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Thread: Winterizing Autopilot

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    Winterizing Autopilot

    I'm getting ready to close the pool and this is my first winter with a PoolPilot (Auto Pilot SC-48). I've seen differing opinions on removing the cell or leaving it in the line over the winter. (The area where I live gets pretty cold through the winter--the pool will freeze solid). In the years prior to installing the Autopilot, I'd fill all the plumbing with RV antifreeze. Is that acceptable with an SWG? Will the pink antifreeze hurt the cell/manifold or the flow switch over the winter?
    How have the rest of you cold weather people winterized an Auto Pilot in the past?

    Thanks!
    Bill
    23K IG vinyl, Autopilot SWG, 1 HP Aqua-Flo Dominator Pump, 30" Cooper Ranger series sand filter, 1 skimmer, 3 jets, 2 fountains, 2 main drains.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    Re: Winterizing Autopilot

    Leaving the cell in the plumbing is just fine as long as you have properly winterized the system (ie drained the water out of all above ground pipes).

    Should a little anti-freeze pass through the cell, it won't cause any problems.

    I suppose that you could actually fill the plumbing with anti-freeze, but that would just be a waste of anti-freeze. You only need anti-freeze in the sections of plumbing that could possibly get water in them, which should only be below ground pipes. And even then you only need enough anti-freeze to prevent freezing, which is way less than filling the pipes.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Winterizing Autopilot

    Cool...thanks.
    The way I've closed in the past is to pump the anti freeze through the plumbing until I see a small pink ploom in the water at the returns/drains. That way I'm positive there's no water left in the pipes. It takes around 18 gallons (less than $50). Wasteful? Maybe...but I view it as cheap peace of mind.
    23K IG vinyl, Autopilot SWG, 1 HP Aqua-Flo Dominator Pump, 30" Cooper Ranger series sand filter, 1 skimmer, 3 jets, 2 fountains, 2 main drains.

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