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Thread: A few final winterizing questions

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    A few final winterizing questions

    My pool finally got cool enough to close this weekend. The returns and the skimmers blew out ok, so I think I'm good there. (My pump and valves are all inside an unheated building).

    The previous owners had a length of PVP pipe that they placed into the suction port of the skimmer, which is also covered by the winter cover. Is this sufficient, or is there something extra I should do?

    Also, someone posted (Waste, I believe) that to winterize the main drain you pressurize it with air until it bubbles for a few minutes and then shut the valve to it with the air still applied. I tried to do this with a 4.25hp 150mph shop vac and I couldn't get even a single bubble out of the main drain. Any suggestions?
    ~30000 GAL In-Ground 26'x50' Kidney Shaped Pool
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    You'll probably need a compressor for the main drain. With the weight of the water, it takes too much power to lift for a shop vac.

    For my skimmer, I put the gizmo into the hole, then pack the entire skimmer with pool noodle material. Then I wedge one of the empty antifreeze jugs in to the opening to keep the weir open.
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    I have a 2HP (125psi max) compressor (without a tank). Would this be powerful enough?
    ~30000 GAL In-Ground 26'x50' Kidney Shaped Pool
    Hayward EC-75 DE Filter w/1.5HP Hayward SuperPump
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robrinker
    I have a 2HP (125psi max) compressor (without a tank). Would this be powerful enough?
    I expect so. Limit your pressure to 30 psi for safety of your pipes.
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    If the air compressor doesn't work, take another stab with the shop vac. You can lay a string across the MD to prove that you are moving some, if not all, of the water in the line. As I've said, the blowing air through the MD and then slamming the valve shut - is not optimal, but has works as long as the water is held below the frost line. As such, you'll have the same result even if you never see an air bubble.
    Last year there was a post on PF wherein the poster had the same trouble with the shop vac and used an expandable rubber plug with a built in 'tank valve' (like the thing on your tire where you add the air) and then used a bicycle tire pump to force enough air through the line to get it to bubble - the beauty of this is that the plug and tank valve keep the line fully sealed so that there is ~ no water able to reenter the line.

    Hope this helps someone somewhere
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    I just did this over the weekend, and heres what my experience was maybe it will help you.

    I connected my compressor and set the output to 20 psi ( I was able to connect with a quick connect on my heater's bleeder valve)

    when trying to blow out the main drain several things became apparent.

    1st - with the compressor set at 20psi, as soon as I opened the valve and began filling the 1 1/2" pipes The pressure on the output side of the compressor dropped to almost nothing, so I watched it and slowly brought it back up to 20 psi.

    2nd - I heard gurggling but no bubbles from the drain - I soon found a "whatever it is" output in a second box next to my skimmer. It was a 1/2" pipe that is somehow connected to the return system. the air took the path of least resistance and came out of this opening instead. (Look for somewhere in the system that is letting the air out before the drain)

    Finally I plugged this pipe with my thumb while the compressor ran - still nothing!!! well for several minutes that is!
    After convincing myself to be patient, and after my thumb started to go numb, about 1-2 minutes passed before the first few bubbles appeared from the main drain - then whoosh! Big Bubbles! and lots of them.

    So - at the very least try again and wait a while to see how long it takes to fill all that pipe with air.''''
    If not- look for another path the air might be taking with less resistance.
    If this still doesn't work - come back here and ask again - many people here know their stuff and they will help you.
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    I found the post Waste mentioned on PF and made myself a plug like the one mentioned. I just took a 1 1/2" return pipe expandable plug and took the bolt out of the middle. My local bike shop gave me a bike tire tube with a hole in it and I cut the section of the tube with the valve out, sliced it open, and wrapped it around the plug. BTW, the plug like this mentioned on PF had to be held in manually (just like the one I created), so I think you might've misunderstood that it keeps the line sealed, Waste.

    I inserted the plug into the hole where the main drain returns to my pump and applied pressure with my compressor set to 30psi. The main drain started bubbling immediately. I held it like this for 3 mins and then shut the valve to the main drain. When I removed the plug (with the valve still shut), I heard and felt the air pressure in the pipes whoosh back out.

    Should I be concerned about this, or I can assume that the pressurized air forced the water in the pipes down enough that it should be below the freeze line?
    ~30000 GAL In-Ground 26'x50' Kidney Shaped Pool
    Hayward EC-75 DE Filter w/1.5HP Hayward SuperPump
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robrinker
    Should I be concerned about this, or I can assume that the pressurized air forced the water in the pipes down enough that it should be below the freeze line?
    Unless the pipe is sealed, the water in the main drain line will be at the same level in the pipe as the water is in the pool. Most valves are not air-tight, so the water comes back up very quickly. I put a T in my drain line with a small section of pipe coming up. I took a glue on cap and put a metal Schrader valve that has a nut on it in a hole I drilled in the cap. Then I glued the cap on. Now I just turn off the main drain valve, hook the compressor to the valve and blow out the drain. But the main drain valve leaks the air out in a few days. When I redid my plumbing this year, I put a union in the line that I can put an expanding plug into to hopefully seal it better. I'll see this weekend, because my water has finally gotten cool enough to close.
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    Rob, sorry for my failing memory , I had forgotten that they hombrewed their own - however, they do make the expandable rubber plugs, which tighten with a wingnut, that already have the tank valve on them. Give me a few minutes to find and figure out the link... http://www.poolforum.com/pf2/showthread.php?t=6202. The one in the link I just gave will fully keep the line sealed after the water is blown out

    What you can do, as John is correct in his assesment of your current situation, is close the pool (which I guess you already have ) and just redo the MD -- it's not gonna freeze this weekend. You can either get the 'ready made' blow through expandable plug or redo what you did the first time and then have another rubber plug to slam into the pipe before too much air has escaped, therby trapping the water below the frost line

    Sorry for the confusion on the plug!

    (What you're looking for is the 'everything for pools' link and on the sidebar 'winterizing supplies' [at the bottom] and the 'expand and purge' plug) - I tried to post the pic ... but I can barely use a computer http://www.everything4pools.com/product ... fault.html
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Thanks John and Waste! Don't worry about the memory Waste, no one can remember everything perfectly everytime.

    I looked on the everything4pools site, but the only thing I saw was a 2" expandable plug and I need 1 1/2".

    I noticed this post in another thread on MD winterizing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kinguni
    Up here in the great white north we don't do anything with the main drain but do leave the valve open. This is with poly lines however.
    I also have poly lines...am I wasting my time fussing with my MD at all?
    ~30000 GAL In-Ground 26'x50' Kidney Shaped Pool
    Hayward EC-75 DE Filter w/1.5HP Hayward SuperPump
    daily user of JasonLion's Poolcalculator
    (12) 2x10 SunGrabber Solar Panels...now if only there was some sun to shine on them!

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    Rob, they do make the blowthrough plugs for 1.5" lines http://www.poolclick.com//web/catalog/p ... pid=178343 . I'm not sure the stem on the one they show is long enough to attach the pump to

    Anyway, as long as there are no elbows on the poly pipe you'd probably be safe as is - if there is an elbow in the frost line, all bets are off. The poly itself should be safe, but the elbows, especially the cheap ones are vulnerable to ice expansion. If the pipe comes into the valve horizontally, you probably have a 90 buried shallow, if it comes up at an angle, it's probably a continuous run from the drain (and doesn't look as neat).


    HTH
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Ack! Poolclick wants $15 shipping for a $11 plug that weighs what, 3 ounces?

    Any other ideas where I might find this thing?
    ~30000 GAL In-Ground 26'x50' Kidney Shaped Pool
    Hayward EC-75 DE Filter w/1.5HP Hayward SuperPump
    daily user of JasonLion's Poolcalculator
    (12) 2x10 SunGrabber Solar Panels...now if only there was some sun to shine on them!

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Search on line - I don't 'search' well, but that's how I, eventually , found the link I gave above. I'll see if I can't remember to check the literature at work tomorrow.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    unfortunately, it seems every place calls this something slightly different. That makes searching really difficult.

    If I find anything better, I'll post here.
    ~30000 GAL In-Ground 26'x50' Kidney Shaped Pool
    Hayward EC-75 DE Filter w/1.5HP Hayward SuperPump
    daily user of JasonLion's Poolcalculator
    (12) 2x10 SunGrabber Solar Panels...now if only there was some sun to shine on them!

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