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Thread: Duck Plugs?

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    Duck Plugs?

    Hello pool folks,

    This is my first time closing my 18x36 in ground SW pool. The design is such that the returns are about half way down the shallow end wall (about 2 feet give or take) which means a LOT of draining.

    The pool store recommended 'duck plugs' http://www.leaktools.com/product/WDP150.html. I feel uncertain about these and don't want to damage my plumbing, but also don't want to drain $100+ of water for no reason.

    Just looking for some feedback, has anyone used these before. I saw another post but the valve looked a little more substantial. Do I still drain below the skimmer and put a gizmo in there?

    They suggested I use antifreeze in the lines after blowing them out, but in the spring, does this just get dumped in the pool??

    I'd appreciate any feedback you can give on this technique.

    Also I'm getting conflicting info on closing the SW pool (first year with SWG). I don't mean the equipment, I understand that, but what to add to it. Is it different than non-salt? My salt is quite low, but I didn't want to add a bunch now only to drain it out so I figured I'd add some in the spring. I'm closing with a tarp (no safety cover).

    Thanks.

    18x36 extended octogon IG Vinyl, ~ 110,000L (~29,000 gal)
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    I don't close so I will leave the draining and gizmo question to others at this point.

    If you are still running the SWCG then you need to keep the salt up to the manufacturers recommendations. If you are discontinuing it's use and using liquid until closing I see no need to add salt now.

    The key thing to closing in my mind is water temperature. Algae growth becomes retarded below 60 degrees (water temperature) so close after the temp drops and open before it get above 60 and you avoid a green opening.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post

    If you are still running the SWCG then you need to keep the salt up to the manufacturers recommendations. If you are discontinuing it's use and using liquid until closing I see no need to add salt now.

    The key thing to closing in my mind is water temperature. Algae growth becomes retarded below 60 degrees (water temperature) so close after the temp drops and open before it get above 60 and you avoid a green opening.
    Well, I'm in southern Ontario (north of Buffalo) so it's certainly cold enough. The plan is to close next weekend, so I'll probably just shock it with liquid chlorine this week anyway and disconnect the SWG. Thanks.

    18x36 extended octogon IG Vinyl, ~ 110,000L (~29,000 gal)
    Jacuzzi FM24 Sand Filter, Hayward SuperPumpII 1hp
    Pentair Intellichlor SWG - IC-40
    TF-100 Test Kit


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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    I would suggest using the black rubber plugs. Even though I have seen the duck plugs, watched video's, etc., I would not be comfortable with them. The black plugs with the wing nut that expand is your best bet.

    No, you do not need to drain down below the returns, but it is recommended that you drain a few inches below the skimmer. Draining below the returns is all based on how much rainfall and snow you could possibly get in the winter and what type of cover you have, in addition to your comfort level. You could put some anti-freeze in the skimmers as extra insurance, but it is usually not needed if you remove all the water. The anti-freeze is biodegradable, so nothing to worry about if it gets into the pool.

    Gravity will help push most of the water out as you close each return. If you have a good blower, then keep your main drain open so when you close the last return, the air will move towards the main drain.

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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    Good old expandable plugs I would have more confidence in, but have not used the duck plugs myself.

    You can also get quite a bit of the RV antifreeze (USE ONLY RV ANTIFREEZE, not automotive engine antifreeze) out of the lines in the spring if you have a shop vac to suction out the skimmer or returns ,but if it goes into the pool it's not a big deal other than perhaps a bit higher chlorine demand in the spring after opening.
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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    I closed my pool for the first time yesterday and I had both the Andersen duck plugs and the rubber wing nut stoppers. I blew out the returns from the pool pad using my cyclone blower, and made sure the rubber stoppers were into the return threads almost so the wing nut was flush with the return coverplate,, while I installed the rubber stopper I had a lot of bubbles coming out, i figured the PSI of air from the cyclone was pretty high,,, but it happened to all 3 returns,, bubbles coming out after I had tightened the wing nuts down. I tried putting them in a little further, a little less,, but still got small bubbles. I know that cyclone can really push the air, but I would have hoped after tightening down the stoppers the bubbles would have stopped, especially doing the 2nd one where the 3rd one was still open relieving some of the air pressure.

    Regardless, today I pulled out the stoppers, re blew the lines and installed the duck plugs. I really have no way of telling if water is getting behind them, but I feel more comfortable with them than the stoppers knowing air was leaking around them. I poured 6 gals of RV ANTIFREEZE in from the pool pad into the 3 return line(s).
    In-ground block / vinyl liner 33' x 22' x 5',, approx 25k gals
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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    The plugs may have been too small. Mine stick out a little outside the cover plate. Maybe size is too small or they could be damaged. Only other item it could be is a leak at the cover plate. My plugs are larger on outside and smaller at end. The wing nut expands plastic and puts pressure. Hope this helps.
    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
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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    I'm not sure what size expandable plugs you're using but mine that work well are labeled with 12 on the top plate and bottom. They are for 2" fittings.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    I'm not sure what size expandable plugs you're using but mine that work well are labeled with 12 on the top plate and bottom. They are for 2" fittings.
    I've got 2" plumbing but went with 1.5" returns, at the time I couldn't find 2" returns. Regardless, I have the stoppers with a 9 on them, they seem like the right size based on the stopper diameter and the hole diameter.
    Either way, I really hope the duck plugs work and I will post an update next spring.
    In-ground block / vinyl liner 33' x 22' x 5',, approx 25k gals
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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by dw9000 View Post
    I've got 2" plumbing but went with 1.5" returns, at the time I couldn't find 2" returns. Regardless, I have the stoppers with a 9 on them, they seem like the right size based on the stopper diameter and the hole diameter. Either way, I really hope the duck plugs work and I will post an update next spring.
    I will check the threads on the returns, but believe they are also 1.5", with 2" plumbing. My plugs are # 10, which are a size bigger. These stick outside. The steps, although use # 11 and they are kind of flush, but seal nice and tight when I tighten the wing nut. Will get back to you tomorrow.
    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: Duck Plugs?

    I have used duck plugs since they came out and have never had an issue.

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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    I have used duck plugs since they came out and have never had an issue.
    Good to know.
    In-ground block / vinyl liner 33' x 22' x 5',, approx 25k gals
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    Floor drains, 2 skimmers, 3 return lines (2" plumbing ultra-flex PVC)

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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    I have used duck plugs since they came out and have never had an issue.
    This is definitely the kind of answer I was looking for.

    Thank you.

    18x36 extended octogon IG Vinyl, ~ 110,000L (~29,000 gal)
    Jacuzzi FM24 Sand Filter, Hayward SuperPumpII 1hp
    Pentair Intellichlor SWG - IC-40
    TF-100 Test Kit


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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catanzaro View Post
    Please add your signature: Pool School - Read This BEFORE You Post
    Sorry about this, I tried multiple times to add it via the mobile site and it's not sticking. I'll have to try again from the regular site.

    18x36 extended octogon IG Vinyl, ~ 110,000L (~29,000 gal)
    Jacuzzi FM24 Sand Filter, Hayward SuperPumpII 1hp
    Pentair Intellichlor SWG - IC-40
    TF-100 Test Kit


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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by BestJoeyEver View Post
    Sorry about this, I tried multiple times to add it via the mobile site and it's not sticking. I'll have to try again from the regular site.

    Sent from my SM-G900W8 using Tapatalk
    Yea, it won't work from Tapatalk. Try when you are on a computer.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catanzaro View Post
    I will check the threads on the returns, but believe they are also 1.5", with 2" plumbing. My plugs are # 10, which are a size bigger. These stick outside. The steps, although use # 11 and they are kind of flush, but seal nice and tight when I tighten the wing nut. Will get back to you tomorrow.
    Update to my findings:

    I have a 1.5" return jet fittings. The black rubber plugs are # 10. They stick out a little more then 1/8" and the wing nut is tightened to created that seal until air bubbles go away as the pool is being closed. When we closed my friends pool, his black rubber plugs went inside the return jet and I was able to tighten the wing nut without any issues. It appears you can do this both ways. Air bubbles in clear water will be very apparent. There should be no issues with both methods.

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    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: Duck Plugs?

    Joey, I pay pool techs to close for me because they guarantee the work and THEY use duck plugs here in snowy, cold west Michigan...so I'm reasonably comfortable they also work as advertised in Ontario weather

    The do use antifreeze (RV only) and do use a gizmo on the skimmer.
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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    Pool Techs, which guarantee their work is a great thing. I blasted the pool builder this year when they called me. I asked them to "please show me a contract" that states if the piping was to "explode" underground , that the PB would pay all the labor costs .... and so on. Unfortunately, today everything is up to "interpretation" and this is why as Swampwoman states, it is "all a comfort level" of whether you want to close your pool or not and what type of guarantee you are getting (hopefully detailed and in writing). Here in NJ, you are lucky if someone calls you back after they take your $$$, especially if you have a problem (contract or no contract)

    If water is lowered below the skimmers and possibly returns, removing almost 100% of the water is a given. A tight seals ensures that there will be no water coming back in the piping. Gravity should not pull water, especially if the filter is a few feet above the elevation of the skimmers and returns. In the spring, one must fill up the basket for a few minutes with water and when you turn on the pump, it takes a few minutes to actually prime the system, showing how much a pump has to work just to pull water (on the suction side).

    I would be more concerned with the Main Drain "air lock" leaking and possibly water coming back up towards the pump and equipment pad. This is the reason why I always suggest placing a strap on the Jandy Valve(s) and plugging the suction and return side with a black plug as a secondary insurance policy. Pool Anti-freeze is also a good idea, especially in states that have extreme harsh cold winters.

    By no means am I stating that some pool professionals will not honor their word or contract, but my experience has always been to somehow blame the homeowner first, before doing the right thing.
    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: Duck Plugs?

    ^I don't disagree that's a risk, though my co. did replace a pressure switch in the heater come spring that they said they broke on closing. I only meant that THEY must be reasonably comfortable that duck plugs work since they're supposed to warrant the irk
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    Re: Duck Plugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman View Post
    ^I don't disagree that's a risk, though my co. did replace a pressure switch in the heater come spring that they said they broke on closing. I only meant that THEY must be reasonably comfortable that duck plugs work since they're supposed to warrant the irk
    Yes, there is a risk with everything. I had a long drawn out process with the PB, installation, etc. and I believe the duck plugs are fine. The true risk is if something fails underground, in the piping during the cold winter (What happens next?). I am a beginner and this is the first year in closing my own pool. The first go around, I used the threaded plugs, which clearly leaked, then the black rubber plugs. Take care and let's get through this winter, as they predict a bad one.
    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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