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What should I do with my pool during freezing temperatures?

Category: Blog
October 3, 2018

When the temperature drops pool owners shouldn’t worry if water freezes across your pool’s surface. Your main concern should be with your pool pipes and equipment. If your pool equipment isn’t winterized, water can freeze inside of your pump, filter or heater damaging these components so it’s important to keep water flowing through your pool’s system the entire time the temperature is freezing.

There are things you can do to prevent costly repairs and replacement:


1.  Keep your system running 24/7:This may be counter-intuitive to some, but you should run your pool filtration pump and any auxiliary pumps the entire time the temperature is below freezing. Some systems have a freeze guard (or freeze protector) which automatically triggers the pump when the temperature hits between 36-38°F. But sometimes, sunlight can warm up the thermostat and accidently shut it off. If you remove the clasps that trip the timers, or click it over to service mode, the pumps should stay on.


2. Install a Freeze Control Timer: A freeze control timer can protect your inground swimming pool and spa equipment as well as pipes. Just set the temperature with the adjustable thermostat and the freeze control timer turns the pump and heater on when the weather drops. Pools without a timer are controlled with a switch that has to be manually operated to protect the equipment from freezing.


3. DON’T let your water level drop. In many homes, the swimming pool is within eyesight of the backyard, so it’s easy to see when the water is down. But for others, the swimming pool is out of view. If you don’t have a water timer or refill mechanism, make sure your pool stays full because your equipment can freeze if air gets through the skimmers and into the system.


4. DO NOT cover your pool heater with insulation or a blanket. Why? Two main reasons:

  • It could accumulate moisture which can corrode the heater’s interior parts causing the coils inside to deteriorate or the burner compartment in the gas heater to rust.
  • The heater could turn on by itself or someone unfamiliar with your pool could turn it on accidentally while the cover is still on. The heat pump needs proper air flow over the coils. Without allowing fresh air in and flue gases out, the equipment won’t operate properly and become damaged causing an expensive repair.


5. If the power goes out and your pool system stops running:

  • Cut off the current to your equipment from the circuit breaker.
  • If your air bleed valve is frozen, open it up by melting the ice with warm water.
  • Remove all drain plugs and drain the water from the pump and heater and store them inside the pump basket. Then just place the lid over the pump basket, but don’t lock it down.
  • If you have a chlorinator, remove the tubbing and lid.
  • Open all your valves or adjust your 3-way valve to allow water through to all pipes back into the pool. If you can’t drain your pipes, protect them with electrical heat strips.


Don’t ignore your pool in the fall and winter months just because you’re using it less, if at all. You can treat your pool with chemicals less frequently than you would in warm weather. But, be sure to clean it regularly—especially if leaves are falling in and around your pool.


Church Pool Services can put together a special winter swimming pool maintenance plan, install a freeze control timer on your pool, or configure one that you already have.


Call us and let’s schedule an appointment before the weather gets cold.