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Thread: Freeze protection

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    Freeze protection

    I'm sorry for all the bonehead questions...bought a house with a pool this summer so this will be my first winter having to deal with one.

    I have a salt-water pool that i'm choosing to leave open. I live in a southern state and the advice from friends and co-workers is to leave open....especially since the house didn't come with a pool cover.

    Our pool has an Intermatic timer that has a built-in freeze protection device. The timer has two for my pool pump and one for my polaris booster.

    Here's my i need to leave both the pump and the booster with power (even though they're off) so they can come on with the freeze protection kicks in? If so...does that mean I need to leave the polaris in the pool all winter? Not sure if it's good to have the booster running without the polaris attached. Or....if the pump is running does that mean some water is moving through the booster as well so I can just cut it off for the winter?


  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Central Texas

    Re: Freeze protection

    The booster pump doesn't have to run. The main pump pushes enough water through the booster pump to keep it from freezing. My freeze protection is only wired to the main pump.

    I also leave my Polaris in the pool year round and let it do it's thing. Keeps the pool looking good all the time.
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
    2 HP Challenger High Head Pump
    60sf Nautilus DE filter
    Polaris 280

  3. Back To Top    #3
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: Freeze protection

    "Southern State" is not a lot to go on. It is all about the climate.

    Does the air temperature get below freezing and how long does it stay below freezing at one period of time (e.g. x hours overnight, y days, etc)?

    I most cases freeze protection can be avoided in mild climates if you are smart about it and prepare for it.

    For most pools, including my own, if the air temperature does not get below freezing for more than about 8 hours overnight, you shouldn't need freeze protection because it usually takes longer than that for the water in the pipes to freeze solid. Exception might be pipes that are exposed to a strong very cold wind.

    If it does get below freezing for more than 8 hours, then you might are better off draining the pad equipment rather than running the pump for that long. At least that is what I would do because of our energy costs. Also, if it is that cold, the water is likely to be less than 50 F and so algae is probably not going to be an issue anyway so the pool can go idle for several days without worry. But if energy costs are not an issue, you could use freeze protection during this period of time.
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
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  4. Back To Top    #4
    BoDarville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    DFW, Texas

    Re: Freeze protection

    Welcome to the forum!

    Quote Originally Posted by maynard001
    do i need to leave both the pump and the booster with power (even though they're off) so they can come on with the freeze protection kicks in?
    By "leav(ing) both the pump and booster with power", all you have to do is make sure the circuit breaker and the main power switch (if so equipped) are on. The freeze protection should automatically turn on the pump regardless of the position of the timer switch. This is how mine works anyway. One difference between your setup and mine is that I have a single pump. Unless I'm using the Polaris for cleaning, I simply turn the valve off to the dedicated cleaner line and drain the water from the above-ground portion of that line by removing the in-line cleaner filter.

    mas985 bring up a good point...most freeze-protection sensors are set to turn on at a temperature well above the point at which there is any danger of freezing. Duration, wind, and how far below freezing the temps drop are all factors in determining the actual likelihood of the water actually freezing. Pool water and water in the exposed plumbing will not freeze the instant temps drop to 32F. I have my sensor set to the coldest temp possible and it still comes on at around 35F. So, what I do is operate the freeze guard manually by turning the main power switch off unless the temps will drop below 30F or so for several hours. If I'm traveling, I will let the freeze guard operate automatically.

    As for the Polaris, I would not leave it in the pool 24/7 throughout the winter unless you live in South Florida, deep South Texas, or somewhere with a similar sub-tropical climate. I learned that lesson the first year I had our current house. I had to take the Polaris in for service after that first winter because it started behaving erratically. Our pool water usually bottoms out in the low 40's in a typical winter - although during that first winter, we dropped into the upper 30's for a time. According to the service technician, longer term exposure to the colder water can make various internal parts brittle and more prone to failure and that's what happened to my Polaris. Admittedly, this cleaner was not new when I inherited it, so I cannot say that just this one winter caused this problem and I have no idea what the previous owners did prior to that. I still use the Polaris from time to time in the winter, but I only place it in the water when I'm using it. Otherwise, it is stored in the shed. Since then, I have not had a problem with the internal parts. Plus, hoses are lasting longer.
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  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Freeze protection

    Wow...thanks for all the quick replies. I thought this forum might go kinda quiet since our swimming days are done for the year. I'm in Tennessee...we don't get many days below freezing. It dips below freezing at night during the coldest part of the winter...but it very rarely gets below 20...and even that is usually just overnight.

    I think Harry answered my poorly-phrased question. I think I'll pull the polaris out of the water and turn the power switch off to the booster pump. When the freeze protection (or if I manually) turn the main pump on it sounds like it will push enough water through the booster to keep it from freezing without it having to be on separately.

    Thanks again everyone!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Allen, Texas

    Re: Freeze protection

    I never pull my Polaris out of my pool, and my pool can get below 40 (but usually ~42) during the coldest part of the winter. I leave it in and let it do it's job. We have such wacky weather in north Texas, I never know what is going to get blown into my pool, but I do know I get alot of debris (doesn't help that I have 9 full size trees which drop their leaves at various times from Sept - Jan).

    Like others have said......your booster should be plumbed such that it pulls water from the same return lines as the main pump....which causes water to circulate through it when the main pump is on.
    Easy way to test this: disconnect your Polaris from the pool. The port in the side of the pool where it plugs in should have water flowing out of it while the main pump is on.

    16.5k IG gunite pool/spa, pebble-tec type plaster, Aquapure 1400 SWG, Jandy 2hp ePump main pump, Jandy 1.5hp Stealth on waterfall, Polaris 280, iAqualink wifi control, Colorsplash LED pool/spa lights

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Freeze protection

    Timely discussion as I was just looking into this as well. I have a Jandy iAqualink System (iPhone remote) with 2 2 speed Jandy Pumps and a Polaris Booster Pump. It's been running the past few cold snaps this winter and the power consumption, while "cheap" in TX still bugs me. As I've learned more via TFP etc I've noticed one or two "strange" things on our setup. The way the system is setup, the main Filter pump runs 24/7 on LOW. There's no way to stop this save via the Breaker. "High" will kick the filter pump on high and turn on the booster. The waterfall pump has both low and high options. I think it's setup like this due to the number of relays the iAqualink system has but I'm not 100% sure. While I'm sure it will drive some on TFP nuts, the 24/7 doesn't irk me too much. What I HAVE learned though is that because "High" is the only controllable setting, when freeze protection kick on it turns the pump on HIGH and the BOOSTER on sucking 5kW+. Ouch. The Waterfall pump can be set to run on low (~500W) only. In the Freeze protection options the "Filter Pump" Jandy setting can not be turned off so, with my setup, it's HIGH or nothing. Thoughts? I'm tempted to call my builder and see if they can re-wire the relays. I NEVER use the waterfall on HIGH so I wonder if that relay can be used elsewhere to give me more control? Thoughts?

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