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Thread: Equipment to blow out lines and technique

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    Equipment to blow out lines and technique

    I'm completing my first year of pool ownership. I paid someone to open the pool (for purchase inspection purposes), but I'm looking at closing myself. I think the trickiest part is going to be the blowing of the lines. The previous owner left me a small compressor that he hooked to his pump, but a company he hired to do final cleaning threw it out. So I have to purchase something. I have seen recommendations for:

    1) A pool-specific device
    2) An air compressor
    3) A wet/dry canister vac
    4) A leaf blower

    I understand that air volume is better than pressure, but you still need a certain amount of pressure. I would like to avoid #1, so I can use it for the rest of the year. Does anyone have specific (make/model) of the equipment they find works well?

    My pad has a single return hooked to two jets, a cleaner line, and a single drain line connected to an "Old Style Anthony combination Skimmer", which connects to the main drain. I don't have any valves on the pad. I need some help figuring out how to blow the lines, particularity, the main drain.
    Can I blow from the skimmer, or do I have to use the pump drain port as the previous owner did, or could I use the filter's waste port? I also have a salt cell that could be removed if that helps.
    Pool: 40x15ft "Mt. Lake" shaped plaster IG (30k gallons with Borates)
    SWG: Circupool Si-45
    Pumps: Hayward MaxFlo VS (SP2302VSP) + Booster Pump for Polaris 180
    Filter: Pentair Tagelus TA-60D (Sand)
    Test Kit: TF-100 (with Speed Stir)

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    Re: Equipment to blow out lines and technique

    Quote Originally Posted by fields_g View Post
    I'm completing my first year of pool ownership. I paid someone to open the pool (for purchase inspection purposes), but I'm looking at closing myself. I think the trickiest part is going to be the blowing of the lines. The previous owner left me a small compressor that he hooked to his pump, but a company he hired to do final cleaning threw it out. So I have to purchase something. I have seen recommendations for:.


    Modified Cover for Hayward Super Pump for Closing Swimming Pool

    Here is what I have put together. Purchased a Cyclone. This will be my first year closing and it will be done in about 2 weeks. Draining water below skimmer, but not below the returns.

    You have to figure out a way to push air through the system. Please read sticky in the pool closing section.

    Closing an in ground pool
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Task's Avatar
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    Re: Equipment to blow out lines and technique

    i'd also vouch for the cyclone. I purchased mine last year for closing. its well worth the money. The cyclone basically pays for itself the first year if you compare it to what it costs to pay a company to close your pool. I invested in the cyclone after I tried my leaf blower, shop vac and compressor. none were able to blow out my main drain. The cyclone had the drain bubbling in about 10 seconds.
    16'x32' Inground Vinyl, 21,100 gallons, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward Pro Series S244T 3.1ft Sand Filter
    TFTestKits, Pool School, ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry, Chlorine/CYA Chart, PoolMath

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    Re: Equipment to blow out lines and technique

    We now have two votes for the cyclone since it can handle main drains. BUT.... I still have the problem of how to do that with my pool with the combo skimmer and the main drain below. I don't know if I can blow it and quickly enough put a plug to capture an air pocket. The comment here says it's not practical.

    Now to sound like a nut.....I could either give up on doing it, or:
    1) Blow from pad and try to push the plug down while blocking the skimmer hole.... somehow...
    2) use a "Drain test mat" or plastic positioned over the Main Drain cover, and suck the water out of the MD pipe from the skimmer using a small diameter hose, plug, then remove mat/plastic
    3) Any chance of cupping the main drain and blowing air from bottom of pool to skimmer?

    These all sound like longshots. If the main drain is unpurgable anyway with my pool, a canister vac may be enough to blow the returns, equipment, and pump to skimmer.

    Garrett
    Pool: 40x15ft "Mt. Lake" shaped plaster IG (30k gallons with Borates)
    SWG: Circupool Si-45
    Pumps: Hayward MaxFlo VS (SP2302VSP) + Booster Pump for Polaris 180
    Filter: Pentair Tagelus TA-60D (Sand)
    Test Kit: TF-100 (with Speed Stir)

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    Re: Equipment to blow out lines and technique

    Not something everybody has laying around, but I use a winemaking rubber stopper with a hole in it. Push that into the pipe and put the end of the shop vac hose on the flat face of the stopper.

    Piece of cake...unless you push too hard, then you dig the stopper out of the pipe with a bent coat hanger. Not that I would ever do that

    Edited to add...It takes 2 people to do this, one to blow out the line and one to put the freeze plug in the skimmer or return jets.
    16 x 32 17500 gallons
    Vinyl in-ground
    Hayward 250# Sand Filter
    1 HP Pump
    Hayward SWG

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    Re: Equipment to blow out lines and technique

    Do you have any unions at the Equipment Pad? If so, maybe you can create another end with a fitting that will work with the compressor, or whichever method you choose. I have 2 unions at the sprinkler line and then remove the line for the winter and attach an adapter and this works.

    IMG_0975.jpg

    IMG_0976.jpg

    I have unions and I could have easily created something like this hooked up to an air compressor or the cyclone. Keep us posted.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Equipment to blow out lines and technique

    I think I came up with my strategy.
    The very first thing I will do is clear the main drain. I'll temporarily block the main drain on the bottom of the pool with an overturned bucket with some kind of seal held in place by the brush pole. Via the skimmer, I'll use a wet vac and suction water of the main drain line. I have 6+' of vinyl tubing that I'll tape to the wet vac and clear the line. With the other end plugged, refill won't happen (or slowly enough), so I have plug the line and be at least 30" (freeze line for our area) below the surface.

    After the main drain is done, blowing skimmer -> pad, equipment, and pad -> returns should be rather simple. And since there is only a couple of inches of water involved, a believe a high power wet vac should be sufficient.

    Thoughts?
    Pool: 40x15ft "Mt. Lake" shaped plaster IG (30k gallons with Borates)
    SWG: Circupool Si-45
    Pumps: Hayward MaxFlo VS (SP2302VSP) + Booster Pump for Polaris 180
    Filter: Pentair Tagelus TA-60D (Sand)
    Test Kit: TF-100 (with Speed Stir)

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    Re: Equipment to blow out lines and technique

    Because I do not want backpressure, I am leaving my main drain open. If the air is not moving through the returns and skimmers, I will slowly close the main drain until all the returns and skimmers are closed. As the last one is closed, I will open the main drain and once the bubbles appear (45 seconds to 1 minute later), I will close the valve and create the air lock. Then remove cover, and add the plugs inside the Hayward Super Pump.

    I would not tinker around with the main drain and trying to suck water out of there. Unless they made some special cover for it. You may just keep sucking water from the floor. You may damage something. Additionally, I do not know if the blower will have enough volume to blow out the main drain. You will have to leave it closed until everything else is done and then work on the main drain.

    I am convinced that water levels at 8' never will cause a problem. Think about it. The frost line is about 38" - 42" with a deep freeze. As the ground freezes, the actual water in the piping must freeze as well and expand to cause any type of damage. My pool equipment is at 163.21 ASL, and the bottom drain is at 155.21 ASL. (Above Sea Level). The piping runs down and gravity will take its course. If you ever opened up the cover, you see water drain quickly out of the of the basket. I know people who have never winterized their sprinkler lines (not even 6" to 1' deep) and never ran into problems.

    If you move enough water out of the main drain line and plug (at least 50%, you should never run into a problem unless something leaks). That is why the plugs make sense.

    If you attempt this and give a try, please tell us if you were successful. Only if the pool industry would create some sort of device for the main drains, that would be great.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Equipment to blow out lines and technique

    My repair shop charges a very reasonable price to close the pool so I dont close my pool myself.

    What they do is take off the pressure gauge from the multiport and screw in a air fitting. they then hook up the compressor hose to that fitting and blow all the lines.
    they will be here in a couple of weeks and i'll get more details
    IG Tear Drop, Dark Gray Gunite , 27,000 gallons -Age 50+-years, very old Hayward Split Egg Sand Filter with side mount Multi-port- Hayward SP2600VSP Pump- Hayward chlorine feed (not used since finding TFP) - Laars 315K BTU Oil heater- LoopLoc Safety cover- AquaBot RAPIDS 4WD- TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir- 390 Gal Hot Springs Spa Envoy installed May 2017

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    Re: Equipment to blow out lines and technique

    Catanzaro,

    My plumbing has no valves, except for the multiport on the filter. The old style anthony skimmer (see link in first post) had the main drain below the pipe that returns water to the pad. I don't think I'll have time to blow (or suck) the main drain from any position and get the plug the pipe before refill. This is why I was thinking about blocking the refill path temporarily, extract water, and get the plug situated to create an airlock. I think this complexity is why blogs have just suggested plugging the MD pipe, with water and crossing fingers.

    I think this problem could go away when I upgrade my pump and add a valve before my pump. I could plug the top of the skimmer, and blow from the pump out the main drain and close the valve, air locking the entire suction side at one time.
    Pool: 40x15ft "Mt. Lake" shaped plaster IG (30k gallons with Borates)
    SWG: Circupool Si-45
    Pumps: Hayward MaxFlo VS (SP2302VSP) + Booster Pump for Polaris 180
    Filter: Pentair Tagelus TA-60D (Sand)
    Test Kit: TF-100 (with Speed Stir)

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    Re: Equipment to blow out lines and technique

    Quote Originally Posted by fields_g View Post
    Catanzaro,

    My plumbing has no valves, except for the multiport on the filter. The old style anthony skimmer (see link in first post) had the main drain below the pipe that returns water to the pad. I don't think I'll have time to blow (or suck) the main drain from any position and get the plug the pipe before refill. This is why I was thinking about blocking the refill path temporarily, extract water, and get the plug situated to create an airlock. I think this complexity is why blogs have just suggested plugging the MD pipe, with water and crossing fingers.

    I think this problem could go away when I upgrade my pump and add a valve before my pump. I could plug the top of the skimmer, and blow from the pump out the main drain and close the valve, air locking the entire suction side at one time.
    OK, now I remember. Can you take a picture of the Hayward Super Pump and Basket and send over. There is a plug that can be removed and blow out with an air compressor (one option, but then you have to quickly remove the cover). I watched a technician remove the cover on the pump and have a flexible hose or a 90 degree adapter that fits into the port to push air through. Then quickly plug up the basket with the rubber plug. Maybe this is your best bet if you have a Hayward Super Pump with a square basket and lid.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Equipment to blow out lines and technique

    Best photo available now.


    The previous own did use a small compressor on a fitting attached to the pump. Maybe I'm overestimating the refill rate of the line. Placing a plug high in the skimmer pipe (not to block return or MD) then use a compressor from drain plug of the pump to blow out the entire suction side is the way to go? Set the multiport to Closed, hold the pump lid, turn on compressor, wait for sufficient bubbles from MD, then quickly open lid and plug the entrance pipe to the pump from within the pump basket area?

    Then I assume you set the multiport to recirculate and blow the return jets...
    Pool: 40x15ft "Mt. Lake" shaped plaster IG (30k gallons with Borates)
    SWG: Circupool Si-45
    Pumps: Hayward MaxFlo VS (SP2302VSP) + Booster Pump for Polaris 180
    Filter: Pentair Tagelus TA-60D (Sand)
    Test Kit: TF-100 (with Speed Stir)

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    Re: Equipment to blow out lines and technique

    You have a union there, but maybe not enough room to work. If you remove the cover on the super pump, you will find the suction side (skimmer and main drain) and the return side. They are # 10 and # 11 plugs. I actually ordered new ones for this reason and was able to test them out. I do not know which one is 10 or 11, but that is the exact size. One is approximately 1.5" wide and the other one is 2" wide. If you can find a 90 degree adapter to hook up to your hose, this is how your going to push air through. When you shut off the pump and remove the hose, quickly plug the hole to trap the air. That is the best you can do at this point.

    Outside of having someone come in an install 2 Jandy Valves (one on the suction side and one on the return side). That would be easier to create an air lock for the main drain. If you ever do this, make sure he installs Unions everywhere to make any repairs easier.

    What you state should work as well.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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