I am new to the forum, although I have been checking out threads for most of the summer since this was my first full season with a pool. I did a lot of research on winterizing my inground pool (18,500 g. fiberglass) and for the price of paying a company to winterize it for me, I purchased a Cyclone box blower to blow the lines out. I noticed that throughout the season, the suction on my vacuum seemed to be less than early on, despite making sure that the cartridge filter was clean, skimmers clear, etc. I also noticed that as I was draining the pool down below the skimmer basket using the main drain port on my 3 way Praher valve, the skimmer port was still drawing in some water as well. Once drained below the skimmer, I attached to blower to my skimmer inlet, opened the 3 port valve, so that the main drain port, skimmer port, and pump port were open and turned on the blower. After a minute or so, air started coming out of one jet return, which I let blow for a couple of minutes, then plugged it. Then air started coming out of my second return, which I repeated this process and plugged it. As expected, with the returns plugged and air locked, the main drain started blowing air, which I let go for a couple of minutes to purge as much water out of the plumbing as possible. I then turned the 3 way valve to the closed position, sealing off the main drain port to create an air lock and closing off the skimmer and pump ports as well (handle away from the pump port so that all 3 ports were closed). My wife immediately turned off the blower for me at the skimmer, as my equipment is 80 feet away from the pool. At this point, in theory my main drain should have been air locked. I was going to proceed to pour the pool antifreeze into the skimmer and plug it off, remove the drain plugs from my pool heater, filter housing, pump (2), and disconnect my UV sytem to store inside when I noticed water slowly returning into the pump chamber. Please note, my pool sits at a higher elevation than my pool equipment, so my valve does not appear to be sealing.
My pool (and this 3 way valve) is only 1 year old, as it was put in a the tail end of last summer. The company that put in the pool did the first winterization, as it was part of the package deal. They want $350 to winterize it from this point further and did a very sloppy job (yet effective) last season, hence my desire to do this myself. For many years I have blown out and winterized both my hot tub and 15 zone sprinkler system, so I was pretty comfortable tackling this. The owner of the company that installed the pool did not make the process enjoyable at all, so I would prefer to not have to deal with him in the future. Does anyone have any thoughts as to what is going on with my 3 port Praher valve? My pool is very simplistic, it has one skimmer and the main drain on the intake side and 2 return jets on the return side.....no deck jets, waterfalls, spas, etc. There are 8 screws on the top of the valve, but I'm afraid to take this apart to check out the guts since my pool sits higher than the equipment. From what I'm reading this valve is supposed to be maintenance free, but being new to this stuff, I want to make sure that I'm not missing anything too obvious here. I have to hunt down my paperwork from all of the components associated with my pool to see if the valve is under warranty, which means that I may have to deal with this owner again, which I am dreading. Any thoughts as to what may be going on with this valve that clearly isn't sealing properly?