Closing pool, cannot figure out how to blow out the returns

Parlett316

Member
Sep 27, 2020
11
Maryland
Second year with this pool, I was able to close it last year but right now I'm not having any luck blowing out any water to the returns.

Steps taken, drained DE Filter, released pressure, removed fitting from propane heater and turned off valve. Lowered water below two of the three returns and the cleaner line.

Ran my pancake aircompressor to tackle the skimmers first, while using my shop vac to pull water. Probably emptied three full shop vacs of water out. Poured in pool antifreeze and installed gizmos.

When trying to do the returns i'm not seeing any water coming out. Pressure from the compressor drops (it did this too during the skimmer run) an even with everything plugged im not seeing any water or feeling any air come out of the returns or the cleaner lines.

Is there something i'm not closing during this? I tried to blow air out of the main drain to do an air lock but nothing is happening with that either.

This is a picture of the plumbing when in normal operation.

thumbnail_Deep End.jpg
 
Last edited:

Parlett316

Member
Sep 27, 2020
11
Maryland
I’ll get a better pic tonight. Not sure about the multiport valve, is that the one where people have to change from waste and recirculate? I do not have one of those.
Now I’m thinking my air pressure maybe screwed is because I drained the de filter and took the bottom cap off. Should I put the bottom cap back on and try again or is that something I shouldn’t do since it’s drained ?
 

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Parlett316

Member
Sep 27, 2020
11
Maryland
Need to see complete pics of your equipment pad.
Closed the de filter and the furnace and ran the air compressor. No water came out of any of the returns or skimmers. I stopped when I saw the de filter pressure building.
I’m just guessing that the water is out of the skimmers and returns but I’m not sure how I can tell for certain.
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,667
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
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Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
That makes no sense. You can’t easily blow air through DE filer grids.

Disconnect the unions at the in and out of the filter. Blow into the out line to blow out the heater.

Remove the drain plugs in the pump, filter , and heater.
 

Parlett316

Member
Sep 27, 2020
11
Maryland
That makes no sense. You can’t easily blow air through DE filer grids.

Disconnect the unions at the in and out of the filter. Blow into the out line to blow out the heater.

Remove the drain plugs in the pump, filter , and heater.
So right now, when I have the air compressor running with the de filter empty, the pressure gauge starts going up. Is that ok?
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
29,667
Northern NJ
Pool Size
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
So right now, when I have the air compressor running with the de filter empty, the pressure gauge starts going up. Is that ok?

What is the MPV set to?

Crack open unions on the heater. You getting air flow through the heater?
 

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Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,497
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Parlett:

Why does it appear that all your suction and return lines are on the same side? What am I missing? Take like 5-6 pictures of everything and then we can go from here. The Blow Thru Plugs work really well, and you can isolate the suction and return sides, lower the water below the skimmers and use the plugs, a shop vac, etc. You can suction water out of skimmer lines with a vac while clearing out from the equipment pad. You could have an issue with the pump housing because they are always not perfectly round to place a plug in there. You can use a pancake compressor with an NPT fitting, but again, you should close and isolate each section.

Please post more pictures so we can see what we are working with.
 

Parlett316

Member
Sep 27, 2020
11
Maryland
Here are the requested pics. I have a pancake compressor with the fitting.
 

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ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
29,667
Northern NJ
Pool Size
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There is air flow through the heater and de filter.

If you have air flow then you are blowing water out. Your compressor has too high an air pressure which is spiking the filter PSI. For a pool blowout you want air volume not high pressure.
 

PoolStored

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Jun 24, 2021
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Ashtabula, OH
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I did a test run with a high volume (27 gallon) compressor. Didn't have enough VOLUME, even when lowered pressure to 15psi, to blow out my lines. With a pancake compressor, you may not get sufficient volume to blow the lines out, particularly if you have a main drain. I too went with the Cyclone, and did a retest. Took me about 15 minutes to blow out the lines and it worked GREAT!

For the ~$300 bucks, it pays for itself year one (not using the PS to do it). De-hassling the process (using cyclone vs. compressor) was worth it alone. Even the entertainment value of that thing blowing water out everywhere was worth the investment.

There are people that do it with a pancake. Their situation may be different than yours (no main drain?). Blowout with small compressor
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,497
Monmouth County, New Jersey
I contracted a local company to blow out the lines this year, I will look into the Cyclone. Thanks for the responses.
Watch them closely. Even try to videotape the closing (quietly). Then create a game plan on how to do this next year. Quite honestly, you will need a Cyclone given your plumbing design. Invest in another cover, and create the modifications. Good luck and keep us posted!
 
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