Texas Freeze Damage - Post #7,254

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,293
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I'd love to hear what anyone in Texas used that successfully survived this once-a-centaury ice age.
Knock on wood, I survived. My original plan was to ride it out and let freeze protection do its thing, along with putting a tarp over the equipment pad. That worked well until the stupid rolling blackouts killed us. I fought and fought to keep my pool running when we had power, but eventually had to throw in the towel.

Luckily I had a contingency plan:
1. Shut off the breaker to the pool so it would not try and restart
2. Pull the drain plugs out of the equipment (mine has 2 in the pump, 1 in the filter, 1 in the heater)
3. Open the pump lid basket, pressure relief on the top of the filter and make sure all of my valves were open and not trapping any water
4. Cover the equipment back up
5. Add cut-up pool noodles and a hollow plastic bottle in the skimmers to absorb any of the expansion from the ice. I threw the rest of the pool noodles on the tanning ledge and in the spa for good measure.

We could walk across the pool the next day and I was really sweating it, but everything fired up after my ice rink turned back into a pool.
 

HeyEng

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Nov 7, 2018
686
Oklahoma City, OK
I'd love to hear what anyone in Texas used that successfully survived this once-a-centaury ice age.
Used? As in used what?

I am not in TX, but just up the road in Oklahoma. We had 11 consecutive days below freezing with the lowest being -11 (or -14 at our place, but does it really matter at that point?!?) with 8 of those days at 20 or lower. When my water temp approached 32 degrees, I ran the heater for 24 hours and got it to about 80. Over the next several days, it got back down to 34 or 38 (can't recall right now) degrees and that was it. I never had ice on the surface of the pool or in the skimmer.

I ran the pump 24/7 the entire time and had two heat lamps and a chicken coop warmer in my pseudo insulated pool pad equipment area. The coldest it got under there was 22 degrees (ambient was -10 at the time). I had ZERO power outages.

Our neighbors pool (about 50K gallons and is a monster) survived about 9 days before the equipment froze up. They had decent ice coverage on the pool a couple days prior to that. I don't know the extend of the damage, but I know they aren't running it right now and the water level is lower than normal.

So, I think the ONLY saving grace was that I ran the heater (not recommended) and we had no power outages. So, all in all...luck. IF and WHEN we have weather forecasted to get below freezing for more than 5 days in a row, I am draining. I lost a LOT of sleep trying to keep everything together and I will NOT be doing that again.
 

MiguelACA

Silver Supporter
May 12, 2020
150
Houston
I'd love to hear what anyone in Texas used that successfully survived this once-a-centaury ice age.

I wrapped any exposed pipes in towels and duct tape, tarped the equipment pad, and let the pump run 24/7...until the power cut off...then i drained the pump, booster, and filter. i couldnt drain the heat pump. not on wood, but everything seems to be running as it should, including the heat pump. the chlorine tablet dispenses is the one thing i forgot to drain. It didnt freeze solid, just started to get slushie.

i have this site to thank for my pool surviving!
 

Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
500
NE Oklahoma
Pool Size
14500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I'm in the Tulsa area and we had the same as @HeyEng mentioned. 11 days or so of sub freezing temps. I used a 10'x10' popup canopy, wrapped in tarps to create an equipment pad cover. Wrapped most of the exposed pipes in moving pads. Stuck a space heater in there. The temps in the enclosure were at least 10 degrees warmer than out. Kept pump running 24/7, alternating between pool and spa on freeze protect. I bought some 4500W @ 240VAC hot water heater elements and wired those up to some extension cords (120VAC) and dangled them in front of the skimmer openings. They were plugged into GFI recepts just in case.

After that there was not much else I could do. I was prepared to pull drain plugs in the event that we lost power. I was not going to play the game of hoping the blackouts were actually rolling and that my lines wouldn't freeze between power cycles. Fortunately that never happened. We were not affected by the rolling blackouts.

I had ice completely covering the surface of the pool, except right in front of the skimmers where the heater elements were. It was also thinner in spots where the water was moving directly underneath, such as around the returns and near the IFCS popups that were on the baja ledge and steps.

Thanks to everyone on this forum for all of the wisdom and advice, I managed to escape with no damage. I am very sorry to hear of everyone who did suffer damage. I know that the rolling blackouts were the ultimate demise to most.

--Jeff
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,235
NY
. I know that the rolling blackouts were the ultimate demise to most.
We helped keep everybody’s water from completely freezing, but when the pumps stopped and the water was already 10+ below freezing, It took minutes.

Nobody, not even the power company foresaw the blackouts. I saw an article that detailed how the people calling those shots to kill power were only doing so minutes from complete failure that would have taken months to rebuild. The thought of having to do so was almost folklore until that point.
 

Hobbescom

Active member
Jun 25, 2019
33
Katy Tx
I'd love to hear what anyone in Texas used that successfully survived this once-a-centaury ice age.
I got lucky here in Houston. Went out Monday morning about 7am after power shutoff @2am. Drained both pumps, drained filter, and threw tons of blanks, towels, and tarp over the equipment. Had some ice build up in the return valves and in the pipe leading to the SWCG, but no cracks or splits anywhere.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude

superuser

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2020
66
Spring, TX
Knock on wood, I survived. My original plan was to ride it out and let freeze protection do its thing, along with putting a tarp over the equipment pad. That worked well until the stupid rolling blackouts killed us. I fought and fought to keep my pool running when we had power, but eventually had to throw in the towel.

Luckily I had a contingency plan:
1. Shut off the breaker to the pool so it would not try and restart
2. Pull the drain plugs out of the equipment (mine has 2 in the pump, 1 in the filter, 1 in the heater)
3. Open the pump lid basket, pressure relief on the top of the filter and make sure all of my valves were open and not trapping any water
4. Cover the equipment back up
5. Add cut-up pool noodles and a hollow plastic bottle in the skimmers to absorb any of the expansion from the ice. I threw the rest of the pool noodles on the tanning ledge and in the spa for good measure.

We could walk across the pool the next day and I was really sweating it, but everything fired up after my ice rink turned back into a pool.
Same story here, except we only lost power for about 16 hours and it was mostly daylight hours. No freezing of the pool surface, and I proactively drained everything at the pad the morning we lost power. When power returned I put the plugs back in, primed the pump and fired it all back up with no issues. We ran the heater this past weekend and went swimming all afternoon since the temp was in the 70's :)