Need help to protect non-winterized pool from rare extended freezing temps in north Texas

Feb 11, 2021
1
Fort Worth TX
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Hi, I am in a small town near Fort Worth, TX, and a cold front with abnormally cold temps is about to hit and stick around for several days. The forecast is for teens for several hours for several nights with temps dropping down to 3 degrees F one night and 6 degrees another night, both of which are probably all time lows for this region. Daytime highs during this period are forecast below freezing for 5-7+ days, mostly in the 20s, which is also exceptionally cold and rare for us. I've been running my filter and pump constantly since the freezing temps started. (I also have freezeguard but am not relying on it during this period since the temps will likely not be above freezing for 5-7+ days.) I am concerned about the several nights of forecasted temperatures in the teens and especially the forecasted 3 and 6 degree (F) night.
My pool and "hot tub" (which is no longer heated because the plumbing was re-routed this past summer to bypass my non-working heater) are in-ground with generic Pebbletec-type surface. My pool plumbing at the filter is 2" PVC above ground (I do NOT have a heater), and it is not in an enclosure of any sort.

I don't know how to best keep my pool pipes from freezing or my equipment from being damaged and would love recommendations. I should add that I am a novice at maintaining my pool and manage to "survive but not thrive" with the chemical maintenance and backwashing. Therefore, please assume I know very little about pool equipment maintenance if you do have recommendations.

Here is my preliminary plan based on talking to someone at a hardware store, and I would love feedback and input from anyone knowledgeable about protecting pool equipment for a full freshwater chlorine pool in a geographic location that almost never sees temperatures in the teens or single digits, especially for several days in a row.
I am considering purchasing some insulating pipe wrap and possibly an electric heat cable (sometimes called a "heat tape"). I would tape the electric heat cable to all/most of the PVC on my "equipment pad" as directed by the instructions for the electric heat cable and then cover the electric heat cable with the insulating pipe wrap. The pipe wrap is thin (R1 or R2 insulation rating), and options for the pipe wrap material are rubber, foam or fiberglass and I would prefer to avoid the fiberglass if possible because of a history of mental scars from accidentally embedding attic fiberglass insulation in my skin years ago.

The electric heat cable instructions say that it only works on pipes up to 1.5", but I'm hoping it would add add least some freeze protection on a 2" pipe. Instructions for one brand of electric heat cable say to only use it on pipes that always have water in them. If this is true, I suppose I would just unplug the electric heat cable every time I shut my filter off, which would presumably be never for the next several days?

In addition to protecting the pool equipment and pool from freeze damage, I would like to make sure I don't melt the PVC with the electic heat cable (heat tape). Also, a mechanically-oriented friend who knows nothing about pools suggested that I also need to do something to protect the pump that is near the pool filter. I don't know what to do to protect the pump, other than possibly add an additional electric heat cable on the pump, and I don't know if this would melt/damage the pump, and I don't know where on the pump I would place the electric heat cable.

Any recommendations would be most appreciated. I am trying to prevent damage as much as possible, so I can avoid costly repairs. Thank you.
 
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