Closing difficulties with cartridge filter and pool level above equipment

MBRS3

In The Industry
Oct 3, 2019
8
Fort Lauderdale, FL
I did some more reading and it looks like some are modifying a spare pump cover and connecting the Cyclone there. That seems like it might be the easiest method in my scenario because the waterfall pump drains are right next to some plumbing and there's no way I could get anything to thread in there. Even the drain plugs are hard to get back in.

The question is, when I connected my leaf blower (454 CFM) to the drain port on the cartridge filter, why didn't I get any bubbles anywhere? From my reading the Cyclone is only 140 CFM so I should've definitely seen the air go somewhere.
I'm a bit late here, but I figured I'd answer just in case you or others were still wondering about the answer to this question! The most important factor when winterizing your pool is the pressure of the blower/compressor. Having a high CFM is good, but it only matters if the blower can make enough pressure to clear out the lines in the first place. Most blowers are rated in terms of "H2O, or inches of water height, rather than PSI. The conversion rate between the two is about 27.5 "H2O = 1.0 PSI.

The way you calculate your total water height is the vertical distance between the water level and the lowest point in the plumbing. A few other factors go into this calculation such as number of 90's and length of run, but they usually don't account for that much of the total amount. Let's say your pool is 8 ft. deep and the plumbing for the main drain goes 2 feet deeper than that, your total water height will come out to a little over 10 feet or 120" H2O. While the Cyclone is only rated at 140 CFM, it is also rated at 180" H2O. So as long as your blower is rated for a more "H2O than the water height for your main drain comes out to, then it will be capable of clearing the main drain (given you also have adequate CFM).

Now here's where CFM plays a role. Of course any air compressor can make over 6 PSI ( 165" H2O), but their CFM values are extremely low. Most regular air compressors won't even make over 25 CFM at open flow, no less under pressure. If you have adequate pressure but not enough CFM, it will either take a very long time or it will be impossible for you to clear out the line. You need a mix between adequate pressure as well as high CFM in order to make the job quick and efficient. Usually blowers with very high CFM tend to make very little pressure, and compressors that can make a lot of pressure tend to have very low CFM.

I hope this helps you understand why some things work and others don't when it comes to winterizing your pool!
 
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Captchaos

Bronze Supporter
Jul 18, 2017
279
Maryland
Here are some better pictures of the “snorkel” set up. I let them sit for a week to see if they leaked and if they did, it was such little water that it doesn’t matter. I did pour a bunch of antifreeze in there anyway for good measure. I appreciate all the responses, I’m going to roll this dice this year as we don’t often get extended temps where the pool freezes much and just check them occasionally.




 

Captchaos

Bronze Supporter
Jul 18, 2017
279
Maryland
I'm a bit late here, but I figured I'd answer just in case you or others were still wondering about the answer to this question! The most important factor when winterizing your pool is the pressure of the blower/compressor. Having a high CFM is good, but it only matters if the blower can make enough pressure to clear out the lines in the first place. Most blowers are rated in terms of "H2O, or inches of water height, rather than PSI. The conversion rate between the two is about 27.5 "H2O = 1.0 PSI.

The way you calculate your total water height is the vertical distance between the water level and the lowest point in the plumbing. A few other factors go into this calculation such as number of 90's and length of run, but they usually don't account for that much of the total amount. Let's say your pool is 8 ft. deep and the plumbing for the main drain goes 2 feet deeper than that, your total water height will come out to a little over 10 feet or 120" H2O. While the Cyclone is only rated at 140 CFM, it is also rated at 180" H2O. So as long as your blower is rated for a more "H2O than the water height for your main drain comes out to, then it will be capable of clearing the main drain (given you also have adequate CFM).

Now here's where CFM plays a role. Of course any air compressor can make over 6 PSI ( 165" H2O), but their CFM values are extremely low. Most regular air compressors won't even make over 25 CFM at open flow, no less under pressure. If you have adequate pressure but not enough CFM, it will either take a very long time or it will be impossible for you to clear out the line. You need a mix between adequate pressure as well as high CFM in order to make the job quick and efficient. Usually blowers with very high CFM tend to make very little pressure, and compressors that can make a lot of pressure tend to have very low CFM.

I hope this helps you understand why some things work and others don't when it comes to winterizing your pool!
Thank you, that does help a lot. After this experience I don’t see how I could’ve been confident that anything besides the Cyclone would do the job on my pool. It did one heck of a job on my main drains and even still, only one of them would bubble most of the time (and it was like an angry volcano!). Also when I had multiple wall returns or more than one feed pipe from the pad, pressure was obviously greatly diminished, but still more than sufficient to clear the water. But when I switched over to the waterfall side and valved off the actual waterfall and used only the pool wall bypass return on the same line, the water must’ve shot up a good 15 feet in the air.

I could have saved a lot of time if I had 1) bought the Cyclone from the get go 2) bought the parts to make a pump lid with a hose barb on it and 3) the labels the builder put in the pipes didn’t wear off.
In the end I did all of those things so I will have a much easier time next year.
 

Captchaos

Bronze Supporter
Jul 18, 2017
279
Maryland
The other thing I liked about the Cyclone was that it is purpose built for this so I was not concerned with overloading it. It would also change sounds so I knew when the pipes were clearing.
I also thought I found another use for it, but in case anyone is wondering, no it doesn’t work well for clearing your dryer vent and will blow it apart. Ask me how I know. 😂
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,172
NY
I also thought I found another use for it, but in case anyone is wondering, no it doesn’t work well for clearing your dryer vent and will blow it apart. Ask me how I know. 😂
Thanks for the lazy Sunday morning laugh. HD/Lowes sell a dryer vent tool just for that and they work well. And its a tad cheaper than the cyclone.

 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
486
Spring Valley, NY
Here are some better pictures of the “snorkel” set up. I let them sit for a week to see if they leaked and if they did, it was such little water that it doesn’t matter. I did pour a bunch of antifreeze in there anyway for good measure. I appreciate all the responses, I’m going to roll this dice this year as we don’t often get extended temps where the pool freezes much and just check them occasionally.




I find it hard to believe that just as you come to a perfect 90° you have a water tight seal. I'm not sure I would chance this after all you did say it may have let some water through. You have a mighty long winter ahead and no idea how much leaks through. Well you may be sorry come spring and there are cracked pipes. As I mentioned fitting wise to come out with a piece of pipe after the thread and use a union in the horizontal position. On the other side of the union you have the 90° so after the thread is absolutely water tight to the utmost in the return with no chance of water seepage you would orient the 90°fitting upwards as you tighten the union. With this configuration you don't stand the chance of under tightening the return fitting and still are in full control the 90°ends up.
 
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Captchaos

Bronze Supporter
Jul 18, 2017
279
Maryland
Agreed, not all are a perfect 90 and I tested by capping them and using air pressure. One did leak but it was at the vertical threads, not elbow. I was able to tighten it and stop the leak. I did also use Teflon plumber’s tape as well.

The elbows are quite tight so I don’t think there will be an issue. That being said, I’ll probably use those duck valves next year and skip the antifreeze. I can’t think of a reasonable way to get antifreeze in the wall returns without lowering the water (which would then lead to my tanning ledge being completely above the water line and that caused lots of issues last year).
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
486
Spring Valley, NY
You probably can still get the antifreeze in from the same place you put in the air when you're using duck plugs. Also now all that is rigid pipe, do you have clearance to unscrew the whole contraption without it hitting on something.