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How to Maintain Your Pool in Freezing Temperatures

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What Not To Do

This customer learned the hard way that propane heaters and pool equipment do not mix!

Systems that are running:

What should I do when the temperature is below freezing?

When the outdoor air temperature reaches 32 degrees or lower, costly freeze damage can occur. These steps should be followed to help prevent any damage to your pool and/or equipment:

  • Run filtration pump and all auxiliary pumps continuously (pool cleaner pump does not need to run). 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.
  • If ice is present, break up 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 (at the middle of the tile line). 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 55 and below.
  • Adjust pool and spa jets upwards to reduce surface freezing.

Systems that are not running or that experience a power outage during freezing weather:

  • Turn off circuit breakers to all pool equipment.
  • Open the filter air bleed valve. If it is frozen, pour warm water over it to dislodge the ice.
  • Drain the water from pump by removing all drain plugs from the bottom of the pump. Place the plugs in the pump basket and loosely replace the lid.
  • Remove drain plug for the filter and place in pump basket.
  • Remove the winterizing plugs and place them in the pump basket.
  • Open drain valves on the heater (if applicable) and remove 1 plug; 2 if possible.
  • Remove the chlorinator tubing and lid (if applicable).
  • Open all valves or adjust 3-way valves to the middle positions to allow water to flow back into the pool through all pipes.
  • Any pipes that cannot be drained should be protected.
  • Cover electronic ignition heaters with a blanket for insulation. UNCOVER HEATER PRIOR TO USE.

If you are concerned about your pool during the winter months or want to do preventive maintenance to insure you are ready if/when cold temperature come, contact Sterling Pool at 888-973-0274 or complete the contact form.

Note:   Any malfunction may change the operation of the pool’s equipment. Sterling Pool Service is not be held liable for any personal or property damages that may occur due to homeowner performing the above or equipment malfunction. It is strongly advised this procedure be done by a qualified pool service company.