can take to help prevent or reduce the risk of freeze damage to pool equipment. Manufacturer, Hayward has been sharing the following advice to pool owners.
Pool Freeze Protection Advice
Content originally posted in: Pool Protection Tips For Freezing Weather
Run Your Pump When Below Freezing
During deep freeze conditions, it will be imperative that all pumps run while temperatures are below freezing. If you have a controller, it should automatically take over and turn on the pump(s) and rotate between the pool and spa mode on its own. If you do not have a controller, you will need to manage this process on your own.
Cold Weather And Power is On
If you do have power to your home and are not being affected by power outages, keep your pool equipment operating at all times (24/7) until temperatures increase above freezing.
If your power is out or your home is being affected by power outages, keep reading below or contact your local pool professional for assistance:
Cold Weather, But Lost Power
If your power is out and the temperatures are below freezing:
- Turn off all pool equipment breakers. Even if your power is off, you must still turn off all breakers that supply power to your swimming pool equipment.
- Open the air relief on your filter, and remove the drain plug on the bottom of the filter.
- Open the inline chlorinator and let it drain down.
- Turn off auto-fill and make sure the feed line is wrapped.
- Open the salt cell to remove any water inside the pipe.
- Remove the lids of check valves to keep them from cracking.
- Unplug and remove your salt chlorine generator cells from the system if you’re able, if not, open the salt cell to remove any water inside the pipe
Wait for Ice to Melt Naturally
If ice has formed on your equipment, don’t turn the power back on. Wait for any ice that has formed to melt naturally. This will help prevent damage to the equipment once power is restored.
Reinstall Removed Items
Once the ice has melted, re-install the drains and salt chlorine generator cells. Turn on the power to your pool equipment.
Get Expert Help
Always remember you can use your local pool professional for help. Reach out to a licensed pool contractor for assistance
Pool Industry Prepares For Hard Freeze
Is the hard freeze here? It certainly looks that way. Professionals in the pool industry have already been taking steps to prepare for the deep freeze by winterizing pools and ensuring that equipment and pipes are protected from cold temperatures.
Again, the attention is on Texas which has a tendency to fall victim to sudden freezing temperatures but does not historically winterize its inground pools. During Uri, a sustained freeze accompanied by mass power outages was responsible for much of the damage we saw in 2021. Pool professionals are eager to avoid a similar reoccurrence.
In the event that a pool does freeze, it is important to handle the situation carefully to avoid damaging the equipment or the pool structure. If the water in the pool has frozen, it is generally best to wait for it to thaw naturally rather than trying to force it to melt. If you notice damage to pipes or cracked pool equipment or any structural damage to the pool, the best advice is to contact a pool contractor immediately.
And the condition is getting worse! Water level dropping in pool, pipe is frozen to add water to the pool, and filter is…
It is not uncommon for pool equipment and pipes to be damaged during a deep freeze, and many have already begun posting photos on social media to show the extent of the damage and to help educate others about the importance of winterizing their pools. If you own a pool, it is important to take steps to protect it from the cold weather to prevent damage and ensure that it is ready for use when the weather warms up.
Featured Photo Credit: Facebook / Kathy Ott Prior