We are expecting the first freeze of the season toward the end of this week—and pool owners should be prepared, as it appears that it will be a hard freeze, with temperatures forecast to get as low as 20 degrees. The average first freeze occurring in the DFW area on November 22nd, so it appears that it will happen about two weeks behind schedule this year.
As the freezing weather approaches, it is important that you know how to prevent freeze damage if your pool has not already been prepared for the freeze. Following are our recommendations on how to prevent freeze damage.
- Continue the regular weekly routine of testing the water, adding chemicals as necessary, cleaning out the baskets, etc. Pay particular attention to the chlorine test, as you will not have to add as much chlorine during the winter as you have this summer (with cooler temperatures, less sanitizer is required).
- Backwash the filter as necessary—it is very important to have good water flow and a clean filter, especially going into a freeze situation.
- Keep the water level at the normal level—typically the middle of the tile.
- Be sure that your pump(s) is/are running when the temperature is freezing. This will help prevent freeze damage to the equipment and plumbing which is an expensive repair. Many pools are equipped with a freeze sensor, which should turn the main pump on, which circulates water through the equipment, including the automatic cleaner booster pump. It is a good idea to make sure that your pump is on during the first freeze just to be sure that your freeze sensor is operating properly. Other pumps in the system (pumps for waterfalls, spa jets, etc.) are typically not freeze sensored, and either must be drained or manually turned on during freezing temperatures.
- Drain the pool equipment—This is a method used when covering pools with a solid cover, but is sometimes also used in emergency situations (equipment problems, no electricity, extreme cold, etc.) to prevent freeze damage. Two things to be aware of if using this method: be sure that all of the equipment is drained properly and also be sure that the power is turned off to the pool equipment to prevent any freeze sensors from turning on the equipment, which could result in damage.
Again, if your pool is equipped with a freeze sensor, the pump should come on when the air temperature reaches 38 degrees Fahrenheit and below. Please check to be sure that this is happening when these temperatures are occurring.
If temperatures reach the single digits or will be under freezing for an extended period of time, oftentimes extra precautions must be taken. If that is the case, please contact us and we will be glad to advise you on how to avoid freeze damage. Should you have any questions concerning winter pool care, please feel free to give us a call at (940) 384-7665.
For you “weather nerds”, following is more DFW freezing weather information from the National Weather Service:
First & last freezes
Average first freeze—November 22nd
Average last freeze—March 13th
Earliest first freeze—October 22, 1898
Latest first freeze—January 4, 1972
Earliest last freeze—February 5, 2000
Latest last freeze—April 13, 1957 & 1997
Number of freezes
Average freezes in a season—33
Average freezes by month
Most freezes in a season—62 (1977-78)
Most freezes by month
December—21 (1963, 1989)
January—27 (1940, 1978)
February—21 (1905, 1978)
April—2 (1920, 1957)
Fewest number of freezes—14 (1930-31, 1931-32, 1999-2000, 2011-12)
If you are wondering what the record low temperature is for the DFW area, you might be surprised that it only has been below zero four times: -8 degrees (February 12, 1899), -2 degrees (January 3, 1949), -1 degrees (January 18, 1930 & December 23, 1989).
Stay warm this winter and if you have a swimming pool, be prepared!!!