Scarred from last winter - closing a Central Texas pool

Apr 27, 2021
12
Austin, Texas
Hey guys -

We lost all our pool equipment during the snowstorm in Texas last winter. I'm already thinking about what that means for this year. Last year we had someone taking care of our pool, now I am taking care of it. As far as I can tell last year they just covered the pool, let the pump run slightly less and did their subpar weekly maintenance.

Here's my question: When we lost power for days last year is when everything froze and broke. I realize the chance of that is happening again is slim, but I need to be prepared for it if I ever want to sleep again. I'd like to do a "soft" pool closing as well as we don't usually get too cold around here, but is there anything I can do in this case if we lose power again? I trust the Texas power grid about as far as I can throw it.

Thank you!
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
33,386
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Plan B. That's about it. You can wrap pipes in advance for the months of Jan - Feb. Have a tarp ready for the equipment pad. Things like that. We actually had a TFP Zoom session about this subject (below). You can check that out.

 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,802
NY
but is there anything I can do in this case if we lose power again
There certainly is. Take the time now, in flip flops and shorts, (margarita optional but still recommended), to get out to your equipment with the manuals. Download them if you don’t have paper copies. Locate and mental note the locations of the drain plugs as per the manuals. Pull them all. See how much water is still left in the pipes that you have access to. Duct tape a 3 ft piece of garden hose to your shop vac hose and suck out what you can. Take just the shop vac hose and attach it to the exhaust port of the vac. Practice blowing out any pipes you have access to, closing any valves you have access to to trap said air in those pipes.

You’ll be amazed how much you can get done in 15 mins if you know how. Too many folks were looking for the first time at 2AM in life threatening temps while not properly dressed. In the dark.

We at TFP were victims of our own success last winter. We kept pools running and not freezing with water temps well into the low 20s or lower. The curveball that none of us saw coming was the rolling blackouts and many pools/equipment took mere minutes to freeze.
 

reggiehammond

Gold Supporter
Oct 4, 2020
356
Fort Worth, Texas
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
I learned the hard way that the Intelliflo pump has 2 drain ports! Given what happened last year, I've practiced draining the pump pot, the lines, and the filter in preparation for any potential freak storms. Because I've spent that time, we're assured that it'll be 82º on Valentine's Day, like it's been known to do in the past!
 

HeyEng

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Nov 7, 2018
835
Oklahoma City, OK
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
There certainly is. Take the time now, in flip flops and shorts, (margarita optional but still recommended), to get out to your equipment with the manuals. Download them if you don’t have paper copies. Locate and mental note the locations of the drain plugs as per the manuals. Pull them all. See how much water is still left in the pipes that you have access to. Duct tape a 3 ft piece of garden hose to your shop vac hose and suck out what you can. Take just the shop vac hose and attach it to the exhaust port of the vac. Practice blowing out any pipes you have access to, closing any valves you have access to to trap said air in those pipes.

You’ll be amazed how much you can get done in 15 mins if you know how. Too many folks were looking for the first time at 2AM in life threatening temps while not properly dressed. In the dark.

We at TFP were victims of our own success last winter. We kept pools running and not freezing with water temps well into the low 20s or lower. The curveball that none of us saw coming was the rolling blackouts and many pools/equipment took mere minutes to freeze.
Excellent advice. Reminds me of my flying days. We trained in a simulator...emergency after emergency after emergency piled on top of other emergencies. That way, when the real deal happens, it is usually "no big deal." Sure, practice may not make perfect but it's much better than trying to figure it out on the fly!
 
Apr 27, 2021
12
Austin, Texas
There certainly is. Take the time now, in flip flops and shorts, (margarita optional but still recommended), to get out to your equipment with the manuals. Download them if you don’t have paper copies. Locate and mental note the locations of the drain plugs as per the manuals. Pull them all. See how much water is still left in the pipes that you have access to. Duct tape a 3 ft piece of garden hose to your shop vac hose and suck out what you can. Take just the shop vac hose and attach it to the exhaust port of the vac. Practice blowing out any pipes you have access to, closing any valves you have access to to trap said air in those pipes.

You’ll be amazed how much you can get done in 15 mins if you know how. Too many folks were looking for the first time at 2AM in life threatening temps while not properly dressed. In the dark.

We at TFP were victims of our own success last winter. We kept pools running and not freezing with water temps well into the low 20s or lower. The curveball that none of us saw coming was the rolling blackouts and many pools/equipment took mere minutes to freeze.
This is great - thanks! I was one of those people in the cold and dark at 2am last year for sure. Question - do I leave the multiport in filter for this? I could change it now for my practice run but I guess it would be frozen if this actually happens.
 
Apr 27, 2021
12
Austin, Texas
Plan B. That's about it. You can wrap pipes in advance for the months of Jan - Feb. Have a tarp ready for the equipment pad. Things like that. We actually had a TFP Zoom session about this subject (below). You can check that out.

Watching this as well - thank you so much
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
33,386
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
We generally know when the hard freezes are coming. What we don't know is if blackouts will be imposed or when which was the big problem last Feb. But if you have some basic supplies on-hand just in case, coupled with a good knowledge of your equipment and actions to take if there is an extended power outage, you should be fine. We'll be here as well if you still have questions.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
14,029
Houston, Texas
As far as my fellow Texans are concerned, until we get word that the power grid has been repaired/replaced and is able to handle weather emergencies, assume you will lose power for days in a hard freeze and prepare accordingly. We have had hard freezes that were just as long in the past so no one expected this catastrophic level of failure.
 
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