Inground pool freezing over - should I turn on the heater?

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Inground pool freezing over - should I turn on the heater?

Postby Tammy ATL, GA » Sun 10 Jan, 2010 18:35

The pool is inground & freezing. The freeze protect is running so I'm not concerned about that. i know that running water won't freeze.
The problem is so much water is freezing that it's getting lower than the skimmer levels.
My filler hose and water faucet are also frozen, so unless I carry buckets from the house to the pool, I have no way of increasing the water level.
My questions are:
If the water is below the skimmer and sucks air - how much damage might be done to the pool equipment or is the drain at the bottom enough to protect the pool & equipment.
Being so cold will I do any damage by sparkin' up the 'ol heater? (other than to my wallet of course).
And which is more important - trying to keep water in the skimmers, or getting the ice to melt?
Anyhelp would be greatly appreciated.
Tammy outside of Metro Atlanta, GA
Tammy ATL, GA
 

Inground pool freezing over - should I turn on the heater?

Postby Pool User » Mon 11 Jan, 2010 04:52

If the water is below the skimmer and sucks air - how much damage might be done to the pool equipment or is the drain at the bottom enough to protect the pool & equipment.

NEVER run the pump when it's sucking air. The pump needs water for "lubrication" and cooling. If you work the pump dry you will destroy it! The bottom drain will protect the pool plumbing but will not help the skimmer line. You'd be better off thawing your garden hose or getting a new one, rather than risk splitting the skimmer or suction line.

Being so cold will I do any damage by sparkin' up the 'ol heater? (other than to my wallet of course).

You could run the heater. Atlanta is typically warm enough that the pool doesn't freeze. This atypical weather is only going to last a couple of days so you could run the heater for peace of mind. Make sure the heater and piping is not frozen and watch the pressure when you turn the pump on.

And which is more important - trying to keep water in the skimmers, or getting the ice to melt?

A thin sheet of ice on the surface of the pool is no problem. The freeze starts at the top. You really must prevent the skimmer box and pipes from freezing and filling the pool will allow you to run the circulation pump better.
Pool User
 

Inground pool freezing over - should I turn on the heater?

Postby zzwrigm » Tue 18 Jan, 2011 14:50

I have some of the same questions and in past years, let the water go below the skimmer after moving the lever all the way to main drain. This has always worked for me, but this winter has been colder and I do not want to end up with water that is still in the skimmer freezing. It is best to keep it all moving with skimmer open and pool full. It is tough when the hose line freezes and you can't fill the pool. The reason I have chosen to even address this is because I have used the following technique with the hose to keep it from freezing up.

Fill your pool as usual with just the hose(no attachments like sprayer heads). When done, cut water off for spigots wherever in the house the main cutoff is for the spigots. For me this is upstairs in my furnace room, next to my water heater. This shuts off both of my outdoor spigots and allows the hose as well as any water in the spigot to drain. Do not turn the water off 'outside' where you have the hose attached. Next time you need more water in the pool, throw the hose in and turn the water on in the house again at the main cutoff that controls the outdoor spigots. During the recent 5 days of freezing temperatures here in Atlanta, this worked for me with hesitation in the water line only one time and then for only seconds.
zzwrigm
 

Inground pool freezing over - should I turn on the heater?

Postby czechmate » Sat 22 Jan, 2011 14:26

You either drain pool to bellow the skimmer level, as well as ALL the equipment, especially heater or spend a few bucks during the winter and run the pool on freeze-stat and protect the color of plaster as well as the integrity of the tile and grout.
In the South, including Atlanta it should be a no-brainer. Draining is for places like Minnesota or Ontario, Canada.
Furthermore, once you let the pool freeze over, you cannot reverse the action since ice may be 6 inches thick. And you will start collecting nasty debris and junk that will put several dirt lines into your plaster.
In the Spring start-up, you will wish you have spent a few bucks on electrical bill.
You really do not want to use acid wash unless there is no other option. In this case the option is a few bucks for electricity.
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Inground pool freezing over - should I turn on the heater?

Postby patriciathore » Thu 18 Aug, 2011 07:28

You should prevent this to happen, I agree that you should drain your pool. And refill it with a new water. This time you should properly maintain your swimming pool.
"All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath."

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