As the cold weather
pushes in, pool and homeowners should know how to prevent freezing pipes. Besides being an important part of closing your pool
, this is something that can affect your entire home. In today’s blog, let’s take a look at how to prepare your pipes for the winter, and the many types of damage that can occur from ill-prepared pipes.
Understanding the Dangers of Freezing Pipes
Before we start, let’s take a look at why freezing pipes can be so problematic. When closing your pool or hot tub for the winter, it’s very important to get as much idle water out of your pipes as possible. Chances are, if you haven’t properly winterized your pool equipment, including the filter, heater and so on, there will likely be water left in your pipes. When the temperature drops, it can wreak havoc on your infrastructure. You see, when water freezes, it expands. So water that was previously just sitting there without causing problems can suddenly become too much for your pipes to contain. This can damage both plastic and
When the idle water freezes and expands, it can produce cracks and splits in the pipe. As you can probably guess, this can cause flooding. Beyond water damage, a freezing pipe that cracks can also quickly become a breeding ground for mold. Any homeowner who has ever had to deal with mold should immediately understand why this is cause for alarm. A cracked pipe can immediately become a tremendous financial burden. In particularly bad situations, it can even leave your home uninhabitable until the problem is fixed.
Which Pipes Are Most at Risk?
As we mentioned earlier, all pipes can be at risk for frost damage.
Outdoor pipes, such as the ones above ground that are connected to your swimming pool filtration unit, are the most at risk. They face the elements head on, all day and night. When the temperatures are below freezing, they will be under constant assault. Throughout the winter, be sure to do a spot check on your exposed pipes to be absolutely sure they haven’t been damaged.
Additionally, check any exposed pipes that are inside places like a garage or under a deck. If they aren’t surrounded by insulation, they are also very likely to freeze. If you have an above-ground pool
, it’s likely that most, if not all, of your pool plumbing is at risk.
As for the pipes that are under ground, those are a bit safer. Because they are insulated by the ground, it will take quite a while longer for any idle water to turn to ice. Freezing pipes are still a risk, but depending on the temperature, it can take up to a week to occur.
How to Winterize to Prevent Freezing Pipes
There are a variety of ways to prevent freezing pipes running from your pool.
First things first, keep a close eye on the weather.
It pays to know the forecast during the winter so you can predict potential problems. If freezing is anticipated, make sure you take the proper steps to prepare. You’ll know to be more vigilant when you can see trouble coming days before.
Make sure you keep your valves open.
Perhaps most important to know, water that is moving won’t freeze. That’s where open valves come in. A simple turn of the knob can prevent a lot of problems later.
Run your filter pump.
Speaking of keeping the water flowing, don’t forget to leave your pump on. It can circulate the water and prevent freezing pipes. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’ll be cheaper to shut it down for the winter. As we’ve explored above, freezing pipes can be extremely costly. The best bet is to play it safe and, when the temperature is below 40 degrees, run your pool pump. It can save you from a lot of trouble later.