One of the many reasons we all live in the Austin metro area is to enjoy the wonderful weather almost all year round. Every so often we have an interruption to our bliss in the form of an “arctic blast”.
The weatherperson’s main job is to alert, inform and advise us what to do when conditions are going to make life here in Austin somewhat uncomfortable and to some, down right unbearable.
I would like to add one more “p” to the traditional three “p’s” of your preferred news channel’s reminder. Pets, plants, people should also include pools.
The main goal we are trying to achieve is to get water to move through the pool’s pipes during freezing temperatures. It’s that simple. Stationary water in pipes will freeze and expand, cracking pipes and equipment.
What you should do for your pool depends on what equipment you have or don’t have. Some pools have whats called a freeze protector. Some pools may not. A freeze protector is a simple device that acts much like your home’s thermistat. When the set temperature is sensed by the freeze protector, the freeze protector will automatically turn the equipment attached to it, on. It will remain on until the freeze protector senses a temperature above the set temperature.
Some freeze protectors are stand alone and have a copper sensing tube coiled neatly somewhere by your controller box, sometimes in it. Others are intrigrated in the controller, usually in automated systems like an aqualink. Automated systems will have a nipple like temp sensor, usually hanging just underneath the controller box.
Regardless of what type you have, there is a quick and easy way to check if your freeze protector is working properly. All you need is a cup of ice water. Dip the copper sensing tube or the temperature sensor in the cup of ice water and wait a few seconds. If the freeze protector is working, it should turn on whichever pumps are wired to it within a few seconds. If it does not, then likely it’s time to change out the sensor or at least have it serviced.
If your pool’s freeze protector fails to activate your pumps or if your pool’s equipment does not have one. Don’t worry. Remember the goal is to move water through the pool’s pipes. All you need to do is manually turn on your filter pump and any stand alone waterfeature pumps. If you have an automated system, put the system in “service” mode, and manually turn on the desired equipment. Leave it on until it warms up, then set it back in “auto” when it warms up. If you have a mechanical timeclock, remove the “off” tripper and flip the switch to the on position. Leave it like this until it warms up and then you can put it back the way it was.
Insuring the above Reliable Pool Care recommendations should get us through the anticipated freezing conditions. We can then return to normal run times for your equipment. Running your equipment for the next two to three days continuously will prevent costly repairs to equipment and pipes. Repairs can sometimes be as high as 500.00 to 1,000.00 dollars depending on damage.