Freeze Preparations (TX, LA, GA, AL, FL, etc)

Birdman75

Member
Nov 29, 2021
8
Houston TX
UPDATE FROM MOD @Texas Splash : For those who typically do NOT close their pool, please jump to post #51 (page 3) HERE for a starting snapshot of what to do during these harsh winter events.

Forecast says we could see temps in the teens next week. I am concened about my pool equipment freezing and bursting the plumbing. Should I drain my pool below the skimmer retuns to prevent damage? If so is there a specific submersible pump that I should be looking at?
 
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gkw4815

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2021
61
Memorial Villages, TX
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Following as I'm also in Houston. I experienced the 2021 freeze, but we didn't own our house/pool at the time.

For now I'm planning to leave the pool running in freeze protect mode, after verifying that all valves that could trap water are at least partially open. I have a large tri-fuel portable generator that can power the house and pool equipment if needed.

If I lose power and cannot use the generator, I'll drain all of the equipment and leave empty water bottles in the skimmers (so they'll crush if ice forms, saving the skimmer housing). I wasn't planning to drain water below the skimmers as I've heard that leaving the water line too close to the underwater lights can damage them if ice forms (plus I'd have no way to lower the water level anyways without the generator).

Hoping some experts here can chime in on whether this is a good plan.
 

1poolman1

0
In The Industry
Jul 14, 2014
3,182
Sacramento
Forecast says we could see temps in the teens next week. I am concened about my pool equipment freezing and bursting the plumbing. Should I drain my pool below the skimmer retuns to prevent damage? If so is there a specific submersible pump that I should be looking at?
To do it right, you need to drain equipment, drain pool below return lines, and blow out the water (use a shop vac with reverse air flow). Another option is to run the pump 24/7. Draining and clearing equipment and lines is, usually, the safest option if you expect a power outage.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
28,155
Bedford, TX
75,

The people that had problems, when we had big freeze, did not have problems because of the cold, they had problems because they lost AC power. As long as you have power, you should not have to drain your pool.

When the power went out, they did not drain their filters and pumps before they froze. That is where most of the damage occurred.

The key here is to know how to drain your pumps and filter, now and not have to figure it out in the middle of the night. "Where did I put that wrench" is not what you need say when it is dark out. :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Silva1181

Silver Supporter
Apr 9, 2019
171
Houston
Pool Size
14200
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
How's it going, I am preparing for what's supposed to be freezing temps this weekend in Houston. I wrapped the pipes around my equipment with insulation tubing as best as I could. Also covered the pipes with moving blankets and a tarp. My plan is to run the pump 24/7 beginning Thursday 12/22 through the weekend, and hoping we don't lose power. If power is lost I will empty the filter by opening the air valve. I also read I am supposed to empty the pump. How exactly is the pump emptied?

Thanks,
 
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Silva1181

Silver Supporter
Apr 9, 2019
171
Houston
Pool Size
14200
Surface
Plaster
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Thanks. So if we lose power, my steps are to immediately empty the filter by opening the air relief valve on top, then close it. Then, unscrew the drain plugs from the pump and let the water drain out, then place the plugs back in?

When I am ready to start the pump again, do I need to open the pump basket and pour water in to the basket?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
40,957
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
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For the filter, remove the drain plug and yes you can also open the air relief which might help water drain a bit easier. You can leave the drain cap off or reinstall it once you feel confident all the water is removed.

For the pump, it would be a good idea to refill the pump pot to help it prime easier.
 

thptrek

0
Bronze Supporter
Dec 18, 2014
31
Houston, TX
I'm in Houston too. I just plan to run my pump at low speed like 1800 rpm continuously to keep water moving. We are not expecting to lose power like last time. However, if we do lose power for extended time I'll open the drain plugs at the bottom of the filter and the pumps to let water out.
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
40,102
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
However, if we do lose power for extended time I'll open the drain plugs at the bottom of the filter and the pumps to let water out.

That will save your pump and filter but if you don't blow water out of your valves you can end up with cracks like this....

a10e0cd4-b02f-40d7-9058-e243c48c8e6a-jpeg.465655
 
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Feximus

Gold Supporter
Sep 10, 2021
9
Houston, TX
Pool Size
16000
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@Silva1181, I was going to ask this same question.

Assuming we keep power, and I have a generator if we don't.

What about the feature pump ( waterfalls and bubblers ). Should I just drain those, or can I just keep them running as well?

Thanks.
 

mfifield01

Well-known member
May 11, 2022
84
Bee Cave, TX
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
The freeze protection should run any pumps. I have mine set to run my filter pump which switches between the pool and spa. My waterfalls (second pump) run constantly as well.

I plan to tarp the whole equipment area and put two drop lights under the tarp. I have a huge equipment pad, so I'll put one drop light on each end. I will put the robot vacuum in the garage as well.
 
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farleyville

Bronze Supporter
Feb 8, 2021
37
Dacula, Ga
Pool Size
19000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
This will be my 2nd Winter with my pool, but this is the first time where we will see winter highs below freezing for three consecutive days. I assume pumps running 24/7 will be enough to protect? As long as we do not have a power failure?
SmartSelect_20221219-205614_The Weather Channel.jpg
smartselect_20221219-205614_the-weather-channel-jpg.465806
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
40,957
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
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Surface
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
I assume pumps running 24/7 will be enough to protect? As long as we do not have a power failure?
Correct. However, be ready with Plan B just in case. Know your equipment drain locations in case of an extended power outage.
 

markayash

0
Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Mar 21, 2016
4,287
Atlanta Ga
This will be my 2nd Winter with my pool, but this is the first time where we will see winter highs below freezing for three consecutive days. I assume pumps running 24/7 will be enough to protect? As long as we do not have a power failure?

smartselect_20221219-205614_the-weather-channel-jpg.465806
Is your pool pad above water level? If so draining the filter and pump is usually enough here if we lose power.
I am kind of a weather freak and don’t think we will get more then just cold temp but if it changes we could get a mess.
I am around Roswell.
 

TF282

Member
Feb 12, 2021
13
DFW, TX
Pool Size
11000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hi all,

What would you do? Located in Dallas/Fort worth and with temps coming slightly worried about losing power. We are going out of town Friday-Sunday for the holidays. Would you gamble and leave running or lower water below skimmers and drain equipment? I have never closed a pool down and doubt I could find someone to help in next two days.
 

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