It safe to say that the damage freezing water and ice can cause your swimming pool is huge! Most of us live in climates that experience extended periods of time where the weather is freezing. Because of this, any weak links with your pool winterizing process is a valid concern. Of course, with shorter periods of freezing weather you can hold out hope that you might be able to avoid damage through luck. Sadly, luck really doesn't have much to do with this. Read on.
Freezing Weather and Pools
In our opinion, freezing weather and swimming pools simply don't go well together. When closing, your goal should be to prevent damage to your pool, it's equipment and surrounding components. Unfortunately, freezing weather will cause shifting, crushing, and sinking. The damage freezing water can cause concerning cosmetic issues inside your pool, interior surfaces and even the deck around your pool are serious. Furthermore, freezing weather advances the rate of wear of many components of your pool.
Here are a few things you should look for as far as damage goes:
- Leaking Water
- Frozen Pool Pump
- Frozen Pool Filter
- Frozen Pool Heater
- Frozen Pool Deck
- Frozen Pool Skimmer
When water freezes it expands and the force generated by expanding ice is enough to split pipes, crack concrete, break pump, filter or heaters. In our opinion, pretty much every part of your swimming pool can be broken by water as it freezes.
Once you've experienced freezing weather it's a good idea to monitor the rate of water loss in your pool. Even though it's time consuming, this is the best and most reliable way of knowing if your pool is losing water or not. Take a pencil and mark the water level on the face of the skimmer. Every 24 hours go out and mark the water level again making sure to take note whether it rained in the past 24 hours or not. You are looking for the rate of evaporation when you have your pool pump running versus not running.
Make sure to call your local pool professional if you believe your pool in fact, has a leak. Pool professionals will be able to perform a pressure test of your system. It's not recommended that you do this yourself as it can actually be dangerous.
Frozen Pool Pump
According to our research, if your system wasn't closed and winterized properly you may experience damage to your pump after the weather freezes. First, examine your pump for cracks in the body or connection points. Something like this will make it so your pump will not prime. Think about it this way; imagine trying to drink from a straw that has a hole in it. No matter how hard you try, you'll only get about 90 percent air and at most, 10 percent liquid. Pretty frustrating, right? Secondly, try to keep the area under your pump as dry as possible. This way you can note any water leakage or dampness. One more thing, if your pump does end up priming because a crack may be very small, you'll notice the pump may not sound quite right or like it did before.
One more trick to try if the pump does run but not well enough, is that when you turn the pump off any defects or cracks in it will very likely spit a momentary jet of water out as the pressure in the system reverses.
Frozen Pool Filter
Interestingly enough, there is very little technology involved with pool filters. Most say that filters are simply a garbage can filled with some kind of media that helps remove unwanted debris from your pool. But when it comes to freeze damage there are a few things that can break. The filter tank can break or split if the volume of water inside freezes and expands. Keep in mind that the splits can be quite small or hidden from view. In fact, you may not notice a problem when turning on the pump but you'll notice bubbles coming back to the pool through the return and eventually, you'll find dampness or water leaking from around the filter.
Keep in mind that if you have a sand filter, the multiport valve is inclined to freeze. A common symptom of this is water escaping through the backwash pipe even when the filter head is set to "filter" mode. This shows you that there is spoke gasket failure. In addition to that, pressure gauges can often be ruined with freezing weather as well.
Frozen Pool Heater
The words "frozen pool heater" sound kinda weird, right? But it can definitely happen. According to local pool professionals, running your heater when its really cold outside isn't a good thing. Condensation is acidic and can corrode the internal parts of your heater over time. Pool professionals suggest that if you have a pool heater, it would be a good idea to run it to keep the pool water a few degrees above zero to prevent more serious freeze damage.
Furthermore, power outages can cause problems with pool heaters icing over as pipes and pools freeze. Unfortunately this can result in not being able get your pool system running again after the power has returned. Water expands when it freezes and will cause damage to your heater.
Frozen Pool Deck
In like manner, freeze and thaw conditions can be the hardest on your pool deck. The lifting and heaving forces of freezing water and ice are amazingly strong. Professionals recommend seaming together your pool deck with a flexible urethane product. They also suggest patching with something more like concrete may not be ideal because the deck can migrate and urethane has the ability to flex and move somewhat with moving deck conditions.
Frozen Pool Skimmer
Your pool skimmer body is made from PVC and if water is trapped in the skimmer when it expands then it will most likely crack. Skimmers are very unforgiving to cold weather and freezing and repairs or replacement of pool skimmers can be expensive. Make sure to inspect your skimmer body for signs of cracking if you believe it's been frozen. They may be hard to see but you can usually feel cracks with your fingers.
Closing Your Pool the Waters Choice Way
Interestingly enough, some people think they need to go break the ice on the surface of their pool. But, you'll run the risk of damaging tiles, plaster, vinyl and even gel coats on fiberglass pools. You might consider leaving it alone. People believe that they need to add chlorine to their pool water during the winter but if you use our broad spectrum enzymes and follow Waters Choice's directions to close your pool using our Pure Enzymes for Pools correctly, this shouldn't be the case.
Pure Enzymes for Pools.
Closing your pool with Waters Choice enzymes monthly treatment is really quite simple! Just pour one 12 oz bottle of enzymes to clean, clear pool water and close it up! Yes, it's THAT SIMPLE! If by chance you prefer to use our concentrated pool enzymes then simply add 2 oz. of Pool Treatment Enzyme Concentrate per 10k gallons 2 weeks in a row to clean pool water, then close it up. Absolutely no other chemicals are needed.
What if you are just learning about the benefits of using enzymes in your pool water? We have an excellent FAQ page on our website. Click over to learn more and sign up for our newsletter. You'll also find us on your favorite social media platforms. Make sure to search for Waters Choice and Like or Follow us. We have a large collection of helpful videos on YouTube and are adding more each month. While you're at it, make sure to pin our posts to your Pinterest boards and share with your friends. Help us spread the good news about enzymes and how using them will make your pool water maintenance so much simpler.