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Thread: Should I drain my pool some before closing?

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    Should I drain my pool some before closing?

    So, I have a question and I keep getting mixed answers. I was always told to drain my pool below my returns by many people. However, the pool contractor that I am using says I should not drain my pool at all. He said all I need to do is plug my returns and my skimmer baskets and that he has longer plugs that also forces the water further down the lines. Then he said just drain my sand filter and pump itself. He said he closes 100's of pools in my area and has never had a problem doing this and never drains the pools at all.

    Also, I have a custom tension cover that is going to be installed this year and the pool contractor said the water cannot be drained below 1 foot to 18 inches or it voids the warranty. My returns are at least 18" below the pool deck.

    I live near the winston salem area in North Carolina. I believe the frost line is like 6" where I live and my lines are all 1ft or more inches below the ground.

    Should I be OK not draining my pool at all and just sucking water out of my lines after they are plugged?

    Thanks,

    Josh

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Should I drain my pool some before closing?

    There are many ways to close a pool. Lots of the variation comes on how much water to drain and is usually based on the climate of the area. I'm not sure if the lakes in your area ever freeze over but that can be a good indication of how you should close. If they do freeze for any length of time, I would certainly lower the water level to below the skimmer mouth opening.

    After lowering the water level, you want to BLOW out the lines not suck the water out. There are many videos online about pool closing and how to blow out the lines. It can be done with blower, blowing through the bottom of a skimmer then capping off the returns once all the water is out of the return lines while the blower is running. It can also be done by an air compressor hooked up at the pump drain in a similar manner. Main drains are typically the hardest part to get blown out and air lock successfully.
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    Re: Should I drain my pool some before closing?

    Also, I have a custom tension cover that is going to be installed this year and the pool contractor said the water cannot be drained below 1 foot to 18 inches or it voids the warranty. My returns are at least 18" below the pool deck.
    For starters, I would contact the manufacturer and/or check the warranty on line for the custom tension cover. I doubt the PB put this together at his shop or in the garage. It is probably a violation to remove any tags or stickers on the pool cover, so locating it should be easy, just like a mattress.

    I am assuming you are closing your own pool. I lower the water below the skimmers only and blow on the lines and plug the returns. Gravity, itself after you plug the first return jet will push water to the last. The last return jet will have very little water left in the lines. Once plugged, you will be fine. Just keep an eye on the water level over the winter and drain as necessary.

    The cover sits on the concrete/pavers with tension. The water is in the pool. How could the warranty be "VOID". Just makes no sense if a Mesh Cover. Outside of this, maybe the weight of the cover, if a lot of rain occurs as I doubt you get a lot of snow, can push the cover down and stretch it. If there was water underneath, this would help the cover from stretching beyond a certain point. With a mesh, water would seep through. If you find out that this is an issue, please notify us as this would be an interesting one.
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    Re: Should I drain my pool some before closing?

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    There are many ways to close a pool. Lots of the variation comes on how much water to drain and is usually based on the climate of the area. I'm not sure if the lakes in your area ever freeze over but that can be a good indication of how you should close. If they do freeze for any length of time, I would certainly lower the water level to below the skimmer mouth opening.

    After lowering the water level, you want to BLOW out the lines not suck the water out. There are many videos online about pool closing and how to blow out the lines. It can be done with blower, blowing through the bottom of a skimmer then capping off the returns once all the water is out of the return lines while the blower is running. It can also be done by an air compressor hooked up at the pump drain in a similar manner. Main drains are typically the hardest part to get blown out and air lock successfully.
    Thanks for the response. Sorry I meant blow the water out not suck. I have never seen the lakes or rivers freeze in my lifetime where I live.

    I believe my contractor was using these types of freeze plugs which is supposed to keep the pool skimmer from busting without draining the pool much if at allAmazon.com : Hydro Tools 89343 Skimmer Winterizing Kit : Swimming Pool And Spa Supplies : Patio, Lawn Garden. They are also higher than the pools water level so it allows you blow all the lines out still without draining the pool at all. I did not realize what he was talking about without first doing some research.

    Are these OK to use? I am seeing a lot people swear by these things in reviews I have read about them.



    Quote Originally Posted by Catanzaro View Post
    For starters, I would contact the manufacturer and/or check the warranty on line for the custom tension cover. I doubt the PB put this together at his shop or in the garage. It is probably a violation to remove any tags or stickers on the pool cover, so locating it should be easy, just like a mattress.

    I am assuming you are closing your own pool. I lower the water below the skimmers only and blow on the lines and plug the returns. Gravity, itself after you plug the first return jet will push water to the last. The last return jet will have very little water left in the lines. Once plugged, you will be fine. Just keep an eye on the water level over the winter and drain as necessary.

    The cover sits on the concrete/pavers with tension. The water is in the pool. How could the warranty be "VOID". Just makes no sense if a Mesh Cover. Outside of this, maybe the weight of the cover, if a lot of rain occurs as I doubt you get a lot of snow, can push the cover down and stretch it. If there was water underneath, this would help the cover from stretching beyond a certain point. With a mesh, water would seep through. If you find out that this is an issue, please notify us as this would be an interesting one.
    I am closing my own pool. It actually is not a mesh cover. It is a solid tension cover. I opted for the solid cover because I did not want any water or anything draining through over the winter. I am guessing this is why the warranty would be voided.

    Josh

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Should I drain my pool some before closing?

    Those freeze plugs are commonly known as Gizzmos as they were one of the first and most popular producers of these types of plugs. While they do work very well, the same results can be accomplished just by plugging the skimmer drain hole with an expandable plug and placing a plastic bottle (soda, bleach, milk... whatever) into the skimmer. The Gizzmo or bottle is there to absorb pressure from possible ice expansion instead of the walls of the skimmer absorbing it and possibly cracking. Sand or RV antifreeze inside the bottle helps keep it on the bottom of the skimmer. They are nice for folks who leave water in their skimmers so they can blow out the lines even with water in the skimmer buckets and also provide expansion protection when closed.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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