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Thread: Help closing my pool

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    h2ctpdjl's Avatar
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    Help closing my pool

    I posted this in another thread but did not get a reply, so will try here, as the return line is still nagging at me. I made an attempt at closing my pool myself and would appreciate someone telling me if it was done correctly and help me with my question.
    I removed the drain plugs from the heater, filter and pump.
    I bought a 5hp shopvac that blows. I blew out the skimmer line from the pool side and it went quite easily. All the water blew into the pump/skimmer, but it dispensed quickly since the plugs were removed. Once I was blowing just air, i poured in half gal RV antifreeze and screwed in the gizmo (used teflon tape on the screw end). I then added about 6 more cups of antifreeze into the skimmer "well" and put the lid on it. I then went to the equipment pad at the pump and using a cone shaped attachment, managed to blow the main drain quite easily (lots of air bubbles)and quickly closed the pipe off, blocking in the air. I assumed I was also blowing out the return but after stewing over it and re-checking the equip pad, realize I did nothing to the return line.
    My biggest problem is how do you blow out the return with my type of set-up? It goes through the heater and filter, but how do I get air into the line, let alone any antifreeze?
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    18,000 gal, 18x32 IGP, vinyl liner, 3 to 5.5ft depth. One inlet/skimmer (Aqua Genie), one main drain. Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter w/filtration rate of 20 GPM/FT, Two-Speed Pentair Whisperflo 1 HP pump, Natural Gas Hayward H200 pool heater, Aquabot T2 (200 Series) Robotic Pool Cleaner (my best friend), Automatic Electric Pool Cover (2nd best friend).

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Closing an in ground pool

    Do you have (or can you take) another photo showing the entire equipment setup? It's hard to tell where that return goes in this one.

    I would think you could open the valve on the return line and blow it from the pool backwards through the last piece of equipment (usually the heater). With the drain open it should blow all the water out of the return. You could close the valve while still blowing. Then pour some antifreeze into the pipe thru the return eyeball fitting.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Closing an in ground pool

    I have a 16x32 inground vinyl pool that I am about to close. I have polyquat 60 but not sure how much to use. Levels are all good right now and water is crystal clear. I am covering with a mesh cover. I live in AR and we only have a few days of freezing weather. Thank you so much for all your good advice.

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    Re: Closing an in ground pool

    Last spring, my fiberglass stairs had a hole punched in by the ice, i guess as a result of some serious spring freeze-thaw weather. I don't use a pool cover as there are no trees in the area and for 4 years, opening was a breeze. I was wondering if I should throw in a pile of old bleach bottles in the pool as a buffer against another freeze thaw spring when I close the pool. Or is this another benefit of having a pool cover and I should just suck it up and use one!
    20x40 vinyl IGP(120,000 L), with Intelliflow VF Pump.
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    h2ctpdjl's Avatar
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    Re: Closing an in ground pool

    BamaRambler - sorry, i gave up on getting a reply to my questions, so this is my first time back reviewing and still hoping for responses. I appreciate your reply. Please forgive me if I use the wrong terminlogoy when talking about my pool and equipment. My return runs automatically through the heater, the sand filter, back into the pool. I have attached a better pic. I have also included a pic of my skimmer/return and as you can see, there is no eyeball with which I can use to blow the return line out. The return line does not have any type of opening for me to get to it separately. Part B of the skimmer pic is where the water returns to the pool. I was only able to blow the skimmer line at pool side, then i blew out the main drain through the pump until i had lots of air bubbles coming out of it, then quickly closed it off. I poured antifreeze into the skimmer line, but see no way to add it to the return line. I have drained the heater and sand filter. I assumed that gravity would reduce the water in the return line as the pool water level was lowered. If I am incorrect, i would appreciate knowing so, as winter has arrived here
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    18,000 gal, 18x32 IGP, vinyl liner, 3 to 5.5ft depth. One inlet/skimmer (Aqua Genie), one main drain. Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter w/filtration rate of 20 GPM/FT, Two-Speed Pentair Whisperflo 1 HP pump, Natural Gas Hayward H200 pool heater, Aquabot T2 (200 Series) Robotic Pool Cleaner (my best friend), Automatic Electric Pool Cover (2nd best friend).

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    h2ctpdjl's Avatar
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    Re: Closing an in ground pool

    BamaRambler - Sorry, i just noticed my skimmer pic did not dowload. I an unable to figure out how to get it inserted, but if you go to www.redspools.com, a pic of it will come up. Thanks again.
    18,000 gal, 18x32 IGP, vinyl liner, 3 to 5.5ft depth. One inlet/skimmer (Aqua Genie), one main drain. Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter w/filtration rate of 20 GPM/FT, Two-Speed Pentair Whisperflo 1 HP pump, Natural Gas Hayward H200 pool heater, Aquabot T2 (200 Series) Robotic Pool Cleaner (my best friend), Automatic Electric Pool Cover (2nd best friend).

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Closing an in ground pool

    I've never seen a return without an eyeball. Not saying there isn't one, I've just never seen it. I went to Redspools but the skimmer wasn't on the front page so I don't know what it looks like. I still say the best way to blow it out iis from the return to the heater.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Closing an in ground pool

    BamaRamba: I have attached a (crummy) pic of my Aqua Genie; its the best I could do. I hope it helps. It actually does an excellent job of circulating the water and skimming the surface, so I have no complaints with it.
    I use a Shop Vac to blow my lines. I am thinking that if I attempt to blow out the return via the heater, it will also go through the sand filter. If it does that, what will keep the air from going back out into the main drain, slide and skimmer line? Those lines are already closed off and I have antifreeze in the skimmer line. Also, how in the world can I possibly get any antifreeze into the return line since there is no separate opening? Do I need to worry about it? I feel confident about the other lines, but the return line has kept me up nights with worry since winter has suddenly arrived these past few days.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18,000 gal, 18x32 IGP, vinyl liner, 3 to 5.5ft depth. One inlet/skimmer (Aqua Genie), one main drain. Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter w/filtration rate of 20 GPM/FT, Two-Speed Pentair Whisperflo 1 HP pump, Natural Gas Hayward H200 pool heater, Aquabot T2 (200 Series) Robotic Pool Cleaner (my best friend), Automatic Electric Pool Cover (2nd best friend).

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Closing an in ground pool

    OK, Now I understand how it works.
    • Here's my suggestion on how to blow it.
    • There's a metal covered band at the top of the filter discharge. That should be a slip union. Loosen it and slide it toward the filter. [/*:m:2cg0ay12]
    • Loosen the connector at the heater and rotate the pipe the you just took loose out of line with the filter pipe. [/*:m:2cg0ay12]
    • tighten the connector to hold it in place [/*:m:2cg0ay12]
    • then open the return valve and blow from the pipe you took loose. [/*:m:2cg0ay12]
    • Once air is blowing from the return close the valve. [/*:m:2cg0ay12]
    • Open the valve to the slide and blow it the samer way and close that valve. [/*:m:2cg0ay12]


    If you want extra protection you could pour some antifreeze in the pipe and once you see it flowing out into the pool close the valve. It'll fill up you heater with AF but that's not a bad thing. It just takes a little more AF.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Closing an in ground pool

    Thank you for the help. Right now it is 21 degrees and the wind is horendous. It is supposed to get back up into the 50s on sunday and monday, so will do it then. Let me ask you something.....
    Is it detrimental that I actually blow the return line? Could gravity have done a good enough job as the water level lowered and I removed the heater and filter plugs? Just wondering. I will get back with you once I complete what you described; unless i have a problem with it.
    18,000 gal, 18x32 IGP, vinyl liner, 3 to 5.5ft depth. One inlet/skimmer (Aqua Genie), one main drain. Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter w/filtration rate of 20 GPM/FT, Two-Speed Pentair Whisperflo 1 HP pump, Natural Gas Hayward H200 pool heater, Aquabot T2 (200 Series) Robotic Pool Cleaner (my best friend), Automatic Electric Pool Cover (2nd best friend).

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    Re: Closing an in ground pool

    Bama Rambler, I hope you are still out there!
    I tried to do what you instructed, but I was too unsure of myself. I have posted pics of what I see. I dont understand your metal covered band information. There is one, as indicated in the pic, but it is out from the filter and looks almost like it is some type of repair job? It doesnt look like it will slide. I also dont see what to loosen on the heater. All the pipe joints look like they might be glued?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18,000 gal, 18x32 IGP, vinyl liner, 3 to 5.5ft depth. One inlet/skimmer (Aqua Genie), one main drain. Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter w/filtration rate of 20 GPM/FT, Two-Speed Pentair Whisperflo 1 HP pump, Natural Gas Hayward H200 pool heater, Aquabot T2 (200 Series) Robotic Pool Cleaner (my best friend), Automatic Electric Pool Cover (2nd best friend).

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    Re: Help closing my pool

    It is perhaps a little late for this approach, but the simplest way to blow out the return is from the skimmer. However to do that you need all the drain plugs re-installed so you can pressurize the entire system and will need to add anti-freeze to the skimmer again afterwards.

    You do have at least one union, on the vertical pipe between the pump an the filter. You ought to be able to get that open and blow from there. That will only require putting the drain plug back into the filter, while leaving the skimmer line alone (which sounds like it is fine).

    The metal sleeve with two band clamps on the horizontal pipe between the filter and heater might be a union or a repair. The only way to know is to take it off and see. Given your setup, it seems likely to me that it is a union, but anything is possible.

    There are unions where the gray plastic connects to the black headers on the heater. They might be glued, but probably not. If you got either of those off that would also be a place where you could blow out the return.
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Help closing my pool

    Well, Jason showed up before me and gave you the same advice I would have.

    If you take a look at your pictures the metal sleeve with he two clamps is a coupling (actually a repair sleeve but used here as a coupling). Once you loosen both clamps it'll slide one way or the other.

    The gray fitting at the heater end of that same pipe is a union. The large gray ring against the heater is a nut and can be loosened (remember, Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey). Loosen the clamps on the metal sleeve and slide it back then loosen the union nut slightly and rotate the pipe toward you. Hand tighten the union nut just to hold it in place and hook up your blower (whatever you're using) to the open end of the pipe you rotated. You can blow the slide pipe by closing the return valve and opening the slide valve. Once clear close the slide valve and open the return valve and blow it till clear then before you turn the blower off close the return valve. That ensures that water doesn't flow back into the return pipe.

    Once you have that done, post back if you want to add antifreeze to the line.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Help closing my pool

    OK, i have attached a pic of what is underneath that metal clamp. it was a piece of rubber sponge type stuff that was EXTREMELY hard to slide. I dont know how in the world I will ever get it back onto the pipes. I am unable to turn the verticle pipe to allow me room to blow the line, though. i also tried turning the big gray nut on the heater, but have no tool to assist me with that. unable to do it by hand, even though it clearly states it should be hand tightened only.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18,000 gal, 18x32 IGP, vinyl liner, 3 to 5.5ft depth. One inlet/skimmer (Aqua Genie), one main drain. Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter w/filtration rate of 20 GPM/FT, Two-Speed Pentair Whisperflo 1 HP pump, Natural Gas Hayward H200 pool heater, Aquabot T2 (200 Series) Robotic Pool Cleaner (my best friend), Automatic Electric Pool Cover (2nd best friend).

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    Re: Help closing my pool

    I stand corrected. I was able to turn the verticle pipe enough to blow the line and loads of water came out. Should I add Antifreeze? Also, my helper initially blew the line from the filter side, also blowing out loads of water but it, too, came out the return. How can that be? It should have come out the skimmer, but I had the "widget" screwed into it, so how did that water get out the return into the pool? Did it somehow get around the skimmer and out to the return? Help!
    18,000 gal, 18x32 IGP, vinyl liner, 3 to 5.5ft depth. One inlet/skimmer (Aqua Genie), one main drain. Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter w/filtration rate of 20 GPM/FT, Two-Speed Pentair Whisperflo 1 HP pump, Natural Gas Hayward H200 pool heater, Aquabot T2 (200 Series) Robotic Pool Cleaner (my best friend), Automatic Electric Pool Cover (2nd best friend).

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Help closing my pool

    Actually by blowing that line the water wouldn't come out the skimmer it would only come out the return.

    If your water level is above the return (or might get above the return) I'd add some antifreeze. Just rig a way to fill the pipe you have loose with AF until it either comes out in the pool or fills the pipe up. Be sure to use RV/pool antifreeze and not automotive stuff.

    As for the rubber sleeve you have loose just take a screwdriver or smooth (not sharp) butter knife and work it around the pipe to loosen it. Sometimes the rubber sticks to the pipe. then you can lube it with a little silicone o-ring lube. That is an option and if you don't have any lube it'll probably slide ok. Just push from the back of the sleeve don't pull from the front. If you tear it you can always buy a new one from your local big box store. They're in the plumbing aisle and really cheap.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Help closing my pool

    ok,thanks. I was concerned because he said he blew first into the pipe on the filter side, and from looking at the pipes, i didn't see how the water could have possibly come through the return line that way - it would have come through the skimmer and it was plugged. I can only assume he was mistaken and did indeed blow from the heater side, which sent quite a bit of water into the pool - I had him blow it a second time until nothing but air came out. I think for good measure, I will add antifreeze. There is an RV place just down the road from me. I will get a couple of gallons. Many, many, many, thanks. I will also get some silicone O ring lube to get that rubber thing to slide more easily. I cant believe i have actually closed my pool myself, and couldn't have done it without TFP - thanks to everyone. I am already counting the days to spring.
    18,000 gal, 18x32 IGP, vinyl liner, 3 to 5.5ft depth. One inlet/skimmer (Aqua Genie), one main drain. Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter w/filtration rate of 20 GPM/FT, Two-Speed Pentair Whisperflo 1 HP pump, Natural Gas Hayward H200 pool heater, Aquabot T2 (200 Series) Robotic Pool Cleaner (my best friend), Automatic Electric Pool Cover (2nd best friend).

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Help closing my pool

    You're very welcome. Glad you got it done and you've learned some valuable lessons along the way.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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