I have a house that came with a outside water softener that has
digital controls. It's located just west of Houston, Texas. One
water softener guy told me to cover the controls with plastic for
freezing weather in winter. Normally we get a few days below freezing
or otherwise 35 F or so in winter. I know gas stations have digital
controls and they don't bother to cover them in winter so I'm
wondering if it's really necessary? The old owner never mention this
to me either. He said just add salt and let it do it's thing when I
bought the home in early summer. Advice ???
If I were told to cover it in the winter I would be doing so to prevent
it from freezing and bursting, absolutely _nothing_ to do with "digital
controls", which is a whole different story. Get the manufacturer,
model number and do a google search for the manufacturer. Call or email
them and ask if it is made to be left outside.
I'm curious, is it were it gets rained on or under some type of roof?
They aren't called _Liquid_ Crystal Displays for nothing. Plastic won't do much
unless you are hoping that the unit would be warmed enough by sun on black
plastic during the day that it won't freeze the head at night. I'd also be a bit
concerned about the uninsulated supply and return lines.
Gas pumps are designed for outdoor use, to temps well below freezing. You can
bet they have heaters or power supplies that throw off enough heat to prevent
Well, he wouldn't, would he?
Depends on your tolerance for risk. Even though you live in a pretty temperate
climate, I'd look at relocating to a garage or building a shed over it.
I noticed the two verticle lines are already insulated ... I assume
these are the supply and return lines. I don't have the brand handy
but I can get it. It is located just beyond the roof line where it
can get rained upon. I decided to insulate (cover with plastic) the
controls just to be safe. Not sure it's needed but it wasn't that
difficult to do. The tank on which the controls sit up is metal and
silver (aluminum???) and the brine tank is heavy plastic and full of
salt right now.
That's a stupid place to put it. You would not be able to do that in
the north. Either move it indoors, or build a small box or shed
around it and when the temps drop below freezing, turn on a heat lamp
or electric space heater in there.
On Thu, 01 Dec 2011 21:13:54 -0600, email@example.com wrote:
I would have preferred in the garage if I had my choice (tho this
isn't heated but does offer some protection) but I guess for whatever
reason, they assumed Houston temperatures weren't as extreme or as
long as up north so outside was okay. It has survived about 4 years
so far but I just don't know if the old owner covered it in winter as
I just did. BTW, I used to live in NY so I remember the winters well.
As others have said, I'd be more worried about the tank
and pipes freezing and bursting than the display. I don't
know how cold it get there, but I'd look at some weather
records going back 100 years. Then decide the chances
and how lucky you feel. I guess as long as someone
will be available to cover it at the last minute, if necessary, you
could rely on that.
As for the LCD display, I would not be worried about that.
There are lots of them exposed to temps far lower than
you are considering. For example, I have a pool heater
that sits outside in single digits and nothing has happened
to it. You might not be able to read it if it gets too cold, but
I doubt that's a concern. Also consider all the notebook
PCs, cell phones and similar widgets. Plenty of them have
been left in cars overnight in some very cold places and
I would think the bigger problem with the LCS display would
be that being exposed to the elements the typical plastic
covering will take a beating, get cloudy, cracked, etc.
But since it's survived 14 years, I guess it's pretty durable.
More durable than the pool heater display, as that is about
7 years old and it's cloudy and cracking.
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