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Thread: First year closing questions...

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    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    First year closing questions...

    I have read and searched about everything having to do with closing an inground pool. I hope these questions are not answered and I just overlooked them in the many post I have been reading. I live in the Upstate of SC and the winters here are not terrible but we do have times of freezing. I have a solid Loop Loc cover and the info I received from the company suggest not to lower the water more than 12" below the top of the pool. This does not allow me to lower the water below the returns. With that said this is my plan... and then my questions below that....

    Allow water to drop below 60 degrees
    Bring pool to slam levels and allow to drift back down about halfway
    Add Polyquat 60 and let circulate for 1 hour
    Drain water level to just below the skimmer
    Remove skimmer and pump baskets
    Remove return eyeballs
    Set sand filter to Recirculate and blow out the skimmer
    Continue blowing air until the returns are only blowing out air and plugged off
    Finally allow air to blow thru the main drain and shut off the valve
    Remove drain plug from sand filter and pump basket
    Add Pool/RV antifreeze to skimmer line and return lines

    Now for the questions....

    I only have two valves, one valve for the main drain and one valve for the skimmer.
    When I blow out the returns do I turn off the main drain?
    Do I blow air from the skimmer back into the system using a shop vac?
    Where do I add the antifreeze, at the skimmer?

    Would it be better to use an air compressor to blow the lines out from the pump basket? If so, How do you keep from blowing the lines apart? I watched several videos about it but no one says anything about it building up pressure. I know I would blow the skimmer and returns out first and then the main drain. Once everything it plugged and the main drain valve is turned off will it build enough pressure to harm anything before you have time to shut the compressor off? What would be a good PSI to be running the compressor at?

    If I am missing anything please let me know as I am willing to learn! I water is currently 76 degrees so not much swimming going on and its motivated me to get my head wrapped around the closing process.
    18x36 inground / 28k gal / Phanton vinyl liner (replaced in 2009) / Hayward Pro Series sand filter / Hayward 1hp pool pump / Hayward 3/4hp booster pump

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    Re: First year closing questions...

    Any suggestions?
    18x36 inground / 28k gal / Phanton vinyl liner (replaced in 2009) / Hayward Pro Series sand filter / Hayward 1hp pool pump / Hayward 3/4hp booster pump

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    Catanzaro's Avatar
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    Re: First year closing questions...

    Joshua:

    Sorry your post was over looked. Can you please do me a favor and post some pictures of your equipment pad (from all angles) and especially the shut off valves. Also, what type of compressor, shop vac or blower do you have? How many skimmers, main drains, and return jets, etc.?

    I will work with you to close your pool and we can get your questions answered! Please post pictures and lay out questions either by numbers, bullet points or Question # 1, Question # 2, etc. I can then go back an answer your questions. Thank you.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Some comments to start before your reply.

    1) RV Antifreeze usually goes in the skimmer after all the water is removed. Quite honestly, I do not use RV Anti-freeze.

    When closing your pool, the objective is to remove most of the water from the skimmers, return jets, then blow air through the main drain and create an air lock. I take my closing a few extra steps by adding plugs in the pump basket to ensure that if any leaks occur in the valves, the lock is still there. My water (from the skimmers is completely removed as I first suck the water out with a wet vac, then blow the remaining out with a professional pool blower) and then install the Gizmo's.

    Please keep me posted and we will get your pool closed! I will respond by Thursday morning.
    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: First year closing questions...

    You should hook your compressor up to the drain plug of the pump under the basket. When you screw in the air fitting into the pump and then attach the air hose the compressor motor will start pumping air directly to the lines and not the compressor holding tank, therefore your not building up any pressure in the tank or the lines. The air is just pushing out the water. When you do this, both valves on the MD and skimmer should be open. The first thing that will bubble is the skimmers. Plug those. Next will be the returns, plug those, next will be the MD. When that bubbles turn the MD valve to off. That creates an air lock, turn off the compressor, pull the pump and put another expandable plug in the pipe that the pump hooked up too.

    I always go back to the skimmer boxes get out any water, pull the plug in each and pour in about 1/2 gal AF, put plugs back in and pour 1/2 gal AF right in the box.

    An air compressor won't get out all the water because it doesn't have enough volume, but it gets out most thus my reason for putting a little AF in the skimmer pipes. The MD pipe is below frost line and the water that's left in there is not going to freeze anyway.
    19,000 gal - Vinyl IG - Sand filter -1.5hp. - Taylor k 2006 - Loop Loc cover

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    Re: First year closing questions...

    Thanks for the tips. Here is everything thats been ask for... I hope. My pool has one skimmer and three returns. One return is attached to a booster pump and is located directly across from the skimmer in the center of the long side of the pool. It also has one main drain in the deep end.
    My compressor is a Kobalt 15 gallon 155 max psi Oil less compressor
    My shop vac is a 16 gallon 6.5hp with detachable blower
    Here are the pictures. It appears that everything was put together to not be taken apart easily. I know when I purchased the house last year nothing was removed from the setup.






    The red valve is for the main drain and the black valve is for the skimmer. I hope to raise the pad up next year and redo all the visible plumbing. Tips are welcome for that also but I will probably start another post about that.

    Questions....
    #1 Since the cover manufacturer does not recommend lowering the water more than 12" below the top, should I lower it to just below the skimmer or leave the water level as normal?
    #2 Do I need to turn my valve to recirculate or leave in filter mode when I blow the lines out?
    #3 Is it best to blow the lines out and cap them off or build a pipe to allow the pipe to come above the water so I can cap it off since the returns will still be below the water level?
    #4 Do I need Antifreeze in the return lines?
    #5 Since the pumps are hard plumbed should I cut the pipes to take them inside or is it ok to leave them out?

    Any other info would be greatly appreciated.
    18x36 inground / 28k gal / Phanton vinyl liner (replaced in 2009) / Hayward Pro Series sand filter / Hayward 1hp pool pump / Hayward 3/4hp booster pump

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    Re: First year closing questions...

    This is what I would do and others will chime in with there recommendations. You don't live in an area that gets a prolong hard freeze. I would only lower to below the skimmer. I lower mine below the returns only because we get a lot of rain before a hard freeze and I don't want overflowing. I leave mine in filter mode when I blow the lines. I would leave the pump as is and remove the drain plugs (there's 2) just try and get all the water out and cover it good. I would also remove the drain plug on the back bottom of the sand filter and losen the top plug.

    You don't need any AF in the return lines. Again, your area is very mild. I would remove the pressure gauge.
    19,000 gal - Vinyl IG - Sand filter -1.5hp. - Taylor k 2006 - Loop Loc cover

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    Catanzaro's Avatar
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    Re: First year closing questions...

    Joshua:

    At least you have shut off valves. Here is what I would do:

    1) Put the filter multi-port on recirculate.
    2) Shut off main drain and skimmer.
    3) Push air to blow out the return lines and plug them one at a time until you plugged the last one. If you are working by yourself, then open up the skimmer before closing off the last return line so you do not build up any back pressure and then move on to the skimmer. You could also lower the water below the skimmer, suck out most of the water and blow out the remaining. Keep the main drain closed until last. Adding Anti-Freeze is a preference and entirely optional and extra insurance.
    4) Once you are done with the return lines and skimmer, then open the main drain until it bubbles at the surface for at least 45 seconds to 1 minute max. Then quickly shut off the valve to create the "air lock". Go into the pump basket and plug both the suction and return lines with black rubber plugs as extra insurance.
    5) Open up the drain plug on the sand filter to allow all the water to drain out (keep open during winter). Remove pressure gauge.
    6) Place multi-port level between 2 settings or closed and you will be fine.

    You can only use the air compressor at this point and lower the pressure so there is more volume. I lower the water below the skimmer so removing the water is easier. Although, I do not lower the water below the return lines (just plug them as water is being pushed along). No need to be cutting any pipes. If you want to isolate the system, while blowing air through, plug the side being isolated in the pump basket with the black rubber plugs (like the ones for the return jets) so everything is moved along to either the suction side or return side. (hope this makes sense). This allows the compressor to work more efficiently, especially when working on the main drain (which will require a lot more volume for water movement).
    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: First year closing questions...

    Thanks for all the info!! I was worried I was missing something but it seems I was over thinking things in my head when trying to plan this out. Any recommendations on the rubber plugs? I currently have the screw in plugs for the returns and a gizmo for the skimmer.
    18x36 inground / 28k gal / Phanton vinyl liner (replaced in 2009) / Hayward Pro Series sand filter / Hayward 1hp pool pump / Hayward 3/4hp booster pump

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    Re: First year closing questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by joshua5438 View Post
    Thanks for all the info!! I was worried I was missing something but it seems I was over thinking things in my head when trying to plan this out. Any recommendations on the rubber plugs? I currently have the screw in plugs for the returns and a gizmo for the skimmer.
    I use the black rubber plugs with the wing nut. You have to figure out which size you need. Mine are all labeled in plastic bags. These may be for the pump basket during closing!

    IMG_1005.jpg

    IMG_1006.jpg
    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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    Mar 2016
    Location
    Easley, SC
    Posts
    357

    Re: First year closing questions...

    Thanks. I will measure my pipe size and get those ordered.
    18x36 inground / 28k gal / Phanton vinyl liner (replaced in 2009) / Hayward Pro Series sand filter / Hayward 1hp pool pump / Hayward 3/4hp booster pump

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