Open / Close Freeze?

iain42

Well-known member
Oct 16, 2016
309
Little Rock AR
First season and I am leaning to leaving my pool open over the winter. If I can't get in the pool I love the way it looks. I don't mind emptying the skimmers or cleaning leaves off the bottom of the pool. The down side is living in Little Rock, AR we sometimes have power outages due to ice storms. Is there a procedure for dealing with pool equipment in an ice storm / power outage. Just trying to determine worse case scenerio and have a plan :confused::confused:

thanks
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,061
Tallahassee, FL
I am guessing if you have ice storms your area gets deep freezes some times in the winter. If there is a chance of your pool turning to a block of ice you are going to want to protect the equipment as a frozen pipe, pump, filter, etc is NO fun and costly. If you lose power then the water cannot move through the pipes and equipment to keep them from freezing.

Are you a member of your areas "Nextdoor"? If not sign up and ask your neighbors what they do and why and how it has worked for them.

I get wanting to leave it open but the freeze aspect has to be considered.
 

iain42

Well-known member
Oct 16, 2016
309
Little Rock AR
I am guessing if you have ice storms your area gets deep freezes some times in the winter. If there is a chance of your pool turning to a block of ice you are going to want to protect the equipment as a frozen pipe, pump, filter, etc is NO fun and costly. If you lose power then the water cannot move through the pipes and equipment to keep them from freezing.

Are you a member of your areas "Nextdoor"? If not sign up and ask your neighbors what they do and why and how it has worked for them.

I get wanting to leave it open but the freeze aspect has to be considered.
That is why I was asking experienced pool people. I guess I should talk to my PB since they would be the ones called in case of damage.

If we get snow or ice it is here for maybe a couple of days or a week or so. I'd say the weather sometimes gets into the 20's but generally it isn't cold enough to turn to snow which is why we get ice storms. Dec-Feb are the coldest months.
 

jeremycrook

Gold Supporter
Sep 26, 2016
157
OKLAHOMA CITY / OK
That is why I was asking experienced pool people. I guess I should talk to my PB since they would be the ones called in case of damage.

If we get snow or ice it is here for maybe a couple of days or a week or so. I'd say the weather sometimes gets into the 20's but generally it isn't cold enough to turn to snow which is why we get ice storms. Dec-Feb are the coldest months.
I believe you living in our neighboring state, we have the climate, weather, winters, etc.. I have left my pool open for the first two years, and plan on continuing to leave it open. We have the same ice storms, light snow possible, and it does dip down below freezing some. The worst thing that has happened is that top of the pool will freeze, it's done this only when we have been away on vacation. Generally it's not until late Dec-Jan when we get the cold spells. I am not sure if you have a heater or not, but that might help to avoid any water freezing? I generally just keep the water flowing during the cold days, (the pool actually does this as most builders will include a freeze protection switch). If something were to happen like a massive ice storm that does shut down the grid, I would have a small generator handy, along with a large tarp, that you can put some kind of heat under it (flood light, space heater, etc) to protect the pipes from freezing. This is my worst case scenario plan of attack.
 

Lilypad

Bronze Supporter
Nov 12, 2016
246
Plano, Texas
The freeze guard on your pool timer will kick on when temps get really low (for us). Open up the timer box door to see the freeze guard and temp setting. Hopefully you have one! If an extended deep freeze is forecast with potential outages, there are drain plugs on the pump and filter. You would remove these to drain and help prevent equipment damage from frozen water. Your PB can show you if needed. Blankets or similar to cover equipment on your pad help if it's an extremely long deep freeze for days. FYI I've kept my pool open year round for 10 yrs. through some bad winters and no problems.
 

mclifford

Well-known member
Aug 29, 2017
189
Van buren, AR
I live half way between each of you. Last year I closed my pool, but didn't have a cover on. I had a layer of "mud" on the bottom" This year I plan on covering my pool, but running my pump until the water temp hits a consistent 55 degrees. Only reason I am going to cover is because of the amount of leaves that I will get.

I did a lot of reading last year when I winterized my pool for my area. Our frost line is only 6" down. So all I worried about was my sand filter and exposed plumbing/pump. As a precaution I still blew out all of my lines. I have to drain my pool below my skimmer because my returns are attached to it in a form of a pressure chamber. I have a small cut out piece of liner I seal that chamber with and install skimmer winter covers. Then I blow out my skimmer and get all the water out and install a gizmo and partial pool noodle as a precaution. I then fill my pool back up to middle of my skimmer.

At my equipment pad I attached my major components with 2" unions. I made up an adapter with a left over union that fits perfectly to my shop vac. I reverse the air flow and blow towards the pool. I have a second shop vac that I use to clean the water out of my skimmers to get them nice and dry. Probably a bit over kill for Arkansas, but it lets me sleep better at night. this year with the cover over my skimmers I shouldn't even get any water in them this year.

I guess the point I am trying to make is its not very cold in our parts of the states. Even if you did a poor job blowing the lines out they should be at least 36" below grade so they shouldn't freeze. Just need to focus on equipment pad and skimmers because they do freeze, but what I noticed is they didn't freeze solid.

I purchased a light weight solid cover with a pump.
 

Neemer

Gold Supporter
Oct 10, 2017
267
Fredericksburg, VA
If you look back through the posts occurring on this board last winter, you’ll see a lot of posts from people in mild climates who did not close their pool and were caught off guard by the unusually cold winter they experienced. I don’t know if they suffered any damage, but it seemed a lot of folks were sorry they didn’t close. With the wacky weather patterns of late, I’d go conservative.
 

iain42

Well-known member
Oct 16, 2016
309
Little Rock AR
Thank you everyone for the information. I think I have enough information and I will talk to my PB as well. It is rare that we have power outages and it is only for a day or two max if not hours. If I am caught off guard it is good to know I can empty water from pump and filter to protect them in case of emergency. If I had a battery powered wet vac that would help. Gonna to make sure I have one on hand. I believe there is freeze protection on the Pentair pump or panel don't remember where I saw it but I did..

https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-3-Gal-18-Volt-Cordless-Handheld-Wet-Dry-Vac-WD0319/206094592



Thanks again
 

notime2work

Silver Supporter
Jun 23, 2018
22
Tulsa OK
I was wondering about this, as our pool is set to begin construction later in October and probably (weather permitting) completing in December or January. I guess since we have to brush it and have the chemistry constantly monitored correctly for the plaster to cure properly, we will be doing this in the worst part of our winter. We have had outages in the past, but it is not common. We do occasionally have temps around 0-10 degrees, but it doesn't last that long. I guess we will discuss this with our PB, but I was also worried about this. However, in order to have the pool easily ready for the next summer, we decided to start it late fall, because they get so busy in early spring (along with storm season) that it might be a challenge to get it done on time otherwise.
 

riley00dog

Gold Supporter
Nov 14, 2017
2,213
Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Great that you’ll be able to leave your beautiful new pool open by the sound of it. Would hate to have to cover mine up if I didn’t have to as well. You have a heat pump from memory too so you could run that enough to stop any potential freeze if you had to. I hope you’ve enjoyed your pool over the summer. I getting a little excited with all the pool closing posts... it means I might finally get to swim in my pool soon!
 

iain42

Well-known member
Oct 16, 2016
309
Little Rock AR
Great that you’ll be able to leave your beautiful new pool open by the sound of it. Would hate to have to cover mine up if I didn’t have to as well. You have a heat pump from memory too so you could run that enough to stop any potential freeze if you had to. I hope you’ve enjoyed your pool over the summer. I getting a little excited with all the pool closing posts... it means I might finally get to swim in my pool soon!
The heat pumps don't work under 50 degrees. I've found if it isn't at least 70 I don't want to be wet outside. If you have a gas heater that should work at any temp.

Your pool should be ready soon. Maybe next month???
 

riley00dog

Gold Supporter
Nov 14, 2017
2,213
Brisbane, Qld, Australia
That’s a shame about the heat pump. Ours ran over winter down to about 4*C

Still waiting on about 30cm of drainage. Obviously it’s so hard to do that last 20 mins of work. Otherwise we’ve been mainly finished since May. Slide went in I think in July. Then there’s been a very slow leak. That’s fixed. Just waiting on a couple of pavers to go down to fix the repaired area. Hopefully next by month I will be done with the pb. Really looking forward to swimming after all of this.