Pools are typically associated with the warm and sunny summers that we get here in North Texas. However, the recent winter storm that came through was a bitterly cold reminder that pool maintenance is a year-long commitment that allows for seasonal enjoyment when we emerge from the winter months.
Chris Bowen, owner of Bowen Pools, offered his business protocol on proper pool winterization to safeguard against the elements.
How to Prepare for a Deep Freeze
It is important that water is circulating through the entire pool and any water feature systems during deep-freeze conditions. If you have any water feature booster pumps that you wish to winterize, follow the winterizing steps below. It is important to note that if you have a gas heater, you should not turn them on for a continuous amount of time, as it can cause damage to the internals of the heater.
How to Winterize a Pool (if power is lost)
- Turn off all power at the breaker.
- Open the air relief valve on the filter to release water.
- Unscrew or open the lid on the pump.
- Unscrew both drain plugs on the bottom of the pump.
- Unscrew the large drain plug from the filter.
- If you have a heater, unscrew the drain plug under the front header (located where the plumbing pipes go in and out of the heater).
- If you have a cleaner booster pump, remove the drain plug from the bottom.
- If you have any other devices that hold water, make sure to drain them.
- To ensure all drain plugs do not get lost, place them within the pump strainer basket.
Upon completing those steps, all the water should be out of the pool equipment, and therefore, cannot be frozen.
As important as it is to winterize, it is equally important to properly un-winterize a pool.
How to Start Your Pool Up After Winterizing
- Reassemble all drain plugs that were removed.
- Take a water hose and fill up all pumps with water.
- Turn pool equipment back on.
- Turn on pumps, one at a time, and allow pumps to prime.
Note: Pumps prime faster if you are only pulling from one water line. Adjust valves as needed.
According to Chris, this winterization process is actually just a partial winterization guide for North Texas. “A true northern winterization typically will also include blowing out the plumbing lines and plugging them, since their frost level is so severe that they don’t want any water in the system at all.”
One of the most common mistakes Chris sees from pool owners is that they don’t have proper protection on their pools during the winter months. “We typically see people who won’t have freeze protect on their pool and don’t check to see if it’s working or not. And that’s where we see freeze damage most of the time in a normal winter.” He emphasized that it is important for pool owners to make sure their equipment is working properly prior to a freeze and to make sure they know how to winterize their equipment in the case of an emergency.
As expected, there has been an uptick in business calls for pool equipment repairs in the aftermath of the winter storm. With over 100 service calls scheduled during the first week after the storm, Bowen Pools has been out to assess the damage in our area. “Unfortunately, this event has caused an equipment shortage in North Texas. Luckily, we have quite a bit of storage space and were able to stock up on equipment for a couple of weeks before things got too crazy,” Chris states.
This bout of inclement weather was a reminder for all pool owners to check on their pool equipment regularly and to follow proper winterization protocols. Mild or not, winter weather can cause damage to intricate pool equipment if not properly protected.
3341 Long Prairie Rd. • Flower Mound, TX 75022 • BowenPoolsllc.com • 214.770.7227