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.
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...