Closing from the pump with compressor - need help on a few items please.

Shaf77

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2010
238
Toronto, ON. Canada
Hello!

I have closed my pool for the last 5 years, but for some reason i'm drawing a blank today and really need a sanity check.

I have an inground vinyl pool.
1 main drain
1 skimmer
2 main returns (shallow end and deep end)
2 returns at the steps on either side
1 return for the waterfall

There are three return valves at the pad (one for the 2 main returns, one for the 2 returns at the steps and 1 return for the waterfall).
As for the suction side, both the main drain and skimmer come to a jandy valve then to the pump.

I usually connect my compressor to the pump drain.
I set my filter to recirculate.
I keep all three returns closed to start with.
I kept the suction valve closed (I assume it closes both the skimmer and drain suction)

When I run the compressor - I get air coming out from the skimmer... Why?? If I have the suction valves closed and the returns closed, should I not be blowing out anything at all??

So.. I thought maybe I needed to plug the skimmer first? I thought skimmer was done last.. Please help me rationalize this.

Thanks!!
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,401
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Shaf:

The best thing to do is to isolate the suction and return side with winter plugs. Plug the return side and work on the suction side. Then plug the suction side and work on the return side. No air will get to either side as you have closed off at the pump basket. I work with the Cyclone and a modified cover and I can leave everything open and the air will go to the path of least resistance, but also decide to work this way.

Or you can use the shut off valves to close off the air traveling towards the skimmers & main drain, but the winter plugs work best. No need to over tighten either, just snug as they are going no where. Good luck and keep us posted!
 

Shaf77

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2010
238
Toronto, ON. Canada
Shaf:

The best thing to do is to isolate the suction and return side with winter plugs. Plug the return side and work on the suction side. Then plug the suction side and work on the return side. No air will get to either side as you have closed off at the pump basket. I work with the Cyclone and a modified cover and I can leave everything open and the air will go to the path of least resistance, but also decide to work this way.

Or you can use the shut off valves to close off the air traveling towards the skimmers & main drain, but the winter plugs work best. No need to over tighten either, just snug as they are going no where. Good luck and keep us posted!
Thank you. That's what I was trying to do. Close off the vave that goes to the suction side, but even with that closed, all returns also closed, air was still getting to the skimmer! That's what's really confusing me...

If I were to try and plug the suction side, where do I plug it? Inside the pump?
 

Shaf77

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2010
238
Toronto, ON. Canada
Here's a pic of how I usually start. Compressor connected to the pump drain and the suction side valve set to "closed". Do it look right or am I confused? When I have it the way it is in the pic, with all returns also closed, air blows out of the skimmer?
 

Attachments

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,401
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Remove the lid and inside you will have the ports where the plumbing is attached, both suction and the return side. The suction (Main Drain and Skimmers are toward the shut off valve). The back is the return side. The plugs that will fit are either #8, #9, #10 or # 11. I have 2" plumbing so I use # 10 and # 11. Just plug the port inside the housing. Only plug the side you want air NOT to travel. Thanks!
 

Shaf77

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2010
238
Toronto, ON. Canada
Thank you so much for that! It will make closing so much easier! I really really appreciate your help.

A few more questions please.

1. What makes sense logically.. Do the returns first or the suction first?
2. When doing the suction, after the skimmer is done and I plug it with a gizmo, I just let the air blow through the main drain.. Then how do I end it?
3. When do I blow out the gas heater, filter and pump?
4. When everything is done, leave all the valves in open or closed position?

Thanks again!!
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,401
Monmouth County, New Jersey
It does not make any difference which one you do first. Just isolate as mentioned previously.

The main drain should be air locked with the shut off valve and an air compressor shut off immediately. Shut off main drain to clear skimmers. When done, close skimmers with valve and clear main drain. After bubbling, then shut off main drain and then you will shut off the compressor not to create back pressure.

Automatically air removes water through pump, filter and gas heater back to the returns. Considering the air volume through the compressor lasts at least 3-6 minutes, once bubbles come out in the returns, you have cleared everything sufficiently. Of course, you should remove all drain plugs.

Leaves shut off valves as is, except the main drain on closed "air locked". MPV between 2 settings.

Please read my closing thread!

Concept of closing an IG Swimming Pool
The concept of closing an in ground swimming pool