Our pool has a design flaw (or maybe not, I've never paid much attention to
how other pools are done)..
Where the main drain line exits the ground and goes into the pump area,
there is a 4' or 6' length of PVC pipe that is exposed, and can't be drained
without draining the entire pool. The question is: How to freeze protect
this piece of pipe? Thermostat regulated heat tape and some wrap on
insulation? Build a box around it with a lightbulb inside? Maybe one of
those 1,000 watt ceramic heaters with a thermostat?
I'm in Atlanta, and our winters usually have a few days (or nights) of
sub-20 weather, with a rare plunge below 10, and the very rare plunge below
If what you say is correct, the pump has to be located lower than the bottom
of the pool. In any event, if you can't drain it or blow the water out of
the line, or use pool antifreeze, use a low wattage heat tape on the pipe
and insulate around it. That would be the least costly solution
Right you are... The pump is 5' lower than the full level on the pool, and 3
1/2 feet lower than the pool's winter level (below the skimmer)...
Like you, my gut tells me that the heat tape is the best option.
On Sat, 11 Dec 2004 14:41:00 -0500, "Kyle Boatright"
Just curious. Why do you have a winter level that is below the
skimmer? I have an inground pool (10 yrs now) and never drain the
water in the winter below the skimmer. Same level in the winter as in
the summer. 20's, 10's and single digit temps are normal in the winter
here. I use a "Gizmo" in the skimmer. Its plastic. When the water
freezes it "crushes" the "Gizmo" instead of expanding out the walls of
the skimmer. When the temps warm, the "Gizmo" goes back to its normal
shape. No sense in dumping a 1000 gallons of water or more when you
dont need to.
In my installation, I need to drain the water level below the skimmers to
blow out the pipes that pull water out of the skimmer. If I don't do that,
it leaves me with another exposed 5' of pipe that needs freeze protection.
On Sat, 11 Dec 2004 16:10:15 -0500, "Kyle Boatright"
You should still be able to install the "Gizmo" and blow out the
skimmer line. The "Gizmo" has an opening at the top to do that. You
outta check into it if you havent seen one. But, then again, maybe
you have a particular installation that it wont work? :-)
The "Gizmo" (Suction line blow out extension) can be seen here:
If the pump is running it won't freeze-up until maybe sub-10. I had almost
the entire surface frozen, except near the skimmer, at 10-12F and the water
still flowed freely. The geothermal heating of the pool water running
underground probably helps out as well.
Kyle, I see you got some really useful replies!!! The very last thing you
need is cracked pvc. The heat tape has a built in thermostat so its only on
when it is below freezing, plus it low wattage, and will cost a lot less
than running a pump all winter. also Gizmo's are great little devices for
preventing ice expansion inside the skimmer,but if the water isn't lowered
below the skimmers' plastic faceplate inside the pool,you risk the
possibility of ice expansion ripping it off
Interesting. Like I say, Ive had a inground for 10 yrs. Never lowered
the water level. Ice hard enough in the winter you can walk on top of
the pool. I have a vinyl liner, deep well diving area and a plastic
skimmer faceplate. NEVER once replaced anything that cracked. I guess
that blows your theory to hell and back. Although heat tape can also
be a solution, Id just as soon not use it if its not necessary. Nope,
I dont run a pump all winter either. The pump comes inside in the
winter. Its obvious you dont have a pool nor know what you are talking
about. Nice suggestion. Wanna buy a bridge?
I apologize for demeaning some of the replies, however there is usually a
right way and usually a wrong way to do most things. Because someone does
something wrong for many years,with no adverse consequences,doesn't make it
right. It may just make them lucky. Some folks would prefer not to play
Russian roulette, and just do the thing right from the beginning
Id accept your appology but you immediately turn into a smartass
again. How on earth is it that you figure leaving water at the regular
line is WRONG? Hell, at that rate, any suction fitting face plate,
return fitting faceplate, drain fitting faceplate, grate and
underwater light need to be removed. Hell, for that matter, you need
to drain the entire pool because the freezing water will blow out the
sides of the pool! You're wrong sweetheart. Face it. And I'll still
bet that you dont own an inground pool. Too bad for you.
Actually, if one thinks (like I did) and has the proper elevation
(like I do) one can cap all the pool lines, go to the pool pump and
pull the plugs. Out drains all the pool lines with no blowing,
flushing or adding of anti-freeze. Oh hell, I guess thats the wrong
way too and Im just luck.
Sorry but you're a din-wit
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