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How to Keep Pipes in Pools and Hot Tubs from Freezing

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If you live in an area that experiences temperatures below freezing in the fall and winter, you probably know what to do to prevent freezing pipes in your house when that time of year is here. But did you ever wonder if the pipes could freeze in your pool or hot tub if you have one?

Hot Tubs
Keeping your hot tub pipes from freezing may have some hot tub owners scratching their heads because cold weather is one of the best times to be in a hot tub! Truly, using your pool or hot tub in winter is one of the best ways to keep the pipes from freezing. After all, the water is moving! And it’s even better if snow is falling. There’s just something about the juxtaposition between cold and hot…

Of course, another way to prevent freezing pipes in your hot tub is to winterize it, but that’s only if you don’t think you will use your hot tub for at least three months. Doing so will require you to drain all the water out and use air to blow any remaining water out of the pipes and water lines.

The final option is to put your hot tub in the  “freeze protection mode” offered on most hot tubs. This mode turns on a circulation pump when temperatures are close to freezing. Similarly, you can run the pump. After all, as we said before, moving water doesn’t freeze. Just make sure all the jets are open and you use low speed.

Other tips: Keep a cover on your hot tub and make sure it fits tightly and/or use spa insulation—the more you have the better.

Pools
Pools are a bit trickier than hot tubs because in wintery states because when it’s cold, you likely aren’t swimming in your outdoor pool. If you own an in-ground pool, take these steps to winterize it so the pipes don’t freeze.

  • First things first—deep clean the pool.
  • Check pH balance and alkaline levels and make sure they are appropriate.
  • Shock it first, THEN…
  • Add algaecide and winterizing treatments.
  • Reduce the water level so it’s below the skimmer.
  • Remove ladders, skimmers, floaters, etc.
  • Drain the pool pump and heating equipment.
  • Put pool antifreeze in the pipes and hoses, then use an air compressor or blower to blow excess water out of the pipes. Do this for several minutes, then plug the pipes.
  • Cover the pool.

If you have an above-ground pool, the steps are the same except you’ll want to add a beach ball or air pillow to the center of the pool before covering it to help absorb the expansion of pool water when it freezes. It also helps keep snow from accumulating on the pool cover.

Taking care of your pool and/or hot tub in the winter will prevent expensive damage that can keep you from enjoying them later.

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