Frozen Pool Pipes
I have a 3 yr old in ground salt water pool that we keep open year round and run the pump 24/7. This winter the temps are getting down to zero and over night my pump shut off and I had about a half inch layer of ice on top.
My question is, how cold and for how long does it need to stay cold for the underground pipes to completely freeze and do damage?
It's supposed to warm up above freezing tomorrow. The pump started again but keeps shutting off. Is it better to keep trying to turn it on or just leave it off until it warms up enough?
Thanks for the question Gina
The water lines above ground generally the first to freeze. Ideally you want to drain all lines.
Some factors that will contribute to pool pipes freezing are:
- the rate of flow of the water through the pipes
- pipe diameter
- whether the pipe is in or aboveground as was stated before
I've found that it may take over 8 hours for water to freeze solid in a 2" pipe without the pump running and with the temperature not getting above 20 - 25 degrees. If possible, try to drain it during the freeze period rather than rely on running the pump.
It's the freezing, then expansion, that causes the lines to break. However, it's virtually impossible for moving water to freeze solid.
My advice would be to try to keep the pump running as long as possible, but keep an eye on the pump pot. If it begins to strain you know there's a clog or frozen pipe in the returns. Turn off the system. Running a dry pump will cause it to overheat.
This is a "close the barn door after the horses get out" situation that many people are in right now.