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Thread: Closing Anthony & Sylvan Plaster Pool

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    Closing Anthony & Sylvan Plaster Pool

    Hello....
    I have a 25K gallon Anthony and Sylvan in-ground plaster pool in Southeastern Pennsylvania that I just purchased last summer 2011. I would like to close the pool myself this year to save some cash. My pool has 2 main drains, 2 skimmers and 2 returns lines and Automatic Pool Cleaner Port. Also, my system allows me to return water to the main drain in the deep end of pool to re-circulate the water. My filter is DE. I am planning to blow out the lines using an air compressor with ~ 20 psi attached to one of the ports in the 1.5 HP pump. I know that I need to do the following:
    1) Lower water level to just below the skimmer
    2) Drain the DE filer and rinse and removed pleated filters
    3) Remove drain plugs from main pump

    I know that I need to blow out and plug the
    1) Return Lines
    2) Skimmers
    3) Automatic Pool Cleaner
    4) Main Drain

    My question how to drain the lines and when to shut off / open valves ? Last year, the pool closers first plugged the return lines, then the cleaner line, then the skimmers, in that order. But I'm not sure exactly how to utilize the valves to do this, especially with the re-circulating option that came with my pool.

    I assume that during this process, the filer positive should be in active mode, or rather NOT in the backwash mode.

    Thank you for whatever help can be provided.

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    donaldm823's Avatar
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    Re: Closing Anthony & Sylvan Plaster Pool

    sometimes the money spent (approx $130) for a pool service to winterize a pool is money well spent. Most Pool services guarnatee no freeze damage. In PA with deep freeze possible, you might consider spending the money vice do it yourself just from the standpoint of the insurance value vs burst pipes during the hard freeze. My previous pool was in Downingtown, PA having spent 11 winters, with 50% being hard freezes and no damage using a local pool service who would repair any damage for free. I installed the winter cover myself and pool chemicals associated with the winterization
    Don SW Florida
    10,000 gal in ground concrete pool
    Pentair Cartridge filter, Pentair SWG, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump (11018)
    FAFCO solar panels w/Pentair SolarTouch controller
    using BBB for pool chemistry/Lamotte ColorQ tester for daily testing

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    Re: Closing Anthony & Sylvan Plaster Pool

    I have been closing my A&S pool since 2005. I let their service do the first year as I knew they would blame me for any problems. The main drain loop complicates things a little bit, but I think I have it down. The first few seasons I closed with the water above the returns (which are fairly low all on the shallow end wall). Lately, I have dropped the water level to just below the returns. It makes things much easier and I feel more confident, plus I get my CYA back down after vacation use of pucks pushes it a little high by the end of summer. My winters should be only slightly warmer than yours; we get plenty of hard freezes.

    I use my garage air compressor regulated down to 15 psi. I feed the air into a garden hose and use a gender-bender to attach the far end to the hose bibb that A&S puts just downstream of the filter. I'll call it air bibb below.

    First, backwash thoroughly. Then, MP at Closed:

    1. Open one skimmer, close the other, close off main drain from both sides. Use bibb to blow air through skimmer. Close and repeat until no more water can be blown. Switch valve to open only other skimmer and repeat--plug both skimmers at far end. You can use a gizmo, but I prefer two 1-quart chem bottles (like PolyQuat) with a pair of bricks on top to keep them from floating. The bottle technique was what A&S did, the bricks are my own refinement. They said the plastic in a chem bottle is heavier than in a gizmo (it is) and that they have had problems with gizmos splitting. Plus chem bottles are free.

    2. Open main drain only from suction end. Open air bibb. 15psi will expel LOTS of air out the drain. Get a good flow going and shut diverter valve on main drain, and then quickly close air bibb.

    3. Now move MP to recirc. Skimmers and main drain valves closed at suction end. Leave main drain closed at return end and open return valve. Plug all but nearest return and blow using air bibb and giving several shots until no more water comes out. Plug that one and blow next one. "Rinse and repeat" until all returns have been done.

    4. Open main drain valve and blow from this end in the same way as #2 above. You should be able to trap a very deep air column in the MD this way. make sure never to open MD diverters at either end once they have been blow out.

    Leave MP halfway between two stops so diverter is not in contact with spider. Refill to a level below your tile by 4 inches (official A&S instruction so I do it that way). If your light is within two feet of the water level, you can drop it to the bottom for the winter. Mine sits at about 2 feet and I have never had a problem just leaving it in place, but NJ ain't Canada. Cover pool.

    Then close your pump, filter, and heater pulling drain plugs, etc. as appropriate for your equipment. I added unions on the pump so that I can pull it for the winter. A&S just covered the whole thing in plastic and I KNOW this is not good for a motor. Condensation over the winter under the plastic will corrode it internally. Cheapo A&S should at least put unions on the pump. I have never used anti-freeze and neither did A&S the that first year.

    So I have 7 seasons of problem-free closing. A&S is charging $398 labor this year to close, plus $190 for chems (arrgh), $145 for DE service, and $195 to install a solid water tube cover. http://www.pmpools.com/PM_Pool_Forms_Combined.pdfI do it myself, including cover and grid cleaning, in an afternoon. Pretty good return on my time.I prohibit sunscreen in pool and keep calcium at minimum 225-250 since my fill is 100 CH, so I have never needed an acid wash or detergent on my grids. A gentle pressure wash works fine for me.

    You can use other sources of air. I set this up this way to take advantage of what I had on hand. I have a 5hp, 50-gal compressor and it does a GREAT job; don't believe anyone who posts that compressors don't supply enough volume. A 5hp, 50 gal @90 psi regulated to 15psi delivery gives PLENTY of volume, even supplying air through 150' of garden hose from my basement.

    If you don't want to drop the water below the returns, you need one person to control the air and one person to plug the return lines while they bubble. PSI may need to come down some to 8-10 depending on how well your plugs fit. My water is free and it's worth it to me to not need a second person and I'm sure those lines are drier by not doing it that way.

    I don't have a cleaner, but that line could be done after skimmer and main drain, assuming it is pressure side take off before the MP. I don't think the order matters on the suction side. But do suction first, then go to Recirc. Don't use Filter or B'wash, as sending compressed air through naked grids can't be good. Closed (suction side) or Recirc. (return side) only.

    Sorry for the long post. Happy to help a fellow A&S'er....
    Current: 28,000G 18'x36' I/G AnthonySylvan Plaster; Waterway 60 sq.ft. DE Filter; 1.0hp x 1.65 SF Two-Speed (B2982) WhisperFlo; 2004-Present
    Previous: 40,000G 20'x40' I/G Koven unlined WWII salvage 5/8" marine steel; Lomart Stainless Sand Filter; 3/4hp Hayward SuperPump; 1946-2003 (managed by me from about 1964)
    Ancient Taylor K-2000, upgraded with Taylor CH, TA, and FAS-DPD, and TFT CYA tests.

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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Closing Anthony & Sylvan Plaster Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by donaldm823
    sometimes the money spent (approx $130) for a pool service to winterize a pool is money well spent.
    I agree with ya. As a matter of fact, I think every time I've had a pool service winterize my pool it was money well spent. Don't even want to think about getting my Loop-Loc cover in place all by myself.

    But, boy howdy, I'd like to find that $130 service you speak of! Here in northern VA, they may advertise at $250, but all in, w/ gizzmos, plugs, antifreeze, etc., that they don't include in the price, it can easily approach $400.

    Not happy thinking about closing....
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
    TF-100 test kit.

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    donaldm823's Avatar
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    Re: Closing Anthony & Sylvan Plaster Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by CUTiger78
    Quote Originally Posted by donaldm823
    sometimes the money spent (approx $130) for a pool service to winterize a pool is money well spent.
    I agree with ya. As a matter of fact, I think every time I've had a pool service winterize my pool it was money well spent. Don't even want to think about getting my Loop-Loc cover in place all by myself.

    But, boy howdy, I'd like to find that $130 service you speak of! Here in northern VA, they may advertise at $250, but all in, w/ gizzmos, plugs, antifreeze, etc., that they don't include in the price, it can easily approach $400.

    Not happy thinking about closing....

    Just rechecked my last pool close bill (2011) and it was $260 including winter chemicals of $40 (Pacer Pools in Downingtown, PA ). I installed the looploc cover myself for my 30K gal pool-sorry about the bad cost estimate in my prev post. But, move to Florida and you never have to close the pool again (My solution this year!!)
    Don SW Florida
    10,000 gal in ground concrete pool
    Pentair Cartridge filter, Pentair SWG, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump (11018)
    FAFCO solar panels w/Pentair SolarTouch controller
    using BBB for pool chemistry/Lamotte ColorQ tester for daily testing

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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Closing Anthony & Sylvan Plaster Pool

    Aaaah, Florida. I envy your solution.
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
    TF-100 test kit.

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