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Thread: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

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    Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    In the six years we've had this house (and pool) this is the first time the water has ever frozen. Should I be concerned? There's a sheet of ice covering the pool, thinner over the shallow end and thicker over the deep end. Will this damage the tile? Should I try breaking up the ice?

    Jill
    El Paso, TX
    El Paso, Texas
    16x32 Rectangular In-Ground Pool - Plaster - Cartridge Filter - 25,000 gallons - TF100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    Was the pool "closed" for the winter and covered, or did you leave it open and the pump running?
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    Re: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    No - the pool wasn't "closed." The pump has been off since last week. We've had temps in the teens for the last three days, but it's up to mid-50s today.
    El Paso, Texas
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    Re: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    You need to keep the pump running during freezing weather. Was there a reason you turned it off?
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    Just make sure you don't have any loose pieces of ice that can clog up the skimmer(s) when you turn the pump back on. LEAVE it running till fear of freezing is over. Mine ran for 5 days straight with this crazy freezin' we've had and no ice formed whatsoever. Might wanna angle a jet more towards the top of the water to help flow on top. Gave it a rest this afternoon-and it's back on tonite! Good luck.
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    Re: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    Any time the temp is going to be near 32 degrees my pump runs all night. No problems.
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    reindeerboy's Avatar
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    Re: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    If you had it off this whole time and it froze int he teen, then you are gonna have issues with the pipes above the ground for sure. The water in the pump backet needs to be checked to be sure no ice is in there. Run hot water on it before you fire it up. You also may want to pull the cartridges and replace them as those may be cracked from the water freezing.

    Rule of thumb. If water is moving, then it really cant freeze.

    Up here in ND it was 20 below zero this morning. Yes folks, that actual temperature up here. Windchill was at 40 below. I dont usually mind the cold, but this kind of cold is really starting to bother me man!

    good luck with the unthaw.
    Chad R.

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    Re: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by reindeerboy


    Rule of thumb. If water is moving, then it really cant freeze.

    .
    Ever see a frozen river, at least on top? Frozen water fall?
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    reindeerboy's Avatar
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    Re: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    different bodies of water do different things. Natural occurances do different things as well. Yes the top small layer may form a crust and if its as cold as it gets up here in the north, then you are talking a different kind of cold, but if the water is moving, the pools pump/filter/pipes will not freeze. That was my point. Not the actual top layer of the standing water. Also if you point your eyeballs towards the top, then that also makes a difference.


    Did you ever get your pool unthawed? Any damage?
    Chad R.

    POOL SIZE: 16 x 32' Vinyl lined pool. 22,000 gallons. 8' deep. 2009 Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump. Hayward S310S 30" 500 lb Sand filter. 1 skimmer and 2 returns. Solar Blanket.

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    Re: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    @bk, Waterfalls and rivers get buildups that grow. Water splashes and ceases moving, then freezes. Moving water has energy so it can't drop in temp. Cold is a lack of thermal energy.

    Pointing the return eyes up to generate a surface flow will he;p to retard the formation of ice.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
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    Re: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    @bk, Waterfalls and rivers get buildups that grow. Water splashes and ceases moving, then freezes.
    Same thing happens in a pipe. Moving water will freeze at some point and burst pipe, I promise you.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Moving water will freeze at some point and burst pipe, I promise you.
    Fortunately, moving water freezes very much more slowly than still water. Still water can freeze and cause damage after a couple of days in the high 20s, or a couple of hours in the teens. Meanwhile, moving water is generally safe for months in the high 20s, for a couple of weeks in the low 20s, or for a couple of days in the teens.
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    Re: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Quote Originally Posted by bk406

    for a couple of days in the teens.
    Thats the key, a couple of days. Lately even in north texas and oklahoma temps have gone down much lower than that for longer periods. As I've said before, my pet peave is seeing people in these ares not close the pool down and think they are ok through the winter.
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    Re: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Moving water has energy so it can't drop in temp. Cold is a lack of thermal energy.

    Scott
    Kinetic energy has little or nothing to do with why running water wont freeze as readily as still water. If it were just a matter of kinetic energy, a river or water fall would never freeze, and they do. It has to do with the fact that there is not as much water getting down to a cold enough temperature to freeze in the pipe. It keeps moving so there is no build up of frozen water against a cold pipe. At some point, the pipe gets cold enough to allow water to start to freeze to the side of the pipe. Once that happens, more water in contact with the side of the pipe will build up and start to freeze and start to narrow the pipe, much like the waterfall or river. After awhile, enough water will freeze and build up to freeze the pipe shut. Ask the people in northeast oklahoma this morning if their water isnt frozen up this morning, even if they kept a trickle going in the sink. Like Jason said, it would take awhile for it to happen and i'm sure a few days at 20+ degrees with the pump on would be fine. But the challenge was moving water in a pipe will not freeze. Thats not the case, it will given enough time and low enough temps.

    The other thing that makes a pool a little different is that its a closed system and the pipes are generally not below the frost line except for maybe short distences. What i mean is that running water in a sink when its zero outside is pulling fresh water from the supply thats below the frost line. Therefore the water thats moving through a cold pipe is relatively warm and stays that way since its always coming from below the frost line. In a pool, the water has more time to become cold and spend more time in a freezing environment. Like i said, its not the kinetic energy of the moving water that keeps it from freezing, its the time it spends in one place to get down to freezing temps that is the issue.
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    Re: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    Thank you all for the replies. We had rolling blackouts and even a water shortage emergency during this freak cold weather. Fortunately, once everything thawed I ran the pump and everything seems to be fine. Pressure levels were ok. It doesn't look like anything was hurt. Knock-on-wood, I'm very thankful that we didn't have any plumbing issues like half of El Paso did. Although I can't say the same for my palm trees...

    Thank you, all.

    Jill
    El Paso, Texas
    16x32 Rectangular In-Ground Pool - Plaster - Cartridge Filter - 25,000 gallons - TF100 Test Kit

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    Re: Frozen pool - should I be concerned?

    Glad i live in Phoenix!

    I'd wrap those pipes if they're still good and you expect more cold weather. And like the others said, run the pump at night.
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