During a freeze, it is critical to keep water moving through the plumbing to prevent freezing damage. This is the same concept as 'dripping' your faucets -- moving water can't freeze! With the BLACK+DECKER
series of pool pumps, there are two approaches we can take to do this.
Option 1: Manual Override
By setting the pump to 'manual' mode, and then selecting a low/medium speed such as 1500 RPM's to operate the pump at, this will have the pump run 24/7 until somebody changes it back in to schedule mode. You can set this in the evening on a freezing night and change it back to schedule mode the next day, or during an extended freezing period, you can leave it on this manual mode 24/7 until the weather warms back up.
Option 2: 24 Hour Schedule
The second approach, and the one I'd recommend if you may not be in town during the freeze, is to change the pump to operate on a 24 hour schedule. You can do this by changing the DURATION setting of speed 4
to cover the time at night that the pump would normally be off. If you are running the default programming schedule of the BLACK+DECKER
Variable Speed Pump, this would mean changing the DURATION of SPEED4 from 4 hours to 10 hours - this is adding 6 hours which covers the normal 'off' time of 2AM to 8AM each morning.
In a worst-case scenario, you may lose power during a freeze. If this happens, or you're worried it may happen, then we need to 'winterize' the pool equipment by evacuating ALL water from the above-ground portions of your pool equipment. The under-ground plumbing should be fine if you're in a city that doesn't typically winterize your pools every year. To winterize the pool equipment for a freeze:
- Shut off the breakers that supply any and all pool pumps and equipment, we do not want the equipment to turn itself back on before we're ready for it to do so!
- Open all valves fully so that no pipes are partially blocked off.
- Take a picture BEFORE you change any valve settings so you have a reference when restoring everything!
- For 'diverter'/Jandy valves, this means putting the valve on a middle position where the 'off' setting is not fully aligned with any single pipe.
- Remove any and all drain plugs from all of your equipment.
- Keep in mind that pool pumps always have two drain plugs, as do most heaters.
- Your pumps, filter, heater, secondary pumps, multiport valves, and some chlorinators all have drain plugs. Things like salt cells can be removed entirely from the plumbing and stored in the garage once fully dry.
- The most convenient option to keep track of the drain plugs is to put them all in your pump basket! That way they're all together in one convenient spot once you're ready to restart everything.
- It's good to take a quick note of where each drain plug is removed from, this will help you get everything back into the correct spot once things thaw back out.
- Drain all water out of all the equipment.
- In a freeze, it's not the cold that causes damage, it's the water turning to ice! We want to get all of the water out so there's nothing left to freeze and expand into ice.
- Filters can have their air bleeder opened to facilitate quicker draining of the system.
With the water removed from all the above-ground plumbing and equipment, you should be able to 'weather' even an extended freeze! Once the world warms up and your power is reliably restored to your home, it's a simple matter of reinstalling all of the drain plugs, returning the valves to their standard position, and then re-priming the pump like you've probably a hundred times before!