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Help & Advice

How to Protect Swimming Pools in Freezing Temperatures

The recent weather in North Texas has caused chaos, with freezing temperatures leaving thousands without power. 

With more snow and ice on the way, energy remains in short supply as generators and power plants struggle to cope in temperatures that most Texans have never experienced. Many residents are having to ration energy between neighbors, as hospitals and emergency services are treated as a priority.

Many swimming pool owners in the region have never had to maintain their pool in these conditions. With that in mind, here at Claffey Pools, we’ve put together a handy guide on how to protect swimming pools in freezing temperatures.

Keep pumps on to prevent swimming pools from freezing

It is important to keep filtration and auxiliary pumps running at all times during the freezing weather. This is important because you don’t want the water to freeze over and these pumps can prevent that from happening. If your pool does freeze over, it can cause serious damage to the pool, such as the cracking of tiles.   

The pumps will keep your water circulating at a consistent temperature. This circulation will also help your pool heater by moving warmer water around.  

Most pumps will automatically keep pumping if the temperature is this cold, but if it does stop, you may have to reactivate it manually. Switching it to ‘service mode’ on your control panel is a good way to ensure the pumps don’t stop running. As well as keeping your pool at a safe temperature, running the pump will also stop your pipes, and the pump itself, from freezing over. If any ice has formed on the surface of your pool, break it up to prevent it from entering the skimmers.

It is also worthwhile to cover your pool water with a safety cover or tarp as this can help with retaining warmer temperatures.

Protect your skimmer from freezing by using a ‘skimmer bottle’ 

It is easy to forget about your pool’s skimmers during the cold weather – but it’s important not to neglect them. 

Skimmers play an important role in the overall health of your pool, collecting surface layer water and filtering it appropriately. A good way to protect your skimmers during the freeze is with a skimmer bottle. If the water inside a skimmer freezes, then the plastic material may crack.

A skimmer bottle can absorb that freeze expansion, therefore preventing any damage from occurring. Grab an empty bottle, add about 1/3 of antifreeze and drop it into your skimmer. The bottle will then take on any pressure during the freezing process, absorbing it and preventing cracking. 

How to winterize your pool if you lose power 

If the worst happens and you do lose power to your home, your swimming pool may not be at the forefront of your mind. 

But once you’ve dealt with the essentials, it’s important to winterize your pool so no damage is caused.

To do this, you need to:

  1.  Drain water from all pool equipment to prevent any freezing. 
  2. Turn off all power at your breaker box and open the air relief valve on the filter to release water.
  3. Next, unscrew the filter pump and its drain plugs, open the faucet or hose bib above the filter and unscrew the large drain plug on the back of the filter.
    If your pool has an in-line chlorinator, heater, Polaris cleaner booster pump, or any other devices that hold water, drain all of them too.

Once the freezing weather has passed, reassemble all drain lids and plugs you have removed. Fill all of your pool equipment back up with water before switching them back on. Turn on your pumps one at a time as this allows them to prime more effectively.  

What to do if your pool has suffered winter damage?

If you’re unlucky enough to suffer damage to your pool, or pool equipment during the recent weather, it’s important to get it dealt with as soon as possible. 

Our team at Claffey Pools are on hand to repair any damage that may have occurred. Our service department has years of experience in pool maintenance, and while we’re currently experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime event, our expertise is unrivalled.  

We will have to wait until everything has thawed out before treating the damage, so we ask you to be patient as we try and assist every customer. 

Here at Claffey Pools, we’ve spent more than 30 years helping customers discover their dream pool. From swimming pool construction to remodeling and maintenance, our expert team can assist you with every aspect of your pool. For more information on how Claffey Pools can help you, get in contact today.

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