So, you think you don’t have to close the pool, do you? The weather’s been warm you say… Why go through all that trouble you say… It may be a mild winter you say…
The question isn’t “should I close my pool?” It’s why haven’t you yet? Tomorrow is Halloween, so here’s some frightening information that will hopefully scare you into closing your pool and soon. Let us walk you through the grizzly details.
Get all the water out of your pipes and pool equipment! Boom. That could be a mic-drop right here because that’s all she wrote. Plumbing will freeze if there’s any water left in the pipes and it’ll crack the pipes, pumps, filters, heaters, skimmers, etc if they’re filled with water. But we’ll go into more details so hang on to your scary masks and broomsticks…
First of all, it can take less than an hour if the temperature is below 32 degrees. (Of course, if there’s running water through the equipment it won’t freeze.) And, if the pipes are underground the water won’t freeze for several days of freezing temperatures before it does any damage.
At least PVC pipes and connectors are rather inexpensive and easy to replace, but who wants to go through that hassle and cost? To winterize a pool pump (even if just for one night), remove the 2 plugs from the pump. Simple. Done.
Cast Iron and Polymer heater headers are usually the first to be susceptible to a sudden freeze. To winterize a pool heater just remove the front and rear header drain plugs, and disconnect the pressure switch inside the heater. Blowing air through the heater is recommended, to remove all of the water.
A pool filter tank can handle enormous pressure, up to 50 psi in most cases, but that’s still no match for the power of expanding ice. In some cases, the tank itself will crack, or the clamp ring on the cartridge or DE filters will crack in half, or the top mounted multiport valve flange will separate from the tank, or, well…just start leaking.
To winterize a pool filter, open the air bleeder and remove the filter drain cap or drain plug. If you have a multiport valve, turn the handle to a spot in between any two positions, and if you have a push-pull slide valve, place it mid-way between up and down positions.
For inground pools, you can’t always see damaged pipes that are leaking three feet under your concrete pool deck. Replacing busted up pool plumbing is one thing, having to cut through your concrete pool deck and dig down several feet to fix the plumbing is yet another. And, by the way…if your pipes are freezing then most likely your pool equipment is freezing too.
Sometimes there’s nothing scarier than Mother Nature!
Mother Nature photo: Pinterest