Blowing out lines today for the first time on my own. I could use some assistance.

gdog2004

Well-known member
Jul 19, 2011
300
Lehigh Valley, PA
Title says it all !
Today is pool closing day ! I am hoping someone can help me out here.
I drained the pool to about 2 inches below return (don't want to drain too low due to mesh cover)
So as far as blowing the lines out. I have a vinyl liner pool, 2 returns, a skimmer and NO main drain.
I am assuming I unscrew the union for the return line coming out of the chlorinator (B in my picture) , plug ONE of the return lines
and turn the shop vac on and let it blow for a few minutes until there is no more water coming out.
and then I would repeat the step for the other return ? How do I know if it is completely sealed on the return end ? (the water is below the skimmer). I have the screw on caps and I also have the expanding plugs, I would prefer to use the caps.

After that , I would think I would unscrew the union for the suction line (A in my picture) insert my shop vac end into the line and blow all of the water out of the skimmer.
We are in a deep freeze zone here in PA so I just want to make sure I don't have any issues.
Also does it matter what I set my filter to as I am blowing out the lines ?
Thank you in advance for any replies.
 

Attachments

  • PoolPump.png
    PoolPump.png
    1.1 MB · Views: 16
  • SandFilter.png
    SandFilter.png
    762.7 KB · Views: 18
  • SkimmerAndReturn.png
    SkimmerAndReturn.png
    232.3 KB · Views: 20

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
40,605
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Looks like you have the right idea, and very simple set-up which is nice for you. So as long as the ShopVac can push the volume or air required you should be okay. Having a second person is ideal so that they monitor the Shopvac while you get the plugs inserted once you feel you've achieved adequate blow-out of the lines. As for the skimmer, hopefully you have a Gizmo to insert. If not, you can also insert some cut-up pool noodles if you have any left over to help absorb water expansion if it occurs. If you have neither of those, perhaps a half-gallon or gallon milk jug. The filter shouldn't be a player while clearing the lines since you're pushing air from the union areas. But be sure to drain it really well and leave the MPV in the winter position which is essentially the same as putting it between two positions.
 

gdog2004

Well-known member
Jul 19, 2011
300
Lehigh Valley, PA
Looks like you have the right idea, and very simple set-up which is nice for you. So as long as the ShopVac can push the volume or air required you should be okay. Having a second person is ideal so that they monitor the Shopvac while you get the plugs inserted once you feel you've achieved adequate blow-out of the lines. As for the skimmer, hopefully you have a Gizmo to insert. If not, you can also insert some cut-up pool noodles if you have any left over to help absorb water expansion if it occurs. If you have neither of those, perhaps a half-gallon or gallon milk jug. The filter shouldn't be a player while clearing the lines since you're pushing air from the union areas. But be sure to drain it really well and leave the MPV in the winter position which is essentially the same as putting it between two positions.
Thank you both for the info. I watched a number of videos prior to asking my questions (including the 3 minute TFP one).
I didn't watch all of the 58 minute one MK posted because I was working against the daytime clock but I did get some info from it.
I was able to blow out the 2 returns and the skimmer down to a fine mist and had my 12 year old check to make sure there wasn't any real water coming back out. Once I blew out the returns, I capped them both and blew some air into them and neither one seemed to be leaking air (based on him feeling for air with the cap on) . I did put 2 gallons of RV antifreeze in there too so even if some water gets in I assume it wouldn't be a big deal.

I blew out the skimmer and put my gizmo in(tape around threads of gizmo too) , a cut up pool noodle and 2 gallons of RV antifreeze. I put some antifreeze in the skimmer box too. I used the winter caps on the returns and I put plumbers tape around the threads before screwing in. I think I should be good. The water is about 2 inches below the return line and I could drain more if needed. Tomorrow I will put on cover.
The only thing I may be a tad concerned about is water getting in the returns if it rains a LOT and there's a leak but I think it would be very miniscule if any.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Texas Splash

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
40,605
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Good job! :goodjob:

full
 
  • Like
Reactions: gdog2004

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
40,605
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
So do you think I need to be concerned about the returns at all ?
I do not. You blew them out well and capped them off, so they should be fine. Adding some RV juicer is icing on the cake. :goodjob:
 

Newdude

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
18,161
NY
if it rains a LOT
From this statement I’m assuming you have a mesh cover. You can expect about 3 ft of off season precipitation in the Northeast. It’s your choice if you’d rather drain a foot 3 times, or a few inches many times. But one way or the other, it has to come out.

With a solid cover you need to pump *that* instead of the pool itself. So, yeah. Expect to need to remove 3 ft of water on the average year. (y)
 

gdog2004

Well-known member
Jul 19, 2011
300
Lehigh Valley, PA
From this statement I’m assuming you have a mesh cover. You can expect about 3 ft of off season precipitation in the Northeast. It’s your choice if you’d rather drain a foot 3 times, or a few inches many times. But one way or the other, it has to come out.

With a solid cover you need to pump *that* instead of the pool itself. So, yeah. Expect to need to remove 3 ft of water on the average year. (y)
I have a pretty good pool pump and a 5/8 (may even be 3/4 I forgot) that moves the water out pretty well.
We did get hammered with snow last season and my pool did freeze over up to the skimmer. It was fine and all but there wasn't an opportunity to drain it. Last year though I was using a pump that is supposed to drain the water off a cover (very slow)...this year I have a submersible pump so I should be able to stay on top of it much better .
Do you guys use skimmer covers ?

Also...I do have a VINYL LINER---do I need to be concerned about keeping the water below the return lines ? Should I raise it back up ?
 

Newdude

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
18,161
NY
Also...I do have a VINYL LINER---do I need to be concerned about keeping the water below the return lines ? Should I raise it back up
Only if you have vinyl steps. They may wrinkle when exposed. Rain or ground water can get behind the liner and float it, leaving wrinkles / folds when it reseats itself.
Do you guys use skimmer covers ?
I tried on this year for the first time and it leaked like most of the reviews said. I used it anyway but also loaded the skimmer with cut up pool noodles.
Last season and my pool did freeze over up to the skimmer. It was fine and all but there wasn't an opportunity to drain it.
Try to time it just before the big freeze. That will usually get you through the frozen month or so.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gdog2004

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

MostlyCanuck

Bronze Supporter
Mar 19, 2021
172
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
From this statement I’m assuming you have a mesh cover. You can expect about 3 ft of off season precipitation in the Northeast. It’s your choice if you’d rather drain a foot 3 times, or a few inches many times. But one way or the other, it has to come out.

With a solid cover you need to pump *that* instead of the pool itself. So, yeah. Expect to need to remove 3 ft of water on the average year. (y)
what's your perspective on draining the excess precipitation / snow melt when the pool is frozen? I understand that excess water should be drained, as you suggest above, but I thought I also read that with a vinyl liner once the surface freezes you do not want to break/disturb the surface as the sharp ice can damage the liner... if so, how does one drain the pool without breaking/damaging a frozen water surface?
 

bmoreswim

TFP Expert
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Jul 16, 2012
7,136
Central MD
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Never drain water from a vinyl pool that is frozen. You have the correct idea on the broken ice potentially damaging the liner.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude
Thread Status
Hello , This is an inactive thread. Any new postings here are unlikely to be seen or responded to by other members. You will get much more visibility by Starting A New Thread