I'm having an argument with the wife over adding our waterfall pumps to the system's automatic freeze protection. They are separate from the main pool pump which runs when temps get near freezing (the waterfall pumps can be optionally added or not). the pipes are 2 and half inches . Instead of running all the pumps (they cycle when on auto freeze protection), I just want to cover the waterfall equipment with a large heavy blanket and not run them at all. why waste the energy since , from what I have read, it would take several hours of low 20s temps to impact that equipment. If temps were forecasted to get that low, then I would add the waterfall pumps to the auto freeze protection.I am not a big fan of using freeze protection because it gives you a false sense of security and based upon many posts on this site, tends to fail in one way or another especially when the power fails. In addition, it turns on far too soon and wastes energy. It is easy to use but not fool proof.
We haven't reached freezing temps yet but we usually get down to low 20s and usually not for more than about 8 hours. I haven't used freeze protection now for about 8 winters without incident. I know Texas has a bit more extreme temperatures but if temps should get below 25F or below freezing for more than 8 hours, there are alternatives to freeze protection:
1) Cover the equipment pad with a tarp and put a 60 watt light bulb underneath the tarp. This is more than enough to prevent anything under the tarp from freezing (unless you are way up north). But this is still susceptible to power outages.