You’re thinking of investing in a new custom swimming pool. You know how much fun the family will have, playing and entertaining, poolside, all summer long. But what about the colder months? What about when winter comes? It’s something to consider, but really, this is Texas – what winter?
Additionally, what better way to chase away those winter blues than with a dip in the pool? Having a resort-like atmosphere in your own backyard is the perfect way to kick back and relax when the weather is chilly or grey. If there’s one thing Texan custom pool owners know, it’s that the enjoyment of owning a custom pool does not have to stop just because the weather turns – we almost always enjoy warmer temperatures year-round here in Texas!
This is especially true if your pool is heated. With a pool that is heated year-round, your pool season is extended into those cooler months, giving you that backyard oasis you are really looking for. In this way, custom heated swimming pools provide much more entertainment, well into the “winter” months in Texas, especially compared to what you might otherwise have with a swimming pool in other areas of the country. Custom heated pools can provide not only entertainment and relaxation, but access to year-round wellness and exercise.
Living in a warmer climate will grant you the enjoyment of using your custom pool nearly whenever you like. But even with our thankfully mild winters, every pool owner must be aware of the #1 threat – freezing. It doesn’t happen that often in Texas, but when it does it kills trees and plants and yes, even pools.
When water freezes, it expands with incredible force. That same force that you’ve seen explode a frozen beverage can, will also expand and burst your pool pipes, and crack your equipment. Whether or not you close your custom pool for the winter, be sure and take precautions to protect it from freeze damage, regardless of where you live. Even Texan pool owners have learned, with much regret, that freezing temperatures are a risk!
The most effective way to prevent freeze damage is to keep the pool water at a constant temperature above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If you can’t do that for any reason, be it cost or heating ability, the safer option is to close your pool. No one wants to wake up or come home to a frozen pool.
When deciding whether to close your pool for the cooler months, here are three important factors to consider: 1) the average predicted winter temperatures, 2) the cost of running your heater more, and 3) the cost of running your filter pump to keep your water circulating longer.
If you decide to go ahead and enjoy your custom pool through those “wintery” months in Texas, here are some tips for how to avoid the freeze damage that could always be possible, even here in Texas.
Keep your custom pool covered
Keeping your pool covered will allow you to get the most out of keeping your pool heated by preventing unnecessary heat loss. It’s just like keeping a lid on pot of water while encouraging it to boil. Improve your custom pool’s heat retention by keeping it covered.
Run your pool heater 12 hours a day
This is a rule of thumb that can be adjusted depending on the temperatures you are experiencing. The most important thing to remember is that the pool’s temperature must be kept above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember, temperatures drop at night, so running your pool’s heater at night will likely be the most cost-effective route.
Use a Freeze Protector
If you are not home to watch over your pool 24/7, or you are worried that you might forget to run your pool heater or keep your filter pump running, a Freeze Protector might be a good investment for you. Freeze Protectors work by automatically powering on your pump and pool heater when temperatures drop.
Keep your filter pump running 24 hours a day
If a Freeze Protector isn’t in your budget, running your filter pump 24 hours a day is another solution to keep your pipes from freezing and your equipment from cracking. This will also keep your water circulating, which will help with keeping the pool temperature up, by keeping the heated water in circulation.
Keep the pool pump from freezing by running it as long as it takes to keep the water warm. If it does freeze for some reason, remove the drain plug and relieve the pressure from the system.
Set all valves to open (or filter)
This will allow for optimal heat distribution. This may be a given, but it is important to remember that during the cooler months, keeping all your valves open is the most effective way to keep your water warm and circulating. It’s worth a quick double check to ensure your valves are all in the correct position.
Angle pool jets upward
This will prevent surface freezing. Adjusting the angle of your custom pool jets has a noticeable effect on your overall heating distribution. It will change the way your pool heats, if not the speed at which it heats. Angling the jets upwards sends a constant blast of heat across the surface and fends off any surface ice that may form if the temperature does plunge during one of those rare Texas cold spells.
Maintain proper water level
When the temperatures do drop it is the most critical time to make sure you keep track of your pool’s water level. Unless you have winterized your pool, it is important to ensure your water level is maintained in order to avoid equipment damage or circulation issues, among other possible problems. An automatic leveler is helpful with maintaining your water level if you won’t be able to continually check it yourself.
Keeping these tips in mind, and remembering what mild winters we have, it is completely possible to have fun in the sun in your custom pool year-round here in Texas. While the threat of a freeze is always a possibility, with a little extra vigilance, you and your family can enjoy your backyard pool oasis during even those “winter” months. The idea that custom pools are only for the summertime is purely myth, especially here in Texas.
Medallion Energy. (2018, February 9). Blog: 9 Ways to Prevent Swimming Pool Freeze Damage. Retrieved from Medallion Energy Web Site: http://www.medallionenergy.com/blog/prevent-pool-freeze-damage/