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Why Does My Swimming Pool Heat Pump Freeze Up?

Views: 7113     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-12-06      Origin: Site

During the winter season, some ice on your pool heat pump is a common occurrence. However, when the whole unit is covered in ice, there is a concern for worry as your device won't function well and might be at risk of getting damaged.

This article focuses on people who want to use their pool heat pump through the winter season. The cause of a frozen or an icy unit can range from damaged circuitry, freezing pool, burst pipes, and more. Ignoring the frozen device can yield significant concerns.


Reasons why pool heat pumps freeze-up

The most common reason your pool heat pump freezes up is the lack of proper care and maintenance. This causes damage to the device, which eventually leads to the device freezing up.

Here are some more reasons that might be why your pool heat pump is freezing up.

Damaged unit or system

Most heaters come with a defrost unit, and the primary purpose of the defrost unit is to defrost any ice that might settle in the device. In case of a faulty defrost unit, the device won't warm ice crystals that freeze up in the machine.

Also, a lower temperature in the evaporator fins compared to the dew temperature in ambient air causes water from condensation to be produced on the evaporating fin's surface. When the temperature is 0 degrees Celsius, the ambient air will cause the condensation water to turn into frosts. Here are a few more parts that, when damaged it can lead to freezing up of the machine.

  • Refrigerator charge issue

  • Damage to the control board unit

  • Problem with the sensor unit

  • Damaged evaporation coil

  • Faulty valve

Insufficient airflow

Once the pool heat pump's refrigerant temperature drops below the freezing point, any moisture in the atmosphere can freeze, especially in the condenser coil and the evaporator. This happens if there is no sufficient airflow going through the device. Insufficient airflow causes moisture to linger in the unit system, which turns into frost during cold seasons.


Freezing rain settles on the device and turns into frost, and once the top part starts freezing, the rest will follow quickly. Another reason your pool heat pump is freezing up might be raining hailstones that clog in the device, freezing it from the inside out.

Leaking heat pump/condensation

Before jumping to conclusions, check to see the cause since both issues present almost similar challenges. If the heat pump is leaking, there is a busted tube releasing water on the inside, and in cold seasons, the water released can turn into frost and freeze up the device.

You need to switch off your heat pump and run water through to push out the condensation. It would help if you also considered fixing the air circulation of your device. There are test a person can run to figure out which of the two issues is the problem.

Use a chlorine strip near the heater to test if there is a reaction, and if a reaction occurs, it's an indication of a leaking heat pump. When there is no reaction, it simply means its condensation or rainwater.

Low or high Freon pressure

Low Freon pressure is a common challenge that occurs when it’s too cool outside to heat your pool. Low pressure is a sign of low temperature, meaning low refrigerant, which will freeze the evaporation coil. Most heat pumps work efficiently as long as the atmospheric temperature is over 45F -50F.

On the other hand, high Freon pressure occurs on low flowing water pressure meaning there isn't enough water passing through the heat exchanger for the process of heat transference. This condition can sometimes be confused with a faulty valve that appears open but closed inside the tube.

Understanding the reason a pool heat pump freezes up is the beginning of preventing or solving the issue. Here are a few techniques you can try to avoid or stop your pool heat pump from freezing.

Ways to prevent the pool heat pump from freezing

Sometimes preventing your pool heat pump from freezing all boils down to proper maintenance and care. Running frequent checks to see if your device works well and replacing worn-out parts if an issue presents itself goes a long way to ensure your device doesn't sustain damages.

In some cases, the problem might be as simple as adjusting the defrost setting to suit the temperature difference. Therefore, ensure all settings are adjusted to suit the environmental temperature.

Use a freeze protector.

Just like its name implies, a freeze protector safeguards your pipes and pool from freezing. A freeze protector connects with your pool devices to automate the circulation of water, power on your pool heat pump when the temperatures reach freezing points. It's like a robotic pool assistant safeguarding your pool equipment and the pool itself.

Ensure good airflow

As discussed above, insufficient airflow leads to frost on the inside of the device. Remember to regularly clean your device and clear any leaves, particles or debris that might block a perfect airflow.


Commonly heat pumps are placed on a concrete slab, and with time the concrete settles in the slab. This might block the drainage passage for melted ice and prevent a good airflow, leading to ice building up. If this is your problem, the fix is just slightly moving it a bit higher to free up space for the ice to pass when it's melted.

Seal in your pool.

Sealing in your pool helps prevent it from freezing during the cooler seasons. Allow your pool heat pump to run for 12 hours regularly to continue achieving the desired heat pump temperatures of above 50F. This will allow your heat pump to function correctly since the temperatures are conducive.

Seek a technician.

If all methods fail to yield results seeking an experienced professional might be your best solution to fix your freezing heat pump. Preferably it's wise to choose a technician from the company you bought the device from since different devices have different designs.


Do not let your pool heat pump suffer the consequences of ignorance while you can take measures to prevent it. This article has provided readers with the most common reasons why a pool heat pump may freeze and ways to avoid or fix the issues.

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