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Thread: Winterizing 2-hole skimmer

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    Winterizing 2-hole skimmer

    Hello,

    I notice in another thread in this group that I have two holes in my skimmer. I am currently trying to winterize and am having some difficulty. According to the other thread, it appears that my second hole (closest to the pool) is attached to main drain. The other thread also says this makes it difficult to winterize. I think I am having trouble because of this.

    I have lowered the water to below the skimmer and have blown out return lines. However, it seems that the water level keeps rising within my skimmer and I can't get the water out of the skimmer box. I suppose that is because water is coming from the main drain.

    Can someone provide me with advice as to how to go about clearing this skimmer?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Winterizing 2-hole skimmer

    Welcome to TFP!!

    While I will often about this set-up, I can tell you how to deal with it.

    All you need is a threaded adapter that will fit the main drain port on the skimmer (it's either 1 1/2" or 2"). Glue a 1' piece of pipe into the adapter and get a plug that will fit the pipe. Screw the pipe into the port for the main drain and blow air through it until the drain bubbles, then quickly plug the pipe. (This isn't as easy as I make it sound, if you have questions, just ask )

    Let me know if you need more help on this
    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

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Winterizing 2-hole skimmer

    A related approach is to stuff a couple of feet of foam rope into the pipe, instead of pressurizing with air, before plugging it.
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    Re: Winterizing 2-hole skimmer

    Thanks to both of you for your responses.

    I tried waste's approach today, and though I think I was getting some air to the main drain (I could see some movement in some small leaf remnants near the drain, I never got a bubble of air to come out. You mentioned it was tougher than it sounds. Is there a secret you can share? Also, I blew out the skimmer hole which returns to the filter, but did not get all the water out. If I put a tube in, I can feel moisture a couple of feet down. Is this a concern? I live in NE OHio, and get some pretty cold winters. FYI, I am working with 2" pipe, a 6.5 HP Shop Vac and the filter is about 20' from the skimmer.

    With respect to JasonLion's approach, are you suggesting I just put something like a swimming noodle down the tube, then plugging it off without getting water out? Just want to make sure, since I am concerned about cracking the skimmer or underground pipes.

    Thanks again for all the great advice. This has been a valuable resource. Everyone is so knowledgeable.

    -Tad

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    Re: Winterizing 2-hole skimmer

    Tad, you did it right, the pressure from the water in the pool was more than your shop vac could force out The real trick is getting that plug in quickly enough - you have to pull the blower and get the plug in within a couple of seconds, we do this with 2 people : 1 to work the blower and the other to quickly slam the plug into the line. Even if the main drain doesn't bubble, you've forced the water down below the frost line - you need to plug it quickly to insure that the water in that line stays below the frost line! That's the secret This is one of the problems with main drains they are hard to properly winterize (ie. get all the water out and add antifreeze) . As long as you can get the water to stay below the frost line, all should be good

    You know that water is leaving the topmost part of the line, plugging it quickly will insure that it stays down below the 'danger zone'

    For the skimmer line back to the filter, you should have seen water coming out of the open pipe at the pad. If you didn't get all of it out and only a few cups worth of water remained, a ~1/2 gallon of antifreeze will cover it. In the winterizing link in my sig (by Jason) there are a couple of tips on getting MOST of the water out of the line.

    I hope this helps, if you need some more on this, just ask 8)
    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: Winterizing 2-hole skimmer

    We actually put a ball valve on the 1' pipe which you described in your first post. We figured that way, once we are successful at getting air down to the drain, we can close the valve and trap the air without trying to slam a plug on too quickly.

    Will try to finish this up tonight. Thanks again for all your help.

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    Re: Winterizing 2-hole skimmer

    That's a GREAT idea!!
    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: Winterizing 2-hole skimmer

    I think the approach of pressurizing the line would be prone to failure. If you do take that approach, I would take some soapy water and brush it around the connections to ensure a tight seal. Even then, I think I would be wondering all winter if the air stayed in the line. For that reason, I went with the foam rope. I jammed about four feet of it into the line.
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    Re: Winterizing 2-hole skimmer

    Instead of foam rope, would using foam pipe insulation suffice? While this wouldn't get all the water below the freeze line, I would think that it would provide room for expansion in case of the water freezing in the pipe. Thoughts?
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Winterizing 2-hole skimmer

    Yes, most foam pipe insulation is just fine. You want any kind of foam that will fit into the pipe and is made of closed cell foam (which doesn't absorb water). Pool noodles cut up to an appropriate diameter will also work. As the water freezes the foam will compress, keeping the pipe safe. Occasionally you run into open cell foam, which absorbs water like a sponge, and won't work for freeze protection, but that is fairly rare.
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    Re: Winterizing 2-hole skimmer

    Hi all,

    First time poster. Glad I found this site after searching aimlessly for the last few weeks. I was just about to post a similar question. I've been getting the run around by pool "experts" in my area about this same issue. I've been told to lower my water 3 feet below the skimmer, the reason why the hole closest to the pool is refilling the skimmer is because the line going to the filter is not fully blown, etc. All of my lines are blown and I've gotten the water in the left hole about 2 cm below the surface of the skimmer. From what I've read, would it be best to go down to Home Depot and see if I can get some foam rope to stick in the hole and then plug it? I have no idea where else I could find foam rope. Thanks.

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    Re: Winterizing 2-hole skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by illtiger1
    Hi all,

    First time poster. Glad I found this site after searching aimlessly for the last few weeks. I was just about to post a similar question. I've been getting the run around by pool "experts" in my area about this same issue. I've been told to lower my water 3 feet below the skimmer, the reason why the hole closest to the pool is refilling the skimmer is because the line going to the filter is not fully blown, etc. All of my lines are blown and I've gotten the water in the left hole about 2 cm below the surface of the skimmer. From what I've read, would it be best to go down to Home Depot and see if I can get some foam rope to stick in the hole and then plug it? I have no idea where else I could find foam rope. Thanks.
    Welcome to TFP!! -- Glad you found us

    JasonLion could tell you better than I, but I think you can modify a foam 'pool noodle' to do the job. I personally prefer blowing out the line, but as you've read this thread, you know the 2 approaches we take to doing this It seems to me that either will work well 8)

    Again, I welcome you here Please keep asking your questions and following the EXCELLENT advice you will receive here
    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: Winterizing 2-hole skimmer

    A foam rope is too soft and buoy to go down the skimmer hole, last year, for my 1st closing, I tied a piece of plastic trim along the whole length of the rope to make it more ridgid and I was able to insert about 8 feet into the hole. I had no problem despite a very cold winter.
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