TFP Expert Discussion - Non Closing Winter Prep


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TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
Houston, Texas
@Leebo, can you add a link to TFP in the video description? We may get more non-TFP people watching this and the other winterizing video when it comes out.

Some things you should invest in before winter:
water thermometer: If you have 60 something degree water and you are predicted to get an overnight freeze at say 30-32 degrees, the water will be warm enough to prevent the pipes from freezing if you run the pump. It can help you not panic so much over your first time with a freeze. Pay attention when the prediction is for a hard freeze. That's when the temp is 28 degrees or lower over several hours then it is cold enough for damage to occur over a few hours.

pool noodles: Pick up a few at an end of season sale. Dollar stores sometimes have them too. You can cut the up to insulate pipes for the house as well as the pool. You can also stick a few sections in the skimmer to provide a crush area and displace water.

pool plugs: If you don't know what type of plug you need for the skimmer and returns you need to find out now. Find out if your returns are threaded or if they have a special groove that locks in the eyeball fitting. You need to know how to remove the eyeball before a freeze hits. A threaded return can use a threaded plug. A return that is not threaded needs an expanding plug and you want to practice putting it in before a freeze comes. Buy plugs and eyeball remover tools if you need them.

duct tape: So you can tape the pool noodles around the pipes.

box cutter: To cut pool noodles.

Things to think about:
Plan where the water will go if you decide to drain: If you have several days notice of a hard freeze coming and you decide to drain, do it slowly so the water has a chance to evaporate or soak into the soil before the freeze starts. Don't be the rotten neighbor who drains 3000 gallons of water onto the side walk or street hours before the temps drop below freezing. Know if your water runs off into the neighbors yard you could be creating a fall hazard they are unaware of.

If you have an above ground pool:
Plug the skimmer and return. Put cut up pool noodle pieces in the skimmer Disconnect hoses and drain the pump and filter. Drain heater if you have it. If your AGP is hard plumbed, plug the skimmer and returns, drain pump, filter, and heater, and open any unions to allow water to run out. If you have an SWG make sure the water drains out of the cell.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
Eastern Ohio
Pool Size
Liquid Chlorine
  • Feb 2, 2011, 3.2 million in Texas left without power after cold weather. Two major coal-fired power plants were crushed by high demand resulting in rolling blackouts.
  • Dec 7, 2017, a freak snowstorm blanketed several southern states with up to 25 inches of snow. Several states including Georgia, Floridia, Louisinia, and Texas were hit by this storm. Over 900k people were left without power.
  • Oct 26, 2020, a rare ice storm moved up from New Mexico into the Oklahoma/Northern Texas area leaving over 400k people without power. Even after 10 days over 40k customers still did not have power.
  • Jan 10, 2021, snow in Eastern Texas took out power to more than 100k customers for several days.
  • Feb 14, 2021, 4.3 million people in Texas left without power after cold weather. Power plants were crushed by high demand resulting in rolling blackouts.
As an outsider looking inward I’m able to easily say the events that occurred in Feb 2021 wasn’t really a “once in a lifetime” event. For sure the conditions did create a perfect storm resulting in major headaches, but for pool owners the pattern of power outages during cold months have occurred several times over the years.

The largest thing to do is to create a solid plan of attack now during Summer so when the next “freak” snowstorm hits the south, you’re ready. For no money you’ll be able to learn your equipment in shorts with a cold beverage in your hand. Even if you wish to go wild buying heat lamps and tarps you’re looking at spending less that a brisket, but you’ll save dramatically in the long run if another major event occurs.

While Pat, Marty, and myself were discussing this video I saw an article printed towards pool service techs discussing the events of the 2021 storm. In this article one tech said of their 1,500 customers….90% of them saw damage after the blackouts. This to me is totally unacceptable when an ounce of prevention now can save so much later.
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TFP Guide
Sep 23, 2015
Brisbane, Australia.
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Astral Viron V25
I visited Dallas several times and mostly it was hot to really hot but one time there was an ice storm and we couldn’t depart as planned. The de-icing facility is too far away from the end of the runway for planes that require the full length. My point here is that the airport authorities believe that these winter storms occur on a regular enough basis to invest in de-icing and snow plow equipment.

At the other end of the cold scale the other morning it was really cold, 46degF at 5am, but warmed up to 50degF when I bought my coffee from the coffee cart. Its just past mid winter here and the other day my water was 64degF. I suspect most of Florida and surrounding states would be similar. Winter means turning the chlorinator down and keeping an eye on my CSI by letting my pH and TA creep up a bit. Leaving my CYA on the low side till spring also helps.

In the process of lowering my FC a little I inadvertently forgot to turn it back on. 64degF (18degC) appears to be cold enough to keep the algae at bay. Oops.
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