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Thread: Nervous 1st Time Closer

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    appstategrad's Avatar
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    Nervous 1st Time Closer

    This was my first season owning a pool, and everything has gone great. Now I'm getting nervous! I plan to lower the water level to below the returns (overkill from what I've read but I'd rather be safe than sorry) and blow out the lines using an air compressor. I have ordered return covers and a gizzmo for the skimmer...hoping they arrive soon! I think the air compressor is 135 PSI, but I'm not home to check at the moment. I do not want to use antifreeze.

    Questions:

    1. Is this air compressor ok or will I damage my lines? I don't own a shop-vac but I'm open to buying one if necessary. What is the minimum size I should buy?
    2. I feel ok with backwashing the filter, removing the drain plugs, taking care of the return lines, etc., but not so sure about blowing out the main drain. Advice?
    3. Do you take any special precautions to avoid getting rain water in through the skimmer cover? I think my cover may be wide enough but not sure yet...so again I'd rather have overkill.
    4. I have umbrella holes (made from pvc pipe) in the concrete. I currently have foam in them now, but what else do I need to do to keep rain water out?
    5. Do you take your pump motor inside?
    6. Do I need to do anything with the light since the water will be lowered past the returns?


    Hopefully these don't sound like dumb questions but since it's my first year, but I'd appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks!
    ~ 18.5' x 36.5' inground Grecian pool with vinyl liner
    ~ approximately 23,000 gallons
    ~ AquaRite Salt Water Generator cell size t-9
    ~ 1.5 HP Hayward Pump and Hayward Sand Filter
    ~ TF-100 test kit

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous 1st Time Closer

    There are no dumb questions here! I can't help much since I have an above ground pool, but I wanted to give you a bump so that someone else might see your post.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    appstategrad's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous 1st Time Closer

    Thank you!
    ~ 18.5' x 36.5' inground Grecian pool with vinyl liner
    ~ approximately 23,000 gallons
    ~ AquaRite Salt Water Generator cell size t-9
    ~ 1.5 HP Hayward Pump and Hayward Sand Filter
    ~ TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Nervous 1st Time Closer

    Closing suggestions depend on where you live....mountains? Beach? Piedmont?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    appstategrad's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous 1st Time Closer

    Foothills area, near Hickory.
    ~ 18.5' x 36.5' inground Grecian pool with vinyl liner
    ~ approximately 23,000 gallons
    ~ AquaRite Salt Water Generator cell size t-9
    ~ 1.5 HP Hayward Pump and Hayward Sand Filter
    ~ TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Nervous 1st Time Closer

    I'll touch on a few of your questions:

    1. Is this air compressor ok or will I damage my lines? I don't own a shop-vac but I'm open to buying one if necessary. What is the minimum size I should buy?

    Don't blow 135 psi into your lines. When my pool was installed, the plumbing was pressure tested to hold 30 psi for 24 hours. I wouldn't want to exceed 30 psi to blow out the lines. The limitation with the air compressor is the volume of air it can deliver. A lot will depend on the size of the tank. I was in the same spot you are in and opted to buy a shop-vac (it made a good excuse to finally get one but you can try your compressor first).

    I bought a 6 hp from Home Depot ($100.00) that works great except it didn't have enough power to blow out the main drain.

    2. I feel ok with backwashing the filter, removing the drain plugs, taking care of the return lines, etc., but not so sure about blowing out the main drain. Advice?

    Does the main drain line run to the skimmer or straight to your pump?

    5. Do you take your pump motor inside?

    Be sure to remove the drain plug and leave it outside.


    Hopefully others will help with the remaining questions.
    16x30, 12,500 gal. IG gunite/plaster with 60% quartz; Hayward TriStar 1.5 hp 2 speed pump & .75 hp booster pump; SmartPure ozone generator; Hayward C6060 SwimClear Microban cartridge filter; Hayward Ecommand HPC-4Controller; Pentair chlorine feeder; Polaris 280 robo vac. All installed Aug. 2014. Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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    appstategrad's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous 1st Time Closer

    Thank you for the response!! What do you do for your main drain if your 6 HP shop vac isn't powerful enough?

    The main drain line goes to the pump, and the skimmer line goes to the pump, but come together before going into the pump, and there is only one cut off valve for both lines. Does that make sense with my diagram? After I blow out both lines which way do I turn the cut off valve? I can only choose one way, it seems to me like it would be better to choose the skimmer line since the main drain would be further underground?


    diagram.jpg
    ~ 18.5' x 36.5' inground Grecian pool with vinyl liner
    ~ approximately 23,000 gallons
    ~ AquaRite Salt Water Generator cell size t-9
    ~ 1.5 HP Hayward Pump and Hayward Sand Filter
    ~ TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Nervous 1st Time Closer

    Unless your above 2,000 feet or so in Hickory, I don't think you have much to worry about for your main drain. I doubt your frost line is deep enough to have much effect.

    Are you sure that's a "cut-off" valve? Most pools would have a 3-way valve..........On (skimmer) - OFF - On (main drain) in that situation.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Nervous 1st Time Closer

    I basically have the same pump set-up as your diagram. I first turned the valve to shut off the skimmer so the air was directed through the main drain. Although I never saw any bubbles from the drain after blowing with the shop-vac for several minutes, I turned the valve to shut off the main drain with the shop-vac still blowing. The goal was to blow out the water and then air-lock the line by leaving the main drain shut-off all winter. I then blew the water from the skimmer line.

    After talking to my pool builder, I'm not going worry that I was not able to clear all the water from the main drain. He said they do not blow the main drain when winterizing pools in my area (north-eastern Okla.). I would have reverted to my air compressor otherwise.

    As Duraleigh mentioned, it may not be a concern depending on your specific location / climate. The extent you go to in closing your pool is dictated by your local climate. You want to be comfortable that your pool is safe even if you experience abnormally cold weather, but there is no need to over do it. I like to go slightly overboard so I don't have to worry about it because I do tend to be a worrywart. But like you, I did not use antifreeze -- that's not always an option in colder climates. I suggest you talk to some other pool owners or pool companies in your area to get their advise so you can be confident your pool is safe.
    16x30, 12,500 gal. IG gunite/plaster with 60% quartz; Hayward TriStar 1.5 hp 2 speed pump & .75 hp booster pump; SmartPure ozone generator; Hayward C6060 SwimClear Microban cartridge filter; Hayward Ecommand HPC-4Controller; Pentair chlorine feeder; Polaris 280 robo vac. All installed Aug. 2014. Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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    appstategrad's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous 1st Time Closer

    Thanks everyone, again being the first time doing this I'm just overly cautious...and it is made worse by all the weather reports on how it is going to be a long and cold winter.

    I took care of everything today (hopefully everything)!! I will be on the lookout for a good Black Friday deal on shop vacs!! Thanks again...I plan to read the forum a lot during the winter so I'll be ready for the spring!

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    ~ 18.5' x 36.5' inground Grecian pool with vinyl liner
    ~ approximately 23,000 gallons
    ~ AquaRite Salt Water Generator cell size t-9
    ~ 1.5 HP Hayward Pump and Hayward Sand Filter
    ~ TF-100 test kit

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