Few days of below freezing temp. What to do?

MCF50

Well-known member
Aug 18, 2020
292
Houston
Our water temp holding pretty steady at 42.....still have power. Fingers crossed. I have walked a couple friends thru what to do when they lost power. They had no idea where drain plugs were, etc. etc. One friend cannot get to his filter drain plug (plumbers did a bad job running lines). One pump is streaming water out. Assume this is water from the filter?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,033
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
One pump is streaming water out. Assume this is water from the filter?

You mean with the pump off and drain plugs removed from the pump? Then it is water draining from the system.
 

gocubs418

Well-known member
May 3, 2016
389
Dallas/TX
Our water temp holding pretty steady at 42.....still have power. Fingers crossed. I have walked a couple friends thru what to do when they lost power. They had no idea where drain plugs were, etc. etc. One friend cannot get to his filter drain plug (plumbers did a bad job running lines). One pump is streaming water out. Assume this is water from the filter?
Your water is at 42 degrees? How?
 

Adamphotoman

Well-known member
Aug 18, 2018
295
Dieppe New Brunswick
Pool Size
91000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
We freeze solid up here North of the 49th. I have winterized after snow and freeze but I did not run into loosing Power to run my pump 24/7. Every fall we drain everything and blow out the pool lines. We add RV antifreeze to the lines. We blow out the water from the heater and force antifreeze through the heater so the small lines in the heater get protected. The empty 5 liter jugs are used in the skimmer in place of a gizmo. All this is routine for us. Sorry you folks in Texas are getting such problems.
 
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HeyEng

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Nov 7, 2018
846
Oklahoma City, OK
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
The minute my pool temp reached 32-33 degrees, everything started going south. One of the pumps started to really struggle while I was out there checking so we shut it down and there was slush building in the pump. Went ahead and decided to pull all of the plugs and hope for the best. If you can make the decision in daylight, I think you’ll be glad you didn’t wait. Draining the heater in the dark was a pain and we knew where all of the plugs were. It was just harder in the dark/cold.
That is good information. There has been some advice that tarping/warming the equipment isn't necessary if there is water flowing, but I don't think that is advisable if the water temp is below 32 and the ambient temps are in the single digits (or lower). We have two heat lamps and a chicken coop warmer under our equipment pad and the -5 degree ambient temp last night finally pushed the ambient air in the pad area to 26 degrees. I am pretty sure had I not run the pool heater yesterday, we would been dealing with the same issue as you. I am not under any illusion that I won't be pulling plugs, soon. We still have two more nights of below zero temps and the pool water temp has gone from 80 to 55 in less than 24 hours.
 

vgomez1

Silver Supporter
Oct 13, 2017
36
McKinney, TX
If I lose power for too long, I plan to do the following:
1. Secure power
2. Drain the filter
(will backwash work?)
3. Drain pump
4. Drain heater.
Is this a necessary step?
Do I have to turn off the gas to the heater?

Thx!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,033
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
If I lose power for too long, I plan to do the following:
1. Secure power
2. Drain the filter
(will backwash work?) No, pull the drain plug at the bottom of the filter.
3. Drain pump
4. Drain heater.
Is this a necessary step? Yes, pull the drain plugs in the water header.
Do I have to turn off the gas to the heater? Yes, and check the manual if you need to pull the water pressure switch.
 

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PaigeMark

Silver Supporter
Jun 13, 2019
170
Tulsa, OK
That is good information. There has been some advice that tarping/warming the equipment isn't necessary if there is water flowing, but I don't think that is advisable if the water temp is below 32 and the ambient temps are in the single digits (or lower). We have two heat lamps and a chicken coop warmer under our equipment pad and the -5 degree ambient temp last night finally pushed the ambient air in the pad area to 26 degrees. I am pretty sure had I not run the pool heater yesterday, we would been dealing with the same issue as you. I am not under any illusion that I won't be pulling plugs, soon. We still have two more nights of below zero temps and the pool water temp has gone from 80 to 55 in less than 24 hours.
When you mentioned firing up your heater, we made the decision to give it a go. It’s an old unit and we were weighing risks. Unfortunately, we waited too long. The water temp was 32 and the heater went into Low Temp Lockout. I have no clue if that can be overridden and we didn’t think we had time to figure it out. That’s when we noticed the one pump struggling and threw in the towel. I’ve been second-guessing my decision but now we’re hearing rumors of rolling blackouts so maybe not. There is a silver lining...I’ve been sleeping in 1-2 hour intervals so I could run out and check that everything is running and that we’re not burning down the side of the house with our heat sources in the tent outside (we’ve heated and covered all week) and I didn’t have to do any of that last night. Hoping you’ll have better luck than me!
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,173
NY
I wish to apologize to all in the midst of this. We all saw the weather forecast. Mine in NY was just as bad originally. And then 3 days before, they changed their minds and declared it would be 25 degrees warmer at freezing levels here and not sub-sub freezing I’ve been anxiously awaiting your weather to lighten up as well. For those in the thick of things right now, the usually overhyped future weather report somehow not only lived up to the hype but got worse in some areas.

looking back I don’t know how we could have gotten hundreds of members to learn how to do closings and pipe blowouts on the fly with a few days warning. For every person posting there are many more simply reading/lurking. People would have done things incomplete or wrong and created totally new problems. I don’t know how we could have known, or what we could have done better, but my heart is with all y’all.
 

Bketchum5

Active member
Jun 17, 2018
39
edmond,OK
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thank you all for the replies to questions. Now that my plugs are pulled albeit not much drained out when I did do I just leave them unplugged until the temperature gets back above freezing which could be a week?

and will my pipes freeze?
My skimmer has a couple of antifreeze bottles so I think I’m ok there.
My spa/spillover is frozen at least 2-3-4 inches. Will that put pressure on the spa wells?
 

Bketchum5

Active member
Jun 17, 2018
39
edmond,OK
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I poured some warm (not hot) water into the pump basket and it removed enough slush to drain. The plug for the motor wasn’t draining so I put the plug back on the basket drain and poured more warm water in. A few minutes later, it came pouring out of that motor drain plug so I could remove both again. Might try that?
Thanks
 
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Bketchum5

Active member
Jun 17, 2018
39
edmond,OK
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Quick question: do I need to turn the gas supply to heater off? And why?
 

gocubs418

Well-known member
May 3, 2016
389
Dallas/TX
1 hour 45 minutes without power. Almost pulled the plug.

Pump started operation just fine. I am wondering if I should raise the RPMs up from 2000 to 2500.

Any reason to get out there and beat the ice up? Possibly my salt water is saving my butt.
 
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