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Thread: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

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    Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    First year in Knoxville and first year as pool owner. Don't have an automatic freeze system on/off for pump, but have been manually running each day for a couple hours. Forgot to run pump yesterday (temps were mild) and night was down to mid-20's through mid day today where high was 36. When I went to turn on pump today, nothing. Very cold. I got a pot of hot water and opened pump and poured it in, which got things flowing, yay. The pump equipment is alongside the outside of the house, and there is a spigot for a small fountain that would not turn on this morning. By this afternoon I could turn the spigot but no water. I tried again later afternoon, and thankfully, water is spouting from the fountain. Weather is going to be freezing for tonight and through the morning hours. Do I just leave the pump and fountain on to be safe? I am talking to my pool company tomorrow, I could not reach them today, but thought I'd ask here as well. Sorry if this is too specific or unclear. Thank you.
    25,000 gallon, plaster, salt water system, polaris 360 cleaner, Knoxville, TN, 10 years old (first time pool owner)

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    Yep, just leave it running and it should not freeze up. You're lucky nothing burst!
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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    Thanks a lot, I was under impression (dumb) that only several days of continuous freezing temps would be an issue, which we have not had yet, but this looks like it will be the week I was worried about. It is definitely going to be a very cold week (weird as it was 58 degrees on Sunday) so I believe the pump and fountain will be running a lot. I've enjoyed having the pool open to view, it's pretty and am ok dealing with the higher electrical bill. Appreciate the input.
    25,000 gallon, plaster, salt water system, polaris 360 cleaner, Knoxville, TN, 10 years old (first time pool owner)

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    Quote Originally Posted by stewcarol
    I was under impression (dumb) that only several days of continuous freezing temps would be an issue
    Actually it is unusual for pipes and the pump to freeze at those temps especially if it is not freezing for more than 12 hours. I go without freeze protection every year and we get down to the low 20s. I have never had my pump freeze and nor the pipes but water freezing in the pipes will generally not cause any problems unless both ends of the pipe are blocked and the pressure cannot be released. Either a closed valve or an ice dam forms. This is why outdoor water spigots tend to burst first because they have a valve on one end and an ice dam forms close to the house where the ice thaws and freezes over and over again eventually blocking the other end. In fact it is not the ice that breaks pipes but the water pressure caused by the expanding ice. As long as the pressure doesn't build, there shouldn't be an issue.

    This might interest you:

    http://www.weather.com/activities/homea ... event.html
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    Great info and great article. So you mention you go without freeze protection, what's your routine for keeping things flowing when you know the temps will be around the 20's? Husband says close the pool next year to avoid freeze concerns...but like others, if I can figure out how to manage this, it sure is nice to see the pool water outside (despite the leaf cleaning, worms in bottom cleaning, etc.) Thanks for info!
    25,000 gallon, plaster, salt water system, polaris 360 cleaner, Knoxville, TN, 10 years old (first time pool owner)

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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    Mas is right about the probabilties about freeze damage.

    The safest course would be to just leave the pump running as Melt in the Sun suggested until the freeze threat subsides. You could add a freeze protection device so you don't have to worry about it in the future and still enjoy the view of the pool.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    We had a bunch of nights in the low 20s last week here (down to 17 one night). I just have my pool on a timer to run for 5 hours in the middle of the night on low speed (also runs for 3 hours 2 other times throughout the day) and had no issue. I also threw a tarp over the entire equipment pad.

    Saw a picture of someone in Phoenix whose pool was frozen solid on the top last week ... obviously they were not running their pump at night. Makes me wonder if they did any damage to their plumbing
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    Quote Originally Posted by stewcarol
    Great info and great article. So you mention you go without freeze protection, what's your routine for keeping things flowing when you know the temps will be around the 20's? Husband says close the pool next year to avoid freeze concerns...but like others, if I can figure out how to manage this, it sure is nice to see the pool water outside (despite the leaf cleaning, worms in bottom cleaning, etc.) Thanks for info!
    I don't do anything to keep things flowing. Like I said, the pad equipment never freezes or if it does, it is not enough to stop flow. My equipment is right next to the house which probably helps some. Like I said, we get down to the lower 20's and 8 hours below freezing and I have never experienced anything freezing other than the dog bowl.

    But if you are finding that things are freezing something much more cost effective than running your pump all the time is using a tarp over the equipment with a 60 watt bulb underneath. That should be enough to keep things from freezing unless it gets really cold. I am not a big fan of freeze protection. There are many other more cost effective ways to take care of freezing including temporarily draining the water from the equipment for multi-day freezings.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    Good info. Would you believe I have a pool timer with an on/off switch, but it is missing the little black and red things that tell the timer when to go on and off? May have fallen off at some point, and it's on my list of things to do to figure out/google the timer name and how to replace those little timer flags. Would love to do the nighttime 5 hour pump run like you.
    25,000 gallon, plaster, salt water system, polaris 360 cleaner, Knoxville, TN, 10 years old (first time pool owner)

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    Quote Originally Posted by stewcarol
    Good info. Would you believe I have a pool timer with an on/off switch, but it is missing the little black and red things that tell the timer when to go on and off? May have fallen off at some point, and it's on my list of things to do to figure out/google the timer name and how to replace those little timer flags. Would love to do the nighttime 5 hour pump run like you.
    Post a picture of it here.

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    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question





    Not sure if I figured out how to load photos, but here's a couple pics of timer box. Yellow dial, Model T101P 24 HR DIAL TIME SWITCH (SPST) and at bottom of door says INTERMATIC

    Thank you!
    25,000 gallon, plaster, salt water system, polaris 360 cleaner, Knoxville, TN, 10 years old (first time pool owner)

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    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    Most hardware stores will have just the trip pieces to put on that timer. They normally come with two for on/off so you have to buy more if you want multiple run times. Try looking around water heater section as a lot of times they're call water heater timers.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    Great, will do today, thank you. Occasionally my pump runs dry...it's happened twice where for some reason the water never got flowing when it was turned on and I had walked away, and fortunately caught it before it completely burned out (though it was very hot.) So now I will watch it to be sure it is flowing before I walk away, and probably 2 or 3 times this summer had to dump some water in it "to prime it," then at one point just ran it 24/7 per original pool guy's suggestion (expensive electric summer.) Hasn't needed "priming" except yesterday when I forgot to run it for 1 day and overnight temps got real low, and when I went to start it at 10am it was as I reported in my first post (quiet pump, added pot of hot water to pump which had thin crust of ice on water when opened, then fortunately kicked in after a couple more pots of hot water.) Makes me nervous about automatic start up...wonder if these know to shutdown automatically if things don't kick in? Gosh I'm full of questions. Thank you.
    25,000 gallon, plaster, salt water system, polaris 360 cleaner, Knoxville, TN, 10 years old (first time pool owner)

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    Quote Originally Posted by stewcarol
    Great, will do today, thank you. Occasionally my pump runs dry...it's happened twice where for some reason the water never got flowing when it was turned on and I had walked away, and fortunately caught it before it completely burned out (though it was very hot.) So now I will watch it to be sure it is flowing before I walk away, and probably 2 or 3 times this summer had to dump some water in it "to prime it," then at one point just ran it 24/7 per original pool guy's suggestion (expensive electric summer.) Hasn't needed "priming" except yesterday when I forgot to run it for 1 day and overnight temps got real low, and when I went to start it at 10am it was as I reported in my first post (quiet pump, added pot of hot water to pump which had thin crust of ice on water when opened, then fortunately kicked in after a couple more pots of hot water.) Makes me nervous about automatic start up...wonder if these know to shutdown automatically if things don't kick in? Gosh I'm full of questions. Thank you.
    Those timer parts are available at Leslie's and similar places also.

    Check your skimmer level - you want to have enough water in the pool that the skimmer doesn't create a vortex/whirlpool sucking air in.
    If you are losing prime then I suspect you have some leaks - probably on the suction side - allowing air in. When things are running do you see bubbles in the pump basket? Places to check first would be the seal on the pump basket - this has a gasket that needs to be not crimped and not crushed and also lubed with appropriate lube. Valves and joints are simliarly places where air gets sucked in that may need to be addressed. The filter itself can allow air in from the multiport (if you have one) etc.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    Well, this is another can of worms, but we have a leak somewhere in the pool and our new pool service believes it may be related to the light. We added water in the summer months (more than just evaporation) but are now letting the water level fall to see where it stops. So, the skimmer is turned off. Per my pool service, I can/should still run the pump for the polaris cleaner without the skimmer on. With rainfall the past week, the pool level raised and the skimmer had filled up, but emptied when the pump started yesterday (watched it drain out and heard the hollow vacuum sound in the pipes, then turned the skimmer OFF.) The pool service initially thought the leak was likely related to the skimmer basket/box/area, but when water dropped down below that a month or so ago, they turned to the light as the potential problem. Now it is a wait and see. I may set the pump for auto on when I can make sure it is running for a week or so. FYI, when the skimmer was on, I don't recall seeing bubbles in the basket, more of just swirling water.
    25,000 gallon, plaster, salt water system, polaris 360 cleaner, Knoxville, TN, 10 years old (first time pool owner)

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    Quote Originally Posted by stewcarol
    Well, this is another can of worms, but we have a leak somewhere in the pool and our new pool service believes it may be related to the light. We added water in the summer months (more than just evaporation) but are now letting the water level fall to see where it stops. So, the skimmer is turned off. Per my pool service, I can/should still run the pump for the polaris cleaner without the skimmer on. With rainfall the past week, the pool level raised and the skimmer had filled up, but emptied when the pump started yesterday (watched it drain out and heard the hollow vacuum sound in the pipes, then turned the skimmer OFF.) The pool service initially thought the leak was likely related to the skimmer basket/box/area, but when water dropped down below that a month or so ago, they turned to the light as the potential problem. Now it is a wait and see. I may set the pump for auto on when I can make sure it is running for a week or so. FYI, when the skimmer was on, I don't recall seeing bubbles in the basket, more of just swirling water.
    Ah OK - so you have a main drain then? If so then yes if you have the skimmer turned off then you don't need to worry about the vortex/suction that I mentioned. You do still want to look for air leaking in on the suction side.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question



    Umm, not sure of main drain or if that is the small hole with a grill like cover over it on the bottom of the side wall below the skimmer? I know I have a backflush system, a pump, and then a main pipe switches for skimmer, cleaner, main, then the spigot for the fountain. I am learning a lot around here, lol, thank you.
    25,000 gallon, plaster, salt water system, polaris 360 cleaner, Knoxville, TN, 10 years old (first time pool owner)

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Knoxville freezing conditions, pump question

    Quote Originally Posted by stewcarol


    Umm, not sure of main drain or if that is the small hole with a grill like cover over it on the bottom of the side wall below the skimmer? I know I have a backflush system, a pump, and then a main pipe switches for skimmer, cleaner, main, then the spigot for the fountain. I am learning a lot around here, lol, thank you.
    Main drain would be on the bottom. If you are keeping the level above the grill but below the skimmer then maybe the equalizer (that's what they call that I think) could work effectively. However that's usually just barely below the skimmer - so you wouldn't be able to allow the water to fall far before it would no longer allow enough to reach the pump.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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