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Thread: We have an Ice Flow PROBLEM- HELP!

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    amjohn's Avatar
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    We have an Ice Flow PROBLEM- HELP!

    I am one of those southern above ground owners who does not close my ABG pool- use a freeze timer to run as needed, usually works great. 15 years since our last real winter, we are having one now, with 3-4 days straight below freezing. No snow though, and no ice storm, which is weird. Just cold and a bitter gusting wind. The sun is even out and bright.
    Things were looking good, everything running according to plan until I went out this afternoon to check on things. For whatever reason, the freeze timer, which has been running almost excessively, turned itself OFF sometime since yesterday evening (when I last checked it). Not sure how long it was off, but you can see the results.
    I carefully checked everything for internal ice, and found none except what you see what is around the pump. It goes into the pump casing some, but the pump is running smooth, only 1psi increase in pressure, and the flow meter is showing normal flow. Pool water temp is 33 degrees.
    We had replaced all original cheap Doughboy plumbing with good sealed valves, pvc flex-hose and schedule 40 PVC, and lots of all-weather PVC glue, so they are holding fine....except the hose that was installed by the builder from the pump to the filter. That is a Doughboy original flex-hose of unknown type and diameter that fits over their funky Doughboy extrusions that are the connection points on the pump and filter. A hose clamp tightens the whole thing down to create a "seal". This is the Doughboy design. We thought that one looked safe. Silly us.
    My uneducated guess is that the "seal" where the hose meets the pump gave way, and the water flowed out and froze around the front end of the pump. We did not lose much water, and there is still a tiny trickle of water, but the ice seems to have blocked off any further flow. Plus, that pump has always leaked a little. There is a similar, but much less flow of ice up where the same hose connects to the filter.
    Question: We will replace the worthless hose as soon as it warms up enough to do so, but I am wondering where to go from here? Should I put a heater on the pump to defrost the ice? I am still not sure the ice is not what is keeping further water from flowing. Should I tent plastic around it? Right now it is nice and sunny, so heat would build up some and start defrosting. We are expecting to get out of freezing temps briefly maybe tomorrow, but most likely Sunday.
    We will be gone tomorrow and normally would let the freeze timer do its job, so I am concerned about the ice loosening up, and the water flowing out of the pool, and I am not sure I trust the freeze timer right now to turn off at the appropriate times. I guess the main question is, do I try to defrost the ice or wait another day or two to let the sun and warming temps do it?
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    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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    amjohn's Avatar
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    Re: We have a PROBLEM- HELP!

    More photos
    Attached Images Attached Images
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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    Re: We have an Ice Flow PROBLEM- HELP!

    Unplug the pump. Put some heat on to melt the block. Not too much or the plastic may warp. Move the clamp on the pump discharge (top hose) up about 1/4 to a 1/2".

    The hose you have and the nozzle on the pump don't match which is why you have the leak.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: We have an Ice Flow PROBLEM- HELP!

    Keep in mind that you don't want to leave the pump off overnight just at the moment. Defrosting that much ice is going to take a while, and you shouldn't accidentally forget about it and leave the pump off overnight.

    Also, I want to stress what PoolGuyNJ said again. You shouldn't get impatient and use any kind of torch, or other strong heat source, to defrost the pump. You want gentle heat, like a hair dryer that you keep at least a foot away, or the plastic tent you suggested earlier, or even plumbing freeze protection heat tape.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: We have an Ice Flow PROBLEM- HELP!

    I have similar issue, in ground pool though. Ice flow from chlorine container...looks like from the top where you put tabs in and near the bottom where the sleeve fits into a collar. Should I follow same advice...pool has been running 24 x 7 since before New Years Day (can't say exactly, I was out of town) and we don't see any relief until Monday in Atlanta.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: We have an Ice Flow PROBLEM- HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by jerilynj
    I have similar issue, in ground pool though. Ice flow from chlorine container...looks like from the top where you put tabs in and near the bottom where the sleeve fits into a collar. Should I follow same advice...pool has been running 24 x 7 since before New Years Day (can't say exactly, I was out of town) and we don't see any relief until Monday in Atlanta.
    Hi Jerilynj, welcome to the forum...

    Unless your pump is encased in ice (see above) then you don't want to turn it off. It's more important to keep that water flowing. You could try to chip away or melt the ice at your chlorine feeder, but it's not really a priority... your pool doesn't really need any added chlorine when the temperature is 16° F!
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    amjohn's Avatar
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    Re: We have an Ice Flow PROBLEM- HELP!

    Well, I tented plastic over the pump, filter, skimmer, inlet and whole area with an electric shop heater on medium - picture later. It took 6 hours to de-ice the pump, but we did it. And we ran the electric shop heater on low all night which kept it ice free. There is a layer of ice floating in the pool, but none on the pump, filter, skimmer, etc. My concern about the leak is correct though. We lost about 1/4" water overnight, and the area around the pump is a puddle, but no ice thankfully. When we take it apart, we will figure out whether the water is coming from the hose or the pump. It is hard to tell now, as water is everywhere, but crisis averted for now, and I just have to keep an eye on the water level- 1/4" in 12 hours I can live with.
    The hose and nozzle are Doughboy's original design. Poor, yes, but their own warrantied construction. The connections did not leak until we had this unusually cold weather, however we will be replacing them with a better arrangement, as soon as it gets warm enough to do so (Sunday probably).
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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    amjohn's Avatar
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    Re: We have an Ice Flow PROBLEM- HELP!

    Update- finally warm enough today to give the pump a break. But have to keep the heater and tented plastic going, because, incredibly, there is still ice inside the pump casing! When I look through the vent hole is the front, I can still see some. The leak has stabilized, and we are trying to get ready for the next big plunge, possibly as soon as the end of this week, and possibly with freezing rain this time. Hard to believe, but we had a day of near 80degrees right before all this started a couple weeks ago. Went through 3 seasons in two days. That's Texas.
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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    amjohn's Avatar
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    Re: We have an Ice Flow PROBLEM- HELP!

    Some follow up pictures. Our emergency measures for the situation. Took 4 days to get every last bit of ice out of the pump casing, still not sure why the intermatic freeze timer quit when it did, but it seems to be behaving normally now. The plastic tent with heater worked though, and we are leaving it in place (heater removed of course) until we can get a permanent solution. My husband had foot surgery over the holidays, so a lot of these projects (pump house, deck, regrading and adding a culvert for drainage) are in limbo until he is back on his feet.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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