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View Full Version : If you don't cover your pool in winter...how do you handle power outages?



Gracie
07-22-2006, 04:39 PM
If you don't put on a winter cover...how do you handle power outages that might occur during winter?

This is our 3rd season with this pool. (21 foot round in ground) We've always used a solid winter cover because the people that lived here before us left it uncovered all year. About 5 years ago we had a terrible ice storm and they were without power for a week. Lines froze and broke.

I live in central NC so ice storms happen.

I need to buy a new winter cover for this winter and would love to just keep it open instead. I'm not sure this is possible.

Our pool lines are very close to the soil surface as I'm told they hit granite when they were digging out for the pool. The top 1-2 feet sit out of the ground. http://photos.imageevent.com/kcleavenger/newhouse/PICT0007.JPG

Wondering what the rest of you do before I buy a new cover for the winter....

Dan Zuck
07-23-2006, 09:34 AM
You'll have to get a generator.

joliecharlie
07-23-2006, 09:52 PM
I too am in central NC ..In Jan 2000 we had 26 inches of snow and temperatures in the low teens for a week ...with no power. It was unexpected needless to say. We went out as soon as the power went out and drained the pump and filter, all things that could be drained... and crossed our fingers. THe pool was frozen for about a week, We had no damage to pool or plumbing... Our next door neighbors did the same thing and had no problems.

We have had a few other outages since then but not cold enough to freeze water.

jnorris
07-23-2006, 11:28 PM
I too am in central NC ..In Jan 2000 we had 26 inches of snow and temperatures in the low teens for a week ...with no power. It was unexpected needless to say. We went out as soon as the power went out and drained the pump and filter, all things that could be drained... and crossed our fingers. THe pool was frozen for about a week, We had no damage to pool or plumbing... Our next door neighbors did the same thing and had no problems.

We have had a few other outages since then but not cold enough to freeze water.

Wow, I never thought about power outages. We have a generator, hard wired into our house's main power supply, but the pool equipment is not on it.

We have a pool heater (propane); if we are expecting temperatures cold enough to cause trouble, I wonder if we could just run the heater a little and bring the temp up enough to make a difference, so that if we did lose power, the water temp would have farther to go to freeze? Or am I just dreaming? I assume it's not how cold the water in the pool is, but how cold the water is in the lines and the pump and filter. Maybe I should get a lesson on how to drain those.

matt4x4
07-24-2006, 12:57 PM
A winter cover has NOTHING to do with the pool freezing, it does not magically keep your pool warm, all it does is keep leaves etc out, your pool would still freeze the same as without a cover.
Winterizing the pool is what needs to be done, living in ontario, I winterize - which means drop the water level below your return and skimmer and drain all equipment and lines. However, because i do not have trees nearby and we get terribly strong winds all winter, I do NOT cover my pool with a winter cover - it would do more damage than good in my case. Cleaning what did get into the pool over the winter is easy.

Or in some cases, winterizing consists of:

Put a plug in the return, a cover over the skimmer and antifreeze in all lines (I would still drain equipment though instead of antifreezing it.).

Poconos
07-24-2006, 01:04 PM
Water in pipes close to the surface can freeze pretty fast. I assume that is the concern raised in the initial question. You rely on circulating water to keep pipes from freezing. Only two options you have are already stated. Generator or Winterizing beforehand. My option would be the latter. If you have to rely on a generator to prevent pipe freezing, Murphy's Law will kick in....If something can go wrong...it will. Won't start, long outage, out of gas...etc. All you need is one short ice plug in a pipe to stop circulation and you're screwed. Winterizing to drain and plug pipes doesn't take that long once you get the hang of it. Then you can relax and enjoy the ice.
Al

joliecharlie
07-24-2006, 06:13 PM
In our part of the south, the ground rarely freezes, so it would have to be an extreme situation such as we had in 2000 for ice to form in the lines.

Gracie
07-24-2006, 09:25 PM
matt4x4, we do winterize before putting the cover on. Drop water, blow out and plug lines and drain the filter.

Joliecharlie, I know what you mean. Last winter was so mild.

We do have one portable generator but it won't run basic house stuff and the pool. Guess we'll just cover like normal. I just detest cleaning those water bags, and getting the leaves off the top of the cover.

jnorris
07-25-2006, 12:13 AM
OK, if I do the "winterize" thing, draining the lines and such (but not the antifreeze), and I don't cover it, does this mean I'll have to look at dirty water all winter? Do you keep chemicals in it, and how do you circulate? Keep in mind that I am in SC. I have no idea how cold to expect the water temp to go. Our typical winter weather is highs in the 40's to 50's, lows in the 30's, with a few cold snaps of 20's or even teens.

Sherra
07-25-2006, 02:20 PM
This is our first year with a pool here in SC also (Kershaw County), so I'll be watching this part of the forum this year! Our neighbor has a small IG fiberglass "patio" pool (maybe 6' wide x 10' long and about 4-5' deep) and they didn't "close" their pool last year. I know that when we first opened the pool this spring and the water temps were low, we had to use very little bleach to keep the chlorine levels up. I'm figuring on just cutting the pump time down to a couple of hours during the night and keeping the chemicals balanced.