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Thread: Yet another closing question(s)

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    Yet another closing question(s)

    I've read everything here, I got a lot out of the School, the pinned thread, the james-m post, among others, and I've watched all the videos posted and others I could find. I think I'm close to knowing what I need to do to get it "right". I'm in Charlotte NC so chance of a freeze is relatively low but not zero and I'd rather not worry at all. However, I'm stuck on details, so sorry this is so long. Hopefully numbering the questions makes responding easier and doesn't make me seem crazy. I might be at this point...

    Also note I closed my pool alone last year (not long after buying the house) and then I only blew out the returns (at that, a few weeks after blissfully closing the pool without even doing that). I don't *think* anything went wrong last winter. Removing the salt water chlorine generator (SWG) and lowering the water level below the returns I could use a shop vac to blow the water out of the returns, cap them and put antifreeze in there from the pump-side pretty easily (although after reading a lot more, I probably didn't put enough). The vinyl cover did shrink a bit (had to stretch it out and use some pennies to hold it but seems back to normal now), so I think I will re-fill the pool this year back up to closer to within a few inches of the skimmer (8 inches or more higher probably... I am on well water so will probably do it over a few days; I assume days won't matter) and then manage the water after larger rainfall with a sub-pump to keep it below the skimmer (but not let the liner dry up). I have a safety cover, so easy to peek and pump. Question 1. Does this sound right on the return side? Am I missing anything? Actually question 1.1: the water level is currently just below the skimmer. What do people think about the one-way valves? I don't think I could get my wife to work well with me to close the valve with a real cap while under pressure, so I'm leaning towards the above process to keep the peace.

    This year I want to blow out the intakes properly, however I'm a bit confused. I bought a compressor to also do the irrigation lines (paid someone to do that last year, slightly less than the cost of the compressor) so I'd like to do it with that and hopefully not have to also buy a Cyclone as well (and I'm not sure it would work, see below). On the first day (this year about a week ago) I tried to run the compressor connected to the pump drain in the basket area, but was nervous about pressure in the system but went up to about 30 psi out of the compressor... The multi-port valve was on recirculate due to some video I had seen (the one linked to here on the thread by swampwoman, actually, but before I signed up here). With this setting (and the SWG connected back up on the return side) no air was coming out of anywhere... but I also don't think I waited long enough. I was running out of time that day, so I put the cover on and went back to the Internet to read up. I now know I need to wait longer, keep pressure levels at about 25-30psi (I was guessing, which is why I didn't want to trust my guess for too long) and, for the main-drain and skimmer (there's only one) put the multi-port valve on the pump to closed so I'm focusing the air on that side. Question 2: generally, am I right? 2.1: if it worked last year, does anyone think I'm crazy to bother?

    My main concern is about making sure I'm not over-pressuring the system because I'm a bit confused about my plumbing... there are no 3-way valves (jandys?)... Here are the intakes:

    Attachment 55001
    To my understanding the valve coming out of the pump coming right out of the ground (to the right in the photo) MUST be the main-drain. The side pipe out of this (to my understanding, to the left in the photo) must be the skimmer... I can turn off the skimmer, but not the main drain (by itself, which makes sense I think, the other way around does not). However, during pump run time, I've tried to do this (close the skimmer (valve on the left in the photo like you see) and have the main drain open (valve to the right parallel to the pipe)) and to me it looks like there is still pressure emptying the skimmer (!?). Despite this (which could be an illusion) I still think my understanding of those valves/pipes is the only thing possible. I have no way of reaching the pool builder so that's out. Question 3: does everyone agree with my assessment of the plumbing? (I guess I'll find out with the process below but doubt is why I'm posting)...

    Another problem is that the pump is a good 3 feet below the pool (hard to see scale but):
    IMG_20161012_171155.jpg
    so when I open the main drain valve, water flows in to the pump (and in to the compressor). Nothing I can do about this water? Also, this means there is no way that I can think of to use a cyclone or the shop-vac to blow out the intakes, (question 4) is that right?? Is this a common pool setup, out of curiosity if anyone knows? With the intake valves the way they are, the valve going in to the pump is a single point of failure for the whole pool which seems like a bad idea in designing a pool.

    So the process I plan on following is something like:
    - connecting compressor to basket-side of pump. Pre-load compressor, leave the output closed for now.
    - changing filter MPV to closed. Leave in other plug in the pump on the pump side.
    - opening both valves in top photo (water will come in)
    - quickly turn on compressor to about 30psi (this pressure should be ok, right?)
    - this should force most air through the skimmer (I think, since that line should be shorter: skimmer is just off to the right of the pool in the second photo, deep end (~6ft) is closest to the pump, with main drain (2 intakes) at the bottom). There is no way to force all air in to the skimmer due to the crappy plumbing options, right? (question 5: a 3-way valve would be nice!)
    - once all air is out of there (shop vac up the excess), close that, installing gizmo on the valve closer to the pool and the cap on the other opening.
    - close valve to the skimmer. No way to get antifreeze in there? (question 6)
    - Now all air should be forced to MD. Let that run for a few minutes.
    - close the main-drain valve to make the air lock (from pump straight to the ground in first photo) and then turn off the compressor right away (or quickly turn MPV to back-wash to force air through the sand to clear out more water there? Seems reasonable but I've seen this poo-poohed as well).
    - silly detail: with a sand pump, SWG, do people usually take everything inside? SWG, cap on bottom of sand filter, two plugs from pump, etc.? Or do any of these caps/plugs need to be left on? I just duck tapes the SWG entries... can I buy caps for this? Or in NC, leave SWG out?

    Any thoughts on this process, or anything I've said here?

    Apologies for being so long, but as I say I'm really getting mired in the details.
    Thanks!
    Chris

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    Re: Yet another closing question(s)

    Chris:

    Welcome to TFP and Wow this is a long post. But no problem. Do me a favor and take a picture with your back to the retaining wall and of the equipment pad. Also, another picture of the pump and the fittings or drain plugs. You have unions, which could be taken apart if needed, but I would rather not. It appears, (which is good news), that you have shut off valves from the skimmer(s), main drain, and returns jet(s), probably on opposite side of the pool.

    Question # 1) Do you have shop vac?

    Question # 2) Do you have a air compressor?

    Question # 3) Do you have black rubber plugs that will fit the suction and return side (inside the pump basket)? Do you have a Gizmo(s)?

    Question # 4) How many skimmers do you have? How many returns do you have? From the picture, it appears you can isolate each side.

    With all the shut off valves, it will be very easy to isolate each area and blow air through the system. Apologize to you, but instead of trying to answer your questions, let's close the pool the easiest way. Please answer some of the questions and we can move on to the next step. Depending on your blower/compressor, you can suck water out and push water out (if this makes sense). Please advise!
    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: Yet another closing question(s)

    Chris:

    Here is what I would do:

    1) Close the suction side (skimmer and main drain)

    2) Place multi-port on recirculate and blow air through the system. Keep compressor running and keep pressure to about 20 psi (no more than 30 psi). Wait until the returns bubble for a while (keep compressor running) and close off the returns. Isolate one side so the compressor can do its job. When you finish one side of the pool returns, now move on to the other side (Close area off of side completed). You may need a second person to shut off compressor. When done with the returns of the pool, place multi-port on the closed position. If you have a black rubber expandable plug that fits inside the pump, use it so no air can even get to the filter. Now you can take the filter apart and allow it to drain (sight glass, pressure gauge, drain plug, etc.).



    Winterizing your Sand Filter (same as other sand filters with multi-port)

    Interesting to note: Hayward Manual for the S244T 24" 300# sand filter, states only this in their instructions for winterizing:

    WINTERIZING

    1. Completely drain tank by unscrewing drain cap at base of filter tank. Leave cap off during winter.

    2. Depress Vari-Flo control valve handle and rotate so as to set pointer on valve top between any two positions. This will allow water to drain from the valve. Leave valve in this "inactive" position.

    winterizing with a sand filter

    Now, keep the main drain closed and open up the skimmer(s). If you can go the skimmer and vacuum some water out with a wet vac, that would be ideal. After this, go back and turn on the compressor and blow out the remaining water and install plug or Gizmo, etc.

    At this point, please close the skimmer valve and start working on the main drain. Allow the main drain to bubble for 45 seconds to 1 minute and quickly close the valve to create the "air lock". If you have a black plug, place it in the pump basket as secondary insurance.

    You are in NC and I do not recommend Anti-Freeze. Hope this helps! If you are using a Cyclone, instead of an air compressor, I can easily guide you with a 3' 1.5" hose that is flexible enough to put manually into the return and suction side of the pool. Your design is fine.
    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: Yet another closing question(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by clapre View Post
    Nothing I can do about this water? Also, this means there is no way that I can think of to use a cyclone or the shop-vac to blow out the intakes, (question 4) is that right??
    I'm a bit partial to the Cyclone, having used it to close for the first time this year. It made blowing the lines a cinch...best equipment investment I've made since owning the pool. The only thing you need be concerned about is that your Cyclone (or ShopVac) is situated higher than the level of the water in the pool. That gravel area next to the black iron fence looks like a good place for whatever blower you might use. This assumes you're blowing from your equipment pad.
    28,000 gallons, 18x36, vinyl liner, 2 skimmers, 2 returns, 1 main drain, Hayward sand filter, Hayward Super Pump (self priming), Raypak 400 btu gas heater, Lamotte ColorQ and Taylor 2006-K test kits

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    Re: Yet another closing question(s)

    If you decide to go with the Cyclone (powerful enough to blow from the skimmer line), the adapter is about $5 and the hose is about $20. Real easy to work with.
    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: Yet another closing question(s)

    Thanks for all of the replies. For Catanzaro (I'll take pics in the morning):

    1. Yes. Shop vac works well for the returns. I can fit it in to the area the SWG was, but I can't think of how to use it for the intakes.
    2. Yes. I'm hoping to use it to blow out the intakes from the valves in the pump.
    3. No, but I could buy them, and, I do have other plugs that fit: the gizmo and another return-size plug that fits in the other hole, both threaded so air tight... but technically no to rubber plug. Yes I have a gizmo.
    4. Only one skimmer. Two normal returns (one on the far side of the pool in the middle and one on the near side, towards the shallow end) and two seat jets (on the deep-end)... these can not be isolated from the pump individually, but (I'm 99% sure) in pairs (the two returns and the two seat jets).

    Not sure what you mean about any kinds of shuts offs "on opposite side of the pool"... There are no shut offs away from the pump.

    If I do have the compressor running (plugged in to basket-side of the pump, pump otherwise complete, MPV on recirculate) I can close off each of the returns one by one (with water level above the returns) presumably starting from the closest one and moving away... I presume I can do all but the last one and only need my wife to turn off the compressor as I get the last one on?? Different order, but this is basically what I've been thinking (switching to the shop vac for the returns though, but maybe this saves me the time of draining/refilling).

    And here is the crux of the matter (and my post): I do not think I can keep the main drain closed and open the skimmer. With the intakes I have, I think I can only open or close all water to the pump, and open or close the skimmer (although evidence shows this is wrong, but I can't think of the alternative logical settings).

    I think I will buy plugs. Any links to the right ones?

    Re: cyclone... having a not inexpensive shop vac and a not inexpensive compressor I am hoping to not buy a very expensive cyclone... Also, I just don't see any way that I could use it to blow out my intakes?

    Thanks again for all the help!



    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh I see what you're saying... If I had the Cyclone, I could connect this to the skimmer, only, and then work my way around from there and blow every line, including the main drain, and the filter, everything? With one person?

    Would these attachments fit on to my shop vac?

    Thanks again!

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    Re: Yet another closing question(s)

    I see that you have one skimmer, 4 returns and one main drain. Have you attempted anything yet? Do you have a compressor and I see you have a shop vac?


    Also, please take pictures of the equipment pad from all different angles.
    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: Yet another closing question(s)

    Thanks so much for your help Catanzaro. I haven't tried anything yet, I have an extra set of hands available on Monday but I'd like to do this by myself if I can. I have a compressor and a shop vac.

    Here are the pics (I didn't see the limits in size, so these are only two of them, but should have what you need, or I can answer questions).

    IMG_20161014_181234.jpgIMG_20161014_181248.jpg

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    Re: Yet another closing question(s)

    Nice clean setup. You have a drain plug at the pump and this is where the npt fitting would go to an air compressor. If you follow up my instructions in thread # 3, you should have no problem with the closing. Please keep us posted!

    Below, please find a thread (Post # 10) which describes the experience a member has had with a pancake compressor and how to work more efficiently!


    Closing: blosing out lines, water level and then some
    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: Yet another closing question(s)

    Thanks, I had read that. So I'm planning on following your instructions Monday evening, a few clarification questions.

    When I switch to the intakes, water will flow in to the pump from the main drain, but presumably if I have the pressure building in the compressor and open the valve at the right time, the pressure will keep the water out of the pump and moving back in to the pool... is there any trick people know about how to time this?

    Also I don't think I can "keep the main drain closed and open up the skimmer". The only way to close the main drain (the valve closest to the pump intake) closes off all intake. The side valve on the intake must be the skimmers. So I think I have to blow both at the same time and assume the shorter run to the skimmer will put most pressure there. Right?

    Finally, any thoughts on using the shop vac instead on the return side?

    What's the name of the black plug to fit in the pump? I'd like to buy one. Insurance sounds good!

    Thanks again
    Chris

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    Re: Yet another closing question(s)

    I blow my outputs ( eyeballs) out by taking the SWG out and pressurizing that pipe. I blow out the inputs (skimmers) by opening the pump and pressurizing the pipe that comes into the basket.

    Quick and easy, if you have a group of friends.
    16 x 32 17500 gallons
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    Re: Yet another closing question(s)

    Also I don't think I can "keep the main drain closed and open up the skimmer". The only way to close the main drain (the valve closest to the pump intake) closes off all intake. The side valve on the intake must be the skimmers. So I think I have to blow both at the same time and assume the shorter run to the skimmer will put most pressure there. Right?
    You have 2 shut off valves. One is for the skimmer and one is for the main drain (unless one of the valves is for a main drain and skimmer). If so, the path of least resistance will go first. How many skimmers do you have?

    Also, the black plug is nothing more than a black rubber plug with a wing nut that you use for the return jets in the pool. With any pool closing, you must start with something to move air and if this does not work, then you have to move on to something more powerful, like a compressor.
    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: Yet another closing question(s)

    All closed...

    I used the compressor on the intakes. It turns out the tube going right into the ground is the skimmer and the tube off the side is the main drain, which seems weird to me... it can't be run to draw water from the main drain and not the skimmer, say, if the water level is low. Isn't this a really poor setup?

    I ended up using the shop vac on the returns since I got help... Got wet putting the caps on, but otherwise that went well.

    Thanks again for all the help!

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    Re: Yet another closing question(s)

    Isn't this a really poor setup?
    Up to interpretation. The water from skimmer and MD is being pulled back to the pump (suction side) from one tube. Just the design, not the best but you can easily close the main drain and "air lock" with a black plug. Pools today, have come a long way.
    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: Yet another closing question(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Catanzaro View Post
    If you decide to go with the Cyclone (powerful enough to blow from the skimmer line), the adapter is about $5 and the hose is about $20. Real easy to work with.
    Could you point me to where I can buy the adapter and hose? Actual links to items would be best.
    12x30x5, IG, 14000 gal., concrete, 1.0 hp Stealth SHPF pump, Booster pump, Jandy Lite 2 heater, Taylor K-2006C test kit

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    Re: Yet another closing question(s)

    Please look at post # 1 & # 2 and you will find all the part #'s, etc. I created a cover, but you will have success from the skimmer as well. MPV on recirculate. I would suggest you shop the internet for the Cyclone as I believe it is on sale. Thank you.

    Modified Cover for Swimming Pools

    Modified Cover for Hayward Super Pump for Closing Swimming Pool
    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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