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Thread: Keeping the pool open in the winter in freezing weather

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    Keeping the pool open in the winter in freezing weather

    I have kept my pool open the last few winters. I always run the pump if it gets below freezing, which is unusual here in Atlanta. We are having a super cold snap now. I am just leaving the pump running 24 hours. Is that the thing to do?

    If the power went off, and the water in the pump froze, would it ruin the pump? Would any other part of the system be damaged?
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the pool open in the winter in freezing weather

    If you lost power, your pump, filter and plumbing could all crack. Putting a tarp over the equipment with a lamp under can help keep stuff warm. If the power goes out, you should open the pump and drain it and drain the filter to hopefully prevent damage.

    Likely running 24 hours is excessive unless the temp is staying below freezing.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Keeping the pool open in the winter in freezing weather

    Thanks for the info. I guess you are correct that keeping it on 24 hours was excessive, but one night it went down to 7 degrees, and it was only coming up to 40 during the day, so I figured better safe than sorry.

    I also wonder about erring in the other direction. For example tonight it is supposed to go down to 30. The hourly forecast says it will only be 30 for a few hours in the middle of the night. I wonder if there is any reason to even turn the pump on for the night.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the pool open in the winter in freezing weather

    Not likely for that short of a time below freezing.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the pool open in the winter in freezing weather

    I agree with jb. I let my pool go without freeze protection and we get below freezing for up to 8 hours a night and down to 20F and still no freeze damage.

    But when it does get really cold there is another option other than running the pump. Assuming your equipment is above pool level, you could just drain the pad equipment by opening the pump basket and filter vent.
    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: Keeping the pool open in the winter in freezing weather

    you could just drain the pad equipment by opening the pump basket and filter vent
    .

    Unfortunately the filter vent if broken. Actually if the filter froze it would not be a great loss because I need to replace eventually. I would hate to have the pump freeze. I did not realize that just opening the pump basket would drain enough water to protect it.

    Another related question. How much does the electricity cost to run a pump for 12 hours?
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the pool open in the winter in freezing weather

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAtlanta
    Another related question. How much does the electricity cost to run a pump for 12 hours?
    Depends on your specific pump model and your cost of electricity.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the pool open in the winter in freezing weather

    Water/Ice expands about 10% when freezing so having just a little air can prevent most freeze damage. Removing the pump basket lid should be enough to prevent freeze damage but opening the drain plugs as well would ensure no damage.

    Also, the filter would probably be the last thing to freeze because it has the most water. It would probably take a couple of days for the filter to freeze solid. The first things to freeze are small hoses such as those used for cleaners. Those can freeze in a couple of hours. But generally, it takes longer than 8 hours for the main piping to freeze unless it gets really cold (<20F).
    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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