Last year we had unprecedented demand for swimming pools followed by shortages brought on by manufacturers scaling back production for essential pool equipment and supplies. To complicate matters, a winter storm hit Texas with a deep freeze that caused damage to pool equipment in thousands of backyards across the state. If that moment taught us anything, it's that an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure. Preparing your pool equipment for inclimate weather can sometimes help you avoid big headaches later on.
Many pools in Texas aren't winterized because we're below the frost line. Many homeowners can just keep the water circulating for a few days until the weather improves if temperatures take a dive. Texans learned a valuable lesson last year when the power went out for millions of residents across the state. Preventing a pool from freezing over is much simpler when there is electricity than when there isn't.
As the summer begins to draw to a close and we move into the fall months it's a moment to reflect on the lessons we learned from the Texas Pool Freeze last year, during, and that is that by observing the proper maintenance beforehand, we can avoid costly repairs due to freeze damage.
Preparing Your Swimming Pool For Freezing Weather
One of the easiest methods to ensure that your pool equipment will surving freezing temperatures is to have us come out and perform all the necessary adjustments ahead of time. If however, the weather comes on suddenly and there isn't enough time to schedule a service call you should immediately follow a few steps to try and prevent and damage from occuring.
- Check to see if the water is balanced.
- Check the baskets in your skimmer and pump. If required, clean them.
- Remove all superfluous equipment from the pool if it will not be used.
- If snow is expected, cover your equipment with a tarp leaving enough room for you to place a drop light beneath it (the light will add warmth). *Make sure the light is far away from any plastic components, pipes, or combustible materials.
If Possible, Keep Your Pool Running During a Deep Freeze
Because moving water cannot freeze, the first step is to ensure that your filtration and auxiliary pool pumps remain operating. Many pumps already include built-in freeze protection that activates whenever the outside air temperature reaches a certain level.
How To Test Your Freeze Guard
Place an ice cube within close proximity to the copper coil of your freeze guard with plastic tongs to test it. The freeze guard should start your pool pump within a few minutes if it's working properly.
Using your pool heater to keep the water in your pool from freezing is not necessary. In fact, operating your pool heater in sub-zero temperatures might seriously damage it.
If the water in your pool completely ices over, break up the ice to keep the skimmers clear. You can also remove the skimmer doors as well. Aiming your pool's jets upwards and using swimming pool antifreeze can also assist prevent the swimming pool surface from completely freezing.
In Dallas, during freezing cold months, maintaining the right pool chemistry and propert water levels is absolutely critical. When your pool isn't being used, the best idea idea is to cover it. Investing in a solid pool cover will keep debris out the your pool and help maintain a higher water temperature inside the pool, helping it to keep from freezing.
What To Do If You Lose Power
In the even the power goes out and you lose electricity, don't panic. The first thing you do is switch off all circuit breakers that are connected to your pool equipment. Then open the air bleed valve on your pool filter. A cup of warm water should help melt any ice on the equipment so that you can do this.
Next, remove all drain plugs from the bottom of your pool pump and drain filter, as well as all winterizing plugs/open drain valves to drain any surplus water and then replace the cover loosely. Adjust your valves to the midway position to allow the water in your pool to flow back into it.
If you have any pipes that can't be drained, it's a good idea to use electrical heat strips or blankets. Your pool should be well protected from freezing if you follow all of these steps.
After The Storm
Once the weather warms up, the best idea is to check the water level in your pool. If the level is low, top it off with a hose. The next steps are to replace all the plugs and lids and rebalance your water chemistry. Finally, run your pool pump for at least 24 hours. Follow up with The Pool Surgeon if you live in the Dallas / Forth Worth area to ensure that you have properly followed all steps.