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Thread: Brrr and what to do?

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    Brrr and what to do?

    Ok now, us Texans are NOT used to it getting this freakin cold ( reading 14 outside right now and and ice rink for streets)!! Hasn't been this cold since 1989 is what they are saying...now on to the question. They are doing rolling black outs all over the metroplex ( 15 min - 1 hour at a time) and some people are still losing power for longer in places. We've already had our first round with the power out for 30 minutes. We don't have a back up generator ( haven't seen a need and they are expensive) and I am wondering what to do about the pool pump if we lose power again for any extended period of time ( besides panic). We don't "shut down " our pool for the winter. Still have another few days of this mess to go.
    Thanks!
    B
    15,000 gallons, Cartridge Filters, IG,

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    About the only thing short of a full winterization is to fashion a insulated box over it and put some heat i it before the next blackout. If the blackouts only last an hour or so it'll retain enough heat to keep from freezing.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    Thanks Dave! Here's hoping we don't go too long without power. I don't really have what I need to do that. Here's hoping I am not posting later about what to do with frozen pipes! :/
    15,000 gallons, Cartridge Filters, IG,

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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    Another idea is that if the water is in the 40's, try draining the filter, heater (if you have one), and pump. Assuming the equipment pad is above the waterline, water in the lines will drop to their level, below ground. I doubt the ground has frozen near the pipes and should be good for a couple days if you cover the pipes at the pad.

    When things warm up, re-prime the pump and start it back up.

    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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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    @Bubbles - great topic. I came here specifically to start a similar topic. I'm in Frisco and got our first blackout at 8am. I was out in the backyard letting the dogs out when I realized, the pool's freeze protection won't work without power!

    @Scott - the filter cover for my pump is frozen on. Is it safe to pour warm water on it to loosen it? As for draining the heater and filter, won't opening the pump filter be sufficient to break the siphon/prime?

    Also, my pool temp is currently 38F. Am I in danger of the water freezing if the temps stay below freezing for two more days (what they are predicting)?

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    Yep.............14 here over on the east side of Texas too. Just checked the pool temp and it is still 43 after last night (this past warm weekend helped). Didn't close ours this first year either. This wicked cold finally gave me a good enuff eexcuse to buy a generator though----just in case. I still went out and got some of that electrical heating cord like they use on mobile homes and wrapped my above ground PVC pipes with it, then overwrapped it in some foam inside/silver foil outside tape. Walmart had the heating cord on clearance for 19 bucks for 18 ft. cord if you need some (just bought it yesterday). Insulating tape from the hardware store. Also threw a cheap tarp over the pump pad to break the wind-----which was pretty much 25-30 all night. If we can just make it till Sat. afternoon! But it's nose diving again after that. Best of luck to you...but I sleep better knowing that genny is handy. Shouldn't take a very big one to back you up------IF you can still find one over there. Check Tractor Supply--------just don't get the cheap Sportsman green one. Can't remember what brand the yellow one is, but it is pretty well rated.
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    joelq,

    Pour COLD water on it! Warm to hot may crack it.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
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    Brrr and what to do?

    I tarped all my equipment - snugged it up around everything - it was warm enough this weekend that it should hold in enough ground warmth to get us through this even if power is out for an hour - no blackouts over in Allen yet, unless I slept through it last night, but it is cold!!!!
    Steve
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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    hey there neighbor joelq, I am out in Corinth. So far no more outages here, but in case we do go out again ( lot of folks reports being out for over 3 hours across the metroplex), pardon my ignorance, but how do I drain the filters and pump? Don't have a heater. Woody, thanks for the suggestion of where to get a generator, will be filing that away for later, but as of now, getting out of my neighborhood would be a bear. Still a solid sheet of ice and some small hills to navigate, so won't be going anywhere for awhile yet. You can bet I am definitely going to get some insulation equipment for the future!! If our power does out again for any length of time, I suppose I can come up with some southern engineering to try and keep the pipes warmer, but definitely would love a dumbed down version of how to drain my equipment ( still on the learning curve).
    Thanks!
    15,000 gallons, Cartridge Filters, IG,

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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    Seems there was a discussion on this a couple months ago

    I'm never one to tell anybody I told you so

    how-many-southerners-are-closing-their-pool-t27208.html?hilit=dallas
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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Another idea is that if the water is in the 40's, try draining the filter, heater (if you have one), and pump. Assuming the equipment pad is above the waterline, water in the lines will drop to their level, below ground. I doubt the ground has frozen near the pipes and should be good for a couple days if you cover the pipes at the pad.

    When things warm up, re-prime the pump and start it back up.

    Scott
    There is 2 other things I would add is make sure your pump won't come back on till you are ready to re prime and also alot of people here last year never covered their fill lines so they where breaking left and right..

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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Another idea is that if the water is in the 40's, try draining the filter, heater (if you have one), and pump. Assuming the equipment pad is above the waterline, water in the lines will drop to their level, below ground. I doubt the ground has frozen near the pipes and should be good for a couple days if you cover the pipes at the pad.
    This is what I did. Pump has not run at all through this cold snap, and I probably won't start it back up until there's no more chance of an "arctic" front rolling through.
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    I have a small pump house built around mine and even with freezing temps it runs 4 hours a night with no freezing problems at all. It is not insulated or even built all that great. Seems like cheep insurance against freezing temp. I often wonder why most people dont have them? I do live in south Alabama but this year has been quite cold for even us.

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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    One thing more, add non-toxic antifreeze, to the skimmers. 1/2 gallon and then close the bottle and set it in the skimmer upside down to protect the skimmer.

    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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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    Thanks so much for all of the suggestions. Now ( surprise) I have another question. I tarped the above ground pipes this last cold spell and the cartridge that froze before didn't freeze as much. I honestly don't think it does anything. All of the jets in the pool seem to be running off of the new hayward that was installed in Sept. So, what is the purpose of the second cartridge filter and do I need it? BTW, I had no problems at all with the hayward freezing through this whole ordeal.
    15,000 gallons, Cartridge Filters, IG,

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    If I remember correctly, looking at your setup and knowing that the old filter was replaced recently, I'd say they just left it there and it's not connected to anything. It'd be good if you could take some pictures of it from different angles.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    Ok, here are some shots I took today. I had a bid today on resurfacing and the guy that came out said the same general thing we have heard from another pool repair guy in that the way our system is set up is not well laid out. I will be curious to see what the input is here.




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    Re: Brrr and what to do?

    You don't see two filters plumbed in parallel very often. That is fine, just unusual.

    The thing that seems really really strange is that one of the return lines appears to connect back to one of the suction lines. There is a valve to turn that off, but it appears to be set so the pipes are connected right now. If I'm understanding correctly that means that most of the water will loop around on the equipment pad, and not so much of it will go to/from the pool. I can't think of a reason why anyone would want to do that.

    I suggest that you set the middle/lowest valve so that water can not loop around and go straight back to the pump.

    The capped pipe appears to be a return of some kind. Given the way things are laid out, my guess is that the pipe right next to the capped pipe wasn't there originally and is a replacement for the capped pipe. That is just guess work based on my suspicions about the plumbing style and the way plumbers tend to set things up.

    Putting the two pipes next to each other tends to make the plumbing more difficult to install. Real people occasionally do senseless things. That could have simply been be a mistake/senseless. However, the rest of the setup looks more carefully thought out than that. Putting a replacement pipe right next to the original makes a lot of sense, and fits with the style of the rest of the work.
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