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Thread: Closing: Vantage in-floor cleaning system, skimmer, drains

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    Closing: Vantage in-floor cleaning system, skimmer, drains

    All,

    I am a first time closer, and I'm somewhat under the gun to close as I'm in northeast Connecticut. Hard freezes are on the way. The pool guys have closed me in prior years, so I know what I encounter when I open in the spring.

    I'm using an air compressor which claims 40cfm@40psi to do the blowout. (It also claims 6HP "peak", whatever that means. It draws 15A@120V, so I think 2HP is more realistic.) I've got plugs for the Paramount (Vantage) floor cleaning valve. And I have a spare 2" plug which will fit into the various unions on the filter and pump. I think I have the right tools.

    What I find in the spring each year is that all I have to do to restart the system is open the various valves, reinstall plugs, and start up the pump. There are no blowout plugs installed anywhere. And yet... it seems that they are required to do the job right.

    Here's what I think I should do: put blowout plugs in each of the six Vantage valve ports, blow air into each one of them until I see boatloads of air bubbling up from the bottom of the pool. Done. Leave the plugs installed.

    But...

    First, what do the pool guys do that doesn't require the plugs to be left in? I saw them add antifreeze (or wiper fluid?) to the ports at some point, I'm pretty sure.

    Second, if I leave the plugs in, I get a fair amount of leakage around them. Am I just not cranking down on the wing nuts enough? Is it a bad idea if there's leakage?

    Third, if I decide to get a little curious and remove one of the plugs, a column of water appears, much bubbling occurs, and the pipe appears to be filled as much as it was before I started the process. What happened to "air lock" and all that stuff?

    Fourth, blowing out the drain and skimmer is doable by blowing air in through the 1/4" drain in the pump. Once I get air blowing out of each, all I have to do is close their valves, right? Is antifreeze required? If so, how do I get it into the line? I think the skimmer end is easy: dump antifreeze into the line. (It's also the one that's above the frost line, and it's short. 16' or so. How much antifreeze?)

    I think that's it...

    Thanks, all,
    Bill
    Bill Eccles
    Tolland, Connecticut
    16'x40' CPC Athens IG fiberglass, 23,000gal., installed 6/2010
    Hayward AquaRite Pro salt system, C5025 cartridge filter, SP4007X10 pump, H400FDP heater
    Aquamatic Hydramatic safety cover, Vantage in-floor cleaning system

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    Re: Closing: Vantage in-floor cleaning system, skimmer, drai

    Time to add some information.

    Tip #1 from stupid first-time-pool-closer: Don't blow out the lines of the in-floor cleaning system without ensuring that the water level is below the level of the horizontal runs of the system. I got soaked yesterday by a geyser of water which was pushed backwards and upwards and outwards and all-over-me-wards. I realized my stupidity when I looked at the water level in the pipes entering the valve and noted that it was approximately the same level as... the surface of the pool water. Physics being what it is, and seeing as how the cleaning head at the bottom of the pool is not watertight, the water insisted on being at the same height in the pool as in the pipe. Net result? A whole heckuva' lot of flow from the pool backwards through the pipe and onto me. It was quite a sight. Wish you could have seen it.

    (Why was I doing this? Because I was experimenting before doing the job whole-hog, i.e., trying various techniques before I drop the water level.)

    Until next time,
    Bill
    Bill Eccles
    Tolland, Connecticut
    16'x40' CPC Athens IG fiberglass, 23,000gal., installed 6/2010
    Hayward AquaRite Pro salt system, C5025 cartridge filter, SP4007X10 pump, H400FDP heater
    Aquamatic Hydramatic safety cover, Vantage in-floor cleaning system

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    Re: Closing: Vantage in-floor cleaning system, skimmer, drai

    Welcome to TFP.

    Sorry someone didn't see this sooner and reply. There's not a lot of in-floor system owners on here (especially this time of year) so it takes a while to get a reply sometimes.

    Sounds like you're learning the system.

    First. There are a couple of ways that that don't require plugs to be left in. 1) Pour the pipes full of antifreeze to displace the water. 2) Make sure that the water level is below the frost line and blow the water out of any plumbing above the frost line.

    Second. Air shouldn't be leaking around the plugs. If it is either they're not the right plugs or they're not being installed tight enough.

    Third. Completely normal. If you remove the plug you defeat the air lock and water will seek it's own level.

    Fourth. Right. Once you get air bubbles, close the valve. If the lines are blown then you don't need antifreeze. You can of course, pour some antifreeze in them for insurance and peace of mind.
    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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    Re: Closing: Vantage in-floor cleaning system, skimmer, drai

    Thanks, Dave! Yeah, I'm learning, no doubt!

    I think I will take the hybrid, extra-cautious approach and use both plugs, antifreeze and blowing. I finally managed to make the plugs fit. It turns out that wing nuts are very difficult to tighten when your fingers are extra cold, and it took more compression because the plugs are new.

    I think the most fun of the project has been the 5' rendition of Old Faithful, though significantly colder...
    Bill Eccles
    Tolland, Connecticut
    16'x40' CPC Athens IG fiberglass, 23,000gal., installed 6/2010
    Hayward AquaRite Pro salt system, C5025 cartridge filter, SP4007X10 pump, H400FDP heater
    Aquamatic Hydramatic safety cover, Vantage in-floor cleaning system

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