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Manually Protecting Your Equipment Before a Freeze

Manually protecting your equipment

If you read our other article on “Freeze Protection – What is it and Do you have it?” and determined you do not have freeze protection, here is what you need to do to manually protect your equipment!

Before we go any further, keep in mind, these are preventative actions we are recommending. In most cases, damage occurs when the temperature is below freezing for an extended period of time. We are simply providing best practices. If the temperature hovers around 32° for an hour or two will the water inside the equipment and plumbing freeze solid? Not likely as the water is not directly exposed to the temperature and wind and the plastic (PVC) provides a thin layer of insulation. But as the highway signs state – bridges freeze before roadway – due to the air encapsulating the bridge.

We recommend taking action when the temperature is forecasted to be under 34-35°.  The forecast is a general idea of what is predicted and your particular location may actually be colder (or warmer) and the last thing you want if a freeze occurred is to not have taken action. If you operate your equipment and it doesn’t freeze, worst case is you spent a little money on electricity to run your equipment, contrasted with the worst case if you left your equipment off and it does freeze which could result in damaged plumbing and/or equipment.

So, how should you manually protect your equipment? There are typically three ways equipment without automation is set up

Timers (without freeze guard) set to turn equipment on/off at preset times, but not based on the temperature.    If your system uses a timer, simply remove the timer on/off trippers, then manually flip the on/off switch to the on position. Click the image of the timer to see more detail. NOTE: make sure you write down the current positions of the on and off trippers so once the temperature returns above freezing, the timer trippers can be reinstalled and the equipment back to normal.

Simple toggle switch – simple on/off switch to manually turn your pump on/off

Breaker controlled – meaning you actually turn the pump on/off by flipping breaker on/off

If your system is controlled with breakers please contact us and request a switch be installed or better yet, install a timer with freeze protection. You really shouldn’t be reaching into a breaker panel to turn a pump on/off. Also, please make sure your hands are dry and only touch the breaker in question!

If you control your pump(s) with a switch or breaker, simply move into the on position until temperature returns above 34-35°, and then go back to your normal schedule.

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