having pool techs close pool

sdtfp

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2020
37
NYC
I am having the pool closed by pool techs as im not comfortable with that yet. They did it last year but I didn't know as much then as now so I didn't catch all they did. Some things I noticed:

They remove the pump and I stored it inside the garage. Why don't I see any youtube videos about closing mention that?
They place a full bottle of anti freeze on the skimmer. I guess this works as a gizmo and if water freezes, anti freeze will pour out?
The water level is lowered to about 12 inches below the tile line. I don't think it was below the returns.
They clean out the DE filter by hand. I don't remember seeing any dirt, so I don't know where the DE goes.
They do it all in a couple of hours.
I don't remember how they blow out lines. I guess it must have been an air compressor. I will be paying attention to how they get the air lock on the main drain.
I think they use a portable pump to lower the water. I will take note if they do that or use the main drain connection at the skimmer.

One thing I wanted to know is whether I should set pool to shock level before they come? I don't know what they do with the chemistry at closing. It was clear in the spring, so whatever they did worked. But I am guessing they use shock granules and I want to avoid adding any CYA as mine is high, so should I shock myself? Also, if they shock that same day they turn off the pool, how will the chlorine circulate? Which leads me to want to shock the day before they arrive. But I don't know if they use algecide so i am hesitant.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Some things to help answer your questions:
- Not everyone brings their pump inside. Some remove the drain plug(s), pot lid, and/or maybe cover it leaving it in place attached to the pad. Just depends.
- The bottle in the skimmer was probably empty to allow for expansion if the water in the skimmer froze. Some use an empty milk jug or cut-up pool noodles for the same purpose.
- The water level could depend on the cover. After all, some covers need to rest on the water below for support if there's heavy snow or ice accumulations.
- The old DE should be collected and discarded carefully. It can be hazardous to people or pets if ingested.
- To blow out air, they probably had a compressor like a "Cyclone" or something similar. Very efficient.
- To lower the water level, they can pump to WASTE if your filter has a multiport vale, or they will drop a sump pump in the pool.
- Ideally, we recommend increasing the water to SLAM level a couple day s before closing to ensure excessive organics are killed. Some will also add an algaecide (Polyquat 60) as insurance. Poly 60 is fine because it contains NO copper.

Hope that helps.

 

sdtfp

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2020
37
NYC
thanks for the info!


The guys just did the close and the following is what I learned. They've been doing this pool for like 20+ years so I assume this works.


1. They drain the pool. They use a gas powered pump and like a 3 or 4 inch hose to drain the water over 100 ft to the end of driveway. I wonder if I can do this just with the manual vacuum connected to the pump?? Not sure how I would get the output to the street. Obviously I need to buy a long hose. But I am guessing I can tap into the waste exit. But that means I am pumping water to DE filter and then to the separation tank. That means I'll have to remove the DE filter (to increase pumping power) and close the filter enclosure prior to pumping out water. Or can I bypass de filter through waste or recirculate setting?

-- I need to buy a hose and learn if I can use manual vacuum for this

1a. They didn't vacuum or brush the pool. I assume they didnt vacuum because I had vacuumed yesterday and the pool looks clean. I'm not sure if they should have brushed. Probably not since the pump will be off after they leave. Anyhow, I had brushed walls and floor yesterday and left pump running over night.

1b. the pool pump was pretty straight forward. Before anything is done, disconnect input, output and both drain valves. The pump does not participate in anything. But I do want to use it for removing water through manual, so I will need to consider that. That is why this step is under the drain pool step.

2. For blowing out all the lines they put the multiport on recirculate and they had a 3 hp cyclone for blowing out the lines.

-- (reminders)I need to buy one of these as my shop vac is a 9 gal and I dont think it will be strong enough.

?(questions) Will it also work for blowing out sprinkler lines?? If so, I can buy this year.

2.a. they started emptying the lines by blowing out the skimmer/drain. Both skimmer and main drain are on the same line. They have a two tier plug. They did this without me seeing it so I had them explain it. First they put air into the only line through the 2"? pvc connection that was connected to the pump input. After air blows the water out of the skimmer, they use the first tier plug to close the skimmer and force the air out of main drain. After the water is all out of the main drain, they push the plug down so that the first tier closes the main drain and the second tier plugs the skimmer. So now the line between main drain and below skimmer is closed so that is air locked. And one side of line between skimmer and pump is closed. They say this kind of setup was done by a company called "silver". Sounded like its common to that manufacturer. Also, noticed that the second hole on bottom of skimmer for what is usually the main drain is permanently plugged. Not with an actual plug, but with plastic/pvc material similar to the skimmer walls. Finally, where the compressor was plugged in, that gets a plug. So now the line between skimmer and pump is closed on both sides. No antifreeze was added.

-- I need to buy this type of two tier plug for skimmer/drain. Hope its standard size because I don't know how far apart the plugs are. I need to look for videos on this special skimmer line/two tier plug as I've watched many closing videos and none mentioned it.

?Does this mean there is a T below the skimmer, one side fed by pump line and the other two ends, one goes to skimmer and one goes to main drain. So does that mean the main drain is always feeding pump? How does this impact skimming? I walys thought my skimmer was a bit weak since I always see debris on the surface of pool. But that may just be normal as debris is a constant thing... dont know. But I wonder if their a long plug that would only plug the main drain and not the skimmer so I have stronger skimming or better manual vacuuming.

-- I will need to connect the cyclone to this pvc pipe, so I will need a fitting of some sort. didn't notice what they used.

? When I do this should I add antifreeze in the line between skimmer and pump?

2.b Next they blow out the returns. There are three returns holes in the pool. There is one main line with no way to open/close (except through multiport I guess?) and one small line with a valve for the sprinkler/water feature. The valve for sprinkler feature does not get touched. The water line does not drop below the two lower returns. But it does drop below the third (sprinkler) return line. To blow the all out, they attach the compressor to the pvc pipe that is normally attached to the pump output. Multiport is in recirculate. I don't remember if filter was back in or not. I am guessing not. I believe the separation tank jandy valve was still closed on inlet. Then they plug the return holes on the pool and turn off the compressor quickly. At some point they removed the looking glass. I missed that. They do not plug the pvc line where the pump output would be/where they used to put air in.

? Did they ignore the separation tank or let it drain or push air? But maybe they opened it quickly to put air through the separation tank. Or maybe they just ignored the separation tank. Or maybe they opened waste line to let separation tank drain, so separation tank is not part of blowing out returns process.

? Does recirculate bypass the filter?

?when to remove looking glass?

? Does the multiport handle closing the return line on this side?

-- I want to buy new plugs for everything, I need to get sizes

3. The filter was opened by first openning the drain port at the bottom. I think he also must of opened the gauge at some point. Then undoing the belt. Once open, they clean the edges/lip that closes to get rid of any sediment. And they rinse the o ring. They don't use any pool lube because they said it will mess things up over time. They pointed to the pvc pipe that connects the DE filter as it looked black and said someone had been putting pool lube on that. They bring filter to end of driveway and hose it down. Oh and at first they take out the DE filter and hose it down at the end of the driveway so that all the DE goes to the street drain.

-- I'll try not to use pool lube on things to see if that works well. One thing I do want to put pool lube on is the pump as it usually has a little air inside. I can find out if they do that if I have them open the pool.

-- all parts get put into the pump basket so it wont get lost.

-- They didnt take the DE filter apart. Wonder if they do that on open or if maybe they just dont do it at all. I will need to figure out when it is efficient for me to do it.

4. For chemicals they used a kit.

4.a scorch plus - 2lbs - potassium monopersulfate

--I was expecting them to super chlorinate so now I have no idea how this works

--when I start doing this, I will just shock with liquid chlorine I think

4.b eastern leisure winter algecide - 1 gallon- copper trethanolamine complex .59%

-- Going forward, I won't use this since it includes copper and I heard that is bad. But maybe use polyquat as was suggested before.

4.c eastern leisure winter metal out plus - 1 quart - TBD ingredients.

? what does the metal out plus do... control the copper from algecide? Make it so you dont need to mix in these chemicals with filter or brushing?

?They didn't mix anything in, just spread it around the pool. Actually i'm not sure I remember how they put the scorch plus in since that is a powder. They didn't have any buckets so i am guessing just dropped it in. Should I have asked them to broom it in? Or should I do it myself now after the fact?

? Do any of these have CYA? My CYA is high so I need to worry about that

? Should I test the water tommorrow to check the chemicals? Without the pump being on, I dont know how fast the chemicals would mix in.

3.d They wanted to leave in two floaters with 3 tablets each of clorox. I told them no and that I will do liquid chlorine over the off season. They didn't seem to believe I could handle it. Neither do i lol

? I dont understand the scorch plus. Do I need to test for that over the winter? Or do I just need to keep the chlorine level normal? And do I need to do it all the time or just until the first freeze/snowfall? My gut says that I should just keep normal chlorine level until the first freeze which will be around end of November. And I will take note of how much liquid chlorine I am using. So lets say im using 8 oz a week until the first freeze. Then after that I dont need to test chlorine anymore, just add 8 ounces every week? Of course, this is just a random number, it maybe 8 ounces a month. But how do I add the chlorine. Can I just remove the cover at one corner and put it all there or do I need to spread it?

5. To wrap up, they turned off the all the breakers. They leave the multiport between close and waste. I think this basically leaves the waste line semi open to let in air. After the fact I had them remove the pressure gauge from the filter so I can store it. They also put a full gallon of antifreeze in the skimmer. Not pour it in, just put it there. The skimmer basket is removed and stored. There is still a little bit of water in the skimmer. And finally, put the cover on.

? Should I remove water in skimmer or pour some of the antifreeze on it? They did the same thing last year and from what I can tell it worked out.

So besides all those questions...
1. Do I feel confident enough to open next season? probably not since I learned a lot from watching them close. Wondering what kind of chemicals they use for opening and whether there will be any surprises :/
2. Do I feel confident enough to close next season? probably not since I have so many questions, but hopefully they will get answered now or next season
3. I am going to drain more of the water when the pool gets open so I can reduce CYA.
 

sdtfp

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2020
37
NYC
I forgot to add a picture and one more thing:

6. The chlorinator was removed and one of the lines was used to plug the two holes in the pvc. I am concerned that breaks the air lock in the return line. I believe the returns line is air locked by the plugs in the pool and the multiport on other end. But the chlorinator line use is bypassing the multiport so air can freely enter the chlorinator line. Is this a concern? The chlorinator is new this year so I don't know if the tech realized what they did. Should I buy a plug for those chlorinator "holes"? IS the air lock on return line lost?
IMG_20200924_1455002.jpg
 

sdtfp

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2020
37
NYC
My biggest concern right now is that I opted out of the chlorine tabs. How do I keep my pool chlorinated over the off-season when just using liquid bleach?
Is the non chlorined shock they added enough? They wanted to put 6 pucks in so obviously they think I need chlorine. So how do I add liquid chlorine with the filter off?
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,471
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Do not worry about adding chlorine during the off season. If you followed the closing procedures, you should have no issues. Open the pool early (real early). If you are really concerned, purchase very inexpensive tarps, cover the pool for the few months until it gets real cold. This will keep the sunlight out of the pool until the water is cold enough so algae can not start growing. You can purchase 4 tarps and space them a little bit apart to have water drain into the pool (again assuming mesh cover).

I am guessing with Poly 60, you are good for 6-8 weeks, just in time for the cold water.
 
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sdtfp

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2020
37
NYC
Do not worry about adding chlorine during the off season. If you followed the closing procedures, you should have no issues. Open the pool early (real early). If you are really concerned, purchase very inexpensive tarps, cover the pool for the few months until it gets real cold. This will keep the sunlight out of the pool until the water is cold enough so algae can not start growing. You can purchase 4 tarps and space them a little bit apart to have water drain into the pool (again assuming mesh cover).

I am guessing with Poly 60, you are good for 6-8 weeks, just in time for the cold water.
What is poly 60? The chemicals they added are on my post above:

4. For chemicals they used a kit.

4.a scorch plus - 2lbs - potassium monopersulfate

--I was expecting them to super chlorinate so now I have no idea how this works

--when I start doing this, I will just shock with liquid chlorine I think

4.b eastern leisure winter algecide - 1 gallon- copper trethanolamine complex .59%

-- Going forward, I won't use this since it includes copper and I heard that is bad. But maybe use polyquat as was suggested before.

4.c eastern leisure winter metal out plus - 1 quart - TBD ingredients.

? what does the metal out plus do... control the copper from algecide? Make it so you dont need to mix in these chemicals with filter or brushing?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Polyquat 60 is a non-copper based algaecide. Conversely, the techs you hired dumped a gallon of copper-based stuff in there. Not good. Copper doesn't leave the water and can potentially cause staining that is very difficult to remove. t also sounds as though they didn't increase the FC to an appropriate closing level. Here's the irony ...... they had to add metal-Out because of the copper algaecide they dumped. How's that for pool care? I know, frustrating right? Well, maybe next year we can help you through it on your own. For future reference, below is our closing page if you haven't seen it already.

 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,471
Monmouth County, New Jersey
I hired the pool company to close my pool the first year. They threw in (not even a gallon of the copper algaecide), maybe less than 16 oz., and left the bottle there as there was nothing left. The price was exactly $5 to purchase the algaecide (luckily they had none). Watched what they did, took some mental notes, and created my own plan. Have been closing my pool ever since and helping others. Look at my sticky in the closing section. It is very easy to close a pool.

Develop a game plan, write it down and do a test run in the spring/summer before you close the pool. Of course, skip the Poly 60 or SLAM level, whichever path you choose. Just so you get a hang of using air to move water. Good luck!
 
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sdtfp

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2020
37
NYC
Thanks, I definitely wasn't ready to close it myself this year!

But what do I do about the lack of FC? Should I put in a floater with tabs?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
If you add chlorine to the water now, it will degrade the Poly 60 and defeat the purpose of using it. As "CAT" noted above, just leave it for now and hope that the water temp drops soon. The cold water is your friend. Later in the winter you can always add some chlorine and manually mix it around if you have a mild winter and have access to the water. Make sure to open as early as you can next spring though.
 

sdtfp

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2020
37
NYC
thanks I'll do that. I'll check it periodically and hope it stays clear. If its bad in like late december ill consider adding some chlorine and mixing it in. Then in the spring, open early and if its green .. I'll SLAM it. One questions I had about cleaning a green pool... how often do you clean the DE filter? I guess if I see the pressure go up by around 10 psi then I should be cleaning it. But whats an average number of times? I'm hoping one time as its a labor intensive kind of thing.

The pool already has a lot of stains. I guess years of doing the same stupid thing over and over. I thought it was from worms or something. Think the pool tech mentioned that or maybe he said because its old pool.
 

sdtfp

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2020
37
NYC
I checked today since its unseasonably warm and the FC is at 0!!! Is it time to mix in some liquid chlorine? Overnight temps are in the upper 40s. And day temps are low 70s/upper 60s.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,471
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Once you add the chlorine, let it go for the winter/early spring. Do you have a mesh cover? If you open up early, you will be surprised how quickly the SLAM will go. You may also want to add regular tarps over the cover (if mesh) to block the sunlight!
 
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