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Thread: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

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    Aleforge's Avatar
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    Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    Hey guys,

    I am closing my pool for the first time this year. The prices I am getting quoted are insane. I have two main hangups however, one is the size of all the plugs I need. The other is how powerful of a shop-vac I will need to blow out everything. (plus diameter of hose) Once I have that I will dive into it!

    Thank you!

    Mark

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    Kiss4aFrog's Avatar
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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    Well, adding some pool info to your signature would be helpful to start with - - > http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...etting-started

    My pool takes a standard 1.5" plug for the eyeball jets and the same size in the skimmers. I use a different style plug in the skimmer in case water collects inside to prevent damage to the skimmer housing.

    I'm not recommending these companies just posting to show pictures of the different plugs.
    http://www.nationalpoolwholesalers.c...h8QaAhSg8P8HAQ
    http://www.poolproducts.com/SPP/dept.asp?dept_id=1447
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Aleforge's Avatar
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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    Hi Kiss4afrog,


    First of all thank you for responding!

    I have very little information on my pool, nothing was given to me by the previous owners. We moved into the house last June, and I experimented with chemical amounts to keep it in check, considering I do not know how much water is holds either...

    I did update my signature with the information I can see myself however, and I apologize I didn't have something there.

    OK so the jets are sized universally, and the skimmer uses the same size as well but a different style is recommended. I live in East Central Missouri, sometimes are winters are rough so I will take your advice.

    I am guessing the first link is for the jets? I noticed many people suggested the O-ring style over the rubber expansion plugs, or was that for the skimmer if I didn't go with the winter ice protection? (which I will)


    Anyhow, I was looking at a 6hp Rigid vac, do you think that will be good enough?

    Thanks for the help!
    In ground (installed 2000), fiberglass, cartridge filter, Pentair Super Flo Single speed pump (2014).

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    Kiss4aFrog's Avatar
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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    You need to measure the pool and then Google https://www.google.com/#q=pool+volume+calculator and use a couple of them to calculate your volume. The link on this site for "Pool Math" also has a calculator for determining volume down near the bottom. You need to have a good idea of your volume to have any control over your pool and keep it sanitary. Sanitary is different from just looking clean and clear.
    At some point you will also need a better test kit. Either a the K-2006 https://www.google.com/#q=k2006 or the TF-100 http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

    The "O" ring style are for the return jets and the "Gizzmo" usually gets teflon tape. I don't own the pool and although I open and maintain it I don't close it as the resulting fight should anything happen (freeze) isn't worth trying to save my GF $$$. Plus she's a pool store follower so we fight enough as it is.

    I don't know what size vac you need, hopefully someone will jump in with some DIY closing experience. Here are some youtube suggestions on closing procedures. Maybe they cover what vacuum they are using. https://www.google.com/#q=youtube+close+pool

    Our (TFP) closing guide http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...in-ground-pool
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Aleforge's Avatar
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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    I will read everything, and Thank you for all the help! I know its annoying for people to ask questions when there is a guide, but I felt better getting some advice on plug size etc by posting.

    What is the gizzmo the plug for the skimmer?

    Thanks again!
    In ground (installed 2000), fiberglass, cartridge filter, Pentair Super Flo Single speed pump (2014).

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    Kiss4aFrog's Avatar
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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    You can't learn if you don't ask. No problem what so ever with your questions just wish your thread had a few more people jumping in.

    Gizzmo is like Kleenex, it's a brand name but it's used to describe all those kind of plugs for skimmers - - at least in this area.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Task's Avatar
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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    Hi Aleforge,

    I just closed my pool myself for the first time. This was my first year maintaining a pool and everything I know, I've learned from this site. I used 1.5 inch pvc cleanout plugs on my returns, and a 2 inch pvc cleanout plug in my skimmer, as my pool builder left the copper bonding plate in my skimmer obstructing a small portion of the pipe in my skimmer, I can't get the gizzmo into the hole.

    As far as a shop vac, I tried using my 5 gallon, 4hp vac to blow out my lines, and was unsuccessful. I even rigged up the hose from my shop vac to my gas powered blower and I was still unsuccesful. From what I understand from other posts and from my pool builder, its not horsepower that is important. It's something with the design and efficiency of the blower itself. My pool builder wanted $200 to close the pool, and I didn't want to chance buying a second shop vac and having that shop vac be unsuccesful in blowing out the lines and being stuck with a second shop vac. I opted to buy the cyclone blower that most pool companies use. It cost me $330, but I should have it forever and I'll never have to worry about not being able to clear the lines.
    16'x32' Inground Vinyl, 21,100 gallons, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward Pro Series S244T 3.1ft Sand Filter
    TFTestKits, Pool School, ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry, Chlorine/CYA Chart, PoolMath

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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    I was going to buy the cyclone as well, but had a hard time justifying that much for something with no other real use. So I bought a 33 gal air compressor. I know it may not produce the volume I need, but thought I'd give it a try.

    20 x 40 28k gallon Salt Water Vinyl IGP, Hayward pump and Sand filter

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    Task's Avatar
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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    believe me, I didn't want to spend that money on the cyclone either, but after playing with my shop vac and gas leaf blower for nearly two hours trying to get the lines blown out, and then calling my pool builder and finding out that he would charge me $200 each year to winterize the pool, I figured the $330 was more of an investment at that point. Not to mention, i watched him use his to set my liner last year. so when the time comes for a new liner, I'll have the tools to do it myself.
    The cyclone had all my lines blown out in under 5 minutes. I may have to find and charge some other people in my area to winterize their pools. maybe i can recoup the money I spent on the blower.
    16'x32' Inground Vinyl, 21,100 gallons, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward Pro Series S244T 3.1ft Sand Filter
    TFTestKits, Pool School, ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry, Chlorine/CYA Chart, PoolMath

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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    That's not a bad idea, to maybe rent it out. I wouldn't want the liability of closing someone else's pool though. As far as installing a new liner, that seems like it would be a daunting task to do yourself. Well the plan is to close the pool today, so I will see if I wish I bought the cyclone.
    20 x 40 28k gallon Salt Water Vinyl IGP, Hayward pump and Sand filter

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    Task's Avatar
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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    good luck.
    16'x32' Inground Vinyl, 21,100 gallons, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward Pro Series S244T 3.1ft Sand Filter
    TFTestKits, Pool School, ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry, Chlorine/CYA Chart, PoolMath

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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    As mentioned. It is all about the efficiency of the blower on the shop vac. I have a rigid 5hp that works like a champ. And a 6.5 hp shopvac brand that won't cut the mustard. Not enough oomph. I believe that the shopvac brand machine has less of a tolerance for resistance, whereas the Rigid vac just keeps blowing. It depends what you have to clear out as well. I have a skimmer that is 30 feet from the pump, and 3 returns that are no more than 50 feet from pump. And my pump is below my water level. If you buy a rigid or a kobalt brand vac from lowes and for some reason they do not work, they will both take them back no questions asked.


    30x20 vinyl IG, Hayward SD60 with Pentair Dynamo 340219 2HP pump, Compupool CPSC24 SWG, Hayward H200FDN heater. APC automatic pool cover.
    Central Illinois

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    Using my Rigid 6HP soon. I did a test run yesterday. Blew water out of one return like crazy when blowing thorough skimmer. We'll see if it's got the oomph for the main drain...
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    Well, my compressor seemed to do the trick. My biggest concern was my drains at 8.5 feet, but the bubbles came up. The 33 gal seemed to be able to keep up with the demand at 20 psi. Best of luck everyone with your blower / vac/ compressor of choice!
    20 x 40 28k gallon Salt Water Vinyl IGP, Hayward pump and Sand filter

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    Aleforge's Avatar
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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    Thank you everyone for the help, I am going to try the rigid vac first. How are you guys getting them to seal off on the pipes? Also on a compressor, do you create a fitting that connects to both the hose and the pipes?

    Thanks!
    In ground (installed 2000), fiberglass, cartridge filter, Pentair Super Flo Single speed pump (2014).

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    Usually when people use compressors, they put together a fitting for the end of the compressor line that fits into the pump basket drain hole. You can pressurize the system from the pump. With blowers and shop vacs, it's usually through a 1.5" line into the bottom of a skimmer. I have a 3 foot 1.5" PVC pipe with a fitting on the bottom that screws into the skimmer outlet hole. On the top end of that pipe I have a hose barb fitting. I'd like to come up with a more elegant/air tight/hands-free fitting for the top end as right now I have to hold the shop vac line in place whenever blowing. Makes it a two person job.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    I have also purchased a cyclone vac this year and it did an amazing job blowing out the lines, my pool looked like a spa when I was clearing the main drain. No shop vac would be able to do as good a job. I know that for most part shop vacs will do a decent job clearing out the lines but I doubt they clear our the lines completely like a proper tool to do this job. I would rather spend the $300 vs a $100-$200 shop vac any day and have a peace of mind, especially when I would pay more then the $300 each season to close it out by a Pool company.

    Now on the other had if I had an easy to blow out pool lines and already owned to do the job I would probably give it a try before buying the cyclone.
    Free Form Gunite Saltwater Pool, 29,000 Gallons, Jandy DEL60 Filter, Jandy AquaPure 1400 Chlorinator, Polaris 380 Cleaner, Attached HotTub.

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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    I'll be closing my pool here in the next few weeks. I was planning on using my air compressor until I read about using a shop vac. I bought a ridgid 6hp vac earlier this summer so I'll try it first. I'm sure my 5hp compressor would work, but it's 240v and I would need at least another 50-75 ft of air hose to reach. As far as connections go, the previous owner screwed a fitting into the pump strainer drain and damaged it. Right now I'm thinking about putting a T in the line between my pump and filter to attach either the vac or compressor. During pool operation I can put a valve in there to have a water sample source without dunking my arm in the pool.
    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Aleforge's Avatar
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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    I went through the pool school area, and did some research / watched videos online. One thing I have heard talked about on this forum is the use of RV antifreeze. However I did not come across it anywhere else. It seemed you need a lot and it can end up costing around 100 bucks. I am also a little confused on how you get it all capped off when the main drain doesn't get plugged, just blown out. I was thinking it would just run into the pool from the main drain? Do I need to do this, or will blowing out all the lines and adding the plugs work out ok?

    Thanks
    In ground (installed 2000), fiberglass, cartridge filter, Pentair Super Flo Single speed pump (2014).

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    Re: Plug Size, and shop vac HP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleforge View Post
    I went through the pool school area, and did some research / watched videos online. One thing I have heard talked about on this forum is the use of RV antifreeze. However I did not come across it anywhere else. It seemed you need a lot and it can end up costing around 100 bucks. I am also a little confused on how you get it all capped off when the main drain doesn't get plugged, just blown out. I was thinking it would just run into the pool from the main drain? Do I need to do this, or will blowing out all the lines and adding the plugs work out ok?

    Thanks
    Some people use rv antifreeze, some do not.

    I use a few gallons just as cheap insurance, it helps me sleep good.
    If you blow out the lines and there is no water in them, there is nothing to freeze and hence need no antifreeze. Even if there are trace amounts of water as long as it has somewhere to expand when it freezes (other than by blowing out a pipe or skimmer) you are fine.

    I would say that by and large rv antifreeze for the pool is partly getting "pool stored".
    Some if the pros like it because they can make a profit on it. And there are plenty if stories about rv antifreeze freezing in the colder climates. It just does not expand like water when it freezes.

    Bottom line, blow them out and there is little need for anything more than a few gallons.


    30x20 vinyl IG, Hayward SD60 with Pentair Dynamo 340219 2HP pump, Compupool CPSC24 SWG, Hayward H200FDN heater. APC automatic pool cover.
    Central Illinois

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