Pool owners all over the United States are preparing for the holiday season's record low temperatures and the risks they pose. The potential for their pool to freeze over is a major cause for alarm for pool owners during this cold spell. More than 1.5 million people in the US are without power right now. There is a "historic winter storm" affecting a large portion of the United States.
Hard Freeze Could Cause Millions in Damage
The Northeast and the South have been hit the hardest so far. On Friday morning, the number of people without electricity in Virginia was 152,915, in North Carolina it was 201,243, and in Tennessee it was 182,637. Texas is one of the largest pool markets in the country, so its performance is being closely watched across the country. Many people lost power because of the 2021 winter storm, which led to disastrous pool damage. As of this writing, 73,324 people in Texas are without electricity.
The eastern one-third of the United States is still being swept by a powerful Arctic front. This has led to a travel advisory being issued by the National Weather Service. Roughly 60% of the country is under some sort of weather advisory as the nation prepares for a hard freeze.
Many people have been rushing to get their swimming pools ready for the winter after hearing that there will be a severe freeze over the holidays. Hard freezes are defined by sustained temperatures of 28 degrees or less, as reported by the National Weather Service. Temperatures in the teens and twenties are predicted for Saturday and Sunday mornings across much of the United States.
The National Weather Service has issued a "hard freeze warning" for portions of southeast Alabama, the Big Bend, the Panhandle of Florida, south-central Georgia, and southwest Georgia. Credit: The Times
A Hard Freeze Could Be Disastrous For Pool Owners
Significant damage can be caused by frozen pool water or pool equipment. Because water expands as it freezes, it can put a substantial amount of force on the various parts of a pool. Pipes, filters, and pumps are all susceptible to freezing temperatures' destructive effects. As a result of the stress, these parts may crack or break, necessitating expensive maintenance.
Pool plumbing is a frequent victim of freezing temperatures. It is especially important to keep an eye on the pipes that transport water to and from the pool's pump and filter system during the winter months. The thawing process can cause the pipes to crack or burst, which can cause a flood or other water damage.
Damage to the pool's filtration system is another concern. The filter is in charge of cleaning the water by removing any unwanted particles. It can be challenging to restore the pool's pristine condition if the liner is damaged.
The pump for the pool can be harmed by subfreezing temperatures. It is the job of the pump to move water around the pool and its accessories. If the pump breaks, it will be challenging to keep the water circulating.
On top of all that, the pool liner can crack or split if it gets too cold. Fixing this can get pricey. The pool liner is an essential feature because it keeps the water in place.
What To Do When Power Fails
In the event of a power outage during freezing temperatures, pool owners may face significant difficulties. They pose a threat to pool filtration and heating systems. Also, homeowners may not be able to use their pools during the summer due to power outages. When they lose power, it's hard to keep their pools from freezing over.
Avoiding or lessening the likelihood of freeze damage to pool equipment can be accomplished through a few simple measures. Pool manufacturer Hayward has been passing along the following guidelines to pool owners.
Prevent Damage To Your Pool During a Deep Freeze
All pool pumps must operate even when temperatures are below freezing during a deep freeze. When you switch between pool and spa mode, your controller, if you have one, should turn on the pump(s). Without a controller, you'll be on your own to oversee this procedure.
If you do have power, keep your pool equipment running nonstop (24/7) until the temperature rises above freezing if you have power to your home and are not experiencing power outages.
Keep reading if you don't have power or if power outages are affecting your home, or get in touch with a local pool professional for help. If you lose electricity and it's below freezing outside:
- Power down the pool and all of its equipment. Turning off all circuit breakers that feed power to the pool's machinery is necessary even if the electricity has been cut.
- Remove the drain plug from the bottom of the filter and open the air relief to let excess water out.
- You can drain the in-line chlorinator by opening the valve.
- Make sure the feed line is wrapped and that auto-fill is turned off.
- If there is water in the pipe, open the salt cell and drain it.
- To prevent check valves from breaking, their covers must be removed.
- If you can, disconnect the salt chlorine generator cells from the system and remove them entirely. If this is not possible, open the salt cell and drain any water that may have collected inside the pipe.
A Word of Caution
Avoid turning on any electrical devices that may have formed ice on them. In the event that ice has formed, it must be allowed to melt naturally. Once power is restored, this will help protect the equipment from being damaged.
When the ice melts, you can put back the drains and the cells in the salt chlorine generator. Start up the swimming pool machinery.
Do not forget to seek the assistance of a local pool professional whenever necessary. Get in touch with a licensed pool contractor for advice.
Pool Industry Preparing For The Worst
Experts in the swimming pool industry have begun winterizing pools and wrapping pipes and equipment to prevent damage from subfreezing temperatures.
Once again, all eyes are on Texas, which frequently experiences sudden cold snaps but does not customarily winterize its inground pools. Much of the damage that occurred in 2021 can be attributed to Uri, which brought about a prolonged freeze and widespread power outages. The swimming pool industry is working hard to prevent a repeat of what happened in the past.
A Few Important Take Aways
It is crucial to take precautions in the event of a frozen pool to prevent any damage to the pool's structure or equipment. If the pool water freezes, it's usually best to let it thaw on its own rather than trying to speed up the process. The best course of action is to get in touch with a pool contractor as soon as possible if you discover any structural damage to the pool, such as broken pipes or cracked pool equipment.
When a severe cold snap hits, it's not uncommon for pool equipment and pipes to suffer damage. As a result, many people have started sharing photos of damaged pools and equipment on social media to raise awareness about the need to winterize their pools. If you own a pool, you should take precautions to keep it undamaged during the winter so that it can be used as soon as the weather warms up.
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