Help 1st time closing my pool

Bbellz

0
Jun 10, 2015
11
Blue Bell, PA
First off thanks for reading this and any advice you offer!

This is my first time winterizing my pool. My suction side setup is two skimmers and a main drain. The return side is three return lines feeding 4 return outlets in my pool. I have a DE filter, multiport valve, chlorinator (pucks) and a heater.

Here is my process please critique and ideally answer my questions listed below:

Suction

1. Lower pool water level 6" below tiles. This will be well below my skimmers but not below my returns as I have a solid cover and can't lower the water below the returns as the water needs to support the cover.

1.5. Put multiport in closed position to force air only through suction side.

2. Attached a 1/4 air compressor fitting to the suction / front side of the my Hayward SuperPump. Close the pump lid tightly and close both my skimmer valves and leave my main drain valve open. Turn on my compressor and blow out the main drain. Do this for a minute or so until I see a steady stream of bubbles. Then close the valve to airlock and shut off the compressor. Quickly shut off compressor as to not build too much pressure.

3. Leave the near skimmer valve open and the main drain and far skimmer valves closed. Turn on compressor and blow out all the water in the near skimmer. Suck out the excess out with a shop vac. Pour 1/2 gallon of RV/ Pool antifreeze in skimmer. Plug skimmer with expansion plug and add a weighted plastic pool chemical bottle to absorb the pressure from any ice that may form.

4. Report procedure #3 above with near skimmer and main drain closed and far skimmer valve open. Blow out line, add anti freeze, plug and put weighted plastic pool chemical bottle to absorb the pressure form any ice that may form.

Returns

5. Turn multiport valve to recirculate to force air through heater and returns.

6. Blow out each return line one by one with the other two return line valves closed. Plug each return line with an expansion plug after I see a constant stream of bubble. Shut compressor off as soon as I plug the return to not build up too much pressure in the return plumbing.

7. Remove heater drain plugs and run compressor to push any remaining water out.

8. Leave multiport valve in the i between setting. Mine does have a winterization setting.


Questions

1. What PSI is safe to run my air compressor at for my plumbing, heater and multiport?

1.5. Should I forget about the expansion plugs for the return and buy duct plugs? Seems easier but more likely to leak.

2. Do I leave all the suction and return valves in the closed position? If not which stay open and which closed? I'm positive the main drain is left in the closed position to air lock , but not sure about the others.

2.5. Am I doing anything incorrectly or in an incorrect order?

3. How much antifreeze should I be adding to each skimmer.

4. My pool guy has never drained the water below the returns so I assume what he does is blows out the lines then plugs quickly. The lines can't be 100% dry put likely dry enough to avoid enough water expanding and cracking the plumbing. Please confirm.

Thanks,
Bill
 

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anthonypool89

0
Gold Supporter
Aug 26, 2016
1,149
Berks County, PA
What PSI is safe to run my air compressor at for my plumbing, heater and multiport?
I can't speak to most of your questions cause your plumbing is much more complex than mine, but I also use a compressor and generally around 10 psi seems more than enough. Probably depends on the length of the piping. I've always been told that most of the liquid will come out of the lines before bubbles start to appear.

3. How much antifreeze should I be adding to each skimmer.
I have one skimmer and one return line (that branches into two separate pipes). I put one gallon in the skimmer line and another gallon in the return line. Where it goes from there, in terms of how much goes into each pipe, I have no idea.
I assume what he does is blows out the lines then plugs quickly. The lines can't be 100% dry put likely dry enough to avoid enough water expanding and cracking the plumbing. Please confirm.
That's what I do. Blow for a minute or two, lean over the coping and put the plugs in. I sometimes run into the situation where the first plug I do (after the 2nd one is done) has some bubbles that start coming in past the plug. In those cases, I pull both and start over. Something about the really sharp angle that the one pipe was cut at seems to make it difficult to seal the opening. I let the compressor run after doing both return lines and then do the skimmer / drain line. With all that air pressure now directed mostly to the skimmer line, if there are no bubbles still coming from either return plug, they're good to go.

Sounds like you've got it all figured out....hope all goes well! Even though this season was my 33rd closing I still worry about it every time till I'm done. Used to worry about the drain line but as soon as I'm done blowing and plugging that I remove all the water from the skimmer pot. If none starts to come back up, the line has to be air locked.
 
Last edited:

anthonypool89

0
Gold Supporter
Aug 26, 2016
1,149
Berks County, PA
How quickly do you shut the air compressor off after you put the return line plugs in?
I don't. As I mentioned, I just keep it running till I go over to the other end of the pool and blow the skimmer / drain line.
I’m assuming if you leave it running the pressure will pop the plug.
Nope. That has never happened. When those expansion plugs are tightened, they're in pretty good. I don't shut the compressor off till the double plug goes in the skimmer pot. Sort of takes two people. Once the bubbles appear for a minute or so from the drain, I push the plug in. At that point, since pressure WILL start to keep building up within the overall system, I give my wife the signal to turn off the compressor. The other thing I started doing is buying new plugs every season. The past few spring openings when I pull the skimmer plug there is still a good bit of pressure in the line that bubbles up. Can't ask for much more than that!
 

Bbellz

0
Jun 10, 2015
11
Blue Bell, PA
Thanks for the help.

Still have a question what position do I leave the suction and return valves in? I know the main drain valve gets shut off to air lock, but what about teh skimmer valves and return valves? Probably makes less of a difference as the skimmers and returns get plugged but still curious if there is a correct way to leave the valves. Thanks.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
40,092
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Thanks for the help.

Still have a question what position do I leave the suction and return valves in? I know the main drain valve gets shut off to air lock, but what about teh skimmer valves and return valves? Probably makes less of a difference as the skimmers and returns get plugged but still curious if there is a correct way to leave the valves. Thanks.
Air lock all the lines.

That helps if a plug leaks or pops out during the winter.
 
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