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...