Freeze Protection and Scuppers


Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
Prosper, TX (DFW)
This is my first winter with a pool and we are getting our first hard freeze of the year. I have the pentair intellicenter with freeze protection, which should kick on when the temps drop below 38 degrees, then cycle through pool mode and spa mode when freezing. My question is around the 3 scuppers/water features.

If we are using them, I typically will run the pump at max rpms, and also adjust the bubblers and returns down so ensure we are getting good flow from the scuppers and they arent dribbling down the wall. While this works fine when we are swimming for a few hours and want to use the scuppers, I'm not sure this is my best option for freeze protections. As I see it, my options are:

- Turn off the scupper valve at the equipment pad (as it usually is), as well as turn off the 3 scupper valves buried behind the wall. The risk here being that the scuppers essentially wouldnt be covered by the freeze protection for any water left in the lines.

- Turn on the scuppers, run the pump at a lowish rpms and let the freeze guard do its thing. I understand this should protect the pipes, but at rpms under 3,000 there will be some dribbling of water from the scupper to the back of the wall.

- Turn on the scuppers, run the pump at high rpms and let the freeze guard do its thing. This would reduce/eliminate the water splashing on the walls, but then I'm running at high rpms for extended periods of time which I dont love.

What say you TFPers? What is my best option? Also note that the only automated valves I have are to switch between pool and spa mode. The returns, scuppers and bubbler are on separate manual valves at the pad.

Lastly, I'm in Dallas. I'm not really that worried about this freeze as we will get to the low 20's but then be well above freezing most of the day. But, in January we can get below freezing and stay there for the majority of the day at times. I want to test everything this freeze so that I'm ready for upcoming freezes.


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

In the past I have not done anything with my waterfall, which is basically three "scuppers".. Last year it froze more than it had in the past, but did not cause any damage as the pipes into each scupper are open...

This year, I just shut the valve off at the equipment pad and used a small suction pump and drained the water in the waterfall pipes down below the ground level.


Jim R.