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Thread: Ran pool in filter mode AFTER plugging returns and skimmers

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    Ran pool in filter mode AFTER plugging returns and skimmers

    I have a winner of a scenario for you. This year, my wife and I decided to save $$$ by opening and closing our in-ground pool ourselves. The opening went fine, but I am concerned that I may have made kind of a *significant* mistake when we closed the pool. Before we covered the pool, I inserted the rubber stopper plugs into all the spa and pool returns and inserted the gizmo plugs into both skimmers. Having done this, we proceeded to install the cover over the pool. It is a huge thing, complete with adjustable straps and spring-loaded fasteners and required the assistance of my father-in-law and a family friend.

    After the pool was covered, I turned the skimmer valve to "off", connected the discharge hose to the pump discharge outlet, and...with what I am sure was a classic self-satisfied Clark Griswold smile...proceeded to run the pump in FILTER mode. (My thinking was to just run the pump in "normal" mode for a minute to get the water circulating before switching to WASTE mode. Don't ask my why I felt I needed to do this ). Well, as you may expect - water immediately geysered out of a nearby vertical PVC pipe that was capped with a metal bell. I assume this is an emergency "blow-out" pipe for situations exactly like the one I caused. The force of the water was enough to pop the metal bell right off and onto the ground. The water reeked of a sweet bacteria-ish odor, but I digress. I proceeded to turn the filter to WASTE (I had already backwashed the pool for an hour earlier) and the pump proceeded to drain the pool without further incident for the next couple hours until the level was below the decorative tiles at the waterline.

    My question is, do you think I did any damage to the circulation system when I ran the pump on FILTER while the returns and skimmers were plugged or did the emergency blow-out system do its job to prevent this? As the pool is covered and it is not easy to remove just one or two fasteners to check, did the return plugs get popped out? I made sure they were in nice and tight, but pressure is pressure. I might add that I did not take the crucial step of blowing out the lines before plugging the returns. I assume that this must be addressed or the circulation lines will surely be damaged by frozen water this winter.

    Needless to say, I feel incredibly stupid for having overlooked such important steps and possibly damaged our pools circ system AND for almost certainly ensuring that we will have to re-assemble our "pool cover crew" and remove and re-attach the pool cover to fix the issue and properly close the pool.

    Your experienced input and suggestions are most appreciated...

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Long Island, NY

    Re: Ran pool in filter mode AFTER plugging returns and skimm

    You should have blown out the lines prior to covering the pool. I would pull the cover and plugs then blow out the lines. There is no way to get the water out of the lines without removing the plugs. I don't drop the level of my pool. I install the plugs when I am blowing the lines out.

    I don't know what the vertical pipe with the bell is for. I doubt that you did any damage to the plumbing. The pump can't produce the pressure to damage the pipe. You stated that you had the hose connected to the discharge of the pump, if so, the multi port valve, filter and return plumbing should not have seen pressure.

    I think that there is an article on pool closing in the pool school section. Read it, it tells you step by step, how to close your pool.
    Pool Details: 25,440 Gal IG Vinyl 21x40 Mountain Pond (Graphex)
    Filter: Hayward Micro-Clear DE (48 Sq Ft)
    Pump: 1.5 HP Super Pump w/ 1.5 EcoTech VS Motor
    SWG: Circupool Si45
    Cleaner: Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 820

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Mint Hill, NC

    Re: Ran pool in filter mode AFTER plugging returns and skimm

    I think the discharge hose was hooked to waste port but was not in use during the Griswold moment.

    Having turned my pump on while the multiport was set to closed I know the way the OP feels. It sounds to me like an unused line was capped and blew relieving the pressure.

    I agree that opening a few of the strapped sections and blowing the lines is needed. If nothing else it will reveal if the stoppers held. Reattaching the metal cap may be interesting.

    - Sent using Tapatalk
    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),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Ran pool in filter mode AFTER plugging returns and skimm

    Will do. Thanks to both of you for your replies!

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