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Thread: Antifreeze and Compressor questions

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    Antifreeze and Compressor questions

    I'm getting ready to close my inground pool. This is the first year I'll be doing it on my own.

    I've read the article in Pool School about this and have a few questions.

    1. How do I get the antifreeze into the lines? When I watched the "professionals" do this last year, they blew air into the lines, closing each line with a rubber plug as they shifted the air flow from one line to the other. So by the end of the blowing process, the skimmer and the return both had rubber plugs, and then another plug was placed in the pump basket area, thus sealing air in all the lines. They never added antifreeze, so I'm not sure how to add it following their steps.

    2. Last year I watched the people who closed our pool connect the compressor to the front of the pump (it looked like they unscrewed something and attached the compressor hose straight to the pump and blew all the air through that). Is there a special fitting I will need to hook up a compressor to this hole on the pump?
    IG Concrete Pool 25,000 gallons
    Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo High Rate Sand Filter

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    Join Date
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    Re: Antifreeze and Compressor questions

    They guys with the compressor were amateurs. Don't follow that example. Compressors provide a small volume of air at high pressure. You need a much high volume at a lower pressure. A decent shop vac is usually sufficient when you use the exhaust side of it.

    Lines that are blown and plugged are empty except for air. I don't use antifreeze, biodegradable or not. There is almost never a need if done properly.

    Drain the pump by pulling the pump plugs.
    Pull the drain plug for the filter.
    Put the drain plugs back in.
    Put the filter on Rinse.
    Put the shop vac hose in the pump and blow towards the filter. This will cause the filter tank to drain. Wait till you see air spitting out the drain and then some.
    Remove the hose.
    Put the lid back on the pump.
    Put the vac hose on the backwash port and set the multiport to a neutral position and blow the lines. Seal them in the order the blow in in or as you look at them, whichever is blowing the strongest.
    When completed, remove the pump lid and listen for any air leaks, If the bottom drain valve leaks, put either a #8 or #10 plug in, depending on whether you have 1.5" or 2" plumbing.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
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    Re: Antifreeze and Compressor questions

    There are many ways to blow pool lines. There are compressor users and there are shop vac guys. Amatuer or professional, it really doeant matter. I know guys who have been in the business 30+ years who use a compressor. As long as you have ~10 psi on the gauge, your fine.

    Here's what I do (and many others) and it works fine.
    Drain the water from the pump by removing the 2 plugs at the bottom. Replace one. Screw in a 1/4" nipple with an airhose quick connect to one of the drain ports as shown below.



    Set the mulitport on recirculate. Start the compressor and set the regualtor to about 10 psi. The reurn closest to the pump will blow first. Let it bubble for 30 seconds and cap it off. Then cap each return/suction line in succession as they blow. Once everthing is capped off, put the multiport on waste and the filter will get blown out. If you have a heater, open the drain plug on the heater, put the mutiport back on recirculate and let the heater blow until you see no more than a fine mist. Then blow a little longer. Once thats complete, put the plug back in the heater.
    Then, remove all the drain plugs from the pump, filter, remove the pressure gauge and the site glass, and move the muliport to winter. Now you put on the cover and your done.
    I never have used antifreeze. some people insiston it, but like Scott said, the pipes are mostly full of air anyway. If there is a little water left, it will seek the lowest level anyway which will be below the frost line in most cases.

    FWIW, the first year i had the pool, I had a pool company close the pool. They used a mighty vac with a pump lid cover attached to a vacuum port. That worked the same as the compressor i use now. I have my backwash line buried to run the waste out to a catch basin near my house, so i really dont want to remove the hose. It's easy for me to use the compressor and it gets the job done.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Antifreeze and Compressor questions

    Thanks for the help!

    Question for you bk406 - If I understand you correctly, I'm supposed to attach the compressor hose to the drain port on the pump. I only have one return line, one skimmer, and then the main drain. I set the multiport to recirculate and leave the valves leading to the skimmer and main drain open. I turn on the air (10 psi). The air will move through all the lines at once (the return line, skimmer line, and main drain). As the air moves through I plug the lines one at a time after I see they are sufficiently blown out (the return line and the skimmer). After I plug both, I set the multiport to waste and let the air move through the filter. (I don't have a heater).

    So far so good?

    Here's my question next question: What do I do about the main drain? I can't plug it like I do the other lines in the pool. The folks who closed my pool last year plugged the line coming into the pump from the skimmer and the main drain and told me this would prevent water from coming into the main drain. If this is true, when do I plug the line coming into the filter? If not, what do I do to ensure the main drain is clear of water and won't have water come back into it?
    IG Concrete Pool 25,000 gallons
    Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo High Rate Sand Filter

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    Re: Antifreeze and Compressor questions

    You have it down,i think.
    Not sure how your skimmer and main drain are plumbed. It sounds like they are on separate lines back to the pump. If so, do they tie into a 3 way valve, or are they on 2 separate valves?

    Either way, the skimmer will blow before the main. Let the skimmer blow, then plug it off with a gizmo. After everything is plugged, the main will blow last. Once it blows, let it bubble for 30 seconds, then shut the valve. That will trap air in the upper part of the line. Any water left in the main drain line deeper than 3 feet wont freeze anyway.

    Maybe i missed it, but i dont think you ever said were you are located. You only have one return?
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Antifreeze and Compressor questions

    Thanks.

    It is a three-way valve. The skimmer line and main meet together right before the pump. The valve allows me to close the skimmer, the main, and the way into the pump.

    I live in Michigan.

    The pool is quite old, one of the oldest in town (we've been told), and some of these older pools only have one return.

    Your directions make a lot of sense. Thanks for your help!
    IG Concrete Pool 25,000 gallons
    Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo High Rate Sand Filter

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    Join Date
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    Re: Antifreeze and Compressor questions

    Ok, so in your case I'd start by closing off the main drain and putting all the pressure on the skimmer. Either the skimmer or return will blow first. Plug the one that blows first, then the next one. Once the skimmer and return are plugged, flip the 3 way over to the main. Let it blow for 30 seconds, then put the 3 way back to the skimmer side. That will trap air in the main drain line. Then continue with blowing the filter by putting the multiport on waste.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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