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Thread: Winterizing In Ground Pool

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    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Clarksville, TN
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    Winterizing In Ground Pool

    Greetings from Tennessee. This is our third year with a pool - last couple of years I have had "professionals" (use that term losely in my area) to close our pool. First year was no issue, but last year was a big issue. When I got ready to open the pool, a friend and I pulled the solid cover off only to find that the pool was 3/4 of the way drained. Now of course the company I paid to close swore they did not do this, however I am convinced they did.

    Pool is 16 x 36 with one skimmer, three returns and two bottom drains. The biggest issue I have (and what has kept me from closing by myself to this point) is my filter and pump is located about 10 feet below the pool. I believe that the company last year started to drain the pool below the returns - went to lunch or something and got back only to find the pool almost drained - since it has a solid cover they simply put it on and called it good (at a 400 buck charge).

    Pool has not lost water so I do not buy the "there must be a leak" retort by the company.

    Anyhow, my question is this: Will a shop vac (6.75 hp) or an air compressor work to blow out the bottom drain knowing that the filter is below the water level or should I invest the money in a mighty vac? I have a shop vac and a small (not adequate) air compressor but I know the "professional" had a blower.

    Thanks much
    Tim

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Winterizing In Ground Pool

    It's odd that your equipment is that far below an inground pool, but that can actually be an advantage. I would build adapters for the skimmer and each return out of pipe that would raise above the water line and just drain the lines back to the equipment. If you do that, your shop-vac will clear the lines. Another way would be to drain the pool to below the returns and then drain the lines.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Winterizing In Ground Pool

    Dave, the returns seem rather simple (along with the skimmer) - more concerned about the bottom drain though. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Thanks
    Tim

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Winterizing In Ground Pool

    If there's any way to plug them in the pool, I'd do that and then just let them drain them to the pad. Sinc your pool is above the equipmentjust opening them should allow them to drain out unless there's a loop in the piping.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Apr 2011
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    Lynchburg VA
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    Re: Winterizing In Ground Pool

    I use an air compressor to blow out my bottom drain. I have built air compressor fitting that screws into the strainer basket drain hole at the pump. I just plug my air compressor into that and pump air through the line at about 20-30psi. Once air comes up through the main drain, I close that line. With your pump and equipment being that far below the pool I wonder if you had a slow siphon going on all winter through your equipment? It would take more then a lunch break to pump off that much water.
    18x36 Vinyl In-ground w/roman ends 27,400G, Hayward 3/4hp with 300# sand filter. Hayward heat pump heater

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    Northern KY
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    Re: Winterizing In Ground Pool

    BadOleRoss:
    Can you elaborate on the "built air compressor fittings" that fit into the strainer basket? I have both an old 6hp Sears shopvac (I'm hoping that will do the job) but I also have an 80 gallon Campbell Hausfeld compressor (about 100ft from the pool) and a little 5 gallon pancake compressor. I could use trial and error but any guesses which would work best?
    Thanks!
    -Bryan
    _________________________________________
    18x40 oval 25,000 Gallon In-Ground SWG Pool
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS+SVRS pump
    Sand Filter
    Rheem 8350ti Heat Pump

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Winterizing In Ground Pool

    Why are you worried about the bottom drain specifically if you have a pool in TN? I doubt it ever freezes that deep unless you are waaaaay up in the mountains. Or are you worried about the water in the line back to the pump?
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
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    Re: Winterizing In Ground Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by bcobb
    BadOleRoss:
    Can you elaborate on the "built air compressor fittings" that fit into the strainer basket? I have both an old 6hp Sears shopvac (I'm hoping that will do the job) but I also have an 80 gallon Campbell Hausfeld compressor (about 100ft from the pool) and a little 5 gallon pancake compressor. I could use trial and error but any guesses which would work best?
    Thanks!
    -Bryan
    Standard size quick connect, 3/8", I believe. Just plug the compressor hose on and hit it.

    I have to use my compressor as well on my MD, since my shop-vac can't handle that. I usually hit it with 30-40 PSI for about 30 seconds, get it bubbling really good, then shut the valve fast, turn air off.

    I don't think your pancake could keep up.
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
    Ray-Pak 406A digital
    1.5 HP single speed
    400 gallon Heldor inground spa, octagon

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    Northern KY
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    Re: Winterizing In Ground Pool

    Thanks gkruske,
    After I posted this I saw that standard hose fittings should screw right into the drain valves in the pump. And I'm sure you're right that my pancake couldn't keep up. I'll try my shop vac first...it's a beast and pushes a lot of air. If that doesn't work I'll break out the 150ft of compressor hose!
    Bryan
    _________________________________________
    18x40 oval 25,000 Gallon In-Ground SWG Pool
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS+SVRS pump
    Sand Filter
    Rheem 8350ti Heat Pump

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