Winter appears to be coming in for a quick visit in the next few days. We are providing two PDF attachments PSPS Winter Reminders and PSPS Winter Winterization, for your review and a host of FAQs below to assist with any winter preparations that need to be made:
1. If you are on Facebook, PLEASE go to our page and like/follow it. All updates and emergency responses will be posted there first.
2. PRINT OUT THE ATTACHMENTS IN THIS POST 😊
3. I do not have freeze protection (manual pool), what should I do? RUN THE PUMPS through temperatures less than 38 degrees.
4. Can I test my freeze protection to make sure it is working? – Yes. ONCE THE POOL HAS TURNED ITSELF OFF FOR THE DAY (post-regularly scheduled run time), fully submerge the air temp sensor that hangs from the panel in a cup of ice with a tiny amount of water for a few minutes. This should trigger the freeze protection and power up the pumps. (See photos below)
5. Pressure-side pool cleaners (e.g., Polaris 280, Polaris Quattro, Polaris 3900, Pentair Racers, etc.) – If you have decided to remove the cleaner from the pool, DO NOT run your booster pump. Booster pumps boost the passive water that is always flowing through the system. The pump requires the back pressure of the hooked up cleaner to prevent internal damage to the pump. Options:
a. Leave the cleaner in the pool. You can choose to OR not to run the booster pump.
b. Remove the cleaner from the pool. Make sure the booster pump is not set to turn on whether by schedule of freeze protection.
6. I want to protect the pipes/equipment/valves? What can I wrap? What do I wrap with?
a. Rule of thumb – You can wrap things that do not have a motorized device integrated into it. Red arrows indicate where there a motor that should not be wrapped, as there would be a potential for the unit to burn up with lack of air flow. Multi-cyclones on top of pumps, filters, UV lights, and chlorinators do not have motors with external moving pieces—therefore, they can be insulated. In addition to all “pipe”, the areas noted with green arrows can be insulated. The yellow boxes represent 3-port valves that “can” be insulated from below; however, note the motorized valve actuator on top—that actuator cannot be wrapped because when freeze protection engages, those valves must rotate freely.
c. Secured wrapped materials: pipe insulation (sourced at Lowes/Home Depot), pool noodles (Amazon this time of year), Towels/blankets (only if secured) – DO NOT use plastic wrap to make a “tent” – With the wind, it can come loose and get sucked into equipment. This happened to two well-meaning clients last year and they had to purchase new pumps post-freeze.
7. Should I just turn everything off? – NO. Please run the pumps continuously. Moving water will not freeze in our locale. It is not necessary to run the booster pump (pressurizes water for the pool cleaner), as water runs through the lines even when not on. All other pumps should be running.
8. Should I drain everything? – NO. The ONLY reason a full winterization process is required is if we experience a prolonged power outage. The freeze of 2020 included days of temperatures below 15 degrees coupled with days of no power, hence the immense damage.
9. My waterfalls, grotto, slides, etc. (i.e., water features) are randomly coming on—is something broken/failing? – NO. When the air temperature sensor senses 38 degrees or less, it will begin cycling pumps on/off as well as switch the pool between pool and spa mode in many cases.
10. My pool is supposed to have freeze protection—it’s below 38 degrees and I do not see anything moving—what do I do? – Using your remote, phone app, or panel, manually engage all pumps to run 24/7 until the temperature is above 38 degrees. Submit a request via the client portal at www.pitstoppool.com for a service call to assess the freeze protection of the pool. Use your email on file to log in. NO need to create a new profile—if you are receiving this email, you are “in the system.” 😊
11. What about my pool robot/cleaner? These can stay in the pool. Alternatively, you can remove the robot/cleaner and place inside of the garage, including the caddy/controller.
12. Should I run the heater? – This is permissible, but not necessary.
13. I have a pool chiller. What can be done to protect it and the plumbing in/out of it?
a. Ensure the inlet/outlet valves are closed. (Blue ball valves pictured below)
b. Open the drain line/plug valve (usually a 1” pipe connection) and drain out any water that may be inside. (Red ball valves pictured below)
c. Wrap/cover the ball valves and pipes in/out of the chiller as best as possible (Yellow highlighted areas pictured below)
14. Will I receive pool service during colder weather? – YES, but it may limited, depending on the severity of the weather. We will service all pools so long as the roads are safe to do so. When temperatures are below freezing, limited-inclement weather service is provided and will be notated in your service report.
15. What should I do if something begins leaking? – Take a photo (text to 713.234.5215), and submit a request via the client portal at www.pitstoppool.com. Use your email on file to log in. NO need to create a new profile—if you received an email, you are “in the system.” 😊 If you are a new customer, you will need a new profile. If it is a small drip, you can continue to run the system so nothing fully freezes…if it is gushing, you will need to follow winterization instructions.
Stay warm!!! And let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns.