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Thread: During freezing temperatures--Question

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    During freezing temperatures--Question

    I am currently running my pump to keep pipes from freezing in 28 degree overnight temp. However, I have some waterfalls that I have not diverted water to for 1 month. Should I divert water through all these pipes too? Will it matter? Thanks.
    John Downing
    El Paso, TX

    16,500 IG, Plaster, DE filter, Pentair FNS Plus 48, 1 HP WhisperFlow NOT variable speed, 5+ years ago.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: During freezing temperatures--Question

    Welcome to TFP John!

    A few things come to mind. Are they run by a second pump, and is it, and it's pipes insulated? If not, that would be my first concern. I imagine I would if that were the case. How much rock or other material is surrounding the pipes feeding the water features also come to mind. Are they actual waterfalls made from boulders. or something smaller like sheer descents? All this may be moot by the time you read it this morning. I'm in Midland and haven't had any house or shop plumbing freeze as of this AM.
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: During freezing temperatures--Question

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD5000
    I am currently running my pump to keep pipes from freezing in 28 degree overnight temp. However, I have some waterfalls that I have not diverted water to for 1 month. Should I divert water through all these pipes too? Will it matter? Thanks.
    At 28 F and a 10 MPH wind, it would take over 15 hours to freeze a 1.5" pipe so you shouldn't really need freeze protection at that temperature. It takes much colder temperatures before freezing becomes a real issue. Smaller pipes, such as for cleaners might freeze sooner so you might want to drain those. Also, waterfalls should naturally drain below ground level so those should not be an issue. Just open the waterfall valves after shutting off the pumps and they should drain.
    Mark
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    Re: During freezing temperatures--Question

    Mark, I suspect this may be a regional typical weather pattern thing, but it should be noted that extended freezing periods even if they don't get much colder than 28 degrees can cause frozen pipe problems. For example a few years ago I had a problem with a frozen pipe (not around the pool) when the weather was in the mid to upper 20's, as luck would have it we had 3 overcast days where the high was around freezing and the lows were in the mid 20's.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: During freezing temperatures--Question

    Definitely, time below freezing is a factor which is why I put a time frame on my estimate (15 hrs). At 22F, it shortens the time frame to about 9.5 hrs. But these are really conservative estimates because most equipment is near a house so sheltered from the wind somewhat. But definitely, if you have freezing temps for multiple days, other measures must be taken to prevent pipe freezing.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
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    Re: During freezing temperatures--Question

    Thanks for the information. I had no problems but have run the water through both returns (same pump, simple sheer falls from wall on left of pool). Now I am wondering, though, if I should winterize my pool here in El Paso to save on electricity. Thoughts?
    John Downing
    El Paso, TX

    16,500 IG, Plaster, DE filter, Pentair FNS Plus 48, 1 HP WhisperFlow NOT variable speed, 5+ years ago.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: During freezing temperatures--Question

    Unless your pool water freezes, which I doubt, then your pool will likely get significant algae unless you keep chlorine in the pool over winter. Also, I don't think our climates are all that different so maybe my experience will be useful to you since I do not close my pool but we do get sub freezing temperatures.

    The first thing you can do is minimize pump run time for the method of chlorination. Don't worry so much about the debris falling in the pool but just make sure you have enough chlorine to keep algae out of the pool.

    I am not sure how you chlorinate the pool but if it is manual, you really won't need much run time at all. Maybe 30 minutes per day for the chlorine distribution. If you have a liquidator or SWG or a feeder, then there will be a minimum run time to keep chlorine levels up.

    As for freeze protection. I do not use freeze protection because our air temps do not get much below 25F and the duration of below 32F is usually less than 8 hours. I have found that my pipes do not freeze solid during this time period. However, your conditions may be worse than that and if so, there are alternatives to using freeze protection.

    Draining the pad equipment is very effective and can tolerate sub-freezing temps for many days because the under ground pipes take much much longer before they will start to freezing. Another option is to tarp the equipment and place a low wattage incandescent light bulb under the tarp to raise the air temp above freezing. This is far more economical than running the pump to prevent freezing.

    Keeping the pool open during the winter may cost a little more in pump energy but it will save you a lot of time in the spring.
    Mark
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    Re: During freezing temperatures--Question

    Excellent post, mas985.

    Those of who have had pools for many years know a lot of this but folks experiencing winter for the first or second time still have a lot to get familiar with.

    On a side note, (I do not close at all) the temp went to 17F a couple of nights ago. My equipment is inside a heated building and pipes all underground so I didn't turn on the pump.

    Below freezing for probably 10-12 hours, there wasn't even a skim of ice on my pool surface anywhere.
    Dave S.
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    Re: During freezing temperatures--Question

    Last year I closed the pool, and decided to let it go this winter and run the pump when needed.

    So far, I've run the pump over night a couple times, and it looks like I'll be running the pump and booster for the next couple nights.

    I may look into a timer and freeze protection next season.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: During freezing temperatures--Question

    If it is that cold, I would choose to drain the pad equipment instead. It is more cost effective and more freeze protective.

    But looking at your weather, I don't think you have to worry about the pipes freezing. Last night it was below freezing for only 5 hours and it only got down to 26F. It would take close to 16 hours before the pipes froze. The booster line might be a little more vulnerable because it is smaller so you want to make sure that is drained.
    Mark
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: During freezing temperatures--Question

    On a side note, I added a home standby generator a few years ago, and I remember the electrician thinking I was crazy to want the pool pump to be one of the circuits wired to the generator for emergency loads. (it is not so much to protect pipes which are indoors or underground, but instead it was to protect the solar heater which is set up with automatic freeze recirculation protection.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: During freezing temperatures--Question

    Don't your panels drain automatically with the pump off via a VRV?
    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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