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What Happens If My Pool Freezes

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Backyard Pool In Dfw Area Freezes Despite Pump Running

What If You Jumped Into a Pool of Liquid Methane?

ALLEN, Texas – The record cold single-digit to very low double-digit temperatures have North Texans not going anywhere near their swimming pools.

However, to keep them from freezing up, many people have their pumps running all day and night.

But a CBS 11 videographer shared video of his backyard pool frozen over despite the pump running.

He tossed a ball onto the surface and it didn’t break the ice.

It just rolled across it.

to upload your own pictures and video of winter weather to CBSDFW.com.

Should You Take Down An Above Ground Pool In The Winter

Pools very rarely need to be drained completely. If you have a vinyl-lined above-ground pool, leaving it full for the winter will protect the vinyl liner from shrinkage and other damage. Since these pools are above ground level, keeping them full ensures that the wind will not damage the walls, liner, or frame.

Can Pools Freeze Solid

They sure can! A pool with little to no water circulation can freeze solid within days of being exposed to below zero temperatures. Stagnant water in your pool will slowly develop a sheet of ice across the surface that can thicken by almost 1/4 every day. In extremely cold climates, like in the northern U.S., pools can form an ice sheet nearly a foot thick during prolonged cold spells.

As the water underneath the ice sheet gets cold and starts to freeze, it will expand and put pressure on its surroundings. For an inground pool, this means the pool lining or tiles, and the skimmer. But because inground pools are solid structures, it would take a great deal of pressure to cause damage to the lining or tiles. An above ground pool is at much higher risk for ice damage. If pressure from the ice becomes strong enough, the walls of your above ground pool can stretch and even break.

Regularly running the pool pump and monitoring the waters surface is key to avoiding a frozen pool. A little ice on the surface of the water is the first sign of trouble ahead.

Also Check: How Do I Lower The Alkalinity In My Pool

Install A Pool Pillow

Also known as ice compensators, pool air pillows help balance the weight of any ice and snow that fall on top of your cover. For best results, keep the pad around the middle of the pool.

Only inflate the pillow to about 55% of its maximum capacity. Its tempting to try and inflate it all the way, but leaving some give allows it to compress under the weight of snow without breaking.

Read my guide on what size pool pillow you need to determine what makes sense for your swimming pool.

When Should You Winterize

What happens in winter if you freeze your pool?

It all depends on where you live. Homes in sunny Southern California or Arizona probably wont have to close at all. But if you live where it gets frigid, your pool will need to be winterized before temperatures dip to 32 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent water from freezing. Try to aim to have it shut down in October, or by Thanksgiving at the absolute latest, says Meece.

If the temperatures unexpectedly plunge to 32 degrees or below before you close, you can run the pool pump for a full 24 hours. As long as the water is moving through the pipes, it wont freeze.

Also Check: How Big Pool Filter Do I Need

Get My Free Pool Care Checklist

And thats it! Any questions? Shoot me a note. Also be sure to check out my guides on winter swimming pool maintenance and opening your inground pool once the warmer months roll around.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Participation in these programs helps us keep the lights on at PoolResearch.com and in no way impacts our research process or editorial opinions.

How To Respond To Freezing Weather Conditions In Your Pool

Suffering freeze damage? Leslie’s is here to help! Stop by your local Leslie’s store to speak with one of our pool care experts, or request a service appointment online. If you’re looking for specific parts and equipment, check out our diverse online selection of replacement products:

Heater Parts

Weather can be really unpredictable, especially in winter. If you own a pool in a warmer climate, unexpected freezing temperatures and severe winter weather can cause a lot of damage to the pool, especially if you’re not prepared for it.

When winter storms and cold snaps are in the forecast, these pool protection tips can help prevent major damage. And in case of a power outage caused by severe weather patterns or extreme cold, our freezing weather pool care tips can help you get through the outage without severely damaging your pool and equipment.

Important: These instructions are for pool owners who live in areas of the country where freezing conditions only occur occasionally during winter months. Pool owners in areas that experience frequent and continuous freezing conditions should close their pool for the winter.

Read Also: How To Prevent Algae In Pool

In The Threat Of A Hard Freeze

However, if Jack Frost caught you with your pool open and your pants down, we are in a bit of a spot and probably a little worried. Yes, if the water in the pool is frozen, it is too late to winterize. You likely live in an area where the necessary products arent available anyway. Dont stress. Although we didnt plan for this, we can still take a few steps to minimize the damage.

Closing Thoughts On Preventing Swimming Pool Freeze Damage

What Happens If You Fall Into a Pool of Liquid Nitrogen?

If you take one thing away from this post, let it be this:

Keep your water warm, and well above freezing temperatures to prevent freeze damage.

In essence, it really is that simple. Of course, after reading this article, you know that keeping your pool warm during the winter takes a bit of extra work. But as long as youre willing to run your heater more often and keep an eye on your water level, its more than doable.

And with tools like automatic levelers and freeze protectors, keeping your pool open during the winter is even easier.

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Frozen Bearings Or Frozen Water

There are two different ways a pool pump can freeze:

1. The pumps motor bearings are worn out and frozen or seized up.

2. There is water inside your pump that has frozen preventing it from turning.

Depending on which way your pump has frozen youll need to handle it differently. In this article well cover a water frozen pump.

How To Protect Your Pool Against Freezing Temps

Freezing temperatures are here. What can you do to protect your pool equipment during a freeze? Here are a few tips to help you out during freezing weather.

  • Make certain the main pool pump is running continuously while the temperature is below freezing. You should have a freeze protection device that will automatically turn the pump on when the temperature drops to around 34 degrees. A freeze protector will keep your pool running as long as the temperature remains close to freezing. A quick visual check will be in order the next time the temperature drops to around 34. If the pool does not turn itself on, you can always call Poolwerx to have the issue resolved.
  • Make sure the pool is clean. If your skimmers and main drain get blocked with leaves and other debris it can prevent the pump from moving enough water to prevent freezing. Even though its cold outside, dont forget to clean the skimmer baskets daily if necessary.
  • Maintain the proper water level. If the water level gets too low, your skimmers will run dry and cause the pump to lose prime. If this happens there will be no water movement through the pool equipment and the plumbing is certain to freeze.
  • Remove the drain plug or open the hose bib on the backwash line. Backwash lines have a tendency to retain water in them. If not drained, they can freeze and break.
  • Read Also: How To Pay For Inground Pool

    Why Do Pool Pipes Freeze

    First things first, its not the pool pipes that freeze but the water in the pool pipes. When the pool doesnt have any prevention against extreme weather, the water will freeze up when the weather temperature gets below freezing.

    Frozen pool pipes are more common with above-ground pools. This is because the pool plumbing and filter system are above ground.

    Inground pool pipes also freeze, but it isnt as common since the pool pipes are usually installed underground. However, even though the water in the underground section of the pipes may not freeze as easily, the water in pipes at the surface of the pool will freeze. The skimmer, pool pump and filter are equally prone to freezing.

    So how long does it take the pool pipes to freeze? Lets find out.

    What To Do When Pool Water Freezes

    Apparently If You Throw a Bucket Of Dry Ice In a Pool THIS Happens!

    If you own a swimming pool and have winterized it because you are in an area where that is the common practice This is NOT for you! You have already taken all of the precautionary measures that you can to ensure minimal to no freeze damage over the winter months. I have spent a good portion of my pool industry career in a winter market and can tell you winterizing a pool properly is the best protection you will get When the Pool Water Freezes.

    Black Dog Pools

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    What Temperature Should I Close My Pool

    If youre not going to be swimming and lets face it, most of us wont, you can close your pool off for the winter at around 50°F . But you could let it go until the temperature is around freezing.

    If you do let the temperature get to freezing, make sure you have a freeze damage prevention measure in place.

    If your pool pipes are well insulated, or you have a freeze guard installed, then you can leave your pool open. But be prepared to take on an extra pool maintenance workload. One issue with this is that if the power goes out and your pool pump stops, the skimmer and filter will freeze at around 30°F . And that will be expensive if that happens.

    If the pool pipes arent insulated and you dont have a freeze guard installed, then you should close your pool when the temperature is above freezing to prevent freeze damage.

    Lets check out some other ways to prevent freeze damage and pool pipe freezing in your pool system, for those pool owners that want to take on the winter.

    Cracked Pool Filter Housing

    The filter housing or canister is at risk of being cracked from expanding ice. Though pool filters housings are designed to handle increased pressure, the canister can only take so much.

    As the ice expands rapidly, the canister will expand to the point of breaking and damage the filter beyond repair. Usually, this damage is pretty obvious, but sometimes it wont be noticeable until the spring when you start your pool again.

    Tip: If you can see water dripping or leaking from the top of the filter housing during winter, its usually a sign of freeze damage.

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    Systems That Are Running:

    • Run the filtration pump and all auxiliary pumps continuously . If functioning properly, your freeze guard should run the pump automatically until temperatures rise above freezing. Note: Direct sunlight on your freeze guard may “trick” it into functioning as if the temperature is above freezing thereby turning off your pump. If this happens, reactivate the pump manually and remove the timer trippers or switch the computer controller to “service” and turn the pumps on. The pumps WILL NOT turn off automatically in service mode.
    • Break up any ice on the pool and spa surfaces to keep the skimmers and skimmer doors free from ice. Carefully remove skimmer doors if it is not possible to keep them free of ice. Use caution to avoid damaging the skimmers.
    • Maintain proper pool water level at all times . If the water level drops too low, the pump will draw in air through the skimmers which increases the risk of equipment freeze damage.
    • NEVER backwash during extremely cold conditions. Filter pressure gauges can freeze, resulting in inaccurate readings. DO NOT use heater during extreme cold unless it has been constantly running prior to the drop in temperature. Manufacturers state heaters should not be run at temperatures 68 and below.
    • Adjust pool and spa jets upwards to reduce surface freezing.

    Remove And Clean Pool Equipment And Accessories

    Opening a Bottle of Liquid Nitrogen Under Water!

    Remove all skimmer baskets, heaters, slide, wall fittings, vacuums, pool cleaners, ladders and handrails. Clean all items, allow them to dry thoroughly, and store them in a safe, dry place. Once the equipment is out of the way, remove all debris from the pool using a net, a soft broom, or even a leaf rake.

    Winter is Coming. Call the Pros.

    Each type of swimming pool has unique requirements for winterizing. An above ground pool might have slightly different winterizing needs than an inground pool. Each type of pool filter has a unique shutdown process. Check with your pool professional to learn how to properly winterize your pool, minimize damage, and ensure safety.

    Read Also: How To Keep My Pool Clean

    Can Intex Pools Stay Up Winter

    In warmer climates, Intex advises to keep your pool up, if you prefer. However, you must winterize the pool when keeping it full throughout the winter. If your area maintains tropical climates all year long, you may not need to winterize your pool at all, especially if you use your pool on a regular basis.

    How To Drain & Lower Water From Your Pool After Rain

    When a pool overflows, its important to remove excess water quickly so that you can restore the chemistry levels.

    But if your yard is so flooded that it is still flowing in and out of your inground pool, you may have to do the best you can and then wait for your yard to absorb some of it.

    Also, if your pool now has a lot of debris and dirt, it is a good idea to lower it a little more than usual so you can add clean water later.

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    What Chemicals Do You Put In A Pool For Winter

    You need to make sure that all of the chemicals are balanced in the water before you close it for the winter. Depending on what your pool water needs, youll want to add the following:

    • Chlorine to shock the pool
    • Muriatic acid to balance the pH and total alkalinity
    • Algaecide to kill algae growth

    A lot of pool stores also sell a winterizing pool kit which will include all of the chemicals you need for your pool.

    Use Your Pump Drain Spigot

    Fiberglass Pools Freezes in Winter

    If your pump has a drainage spigot, this will be even easier than siphoning the water.

    Simply connect a garden hose to the spigot, take the other end of the hose to the drain, open up the spigot and the pump should do the work.

    Its a good idea to have one person at the spigot and one at the drain during this process so that someone knows when to turn off the spigot so as not to drain too much water.

    Read Also: How Much Does Pool Cleaning Cost

    How To Prevent Pool Water From Freezing

    Ensuring that water in the pool isn’t frozen is the key to having the pool serve you the longest. You can achieve this by ensuring the following:

    • Water moving: The pumps and water heaters should be working throughout. This is to keep the water moving and stop it from freezing.
    • Low water level: The water in the pool should be below the skimmers at all times. The skimmers will function properly and the frozen water won’t dislodge them.
    • Clear equipment: Ensure that the pool piping and equipment are not covered with ice or snow. Keep them clear by using a blower or compressor.
    • Pool cover: Invest in a good quality pool cover. This will keep the snow off. Make sure the water below is always moving to help relieve the cover of the weight of the snow.
    • Air balloons: They do not allow ice to form evenly on the water surface.
    • Pool maintenance: Don’t stop maintaining your pool when you use it less. Especially in the cold months.

    Ways To Prevent Swimming Pool Freeze Damage

    Pool freeze damage is no joke. And when the winter months come rolling around, you can either close your pool or keep it open. And either choice is safeas long as you go about it the right way.

    Today, were focusing on the pool owners who want to keep their pools open during the winter. You, the person reading this.

    Keeping your pool open throughout the winter months is doable, it just takes a few more steps. Because nearly every pool owners biggest fear is waking up to a frozen swimming pool from burst pipes to cracked equipment, ignoring freeze damage prevention can have some serious consequences.

    But in this post, we go over 9 simple ways to prevent your swimming pool from freezing. And we also cover how to protect your pipes and pool equipment. So if that sounds good to you keep reading, and learn how to prevent freeze damage and protect your pool.

    Also Check: How To Measure Dry Pool Chemicals

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