Blowing Out the Pipes to Close my Pool

Mendy48

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2018
902
Midland, MI
So I just called my pool store to close out my pool and they want to charge me $145 to do this... just to blow out the pipes. Nothing else.

I mean, wouldn’t it make sense to just buy the compressor and do this myself? I often take care of everything else and have the pool store blow out the pipes. But now they are charging $145 for this?

Does anyone have and suggestions on what type of compressor to get?

Thanks. Appreciate your time with this question. I’m frustrated. With Covid-19, I’m on a strict budget.
 

DorsalSpine

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
714
Columbus, Ohio
You can do it with a compressor, a dedicated blower like a Cyclone or a big shop vac. All of these will cost you at least $145 unless you already own one of them. A small compressor may not push enough air volume to get the job done quickly. The $145 is pretty cheap compared to other prices I have seen. When my pool guys got up to $300 to close I paid them one last time to show me how to do it. I've opened and closed myself since then using a big shop vac. Closing the pool was all the excuse I needed to upgrade my shop vac anyway.

Take good notes, snap a couple of pictures and read the How To that's here on how to do it.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,601
NY
Shop vacs work surprisingly well because the exhaust port has an endless supply of air coming out, unlike a cheap compressor. Plus with the vac you can suck the remains after blowing the bulk of it out. For the cost of one years pool store blowout, you can buy a big shop vac if you don’t already have one. For the cost of 2- 2.5 years of pool store help you can buy a big enough compressor that like the shop vac will come in handy for other projects too.

I used my backpack leaf blower duct taped to the pipes and that worked great too.

I love the cyclone for its ability but I personally don’t like one use tools that cost $300-$400, but it is the ‘best’ if you’re into that. :)
 
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Darin

Well-known member
May 29, 2015
56
Muscatine/IA
I am located in the midwest and use a shop vac. Works very well. Then i use RV antifreeze, the -20 or -50 to fill the lines. I can tell it is when it is filled when the pink starts dribbling out the hole I get it at Mendards on sale for about $2.25 a gallon. It is cheap insurance ($30 easy on my mind) to know that my lines do not have water that will turn into ice.
The first years i used a air compressor, but shop vac deliver more volume which is what we need.

Good luck.
 
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DorsalSpine

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
714
Columbus, Ohio
Nice article. I'll consider that if I can find the fittings. The only downside I see is making sure you have the pressure dialed down low enough. You don't want to over pressure your lines.
 

Mendy48

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2018
902
Midland, MI
I am located in the midwest and use a shop vac. Works very well. Then i use RV antifreeze, the -20 or -50 to fill the lines. I can tell it is when it is filled when the pink starts dribbling out the hole I get it at Mendards on sale for about $2.25 a gallon. It is cheap insurance ($30 easy on my mind) to know that my lines do not have water that will turn into ice.
The first years i used a air compressor, but shop vac deliver more volume which is what we need.

Good luck.
What kind of shop vac do you use?
 

DorsalSpine

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
714
Columbus, Ohio
I have two. A Shop Vac brand and a Ridgid brand. They are in the 10 - 14 gallon size range. I'm not home to go look at them. I find the 1.5" hose size to be easier to use than the 2.0" size on the bigger vac.
 

Mendy48

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2018
902
Midland, MI
I have two. A Shop Vac brand and a Ridgid brand. They are in the 10 - 14 gallon size range. I'm not home to go look at them. I find the 1.5" hose size to be easier to use than the 2.0" size on the bigger vac.
So it’s a regular air compressor and not a cyclone air blower, which cost over $300?
 

anthonypool89

Gold Supporter
Aug 26, 2016
587
Berks County, PA
A small a/c is more than sufficient. 5-10 lbs pressure has always seemed to be enough, at least for my system. If you're seeing bubbles come out of a line, it's basically blown out. Water is forced out before the air comes through. Been closing the pool myself since '89 and for most of that did it with a 1 HP compressor. After that wore out, bought a new, slightly larger one. And, if you add antifreeze to the lines afterwards, really nothing to worry about.
 

anthonypool89

Gold Supporter
Aug 26, 2016
587
Berks County, PA
Are there dangers in using these ones in this discussion?
What is referred to in that thread is fine. Mine is one of the Porter Cable a/c mentioned. More than enough pressure. Really doesn't take that much. Even in the coldest winter conditions, I suspect, water in a drain line six feet or more down will never freeze. At most I've only seen a few inches of the pool water freeze. Actually, I don't think a main drain would ever really need to be blown out if there was a way of isolating the water from coming up and filling the rest of the system, i.e. skimmer lines, etc. But, that said, I'd never want to take the chance. With my old Anthony (double skimmer plug) system, the drain has to be blown out before the skimmer line is plugged anyway.
 

DorsalSpine

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
714
Columbus, Ohio
So it’s a regular air compressor and not a cyclone air blower, which cost over $300?
I use a regular shop vac like the one Darin linked to above. It's not an air compressor. It's also not a Cyclone air blower. Air compressors run power tools with compressed air and a shop vac is just an industrial size wet/dry vacuum cleaner. Shop Vac is a brand name for line of shop vacuums.

I change mine over from dry to wet (different filters) and both blow and suck the water out of the lines depending on which is the most convenient at the time. Either process can leave a little water in the line so I add anti-freeze as well.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,601
NY
Never thought in terms of sucking water out of the lines. Pretty cool idea.
After blowing I would shove a piece of garden hose as far down the line as I could twist and snake it at the low side. Then duct tape the garden hose the bigger shop vac hose and suck another couple of gallons out. It was overkill I’m sure but it only took a few minutes so it was good for piece of mind alone.

*and* then use antifreeze. Lol.
 
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mariane

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
1,096
Southeast Michigan
We have an AGP and use an air compressor with a fitting that fits the pipes. My husband is not home so sorry I can't tell you the specifics re: the air compressor and the fitting.
We remove the pipes above the unions at the skimmer and return. After lines are blown out we plug those pipes at the union and then put a cup on top to keep the water/ice off of it.
DSCN0332 resz.JPG
All the pipes connected to the pump and filter are removed. The back pipe to the heater stays out but is disconnected. After those lines are blown out, we cap the line that goes from the pool to the pump.
DSCN0329 resz.JPG