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Thread: Anti-freeze - doesn't it get back to water when opening

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    Anti-freeze - doesn't it get back to water when opening

    I'm totally confused on how to close my pool, first time owner and I can't screw this up with IGP and concrete decking. 4 returns, 1 skimmer, one side drain.

    I get blowing out the plumbing but still not sure if I do this with the water above the returns or not. Do you blow out the plumbing with the water level above returns and skimmer? Then comes the anti-freeze in the plumbing. What the heck do you do with the anti-freeze when you open and how do you get it outta there?

    I mean do you put positive air pressure on ALL inputs/outputs, seal them up when they are still under water or what? Then once all sealed and dry how do you put anti-freeze in and what do you do with it when opening. I've read so many time but it's still not making sense.
    18x36 inground vinyl lined, Hayward sand filter and tablet chrolinator, approx 18k gallon

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Anti-freeze - doesn't it get back to water when opening

    I seal mine while the shop vac is running, alternating through them to make sure all the water is out, then shut off the vac when all returns are capped with no bubble coming out.

    The antifreeze from the returns goes into the pool when you open. I start the pump with the filter valve set to waste so the antifreeze from the drain and skimmer lines is pumped out. Propylene glycol is marketed primarily for use in winterizing RV and seasonal use drinking water systems . It is also used as a food additive, so it is pretty safe in the pool.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Anti-freeze - doesn't it get back to water when opening

    Been winterizing pools for thirty years and still don't understand why once you've blown the returns with air you think you need to put antifreeze in it.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
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    Re: Anti-freeze - doesn't it get back to water when opening

    Quote Originally Posted by swimcmp
    Been winterizing pools for thirty years and still don't understand why once you've blown the returns with air you think you need to put antifreeze in it.
    You don't. That said, we use the antifreeze as an indicator that the line is clear. A gallon is usually enough for an average in ground pool. And, if there happen to be any low spots, it's extra insurance.
    In the industry, CSP (Certified Service Professional) by the NSPI and it's successor the APSP. My company services over 600 pools every year. I think the practices regularly espoused on this forum (especially the BBB method) are outstanding; however my comments will be often oriented towards the goal of getting it done, and getting it done right now!

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    Re: Anti-freeze - doesn't it get back to water when opening

    We use antifreeze in our bottom drain every year and you will get a little antifreeze in your pool water.

    When we uncover our pool in the spring, Hubby opens the valve for the main drain and allows the water to run out of the drain until it runs clear... most of the antifreeze runs out due to the gravity pressure behind it.

    Even if the whole line worth were to get in your water it would be minimal in comparison to the amount of water to dilute it.
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist buy w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panels mix 2, TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Anti-freeze - doesn't it get back to water when opening

    Having anti freeze used at pool closing, does that account for no air bubbles coming out when removing the winterized plugs during the opening? (1st time pool opener and hating it!)

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    Re: Anti-freeze - doesn't it get back to water when opening

    This topic really could be helpful and there are good questions that are so vaguely explained when watching all the so called videos with online experts who are closing pools and trying to show the world their gift of know how. Fact is, blowing lines clear in regions where cold climate are present is critical. Especially for a concrete ingound pool. The information the OP was looking for was not what happens to the antifreeze after you put it in and open the pool come next season. It's environmentally safe and not the same as what we put in our automobiles.

    I thought the OP wanted to know how you get the antifreeze into the skimmer without water backing up into the line again. This is a very good question that I had issues with and never quite could grasp. Thing is, all videos are usually based on the plumbing infrastructure in the pool being worked on. And although similar, not all are the same.

    My inground has 2 skimmers, 2 drains and 2 discharges. They are configured like this: The Deep end has a skimmer and drain (inlets) and 1 return and are controlled by 1 valve at the pad. The shallow end has the same identical configuration. I was able to blow from the pad with the inlet valve open. I blew in reverse and the skimmers were both clearing out. I plugged one of the skimmers to focus on the other and when it was all air or very little mist, I plugged it. Now, My issue is this, I also have the drain connected to that same line somewhere underground. It's not connected to the skimmer with a separate valve or anything. It's pretty difficult for me to figure out how to fully clean the line out because as I am blowing the skimmer, water is actually coming in from the drain slowly just from gravity. I know that I must get this line to air-lock. So my question is how? Do I plug the skimmer and try to blow in reverse through the inlet line at the pad? Doing this I will eventually see bubbles come out of the drain and at the moment, I can close the inlet valve and it will air-lock the line. BUT..... what about the skimmer? Did the water I was blowing back out throiugh the drain also pull the water that was leading to the skimmer? Like I said, the skimmer and drain are connected at some point underground but just not at the skimmer like some pools. I wish I had separate valves for each but this pool was not designed like that. My drain and skimmer must have fitting somewhere but I am not gonna dig for it. My logic and reason are telling me I may have to try blowing with a strong compressor that could clear both the skimmer and also push water back out the drain in one step and then I could plug the skimmer and then close the valve at the pad, which would air lock all of the pipe leading to both. But, now I am at the same question as the OP again. How would I or rather, how SHOULD I put anti-freeze in the skimmer and/or line(s)?? At this point it might be reasonable to assume I have cleared the lines more than enough and anti-freeze wouldn't matter. But, if it was to be added, am I risking water backfilling into these lines ?

    So, if anyone can understand all that I am saying here, maybe you can picture what I am dealing with. And I am wondering if anyone could give good clear instruction to actually manage a blow out of the line based on my above mentioned plumbing setup. The deep end and shallow end have identical plumbing setups. A drain, a skimmer for inlets and a discharge. At the pad, are 2 valves. 1 for the deep end and the other for the shallow. The discharge is a single line but I have returns in the pool. I have a valve at the pad to control the return water pressure. I've managed to figure out that I can blow air with a shop vac from the pad through the return line and I get the air coming out of the returns at the pool. I see air coming out bothe returns for a while and then I plug one and as the second continues to blow bubbles, I then put the plug in that one and then I close the return valve at the pad. This air-locks the returns and I am pretty sure it is good to go. Now, I should be able to do the same with the inlets but blowing the opposite direction. I can do this step by choosing the deep end first and simultaneously blow backwards from the pad iuntil I see bubbles coming from the drain. By the time bubbles come out at the drain, all water is out of the skimmer and I need a second person to actually plug the skimmer and then I close the valve at the pad that controls the deep end. This is now air-locked. I repeat that same thing for the shallow end.

    OK, now what I explained should actually be good for my pool lines. But, I am only guessing that it was effective. Base on all the videos, all the reading and questions and answers, I think the goal is to air-lock those lines. And knowing the plumbing setup is really important. Mine is not the same as anyone else's that I have seen or read about. But, based on principle, I think I am figuring it out. But there is still a very big concern I have. Getting all this work done and also putting anti-freeze into my lines/skimmers/whatever. Am I supposed to put it through the skimmer? I even read that i should also pour antifreeze at the pad through the line leading to the drains. This also leads to the fitting where the drain and skimmer are joined so I suppose this is more assurance that I got more protection. I just would like to know if what I explained seems like I am actually doing something right and please by all means, if anyone has directions for me to make it easier or correct ssomething plus get me the procedure for the antifreeze too. I am just like the OP when it comes to getting the antifreeze in the skimmers. I am wondering how do we actually manage this without allowing water back into lines that were blown out. Although the process is easy to the very skilled and those who have done many different types of plumbing configurations, it is a very complicated thing to figure out for the first timer trying to do it on their own

    Any comments welcome. Really. I'd love to get the most simpe and correct method winterizing my pool with lines blown and antifreeze poured in.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The OPhas good questions that are so vaguely explained when watching all the so called onlione experts who are closing pools and trying to show the world their gift of know how. Fact is, blowing lines clear in regions where cold climate are present is critical. Especially for a concrete ingound pool. The information the OP was looking for was not what happens to the antifreeze after you put it in and open the pool come next season. It's environmentally safe and not the same as what we put in our automobiles.

    I thought he wanted to know how you get the antifreeze into the skimmer after all lines have been blown and sealed tight and how to do it without water backing up into the line again when he opens the skimmer. This is a very good question and one that I also had issues with in the beginning of my learning how to close my pool. Thing is, all videos are usually based on the plumbing infrastructure in the pool being worked on. And although similar, not all are the same. But I'll compliment the OP for noticing the pump had the line coming in and the other going out and it is OK to work from that position. If your shopVac is strong enough, and you have proper sized fittings minimizing air leakage, you can really blow out the lines rather quickly. 6.5 is more than enough.

    My inground has 2 skimmers, 2 drains and 2 discharges. They are configured like this: The Deep end has a skimmer and drain (inlets) and 1 return and are controlled by 1 valve at the pad. The shallow end has the same identical configuration. I was able to blow from the pad with the inlet valve open. I blew

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Anti-freeze - doesn't it get back to water when opening

    Here is a thread from earlier in the year (May) by ChemGeek on the chemical effects of pool/RV anti-freeze and chlorine. Not only does it explain the chemical effects but there are even results from independent labs doing water tests on a TFP member's water sample that used anti-freeze.

    The conclusions that can be drawn are these - if antifreeze gets in the water, chlorine will react with it and potentially form some nasty trihalomethane (THM) compounds. However, these compounds are very short-lived in the pool water and are either further oxidized by chlorine or out-gas from the pool water. You may notice an excess chlorine demand from the antifreeze reacting with it.

    Using pool/RV antifreeze is safe and effective. If it makes you feel better, you can try to capture it at opening before it gets into the pool water but it will all be destroyed fairly quickly by the chlorine.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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