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Thread: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

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    Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    Hello again.

    I am having issues finding out how to blow out the lines on my Hayward pool. Most of the video's ive been watching are pretty vague and don't say anything about dual line skimmers.

    The skimmer at the shallow end has 2 holes in it. But it looks like the one furthest from the pool is a little smaller and it looks like its plugged off from the bottom end up. Must have been done during install. The reason I mention this is because the previous owner had a blowout plug screwed into there. I dont know why..

    Anyway the problem is this. The skimmer at the deep end has 2 lines coming into it. I read up on some configurations. The first says that the hole closest to the pool goes to the main drain at the bottom of the pool.


    The second configuration says that it could be an equalizer line.

    Here is the problem. When I blow into the skimmer line on the pump side, water/air bubbles out of the line closest to the pool. Nothing comes out of the line furthest from the pool. When I blow down , straight into skimmer,the line closest to the pool, nothing bubbles out of the main drain or back through to the pump. Then when i hook the blower right to the furthest line, it doesn't bubble out of the main drain either. I was blowing into the lines at the bottom of the skimmer just to see what kind of setup it is but i learned nothing. This skimmer also has a flat cover with a slotted hole that slides over the one line furthest from the pool. There is also no line dedicated to the main drain in the pump room. It just has 2 lines coming out of the ground in the pump room that T together and then the one line goes into the pump.

    Basically I am trying to blow out the main drain and I have no communication with it.

    Thanks
    Hayward system. Sand Filter. 33,000 gallon. Saltwater. 1.5 hp

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    Re: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    Basically I am trying to blow out the main drain and I have no communication with it.

    The skimmer at the shallow end has 2 holes in it
    Sorry for the late response, but we know that one can not be on the "suction" side and one of the return side. They are both suction.

    I would recommending blowing air from the skimmer to the pump. The dedicated skimmer line should push air to the pump with a regular shop vacuum.

    BTW, you did not mention what type of blower or compressor you are using?

    There could only be two items that come to mind:

    1) The blower you are using and pushing air from the main drain plumbing at the skimmer does not have enough volume to create the whirlpool effect to clear out the line.

    2) The equalizer somehow needs to be released (maybe they make a special tool or there is a way to do this) so you can push air into the system. Once you clear the MD line, you quickly have to plug the piping. If you are not using a Gizmo fro the skimmer plumbing, then place foam or a small bottle filled up with RV Anti-Freeze in the skimmer for expansion.

    Because you have no communication with the line, like I mentioned above, you either are blocked from the valve (which you would hear back pressure on what ever you are using) or the blower is not strong enough. Because these systems are not as common as other ones, I would highly recommend contacting the manufacturer of skimmer basket or call around to some pool professionals and ask them for their advice (would not hurt). If you have no success in a day or so, please get back to me and I will call a friend of mine who opens and closes pools for a living.

    One last thought. If you have a clogged toilet, they make this snake (some 4' long at Lowes or Home Depot) that you can turn in the toilet. You may want to try one of these in the MD line. If the snake line goes all the way down in the MD piping (slowly), then you know that the line is clear and chances are that your blower does not have enough volume. My system is all separate, making life easier.
    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: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    ^ I am using a large size shop vac. It seemed to work really good for the outlets when I blew them out.

    But yeah since the pool is deep and the MD is in the center, maybe there just isn't enough pressure there to push air down the pipe and out the MD. I don't have an air tight seal when im blowing it either. I do have a portable air tank that i could fill to 120 pounds. Maybe I will try that. I will ease it in though because 120 right away might damage things.

    I think the shallow end skimmer is fine. It just blows out. My main concern now is the deep end skimmer and the MD

    thanks
    Hayward system. Sand Filter. 33,000 gallon. Saltwater. 1.5 hp

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    Re: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    I will ease it in though because 120 right away might damage things.
    No more than 15-20 psi (Is what I have always been told by other members) when using an Air Compressor.
    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: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    I plumbed an air fitting (its like a valve stem on a tire) onto the hole in the skimmer furthest from the pool. Then I put 30 pounds of air to the fitting. It is holding 30 pounds of air in the line now. Nothing bubbled up.

    Is it possible that there is a winter cap on the main drain ? I started the pool up in the spring and all through the summer, I didn't notice anything happening at the main drain. No bubbles, no buildup, nothing. Maybe there is a cap on the main drain that I never took off...
    Hayward system. Sand Filter. 33,000 gallon. Saltwater. 1.5 hp

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    Re: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    I dont think it was holding 30 pounds but i did put 30 pounds worth of air in. Its kinda sketchy cuz its like filling a tire. I dont want to overfill it. Maybe it could handle some more..

    Another thing.. This far skimmer line is what keeps the water level in the pool, the same level as in the skimmer even if the water level is below the skimmer opening. And when I suck on it with the vac, it will just suck the vac full.
    Hayward system. Sand Filter. 33,000 gallon. Saltwater. 1.5 hp

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    Re: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    You have something going on. No way 30lb of pressure wouldn't make your MD bubble.

    My deep end is 7 ft. Where the MD is, It's 60 ' from my pump. And I can get my main drain to bubble with a little .8 hp air compressor. And that's with out building up any pressure in the holding tank.

    Don't over pressurize your lines. Since your blowing out through the skimmer, the air is probably going out near the pump/ filter somewhere.
    19,000 gal - Vinyl IG - Sand filter -1.5hp. - Taylor k 2006 - Loop Loc cover

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    Re: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    Samt is 100% correct. Something does not add up with the second equalizer line. I would suggest maybe you backtrack a little. A few other questions. Are you the owner of the pool from day 1? Did you have a company close the pool last year? Maybe a little history would be better? Do you have a good shop vac. I have a 6.5 HP Rigid vacuum that assisted me in removing water out of the skimmers. Maybe give this a shot to see if you can pull water from the pool bottom (main drain). If you can, then something is restricting the piping (only thing I can think of).

    I believe you were successful with everything else, but the main drain (correct?) Just want to make sure.
    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: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    I am the 2nd owner. The 1st owner built it. He got a pool guy to do everything.

    My shop vac does suck out water fine.

    Yeah blowing everything else out went good. I'll see if i can get some pics posted
    Hayward system. Sand Filter. 33,000 gallon. Saltwater. 1.5 hp

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    Re: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    I am the 2nd owner.
    How long have you owned the pool and is this the first year that you closed the pool? If the previous owner closed the pool, maybe asking him what he/she did. Thanks!
    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: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    Quote Originally Posted by Catanzaro View Post
    How long have you owned the pool and is this the first year that you closed the pool? If the previous owner closed the pool, maybe asking him what he/she did. Thanks!
    Owned it since March 2015 so its the first year for everything. The previous owner got a service to do it all. He's in a world of stress and marriage problems so I'd rather not bother him.
    Hayward system. Sand Filter. 33,000 gallon. Saltwater. 1.5 hp

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    Re: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    I am thinking it is the compressor you are using. The last option is to go directly to the source, that is the manufacturer who build the skimmer unit. They should be able to explain to you how the combo skimmer functions regarding blowing air through it. I have spent some time researching this on line and there is no information on how to close the line, but how the line actually works.

    Please take a look at this. Do you have a diverter valve on the bottom of the strainer basket? If so, this may be your answer.

    How to Switch From a Skimmer to a Main Drain | Home Guides | SF Gate

    Skimmer Diverter Valve - YouTube

    He shows a diverter valve. It appears that you should not have anything blocking the main drain, but a diverter valve. If you lowered your water below the skimmer and removed the valve, you should be able to blow out the main drain and plug it quickly to lock in the air.
    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: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    Quote Originally Posted by Catanzaro View Post
    I am thinking it is the compressor you are using. The last option is to go directly to the source, that is the manufacturer who build the skimmer unit. They should be able to explain to you how the combo skimmer functions regarding blowing air through it. I have spent some time researching this on line and there is no information on how to close the line, but how the line actually works.

    Please take a look at this. Do you have a diverter valve on the bottom of the strainer basket? If so, this may be your answer.

    How to Switch From a Skimmer to a Main Drain | Home Guides | SF Gate

    Skimmer Diverter Valve - YouTube

    He shows a diverter valve. It appears that you should not have anything blocking the main drain, but a diverter valve. If you lowered your water below the skimmer and removed the valve, you should be able to blow out the main drain and plug it quickly to lock in the air.
    That is what my skimmer has on the vid you found. The cover with one screw on it that I was trying to explain. Mine is a bit simpler though. I found a pic of what exactly mine is.

    So I think we can say with certainty that the one on the right is the main drain with the diverter on it.


    This diverter valve was wide open all summer and I never really noticed anything coming to or from the main drain. Maybe my main drain is plugged. I think I'll suck a few vacume loads of water out of the pipe and see if i can get the water to stop coming. It it stops coming, then it must be plugged.
    Hayward system. Sand Filter. 33,000 gallon. Saltwater. 1.5 hp

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    Re: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    The line must be free because i can suck loads of water out of it.

    Maybe i just need to hit it with more air. Im a bit gun shy about the air because i don't want to wreck anything. Before I hit it with more pressure, i will just explain in detail what I have for this.

    This is what I made... I took a PVC plug that fits into the line in the skimmer. I drilled a hole in it and screwed a long truck tire valve stem into it. This would work good i think because it will just load up the line with air and it won't flow back. Then I have a portable air tank with a gauge on it. I put 45 pounds of air in the air tank. Then I screwed in the plug/valve stem setup and discharged the air into it. No air bubbles came up out of the main line. It just hissed a bit at the skimmer.

    This air tank just holds air. It will only push out what I put in and nothing more.
    Hayward system. Sand Filter. 33,000 gallon. Saltwater. 1.5 hp

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    Re: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    This diverter valve was wide open all summer and I never really noticed anything coming to or from the main drain. Maybe my main drain is plugged. I think I'll suck a few vacume loads of water out of the pipe and see if i can get the water to stop coming. It it stops coming, then it must be plugged.
    I have a very powerful pump with 2" plumbing. Even when everything was coming from the MD, the suction could not be felt at the bottom of the dual MD. There must be some sort of safety device from pulling everything down there, at least quickly. Therefore, I do not believe your main drain is plugged. If you closed the skimmer and your pressure gauge worked, then you had suction from the main drain, which reflects that everything is working.

    If you are able to suck (vacuum out of the MD), this would do nothing but keep filling the piping with water. You will need to blow air into the MD until you see the waterfall bubbling effect. I can not tell from the picture, but I have seen people create extensions out of PVC piping, etc., either attached to the blower or air compressor. Considering your MD is part of the skimmer, you must blow air from there, and not the other way around.

    If you have threads, or do not have threads, I would suggest you contact Pool Parts Online with schematics from Pool Parts Store


    They are very helpful in putting together parts so you can adapt any type of blower, compressor, shop vacuum, etc.
    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: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    This is what I made... I took a PVC plug that fits into the line in the skimmer. I drilled a hole in it and screwed a long truck tire valve stem into it. This would work good i think because it will just load up the line with air and it won't flow back. Then I have a portable air tank with a gauge on it. I put 45 pounds of air in the air tank. Then I screwed in the plug/valve stem setup and discharged the air into it. No air bubbles came up out of the main line. It just hissed a bit at the skimmer.
    I think you are on the right track, except I would have not used a long truck tire valve stem, but more of a NPT fitting at the end. Please look at picture below. It is the fitting all the way to the right. This is for my sprinkler, but to give you an idea.

    IMG_0976.jpg

    If it just hissed at the skimmer, then you have air leaking somewhere. In this situation, I think you need an airtight flow of air. Your pressure should be set no more than 20 psi. I have read that other members have used 30 psi, but I recommend 20 psi at most.
    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: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    While my closing process is not perfect and I don't know nearly as much as the other folks responding, my experience with my 10 foot deep 20x40 pool is that I have never been able to get bubbles coming from the main pool drain ...I can leave a 6 hp shop vac hooked up and running for 30 minutes and still don't get bubbles. What I have done for the 7 years since we built it is to let the vac run for while to hopefully push some of the water back down to the main drain and then while it is running, I close the valve and hopefully airlock it somewhat ...this has been ok so far with no horrible consequences ...at least that I could tell.

    I have an equipment room that is on the end of a lanai and fully protected ...pipes go straight down for a foot or so through concrete then run sloping to the end of the pool about 40 feet away.

    If you are far north with colder climate my process may not be sufficient ...or if lines run more shallow.

    One thing I am curious about is what net effect keeping the pump and valves warm would have ...was considering putting a halogen bulb in a reflector fixture and leaving it near and pointed at the equipment this year as extra precaution during extreme cold periods.

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    Re: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    I have an equipment room that is on the end of a lanai and fully protected ...pipes go straight down for a foot or so through concrete then run sloping to the end of the pool about 40 feet away.
    Your signature page is "Home Lighting", which is strange. Getting back to your question. I do not believe a halogen bulb will protect any type of piping during extreme cold temperatures. Any piping that is insulated (concrete, soil, stone, etc.), is much better off then not insulated. While no one has ever reported leaving the MD unattended over the winter without problems, most people feel comfortable knowing that water is below the frost line. Leaving piping exposed to wind and severe weather will also cause problems. Shop vac's, especially 10' down probably do not have the volume to clear the main drain.

    Water in soil, upon freezing will expand with great force. I believe that if you have a concrete patio, that extends out away from the pool, over time will not carry a lot of ground water (especially if you have low water tables) and the soil will stay relatively dry. When the weather becomes real cold, the ground that freezes will not expand with great force causing damage. Although, there will be some expansion near the edge of the concrete, away from the 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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    Re: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    Catanzaro,

    Yeah ...went to my profile and found a link for a lighting company ...I did not put it there ...been years since I looked at my profile ...just assumed it was some sort of advertising for tfp. Removed it. Thanks for heads up.

    Whether effective or not, I learned the light bulb trick from the locals while flying airplanes out of Brunswick, ME ...they used a bare light bulb lowers into their engine compartments on their cars for a Down East block heater alternative. ��

    I think I get my MD water down far enough to keep from freezing in our area ...if I were way north I might get a better air souce, though. Most folks here don't use antifreeze, either. Use it in my boat engine, though ...and, yah, a light bulb in the engine compartment ...I do wish we had actual metrics/telemetry inside the pipes at various places during the winter ...would help everyone tailor their winterizing solutions based on facts vice broad info like frost depth, etc.

    Btw, we do have concrete pad around the pool ...eight feet on one side and abou 18 feet on the side toward house to connect everything together ...does help keep water from soil ...has cracked though so that part I hate about concrete.

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    Re: Blowing out a dual line skimmer setup and how dual lines are usually set up...

    I was referring to piping inside the concrete, around the collar of the pool, etc. I am trying to grasp the concept of how lighting near piping of the MD would help. Where exactly would it go? My piping goes from the equipment pad, down about 2' travelling to 3' feet (in concrete) and down to the MD. Everything is in the soil. Thanks!

    Please add your signature to your profile.
    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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