Blowing out bottom returns question

Yaeugd

Member
Aug 15, 2017
14
Long Island, NY
This is my first time blowing out my pool. Everything went easy with a 6.5 hp shop vac except the bottom returns. My equipment is below the pool and when blowing out the lines I have some water come back at me. I can’t poor in antifreeze or don’t know if I blew it past the frost line. I have a jandy valve three way port valve on it and don’t think I was able to air lock it because when I cut it off it burps water back to me.
I am thinking I can hack a connection to attach it to my 8 litter compressor. I have 2 inch lines. Anyone modify anything to help blow out the bottom returns?
 

Yaeugd

Member
Aug 15, 2017
14
Long Island, NY
Bought a blow through plug at the store with a straiter valve with a tier inflated with quick connect for my compressor and will try it tomorrow with a psi under 30 hopefully will do the trick.
 

Yaeugd

Member
Aug 15, 2017
14
Long Island, NY
I bought a 1.6 horse power sump pump off amazon for a $99 and cobbled together a hose with a pvc pipe to a rubber #11 plug that I hollowed out. Hot glued it on for a water resistant seal when I pushed the pvc/plug onto the union and pumped 2 jugs of antifreeze into the pipe since I couldn’t drain it. That’s the best thing I can do figure out since no one responded to the thread. As long as the first 3-4 feet is mixed it should not freeze.
any other suggestions would be greatly appreciate
 
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Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,403
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Can you please upload pictures of your equipment pad, etc. There are ways to improvise when closing a pool. The best thing you can do is isolate each area. If this was my pool, I would use blow thru plugs with an air compressor on recirculate, close off the closest returns with winter plugs and leave the last 2 open (maybe one). Allow the pump to run for a few minutes. Now, you do not want to tighten the first few returns too tight, just enough to close the area off.

When you see bubbles coming out of the last return, slowly plug it while a helper unplugs the first return. At this time, you will have trapped air in the system, and now you are going back and starting the sequence from the first return. It is kind of like burping the system, but only backwards. Allow each return to bubble for about 30 seconds and move on to the next. Remember that your helper must be one return in front of you to remove while you close off the return you are working with. When you get to the last return, remove this one as you plug the second to last, have helper remove last, allow to blow through again, and while you are closing the return, have the helper shut off the air compressor and you are done.

You only need about 20 PSI. Even though piping is rated for more, I would not use more than this. The other may to do this is allow gravity to work for you. Place blow-thru plugs in the returns and use a compressor to push water downstream and out of the plumbing somewhere. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,403
Monmouth County, New Jersey
You could also plug the returns and try to siphon water with a shop vac in all the areas. The other thing is you could also lower the water below the returns, but I would try my method first, before attempting to drain thousands of gallons of water.
 

Yaeugd

Member
Aug 15, 2017
14
Long Island, NY
Thanks for your reply’s but it’s done.

I couldn’t use a shop vac or compressor because I was getting regurgitation of water and no bubbles were getting produced at the bottom returns of the pool.
The bottom returns are at the bottom of the pool instead of a main drain and my equipment is below the level of the pool and no way to Siphon out or completely drain IT. It’s just too much pressure and gravity helps the water come out. I just pumped in 2 gallons of antifreeze in to the line because i was worried about water in the pipe above the frost line. Everything else was a breeze to do. Ordered a extra lid for my pump so I’m going to adapt it to make blowing out the pool easier.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,403
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Yaeugd:

Have you tried what was recommended before? You can try using a shop vac and sucking water out of the lines near the equipment pad. Do you have unions? Also, try plugging the returns and sucking water out of the lines first (working backwards), on both the return and suction side. Then proceed to work the other way.

What strikes me strange is why you pool equipment is this much lower than the surface of the pool. My lines are 3' down to 4' down from skimmers to returns, and then they come back to almost the same height of the equipment pad, pump, etc. I know this based on my survey and "as built" that needed to be submitted to the township. If you can pull water and pump water back in the pool, then clearly you can extract or push water out of the lines. The methods you have used either need to be modified or you are missing something.

Can you please upload pictures of the pool and equipment pad as this point, or I feel that we can not be of any more help.
The only other option is to rent a Cyclone of Pool Blower from a local store and work this way. The other day I used a compressor for a short run (about 30-70 feet for a skimmer and return only pool) at less than 10 PSI and the lines cleared perfectly (same height of course as pump was above pool patio), but this goes to show you that my little air compressor worked out just fine. I feel you are missing something. Again, please up load some pictures.
 

wogster

In The Industry
Apr 30, 2018
101
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Yaeugd:

Have you tried what was recommended before? You can try using a shop vac and sucking water out of the lines near the equipment pad. Do you have unions? Also, try plugging the returns and sucking water out of the lines first (working backwards), on both the return and suction side. Then proceed to work the other way.

What strikes me strange is why you pool equipment is this much lower than the surface of the pool. My lines are 3' down to 4' down from skimmers to returns, and then they come back to almost the same height of the equipment pad, pump, etc. I know this based on my survey and "as built" that needed to be submitted to the township. If you can pull water and pump water back in the pool, then clearly you can extract or push water out of the lines. The methods you have used either need to be modified or you are missing something.

Can you please upload pictures of the pool and equipment pad as this point, or I feel that we can not be of any more help. The only other option is to rent a Cyclone of Pool Blower from a local store and work this way. The other day I used a compressor for a short run (about 30-70 feet for a skimmer and return only pool) at less than 10 PSI and the lines cleared perfectly (same height of course as pump was above pool patio), but this goes to show you that my little air compressor worked out just fine. I feel you are missing something. Again, please up load some pictures.
We have the same issue, in that the equipment pad is in the basement of the house. However there is a valve in the suction and return lines, so blowing out the lines, you close the valves, connect the compressor to one side, blow out the line until you get air bubbles, turn off the compressor, then close the valve and disconnect the compressor. One thing to remember is that a pipe that is open at both ends, can freeze without damage. We left a disconnected hose out all winter, and it was fine.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,403
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Wogster:

Thank you for your input. Without visually seeing everything, it is extremely difficult to make a determination. However, the Cyclone pool blower can probably accomplish the task without too much effort.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
518
Spring Valley, NY
I have a pool where the equipment pad is below pool level by a few feet. For myself I see one sure way to get the water out of the return. I drain down till just below the returns and then no water comes back at you. I blow from the returns to the pad in sequence while I plug and go. Then I go back and add antifreeze in each to be sure, never had an issue. You are never going to blow pipes out uphill to the pool from the pad. once the returns and the skimmer are done I concentrate on the equipment pad. Easy peezy.
 

Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
1,197
Bangor Maine
Those pads with lines below water level can easily be blown free with duck plugs. Simply put the plugs in and blow from the pad, the advantage is they allow no more water to leave the pool and flood the pad while you blow the lines free. Anderson is the king of leaks, their plugs are great.
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
11,294
Northern NJ
Those pads with lines below water level can easily be blown free with duck plugs. Simply put the plugs in and blow from the pad, the advantage is they allow no more water to leave the pool and flood the pad while you blow the lines free. Anderson is the king of leaks, their plugs are great.
 

Yaeugd

Member
Aug 15, 2017
14
Long Island, NY
This is the only angles I have because the equipment is taken apart
 

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Yaeugd

Member
Aug 15, 2017
14
Long Island, NY
What’s a disconnect hose? Might be Intrested I’m adding it if it will help.
right now there is 2 gallons of antifreeze pumped into the line hopefully that’s enough mixed not to freeze the line