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Thread: Closing: blosing out lines, water level and then some

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    Closing: blosing out lines, water level and then some

    Using the intel from this forum ( thank you! ) I closed the pool today. Of course doing it for the first time left some doubts whether I did everything correctly, so I'd like to confirm a couple of things.


    1. I used this air compressor:


    air-compressor.jpg


    the way it works, it has two gauges: one for the tank and another one for the output (the hose). I plugged it in to the pump's 1/4'' input to blow out the lines. What I noticed was the pressure first built up in the tank, then I opened the output valve, and both gauges dropped to almost nothing. However I could see the water in the lines was coming out at the good rate. The question I have is how would I now not to "overdo it" since I don't really know the PSI?


    2. I also read somewhere that people don't use air compressors since there is a chance to create too much pressure in the line once it is plugged off. How do I make sure to avoid it? I just plugged a line, and then turned off the compressor, is there a different way to do it?


    3. I could not figure out how to add antifreeze to the skimmers, since the pipes were always (almost) filled with water after the skimmer lines were blown. Should I use a separate manual pump to pump the water out of the skimmer after blowing the lines and air locking it?


    4. I lowered the water just a bit under the skimmer line to make sure it does not get to the skimmer and the ice won't break the tile:

    water-level.jpg

    5. I could not find a way to blow out the main drain: I have two drains, the one in a shallow end, and the one on a deep end. The shallow end drain I did find and air locked. But I found no valves that would make a deep end drain talk to me while blowing out air into the system. What else can I try?

    6. Is there a recommended way / link / video on how to fold a solid (strap on) cover? The cover I closed with is quite gigantic, I am sure I could spend a lot less time putting it on if I had a couple of tricks up my sleeve.
    Inground, plastered. 35K Gallon, 3' to 8.5' deep. Hayward SP2610X15 1.5hp. DE 48sq filter. 3 skimmers, 3 pool returns, 4 spa returns. 2 drains: shallow and deep ends.

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    Re: Closing: blosing out lines, water level and then some

    The question I have is how would I now not to "overdo it" since I don't really know the PSI?

    A total of 20-30 psi is sufficient. The compressor does not have enough volume for you to be concerned with anything else.

    I just plugged a line, and then turned off the compressor, is there a different way to do it?

    If you turn off the compressor within a few seconds after plugging the line, you will not build any real backpressure to be concerned about anything.

    I could not figure out how to add antifreeze to the skimmers, since the pipes were always (almost) filled with water after the skimmer lines were blown. Should I use a separate manual pump to pump the water out of the skimmer after blowing the lines and air locking it?

    There really is no need to add anti-freeze if the lines were blown out properly.

    I lowered the water just a bit under the skimmer line to make sure it does not get to the skimmer and the ice won't break the tile:

    Gizmo's protect the skimmer and usually the water will not freeze right next to any wall because of heat from walls and soil, etc.

    Personally, I close the returns first after plugging the suction side in the pump basket. Once returns are closed, I close the main drain (with valve) and siphon out water with wet vac first. I then go back and blow the water out until it is almost all gone and while the water is blowing out I vacuum at the same time. Then install the Gizmo's. Next I move on to the main drain. Allow it to bubble for 45 seconds and create the "air lock".


    I could not find a way to blow out the main drain: I have two drains, the one in a shallow end, and the one on a deep end. The shallow end drain I did find and air locked. But I found no valves that would make a deep end drain talk to me while blowing out air into the system. What else can I try?

    This one I have not seen. Main drains are usually in the deep end, but it is possible to have both. If somehow, they are linked together, then you really only pushed air and water through the shallow end and not the deep end. If this is the case, then the compressor is not powerful enough (volume wise). I would try to locate the pool builder and ask them what the 2 drains are for and how they are controlled.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Frog Mineralizer System (EMPTY) - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Pool Company tests water (NO LONGER) TF-100 TEST KIT
    Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Closing: blosing out lines, water level and then some

    A total of 20-30 psi is sufficient.
    Since I can't see the "psi" [both gauges are almost at zero], is it safe to assume it was not more than 20-30 psi?

    I would try to locate the pool builder and ask them what the 2 drains are for and how they are controlled
    I suspect the pool is built by "Anthony Sylvan" in seventies, you think they would still have the schematics?
    Inground, plastered. 35K Gallon, 3' to 8.5' deep. Hayward SP2610X15 1.5hp. DE 48sq filter. 3 skimmers, 3 pool returns, 4 spa returns. 2 drains: shallow and deep ends.

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    Re: Closing: blosing out lines, water level and then some

    is it safe to assume it was not more than 20-30 psi?
    We should never assume anything? What do you mean both gauges are almost at zero? I see there gauges on the compressor. My Craftsman has gauges and adjustment valves (only use for sprinkler system). Do your gauges not work or can they not be adjusted for pressure?

    Regarding the design of the pool, I would contact Anthony Sylvan. Luckily, I have the schematic for my pool, but it is N.T.S. as the PB would not give me that one. Someday I will find it.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Frog Mineralizer System (EMPTY) - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Pool Company tests water (NO LONGER) TF-100 TEST KIT
    Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Closing: blosing out lines, water level and then some

    What do you mean both gauges are almost at zero?
    as I mentioned before:

    It has two gauges: one for the tank and another one for the output (the hose). I plugged it in to the pump's 1/4'' input to blow out the lines. What I noticed was the pressure first built up in the tank, then I opened the output valve, and both gauges dropped to almost nothing. However I could see the water in the lines was coming out at the good rate.
    Inground, plastered. 35K Gallon, 3' to 8.5' deep. Hayward SP2610X15 1.5hp. DE 48sq filter. 3 skimmers, 3 pool returns, 4 spa returns. 2 drains: shallow and deep ends.

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    Re: Closing: blosing out lines, water level and then some

    If you lower the pressure, the compressor will run longer. Air compressor's will go down to "zero" pretty quickly. Most members set the pressure to no more than 30 psi.

    Do you have a main drain in the deep end and were you able to blow out the drain, and do you have a shut offr valve? I know you mentioned something in your first post, but is one of them the man drain?
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Frog Mineralizer System (EMPTY) - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Pool Company tests water (NO LONGER) TF-100 TEST KIT
    Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Closing: blosing out lines, water level and then some

    whether I set it to 20 or 30 psi, both gauges still get to zero pretty quickly. However it does work: I was able to blow out the lines + I used it on the other pool (was helping out my friend) to blow everything including his main drain. I am just not certain what that "psi" is since both gauges go to zero after I open the air flow to the hose.

    I have two bottom drains: on on a shallow end (i.e. 3'), and the other one on the deep end (i.e. 8.5'). I don't have a shut off valve specifically for the "deep end" drain: unless it is the same valve as used for the "shallow drain". I tried to blow out all the lines, but I could not get the "deep end" drain to "bubble".
    Inground, plastered. 35K Gallon, 3' to 8.5' deep. Hayward SP2610X15 1.5hp. DE 48sq filter. 3 skimmers, 3 pool returns, 4 spa returns. 2 drains: shallow and deep ends.

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    Re: Closing: blosing out lines, water level and then some

    If your shallow drain was bubbling, but not the deep end, then probability is that it is the same run. The compressor does not have enough volume for both. You may want to blow out the drain for a little longer and then just close the valve, locking the air. Really hard to tell without seeing everything. Is this your first year closing, or someone else closed last year? Maybe you can find the builder who installed the pool. The shallow end, with the combination of returns and skimmer, always has enough circulation where a bottom drain is usually not needed. Probably a very good design. You just have to figure out the plumbing, etc.

    This is the reason why I purchased the Cyclone. I closed the main drain 2X this year because the valve was slightly moved. It took no longer than 2 minutes to do again. I always recommend to people to spend the extra $$ on the Cyclone. Even if friends purchased together and used for pools only, they would break even on the cost of closing the pool in the first year. Keep us posted!
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Frog Mineralizer System (EMPTY) - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Pool Company tests water (NO LONGER) TF-100 TEST KIT
    Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Closing: blosing out lines, water level and then some

    Put up a photo of pool & filter plant. - some pools will have sumps used for groundwater remediation that are not tied to pool circulation.


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    Re: Closing: blosing out lines, water level and then some

    I have to chime in here since this is the first year I closed with a new compressor that has a tank...one of these "pancake" compressors. My old compressor was tankless. I also had issues with trying to regulate output pressure. I had my wife helping me and told her to maintain it at around 20 psi output, but what happened is that the pressure in the tank kept dropping rather than sustaining. So then I stopped the whole process, disconnected the air hose from the filter tank, let the pressure build up in the compressor tank figuring that then I'd have lots of available pressure. But yet not much seemed to be coming out which I don't understand at all. Finally, the less we worried about it and stopped fooled around with the regulator knob, the better it went. The pressure seemed to be simply going right into the pool system and really not building up any residual in the compressor tank. All that being said, it sure seemed like the most pressure I've had to contend with in years...a testament to my old compressor probably not up to what it used to be (I think the motor is just about shot). I really had trouble getting the plugs in the return lines...had to do it several times since there was just so much pressure coming out of those lines. The main drain proved quite easy (and sometimes I've had to redo that a few times before I am satisfied). Once I got the drain blown, just a tiny bit of bubbles (isn't that a song???..lol) came out of the one return plug but then stopped as soon as the pressure was off. Either way, I add a gallon of antifreeze in the returns and a gallon in the skimmer line just as a precaution. I know it's probably 'not necessary' but I figure I've never had any problems so I won't argue with what seems to be working. I am one who, even though I've been closing my pool for 27 years, every time I do it I still worry about whether or not I've done everything right and am paranoid about leaks. I even take a cup and baster and remove all the remaining water from the skimmer pot to make sure it doesn't start to fill back up again. I figure that if no water is coming back up in the pot, the drain is effectively air locked.
    12,000 gallon gunite, original construction 1989, renovation 2014 using quartz plaster finish

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    Re: Closing: blosing out lines, water level and then some

    AnthonyPool:

    Thanks for your clear explanation. I can refer back to this post, when people ask about experiences with air compressors. Ironically, some people are successful with shop vac's. I really believe the distance has a lot do with everything. My distance from the MD to equipment has to be at least 60-75 feet, while to the last skimmer and return has to be over 100 feet. I did not want to tinker around with more work. I know the sprinklers, because of the tank takes 2X before I get it right.

    For the price of anti-freeze ($30 gallon), unless it is less expensive somewhere else, and the amount of time, the Cyclone is your best bet. There is no second guessing yourself unless your break a seal. The amount of time it took to blow out 8 returns, 2 skimmers and the main drain was around 15 minutes. Of course, everything else took longer. The downside is the cost ($400) with all the accessories, and it really only can be used for a pool. However, I did use it to unclog the central vacuuming system and a laundry room drain. If something does not provide resistance, the Cyclone can be used. Also, I help other friends close their pool as a courtesy. The blower is easy to transport in a small bin, and that includes everything else.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Frog Mineralizer System (EMPTY) - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Pool Company tests water (NO LONGER) TF-100 TEST KIT
    Date of Build is 11-2013

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