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Thread: Inground winterizing questions

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    Inground winterizing questions

    I would like to winterize the pool myself this year. I live in the midwest and we get heavy snow and hard freezes. Is this a project I can do myself or would you recommend otherwise? I have 2 fittings that are foreign to me that I think are used for winterizing and may simplify the job. Take a look and tell me how you would winterize this pool in relation to protecting the equipment and lines. I have read the AGP closure recommendations but this does not cover inground issues.

    See my pic below. See the 2 mystery fittings. One is on the pool side of the main drains. I assume it is for winterizing.

    What is it?

    How is it used?

    If its for blowing out the main drain lines what attaches to it? Specific kind of compressor?

    How do you get antifreeze in that line? Or is it not necessary in the main drain lines with my particular setup?

    The other is in between the pump and filter.

    Is it a cleanout of some sort?

    How is it used?



    Thanks,
    Dave
    -------
    Our pool-
    20x40 Free Form Gunite (3'-8'), 26,000 G, AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generator SC-48, Aqua blue pebble sheen, Textured Sundek, Pentair Easy touch with remote control, 1hp Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro pump, Max-E- Therm heater 333k BTU, System 3 Mod Media Cartridge filter, and Polaris 380 cleaner with booster pump

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Inground winterizing questions

    Yes, you can do this yourself, though it can take a while to figure everything out the first year. There is a good basic intro to winterizing in this thread.

    It might be a little intimidating the first year. It took me eight hours to close the first time I tried to do it, and I have a fairly simple setup. But now I can do it in half that time. With your setup there are more things to deal with, but it is not terribly difficult. What mostly seems to happen the first year is getting half way through and discovering that you need something that you don't have (for example another expanding pipe plug).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Inground winterizing questions

    Thanks for the replies. What are those fiittings in my picture? I think the one on the pool side of the main drains is a 3/4" check valve. Would I use this to blow out the main drains? Does the main drains need antifreeze? Would I introduce it via that check valve?
    Thanks,
    Dave
    -------
    Our pool-
    20x40 Free Form Gunite (3'-8'), 26,000 G, AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generator SC-48, Aqua blue pebble sheen, Textured Sundek, Pentair Easy touch with remote control, 1hp Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro pump, Max-E- Therm heater 333k BTU, System 3 Mod Media Cartridge filter, and Polaris 380 cleaner with booster pump

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    Re: Inground winterizing questions

    Dave, it's a sorry state of affairs that we talk of closing in the first week of August :P

    However, I will commend you for thinking about it before there is ice in the pool!! 8)

    I'm not sure if those ports were intended for the winterizing process, or how they would work with it, but I'm a little pressed for time this evening - I'll cogitate on it and be back when time is more 'free'.

    It's time that all of us that close their pools realize that closing time is imminent !
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Inground winterizing questions

    I have had several friends tell me that there is no need to lower/drain a pool, that you need to raise the returns above the water level, and use anti-freeze. I haven't been over to see it yet, but plan to soon. Basically what they've done is made PVC L's to replace the return eyeballs. You install the L pointing up, suck/or blow the line, add anti-freeze and then cap. In the spring you can vac out the anti-freeze(save it for next year!) and it won't go in the pool. For the main drain drain line they pour anti-freeze in at the pump end and cap it, then in spring pump it to waste. They use the super Gizmo things in the skimmer, and anti-freeze too.
    22 x 40 IG vinyl lined, 23,570 gal.
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    Re: Inground winterizing questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DLSDO



    Thanks,

    Well, I can start alittle for you. I see the pump has unions on the inlet and outlet. Disconnect the pump with the unions and take it in the house. Same with the booster pump and the SWG.

    I wished the plumber had put sweep T's instead of the elbows on all the pipes that come out of the ground. Would have made it better to blow out the pipes and put in anti-freeze.

    The booster pump return line can be blown out and anti-freeze put in where the hose taps into the hard pipe.

    The skimmers can be blown out one at a time from the union where the pump was and opening and closing one valve at a time.

    On your bottom drain, you should beable to make something with a elbow on the end to pour in the anti-freeze. I don't use air on the bottom drain; I just pour one gal of anti-freeze into the pipe slowly.

    The heater is connected with unions; open each union to drain.

    Gizmos in the skimmers and I would suggest skimmer covers and then pour anti-freeze in the skimmers. Also, before the gizmos go in, you can pour anti-freeze in to the skimmer pipe. All return lines get plugs.

    For the filter, open the drain valve and let the water drain for acouple of days; then replace the cap very loosely so the water still can drip out and leave it like that.

    Anti-freeze ..... I would use one gal for every 10 foot of pipe at the max. When I do my pool, I use 19 gallons. I'm in growing zone 4B, winters to minus 30 below. I buy the RV anti-freeze at WalMart. Don't use automotive anti-freeze.
    Hotrod30

    20 X 40 foot vinyl Borates and Salt Pool
    Rolachem Chlorine Feeder
    Hayward 27 inch sand filter with 80 lbs of pea gravel
    Jacuzzi Splash Pak SP55 DE filter in parallel
    Pentair VF3050 pump

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    Re: Inground winterizing questions

    Mods,
    Per Waste's thread here ig-closing-part-ii-t8783.html -I think he wants my thread merged here closing-an-in-ground-pool-t2896.html Please move it if you think that is most appropriate. I have more questions but do not want to post in the wrong location and upset anyone.
    Thanks,
    Dave
    -------
    Our pool-
    20x40 Free Form Gunite (3'-8'), 26,000 G, AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generator SC-48, Aqua blue pebble sheen, Textured Sundek, Pentair Easy touch with remote control, 1hp Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro pump, Max-E- Therm heater 333k BTU, System 3 Mod Media Cartridge filter, and Polaris 380 cleaner with booster pump

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    Re: Inground winterizing questions

    Dave, I'm not a Mod and have no control over the site

    I just think that keeping everything to 1 thread will better help you and the others who are looking for the info. If you want to keep this alive, that's fine by me - in fact, let me tell you a little about your system.

    You got all Sta-Rite equipment (which probably got you an extended 3 year warranty on it ) Removing the pump, filter and heater( ) and taking it inside is easy (except for the gas line on the heater) Those unions are all the same and it's good you got them!! Taking everything in for the winter will allow them to last longer! Heater? you say - YES - the biggest problem we've had with them is mice nesting in them over the winter and chewing up the wires!! When you take off the unions, lube the o-rings and store them in the empty pump basket

    Don't worry about upsetting anyone! If you have a question, ask it!!!! wherever you may ask it. I'm just trying to keep the winterizing questions in one easy to find place so that everyone can easily find it

    If you need my help on any part of your winterizing, feel free to pm me!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Inground winterizing questions

    Quote Originally Posted by New2Me
    I have had several friends tell me that there is no need to lower/drain a pool, that you need to raise the returns above the water level, and use anti-freeze.
    This will work some places, but won't work other places. If you get really solid freezes, the block of ice at the top of the water will tear the return elbow extensions out and cause other damage with that approach. But with only mild freezes and thin ice layers it can work just fine.
    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: Inground winterizing questions

    I suggested to Sean that Jason's Inground pool winterizing thread be added to pool school. Its excellent. I actually think this thread would be best merged with that thread as you suggested.

    I am still not sure about those 2 fittings in my picture of my equipment pad. The one on the pool side of the main drain ball valve is a 3/4" check valve. My guess is that I can turn off the maindrain ball valve then blow air through that check valve to blow out the main drains. I would need a fitting for my shop vac for the 3/4" check valve. I dont know where to find this or if a standard shop vac would suffice. Any ideas? The other fitting on the connection between the pump and filter could be opened and used to blow out the filter, pump, heater and skimmers or do I blow out the skimmers from the pool end of the skimmers??
    Dave
    -------
    Our pool-
    20x40 Free Form Gunite (3'-8'), 26,000 G, AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generator SC-48, Aqua blue pebble sheen, Textured Sundek, Pentair Easy touch with remote control, 1hp Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro pump, Max-E- Therm heater 333k BTU, System 3 Mod Media Cartridge filter, and Polaris 380 cleaner with booster pump

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Inground winterizing questions

    A shop vac isn't going to do very well with a main drain, you want an air compressor or a bicycle pump.

    The other fitting looks like a plumbers clean out. It might be there for blowing out the returns, but you are better off doing that from the AutoPilot manifold.
    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: Inground winterizing questions

    How can you blow out a main drain? Won't water seek its own level ?


    I've heard of someone blowing out their bottom drain and twisting it on the liner.
    Hotrod30

    20 X 40 foot vinyl Borates and Salt Pool
    Rolachem Chlorine Feeder
    Hayward 27 inch sand filter with 80 lbs of pea gravel
    Jacuzzi Splash Pak SP55 DE filter in parallel
    Pentair VF3050 pump

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    Re: Inground winterizing questions

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion

    The other fitting looks like a plumbers clean out. It might be there for blowing out the returns, but you are better off doing that from the AutoPilot manifold.
    Why not just open up the unions on either end of that pipe? All it is is the line from the pump to the filter.
    Hotrod30

    20 X 40 foot vinyl Borates and Salt Pool
    Rolachem Chlorine Feeder
    Hayward 27 inch sand filter with 80 lbs of pea gravel
    Jacuzzi Splash Pak SP55 DE filter in parallel
    Pentair VF3050 pump

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    Re: Inground winterizing questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotrod30
    How can you blow out a main drain? Won't water seek its own level ?


    I've heard of someone blowing out their bottom drain and twisting it on the liner.
    So here is my understanding. If you force air through the main drain from the equipment pad then seal the outlet at the pad (close the ball valve) then the column of PVC is filled with air not water. I think a similar analogy could be demonstrated with a snorkel. Submerge it and fill it with water. Now blow out the water with air and plug the top. Its now full of air not water. I might be wrong but I think this is accurate.

    Now with my setup it looks like it should be easy to blow out my main drains. The PB put a check valve on the pool side of the main drain ball valve. I think all I have to do is close the main drain ball valve and attach a compressor to the 3/4" check valve. The only problem is that I do not have a compressor. Any recommendations?

    Thanks,
    Dave
    -------
    Our pool-
    20x40 Free Form Gunite (3'-8'), 26,000 G, AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generator SC-48, Aqua blue pebble sheen, Textured Sundek, Pentair Easy touch with remote control, 1hp Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro pump, Max-E- Therm heater 333k BTU, System 3 Mod Media Cartridge filter, and Polaris 380 cleaner with booster pump

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    Re: Inground winterizing questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DLSDO
    So here is my understanding. If you force air through the main drain from the equipment pad then seal the outlet at the pad (close the ball valve) then the column of PVC is filled with air not water. I think a similar analogy could be demonstrated with a snorkel. Submerge it and fill it with water. Now blow out the water with air and plug the top. Its now full of air not water. I might be wrong but I think this is accurate.

    I guess you are right on that, but I'll stick with the anti-freeze poured slowly into the bottom drain line.
    Hotrod30

    20 X 40 foot vinyl Borates and Salt Pool
    Rolachem Chlorine Feeder
    Hayward 27 inch sand filter with 80 lbs of pea gravel
    Jacuzzi Splash Pak SP55 DE filter in parallel
    Pentair VF3050 pump

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    Re: Inground winterizing questions

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    A shop vac isn't going to do very well with a main drain, you want an air compressor or a bicycle pump.

    The other fitting looks like a plumbers clean out. It might be there for blowing out the returns, but you are better off doing that from the AutoPilot manifold.
    Any recommendations for a specific kind of air compressor? I do not have an air compressor but would be willing to buy one to use for closing every year.
    Dave
    -------
    Our pool-
    20x40 Free Form Gunite (3'-8'), 26,000 G, AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generator SC-48, Aqua blue pebble sheen, Textured Sundek, Pentair Easy touch with remote control, 1hp Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro pump, Max-E- Therm heater 333k BTU, System 3 Mod Media Cartridge filter, and Polaris 380 cleaner with booster pump

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    Re: Inground winterizing questions

    FWIW, pretty much any air compressor with a tank will work. Belt drive units are generally MUCH quieter then Direct drive, but most need oil just like a lawnmower engine(but not the same oil). Most direct drive units are oil-free and I think this is part if what makes them louder. 99% of the cheap air compressors are oil-free direct drive types. I would advise getting some quick-connects for the end of the hose and any attachments you get. Keep in mind that once you have it, you will find other uses. I would also invest in a tire inflator attachment and a blow tool(for cleaning things). Compressed air is very effective at cleaning things you don't want to get wet and for clearing clogs.

    HTH,
    Adam
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    Re: Inground winterizing questions

    Thanks Adam. I figured it would get some other uses around the house. You can get a compressor for a good price nowadays.
    Dave
    -------
    Our pool-
    20x40 Free Form Gunite (3'-8'), 26,000 G, AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generator SC-48, Aqua blue pebble sheen, Textured Sundek, Pentair Easy touch with remote control, 1hp Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro pump, Max-E- Therm heater 333k BTU, System 3 Mod Media Cartridge filter, and Polaris 380 cleaner with booster pump

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