How to deal with a frozen pool

Leebo

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Well Texas, that was fun wasn’t it? While there’s still some poor weather down south, things are looking up.

We’ve noticed over the last few days many of yinz down south aren’t used to what we up north call “Winter.” We’ve compiled a list of some very simple tips and tricks to help you out as the cold snap breaks and you get back to your regularly scheduled weather. This list is nowhere near a complete guide, but with some help we’ll get your pool back up and running in no time. If you do run into any issues we ask that you please start a new thread so we can give you some customized advice.
  • Be extremely careful when walking around your deck
    • Let’s be honest, you just saw your first actual winter weather. Fun isn’t it! It does get better!! That wet spot on the ground turns to ice when it’s cold outside, and that ice is slicker than snot. Be extremely careful when walking that you don’t end up on your rear because I promise, it hurts like heck!
    • Keep a very close eye on little ones! Kids and puppy’s will be very interested in exploring. Keep every set of eyeballs you have on them as the deck is a very dangerous area right now.
  • Be prepared for additional power outages
    • Once things start to come back online there’s good odds you’ll see spotty service at first in addition to the possibility of cool weather. If your pump is already dry, it maybe a good idea to wait a few days to let everything catch back up before restarting. Rushing out and blasting that pump on high will only cause additional demand on the grid
    • If you do restart, don’t rely on your SWG. With this cold water it’s not gonna work. Prepare to use some bleach
  • DON’T force ANYTHING!!
    • If it’s frozen, walk away. There’s no need to go dumping hot water onto a pipe simply to heat it up. The expansion and contraction is what tends to break stuff. If it’s stuck, don’t force it. In time it’ll warm up and odds say it’ll move on it’s own again. Forcing that valve to open will only cause it to break
  • Don’t go smashing things with a hammer!
    • Odds say your pool will have a layer of ice in it, it’s ok. There’s no need smashing up the ice, in fact it could make things worse. Liner pools can have their liner torn or smaller chunks of ice could get sucked into places you don’t want them. If it’s frozen, leave it alone!
  • Careful when you reinsert the drain plugs
    • Many people are going to be re-inserting the plugs for the first time ever. Take a few minutes and make sure they’re not cross-threaded. If you see any leaks, somethings not right.
    • If the plugs were removed, take a second to lube them before inserting them back in
  • It’ll be awhile before your pool turns green
    • Algae has a very difficult time growing in cold water. Because of this odds say your pool won’t turn green overnight. Don’t rush to start things simply because you want to avoid algae
    • If you do find yourself very low on chlorine, dump some liquid chlorine into the pool and brush the walls. By brushing it’ll mix the chlorine into the water without the need of a running pump
  • If your pump isn’t priming, don’t stress out!
    • If you were one who totally drained your system there’s a good chance the pump is going to need a TON of water to get it’s prime back. If it doesn’t catch a prime right off the bat, keep adding water. Odds say it’ll prime in time.
  • Inspect everything for damage.
    • This is a tip that I suggest all pool owners do at least yearly no matter the weather. Now that your system is off-line, what better time to peak at all the parts for tears, leaks, or any other general damage?
    • While you’re at it, what better time to lube all the o-rings and gaskets? The system has taken a beating the last week or so, since you’re not going to go swimming, give things some maintenance.
  • Be prepared for leaks
    • While the likelihood of broken pipes is small, there is a chance. If you have any fears of a leak it’s in your best interest to preform a bucket test to see if all is well or if you have a dreaded leak.
  • If you do happen to have a leak, take a look at this article on repairing pvc. There’s some good tips to help you out.

Above all we encourage you to take your time! There’s no need to go out there and rush things. As a fellow enthusiast I get it and am proud of your go get em spirit. But the hidden parts will take longer to thaw. Like that frozen feed pipe that looks ok and then sucks a hand grenade sized ice chunk through the pump. Please don’t rush things, go back inside and enjoy a bowl of Chili you made during the cold.
 

JJ_Tex

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I had to google the term "yinz" as that is not something we are familiar with. Also, make sure that Chili does not have beans in it... or better yet, go get some Whataburger or make a run to Buc-ee's.

Thank y'all for all of your help.
 

pb4uswim

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2020
126
Michigan
Best wishes to all that were caught up in this mess. It’s no fun dealing with winter and I’m in the north and am prepared for it. I can’t imagine what you all are going through - pool and everything else. Are thoughts are with you. Please stay safe.
 

Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
6,505
NY
Hey Lee, your post got featured !! I guess you ‘know a guy’.

I’d like to take this opportunity to point out what just went down. In all the hubabaloo and scrambling it was easy to miss. But. It was spectacular and needs to be said.

We had oodles of members living the struggle helping other members with their new found tricks and tips.

We had Northern folks come out of the woodwork to help advise and keep people calm. Folks that normally would have been relatively absent in the off season took a break from curling to pitch in. (Well, ok. Curling IS kinda boring).

Folks who might have checked in once or twice a day we’re living here like a full time job. At times for them it felt like being a short order cook at a busy diner on a Sunday morning. But the love was epic.

It was yet another testament to the community who looks out for each other and pitches in when the chips are down. Bravo to all.

To anyone finding us for the first time, The community can help you, and OH Boy will they kindly help you.
 
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YippeeSkippy

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Jan 17, 2012
15,631
Evans, Georgia
Back in my disaster medical assistance days when we'd get deployed, we always judged how well life was returning to a disaster area by the Waffle House and Wallyworld Index. Have they opened again? Up and running??
*My* question today is- How'd Buc-ees do!? <-----loves that place for the kitsch and yummies. And the CLEANEST bathrooms ever!

Maddie :flower:
 

ajw22

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When replacing pump lids and plugs that have O rings using Pool Lube can help the O ring seal and fix the small leaks or drips. Do not over tighten drain plugs to try and stop a drip. Over tightening can cause cracks. The O ring with lube should seal a drain using hand tighting.

 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Careful when you reinsert the drain plugs
  • Many people are going to be re-inserting the plugs for the first time ever. Take a few minutes and make sure they’re not cross-threaded. If you see any leaks, somethings not right.
And lube them.. if its the first time you have ever taken them out, they are probably ready for a bit of silicon.

It was yet another testament to the community who looks out for each other and pitches in when the chips are down. Bravo to all.
Here Here!
 

Turbo1Ton

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Dec 26, 2019
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I had to google the term "yinz" as that is not something we are familiar with. Also, make sure that Chili does not have beans in it... or better yet, go get some Whataburger or make a run to Buc-ee's.

Thank y'all for all of your help.

Chili without beans is called meat sauce.

Buc-ee's is insane. Never have I seen 100 gas pumps at once. I'm surprised I didn't walk out of that place with a full home remodel.

Whataburger is the best.

--Jeff
 

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HeyEng

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Nov 7, 2018
687
Oklahoma City, OK
Whataburger is the best.

Only opinion I can express within the forum rules is: WRONG! :)

But much thanks to all that have helped. *IF* you have been helped in some way, shape, or form and haven't considered becoming a financial supporter...please give this some reconsideration. The ROI is about as good as it gets outside of bitcoin. :LOL:
 

Leebo

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Jul 21, 2011
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Eastern Ohio
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When replacing pump lids and plugs that have O rings using Pool Lube can help the O ring seal and fix the small leaks or drips. Do not over tighten drain plugs to try and stop a drip. Over tightening can cause cracks. The O ring with lube should seal a drain using hand tighting.


Good addition!!!

And lube them.. if its the first time you have ever taken them out, they are probably ready for a bit of silicon.


Here Here!
Good catch!!!
 
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Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
6,505
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While you’re at it, what better time to lube all the o-rings and gaskets? The system has taken a beating the last week or so, since you’re not going to go swimming, give things some maintenance
Good catch!!!
You caught it already. It just needs to be moved up to the part about the drain plugs for better continuity(y)
 

JoeSelf

Gold Supporter
Jun 18, 2014
757
Glassboro, NJ
Thanks, this is really helpful! Does rain/snow get into the pool by collecting on the lighter-blue tarp on the deck and sliding underneath the cover? Or... maybe that's no big deal / doesn't matter?
I had to google the term "yinz" as that is not something we are familiar with. Also, make sure that Chili does not have beans in it... or better yet, go get some Whataburger or make a run to Buc-ee's.

Thank y'all for all of your help.

In Philly & the burbs it's "Youse Guys"
 
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mguzzy

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Good catch!!!
So to add to that.. I pulled some drain plugs that hadn't been removed in a while only to find out they were cracked and wouldn't make a good seal when I tried to reuse them.. I see you added "lube them" to your list, perhaps add inspect them for cracks too.

Hey this would whole procedure would be a good Wiki topic.. I didn't see anything on winterizing, How to prep for a freeze, How to deal with an unexpected freeze you weren't prepared for, and How to recover from a freeze.
 
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ajw22

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Hey this would whole procedure would be a good Wiki topic.. I didn't see anything on winterizing, How to prep for a freeze, How to deal with an unexpected freeze you weren't prepared for, and How to recover from a freeze.




 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Those of us in the Northern latitudes "close" our pool for the winter by "winterizing" it.
Right.. but those in the southern and western states really don't... what you do as a part of your regular routine, would be an emergency procedure for us warm weather birds.. and as yall Txn's just experienced. And I have been using the Wiki more often as my go to for procedural stuff, so that was the first place I looked.
 
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