Freezing weather

Waiawa

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Dec 10, 2020
111
Round Rock, Texas
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So we are having some freezing weather here in TX, and our electricity has been out for almost 2hrs.
is there something I can do to prevent the pipes from freezing?
Let me have your Hot tips!
 

JJ_Tex

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Jul 17, 2019
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Prosper, TX (DFW)
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Crud... Here is my contingency plan if we lose power for too long.

1. Shut off the breaker so the pump cannot come back on
2. Undo the bottom drain plugs on all equipment (heater, pump, filter, etc.)
3. Open up all valves and the pressure release on your filter to give ice a place to expand
4. Cover the equipment with a tarp

Its a tough call to know when to pull the trigger on the above. Hopefully it comes on soon and you dont have to worry about it, but I would watch it closely and pull the trigger if you start seeing ice forming. Do you have a propane heater that you can put by the equipment pad and buy yourself a bit of time?
 

Leebo

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Get several blankets over the equipment ASAP. Tomorrow if power hasn’t been restored I’d highly suggest draining your pump, filter, and other equipment. Don’t worry so much about pipes underground….worry about your equipment first.
 

Waiawa

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Dec 10, 2020
111
Round Rock, Texas
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Thank you!
I do have a cover over the entire equipment, but it’s just one of those green covers for plants.
Electric company says it should be back on around 11:00 tonight.
I don’t have any heaters...guess I should get one.
 

Leebo

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I wouldn’t try to use something that’s got any sort of flames involved. Too much of a fire hazard. Odds say (if you’ve got power) an old fashioned light 100 watt bulb or maybe a heat lamp will produce enough heat. That said, doesn’t do you much good for now with no power.
 

Waiawa

Silver Supporter
Dec 10, 2020
111
Round Rock, Texas
Pool Size
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I went to 2 grocery stores, Lowes, Home Depot, Target and 2 WalMarts...none of them had a single can of Coleman propane tank...those small 2lb green ones. The shelves were cleared out, only empty boxes...sheesh!
Good thing is electricity just came on about 30 minutes ago.
Going to see if I can get one of those moving blue blankets around the filter and heater tomorrow, and something for the pump.

Would covering it like a tent be good, or should I wrap the equipment?
I'm thinking the equipment would need to breath some...I am using one of those green plant covers now, but it's kine of thin.
Monday is going to be the worse day for us here...better get something in place by then!
Thank you for the advice/suggestions!
 

Leebo

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Having the power on is a major win for sure. Now let’s plan on it happening again and get you ready. 👍

Using a tarp and building a “tent” around the equipment would be a major help. This will block any wind and rain plus help keep some heat inside. Assuming you’ve got power, place a heat lamp or incandescent bulb under that tarp. This will help block the wind plus provide small amounts of heat to your equipment. This plus keeping your equipment running on high should help while you have power.

If it goes out again be prepared to pull any plugs in the equipment to drain all the water. Know how to drain everything. Don’t worry so much about the plumbing if the power goes out, focus on the equipment. Once everything is drained then go ahead and wrap the pump with a blanket and such to give extra warmth.
 

dkellerd

Active member
Mar 24, 2012
37
Yukon, OK
Pool Size
32000
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I’m in Oklahoma and will have below freezing temps for the next 5 days. My pool is open, VS pump running at 2650rpm over night...and this morning there is a layer of ice on my pool. This same thing happened yesterday and we removed all ice from the water...but it’s back. There is 15” of snow forecasted for tomorrow. I’m leaning towards closing my pool today...so I need to drain my sand filter and my pump, right? Do I need to remove the ice and drain pool below the returns? And also blow out water from returns?
Thanks!
 

jimbethesda

Gold Supporter
Jul 2, 2018
489
Austin, TX
Having the power on is a major win for sure. Now let’s plan on it happening again and get you ready. 👍

Using a tarp and building a “tent” around the equipment would be a major help. This will block any wind and rain plus help keep some heat inside. Assuming you’ve got power, place a heat lamp or incandescent bulb under that tarp. This will help block the wind plus provide small amounts of heat to your equipment. This plus keeping your equipment running on high should help while you have power.

If it goes out again be prepared to pull any plugs in the equipment to drain all the water. Know how to drain everything. Don’t worry so much about the plumbing if the power goes out, focus on the equipment. Once everything is drained then go ahead and wrap the pump with a blanket and such to give extra warmth.
My power is back on, but I’m fully anticipating it going off again on Sunday/Monday. Forecast for 5 inches of snow a high temp of 19 and a low of 7! So...a few questions.

If the power is on, I think I’ll be fine. I’ll just keep water flowing. If it goes out, you say to drain water from the equipment. How do I do that? When I remove the top part of my pump to empty the basket, the water goes glug-glug and drains. Is that what I do? Then what about my filter? How do I drain from that? Anything else to drain and/or valves to shut.

Thanks! Our forecasted high temperature on Monday is the lowest since records were kept staring in 1890!!! We are not really set up for this kind of weather.
 
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JJ_Tex

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Jul 17, 2019
2,296
Prosper, TX (DFW)
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If it goes out, you say to drain water from the equipment. How do I do that? When I remove the top part of my pump to empty the basket, the water goes glug-glug and drains. Is that what I do? Then what about my filter? How do I drain from that? Anything else to drain and/or valves to shut.
There are actual drain plugs that you unscrew at the bottom of your equipment. The Intelliflow looks like tan colored thumb screws, similar to my heater plugs. My filter has a larger black colored plug at the bottom front that will need pliers to remove. I would figure out how to do all of that now before you need to.

Also, no valves to shut, in fact open all of them including the pressure relief valve on the filter. You want to give any remaining water in your equipment/pipes as much freedom to move around and expand as it freezes so it doesnt break anything.
 
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jimbethesda

Gold Supporter
Jul 2, 2018
489
Austin, TX
There are actual drain plugs that you unscrew at the bottom of your equipment. The Intelliflow looks like tan colored thumb screws, similar to my heater plugs. My filter has a larger black colored plug at the bottom front that will need pliers to remove. I would figure out how to do all of that now before you need to.

Also, no valves to shut, in fact open all of them including the pressure relief valve on the filter. You want to give any remaining water in your equipment/pipes as much freedom to move around and expand as it freezes so it doesnt break anything.
Thanks. How about the heater?
 

JJ_Tex

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Jul 17, 2019
2,296
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
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SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
My heater plug is similar to the pump plug, but black and just under the input/output pipes.

Here is the actual drain plug on the heater:


And the pump:
 
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jimbethesda

Gold Supporter
Jul 2, 2018
489
Austin, TX
My heater plug is similar to the pump plug, but black and just under the input/output pipes.

Here is the actual drain plug on the heater:


And the pump:
I’ve located all my drain plugs. Thanks again.
 
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Waiawa

Silver Supporter
Dec 10, 2020
111
Round Rock, Texas
Pool Size
13860
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Jimbethesda - I just ordered 12' of this insulating tubing with the slit for easy on/off. I still have my cover on keeping all the PVC pipes out of the view of the sky.
And according to Marks post and experience, I don't think freezing will happen. I'm placing a bottle of water under the tarp to see if it freezes...hopefully not.

Here's additional info from Marks post back in 2018...very informative for sure.

 
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HeyEng

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Nov 7, 2018
686
Oklahoma City, OK
I am a little north of you in OKC and it's a warm and balmy 14 degrees right now. All has been good at the equipment pad with the two heat lamps and chicken coop warmer...but alas, the pool water temp is now at 34 degrees. Seeing how it's going to get far colder in the next few days (single digits and as low as -10 or -15?!?) there is no way the pool water is going to stay above freezing. The pool was put in nearly 14 years ago and has never been winterized....but guess that is going to change today. :(
 

PaigeMark

Silver Supporter
Jun 13, 2019
159
Tulsa, OK
I am a little north of you in OKC and it's a warm and balmy 14 degrees right now. All has been good at the equipment pad with the two heat lamps and chicken coop warmer...but alas, the pool water temp is now at 34 degrees. Seeing how it's going to get far colder in the next few days (single digits and as low as -10 or -15?!?) there is no way the pool water is going to stay above freezing. The pool was put in nearly 14 years ago and has never been winterized....but guess that is going to change today. :(

I’m just NE of you and wondering the same. Right now, everything is covered and running fine. I’m ready to drain and cover everything if I need to do so. At what point should I just throw in the towel and go ahead and drain it even if I have power? Is the decision directly tied to pool water temperature? Thx for all of the help. I’ve been lurking and learning so much. Just a caution for you all...please be careful going to and from your equipment pad. My husband took a nasty fall at 2am yesterday when we had to go out to restart a pump. He’s headed to the doctor today to check for broken ribs. The pool freezing is just not worth getting hurt. (end of Mom speech)
 

dianedebuda

Gold Supporter
Jan 2, 2018
440
Austin TX
I'm another cryophobic (Fear of Cold) just south of Austin. 😩 I have a bonus card though: my pool developed a leak somewhere about a month ago & I'm having to add 1-1/2" of water every day so that the level doesn't drop below the skimmer. So if I can't add water for a couple of days, it's gonna be a problem. 😖 Guess I'll see if I can pull only from the main ok. If so, then I have to decide if I want to gamble on the electric staying on; if not, gonna have to drain equip pad. I spent the whole summer putting it together, so I'm intimately familiar with it. :ROFLMAO:

We're all in the same boat. 😭:D On the bright side, did you see that the Austin forecast is 70° for the following Sunday, 2/21? (y)
 
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