What to Do About Pool Freeze Damage - O'Neill's Pools

What to do about Pool Freeze Damage

The recent polar vortex weather has brought lots of concern to the Austin residents. Cold weather can cause freeze damage over long periods of time, especially if the pool was not closed for winter. Additionally, the power outages that we all experienced have caused a lot of damage to pool equipment and plumbing. We are here to do the hard work for you and bring all of your pool equipment, plumbing and services back to a healthy state. Do not hesitate to give us a call at 512-263-3495 to schedule repairs. You can also fill out the form at the bottom of this page and we will get back to you shortly.

Without Power

Once there is no power to your equipment — either from you shutting it off or from a loss of power because of the weather — follow these steps:

  • Make sure all equipment has been shut off and that the breakers to your equipment have also been turned off.

  • Open the air relief valve on your pool’s filter.

  • Remove the drain plugs from the front and rear headers of your pool heater. If you have a heat pump, remove those drain plugs too.

  • Remove the lid and drain plugs from your pump.

  • Remove the drain plugs from the filter or any other unit, such as a leaf trap, that holds water, including in-floor system water valves.

  • Remove the top on Jandy valves, check valves, or other valves. If necessary, open the valves so water can move down the pipe.

  • Put empty plastic gallon jugs in your pool to take up ice expansion and protect your pool tiles or finish from freezing weather. Make sure each jug has enough water to give it weight (but not full) so it breaks the surface of the water but is not fully submerged.  You can also use floats or anything that can absorb pressure. Place a weighted 5 gallon bucket on your steps or hanging over the edge in the pool. Again, the bucket must break the surface of the water.

  • Put an empty plastic drink bottle (if a Gizzmo is unavailable) in the skimmer to protect it. The bottle should have enough water to give it weight but not be full. Do the same for in-deck chlorinators or deck debris traps for in-floor cleaners.

  • If there is an auto leveler, wrap a towel around the vac break (backflow preventer) to prevent damage.

If your system froze up, following is a plan moving forward.

  • Let it thaw out. This might take a few days of above freezing temperatures as solid chunks of ice often take several days to melt. Operating your equipment while there is still frozen ice in the lines could cause further damage—so be patient and let it melt.

  • Once you are convinced that all of the ice has melted, turn the pumps on. Visually check the equipment pad area for possible leaks from the pool equipment, valves, or plumbing. Also check your fill line for freeze damage. In addition, it would be a good idea to check your automatic pool cleaner hose lines to make sure that there is no damage.

  • Most underground pipes are deep enough that they do not experience freeze damage in this region, but, just in case, check the yard for wet spots. If you have a wet spot in the yard, you could have an underground leak, which needs to be repaired.

  • If you see any leaks or damage, turn the pumps off and give us a call at 512-263-3495 to schedule repairs. You can also fill out the form at the bottom of this page and we will get back to you shortly.

If Your System Froze

If Your System Continued to Operate

If your system continued to operate and you did not experience extended electrical outages that adversely impacted your pool operation, you are one of the fortunate ones. Following are some things to consider:

  1. After running for such a long time, your filter will likely need to be backwashed/cleaned. You might need to wait a few days, just in case the backwash line contains ice.

  2. Visually check the equipment pad area for possible leaks from the pool equipment, valves, or plumbing. Also check your fill line for freeze damage. In addition, it would be a good idea to check your automatic pool cleaner hose lines to make sure that there is no damage.

  3. Most underground pipes are deep enough that they do not experience freeze damage in this region, but, just in case, check the yard for wet spots. If you have a wet spot in the yard, you could have an underground leak, which needs to be repaired.

  4. If you see any leaks or damage, turn the pumps off and give us a call at 512-263-3495 to schedule repairs.  You can also fill out the form at the bottom of this page and we will get back to you shortly.

If your system was winterized, freeze damage could still have occurred as oftentimes not all of the water vacates all components and plumbing.

  1. It is important to wait a few days to be sure that any ice that remains in the system has time to melt. Then replace all plugs, turn the power back on, and prime the pump to begin operation.

  2. Visually check the equipment pad area for possible leaks from the pool equipment, valves, or plumbing. Also check your fill line for freeze damage. In addition, it would be a good idea to check your automatic pool cleaner hose lines to make sure that there is no damage.

  3. Most underground pipes are deep enough that they do not experience freeze damage in this region, but, just in case, check the yard for wet spots. If you have a wet spot in the yard, you could have an underground leak, which needs to be repaired.

  4. If you see any leaks or damage, turn the pumps off and give us a call at 512-263-3495 to schedule repairs.  You can also fill out the form at the bottom of this page and we will get back to you shortly.

If Your System was Winterized (equipment was drained)

Will My Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Any Damage?

Is freeze damage to swimming pools and swimming pool equipment covered by homeowner’s insurance?

In most cases, freeze damage is not covered, but the resulting damage would be covered.

An example would be: pool equipment and/or a pipe freezes and busts, water leaks from the pool equipment area to the house and warps the floor.

Some homeowners have added mechanical breakdowns to their policy, and if they have, then the damage to the pool equipment would likely be covered.

With that being said, policy language is different among different carriers—so check with your insurance professional to find out what your policy covers.

Schedule Maintenance