How are my fellow Texans doing this morning lol

TexasBR

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2020
90
Houston, TX
So if my pool is running fine now (no freezing anywhere) and I want to make the best choice to protect everything, are you saying draining the equipment is the safest thing to do? If so, I’d rather be miserable for half an hour doing that and be at peace these next few days. Currently equip is blanketed and tarped with a 40 watt bulb.
That's what I ended up doing. I drained the pump and the filter, and came through fine. Everything is back up and running now.
 

TexasBR

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2020
90
Houston, TX
What's everyones plan if there are any rolling blackouts?
People in our subdivision are talking about how that might happen. At what point or how long of outage do you throw the towel in?
We have now learned that the idea of a "rolling blackout" is not to be trusted.
It turned out to be a multiple-day blackout in actuality.
 

BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
393
Katy, Texas
Interesting thread. Lots of posts on Monday, and then it went dark until today. I read in Barrons that Heather Zichal of the trade group America Clean Power (can you guess what they promote?) called this "once in a generation cold weather." That's what happens with Millenials writing for publication. A generation is now ten years.

Back to the point. My Pentair VSP pump has freeze protection turned on, and I have a 20kw Kohler standby generator (that started every single time even in 10 degrees, and racked up about 48-50 hours of run time without a hiccup) that kept the pump running. I did discover a weak point, though. Making any changes to settings or speed requires a connection to Pentair servers, so I must have Internet. Electricity is not enough. And apparently Comcast/Xfinity does not have backup power, so when my neighborhood lost power, I had no Internet and no communication to the equipment. I could manually start, stop, and make minor changes to the VSP via the panel, but the Whisperflo pump for water features has no panel. By the time I realized what was going on and got sufficiently bundled to to look, the Whisperflo was frozen. Actually it still is, as my equipment is in an area perpetually shaded in winter. Even though it's 52 degrees now, there is still snow and ice on the ground. I'll just leave the Whisperflo to defrost on its own and then I'll see the damage.

BTW, as someone suggested early in this thread, I was one who lost the backflow preventer for the autofill. Vertical pvc pipe above the T on a faucet snapped, and there was also a nonreplaceable cracked brass part inthe mechanism. Luckily the size of the pvc pip exiting the faucet was just the right size to plug with a wine cork, with zip ties to secure it. I've notified the winery. Maybe they'll send me a case of Zinfandel. New backflow preventer installed. Wallet is lighter than before. Fingers cross on the Whisperflo pump.
 

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,296
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Just a friendly reminder to our Dallas area people, that we will be getting another freeze into the 20's tonight. Tonight is more typical of our normal winter freezes where it is only below freezing for a few hours, but with so many pools off and in disarray right now, I would hate for someone to survive this past week of heck only to get damage tonight.

I still have ice chunks on my pool and am leaving my equipment pad covered for a few more days.
 

Sandi DC

Bronze Supporter
Dec 16, 2019
47
South TX
Poteet TX story: We were jolted awake at 2:30 am by our smoke detectors all going off. (a different discussion, I suppose, but we think it saved our pump.) Power had been off for approx 45 minutues. We bundled up and shut off the circuit breaker, hooked up a generator, drained the pump and filters and dropped our water level to the bottom of the tile. Today we have decided to get things running again, but will first try to deal with a high CH level that we have had all year since the water level is already greatly reduced. Our pool build was completed 10/2019 and they installed that nature...something or other cartridge. We believe this is how the CH level got to where it was?? We joined TFP 3/2020 and y"all got me on the right path and all has been well, but I have to add acid frequently to keep the CSI in line as my PH prefers to hang out around 7.8-8.0. My husband is planning to pull from the bottom drain to reduce the level further. Any advice or wisdom to share regarding what we are plannig to do today?

Thank you!

spigot water test is as follows:
FC .5
CC 0
PH 7.2
ALK 80
CH 100

TEST WATER BEFORE REDUCING FURTHER:
FC 2
CC .5
PH 7.9
ALK 70
CH 480
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
36,275
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
We believe this is how the CH level got to where it was??
The Nature thing does not add CH.

The CH is rising due to adding your tap water due to evaporation. Or you (or someone) has been adding cal hypo.

You can use the pool pump to drop the pool level a few inches. It is, however, recommended to use a sump pump for that purpose. Your $1000+ pump is susceptible to losing prime when pulling from only the main drain and that could result in pump damage. As long as you babysit the pump during the process you should be OK, but do not let it run a long time without physically checking on it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandi DC

Sandi DC

Bronze Supporter
Dec 16, 2019
47
South TX
The Nature thing does not add CH.

The CH is rising due to adding your tap water due to evaporation. Or you (or someone) has been adding cal hypo.

You can use the pool pump to drop the pool level a few inches. It is, however, recommended to use a sump pump for that purpose. Your $1000+ pump is susceptible to losing prime when pulling from only the main drain and that could result in pump damage. As long as you babysit the pump during the process you should be OK, but do not let it run a long time without physically checking on it.
Thanks so much for the advice!
 

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,296
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I took my tarp off, put all of the plugs back in, flipped the breaker and everything kicked on. So far so good.

FatGuyPool Dance.gif

PS - Thank you for everyone's help in all of this. I upgraded my membership to gold since I for sure saved that in having my equipment work out fine in all of this. Please consider doing the same if TFP helped you:

 

johnpkaiser

Bronze Supporter
Aug 12, 2019
104
San Antonio, TX
I'm just curious... Did anyone just remove the plugs, drain the equipment and leave the lids off the pumps, etc and actually fair well through the freeze? I wondered if that was the best route through all of it vs. trying to keep it running all the time with rolling blackouts or in my case, no power for longer periods.. Also did anyone remove the site glass off the compool two way check valves as well?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandi DC

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,296
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I'm just curious... Did anyone just remove the plugs, drain the equipment and leave the lids off the pumps, etc and actually fair well through the freeze? I wondered if that was the best route through all of it vs. trying to keep it running all the time with rolling blackouts or in my case, no power for longer periods.. Also did anyone remove the site glass off the compool two way check valves as well?
I did. I fought and fought the ice and blackouts, but finally had to throw in the towel and drain all of the equipment and watch my pool completely freeze over.

I was pretty nervous, but I put the plugs in this week and fired it up to no known damage.

I will not winterize on an annual basis, but I for sure would pull the trigger on draining the equipment if I see -2 in the forecast again.
 

Sandi DC

Bronze Supporter
Dec 16, 2019
47
South TX
I'm just curious... Did anyone just remove the plugs, drain the equipment and leave the lids off the pumps, etc and actually fair well through the freeze? I wondered if that was the best route through all of it vs. trying to keep it running all the time with rolling blackouts or in my case, no power for longer periods.. Also did anyone remove the site glass off the compool two way check valves as well?
We did due to no electricity. We were jolted awake at 2:30 am by our smoke detectors and considered it a sign from God to go do it. haha! Not knowing how long that would last was just too nerve wracking. We then used a generator to run a sump pump to lower the water level below the skimmer. What a nutty week it was! We were up and running again on Saturday. No damage.
 
  • Like
Reactions: johnpkaiser

wedward

Silver Supporter
Oct 20, 2018
37
McKinney, TX
we lost the battle early on in the week when the power went down for over eight hours the first blip. I had a slow leak from the filter due to the band being old and a replacement bolt/nut, and the system slowly froze up. I tried to drain the heater and filter and other equip but other than the filter everything was dry or frozen up. I think the slow drain at the filter started the demise and allowed air into the system since the chlorine generator was clear and dry. Heater did have some ice spewing out of the baffles below the fittings - which is really the only part that worries me. Manifold drain was dry - had to tear open the fence around the pad to get to it. I had two moving blankets and a thick tarp covering most of the equipment until it died.
Wondering if I should prime and restart to test or get a pro in here to check it out first? Snow all over in the photo since I took pics after the second snowfall in the week.
Image from iOS (3).jpg
 
  • Sad
Reactions: Sandi DC

PaigeMark

Silver Supporter
Jun 13, 2019
159
Tulsa, OK
Wondering if I should prime and restart to test or get a pro in here to check it out first? Snow all over in the photo since I took pics after the second snowfall in the week.
View attachment 177081
I have a similar heater. That little drain plug on the heater snapped off when we tried to remove it in the dark. I was able to get the plug on the other side of the unit off and some sort of pressure release line mounted on top of the return side of the heater manifold opened. My booster pump started to struggle so we shut everything off at the panel and drained four pumps (there was water in the basket that drained on the booster but the second drain plug was clogged with slush so we plugged the basket back up and poured warm water in it until the ice was melted enough to drain from that second plug). Drained the filter, too. It was already an icy mess and we didn’t drain the raised spa so that suction line froze and shattered. Pool noodle pieces in the skimmers worked really well. Covering/insulating the pool filler canister kept it from freezing solid. The debris canister must’ve been deep enough not to freeze. Covered the water valve for the in-floor cleaner with a bucket and blankets. Tented the equipment pad with an old tent, tarps, blankets. Added an incandescent bulb and some heat tape on above ground lines. Everything survived except for the one line I should have drained or wrapped with heat tape. I think I would make the decision to drain the pad earlier if there is a next time. Feeling pretty lucky to have made it with only broken jandy 3-way valve housing and some PVC.

I’m not turning my heater on until I get someone out here to check it out. I will fix pool plumbing but I’m not comfortable with natural gas. My unit is probably due for an inspection anyway.
 
  • Like
Reactions: wedward

Lilypad

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Nov 12, 2016
283
Plano, Texas
I'm just curious... Did anyone just remove the plugs, drain the equipment and leave the lids off the pumps, etc and actually fair well through the freeze?

I did pull plugs, drain filter and pump, put plastic bottles with RV/Marine anti-freeze in the skimmers and tarped the equip pad in advance of the "event". I had 2-3” ice in pool. No damage at all. I just wasn't able to do the midnight ice breaker run and went with my plan hoping I chose well. It worked for me. Just pulled everything apart yesterday, cleaned the cartridges and lubed all gaskets. Added chlorine and a bit of acid and it's good. I feel very fortunate and thankful to all, here, who helped get us through this!
 

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,296
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
A neighbor just reported that someone stole her pool equipment yesterday in the middle of the day. I guess I shouldn't be shocked since they are in high demand, but that is pretty brazen to steal if from an occupied house when you know the occupants are likely at home because of COVID. They were caught on camera, but the car turned out to be a stolen rental, so not much to go on.

One more thing to watch out for I guess.
 

imrodee

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 23, 2012
1,037
Waxahachie, TX
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
By the time we realized the power had gone off thru the night, everything was frozen. Draining was not an option.
 

imrodee

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 23, 2012
1,037
Waxahachie, TX
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
A neighbor just reported that someone stole her pool equipment yesterday in the middle of the day. I guess I shouldn't be shocked since they are in high demand, but that is pretty brazen to steal if from an occupied house when you know the occupants are likely at home because of COVID. They were caught on camera, but the car turned out to be a stolen rental, so not much to go on.

One more thing to watch out for I guess.
That's awfuI!! I hope they catch the thieves. (Dear thieves: don't come to my house - all my stuff is cracked and I can't find parts.)
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support