How much power does a shop vac need for closing?

Opus4

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 24, 2009
47
Central NJ
I thought I had seen some recommendations about shop vacs last fall, regarding how powerful the shop vac needed to be to blow out the lines when closing, but my searches aren't finding many details.

In preparation for closing my AG pool (much later) this fall, I thought about watching for a sale & getting this 6.5 HP vac at Home Depot.

At Costo today, I saw something they list as "SHOP VAC 12G 4.5HP WET/DRY VAC W / DETACHABLE BLOWER", but it isn't available online so I can't provide a link to details.

I only have 1 skimmer & 1 return line, along with solar panels to blow out -- no drain other than the skimmer, though both lines are about 12" underground for about 10 feet.

Are there any recommendations as to what power specs to look for? Thanks.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
22,963
SouthWest Alabama
The spec you need to know isn't listed in any literature. Pressure developed is what you need to know and that isn't listed by any shop vacs/blowers.
 

Heckpools

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 8, 2009
318
New Jersey shore
Id use a compresser if possible. The small pancake compressers sold at walmart will work just fine.
You can thread the air fitting right into the spot for the drain plug on the pump.
Throw the filter on REC.( if you have a sand filter,) and it will blow out your pump, skimmer, return and solar panels.

Are the solar panels mounted on the roof of your house? Shop vac may not be strong enough.

The Company i worked for before i went out on my own had an orange blower/liner vac made for winterizing pool plumbing and it couldnt even make the maindrains blow out 8ft down.
 

h2ctpdjl

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 12, 2008
251
Indiana
Opus4 said:
I thought I had seen some recommendations about shop vacs last fall, regarding how powerful the shop vac needed to be to blow out the lines when closing, but my searches aren't finding many details.

In preparation for closing my AG pool (much later) this fall, I thought about watching for a sale & getting this 6.5 HP vac at Home Depot.

At Costo today, I saw something they list as "SHOP VAC 12G 4.5HP WET/DRY VAC W / DETACHABLE BLOWER", but it isn't available online so I can't provide a link to details.

I only have 1 skimmer & 1 return line, along with solar panels to blow out -- no drain other than the skimmer.

Are there any recommendations as to what power specs to look for? Thanks.


I bought the Rigid 5hp shop vac last year and it did a great job blowing out the lines for me.
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
Heckpools said:
Id use a compresser if possible. The small pancake compressers sold at walmart will work just fine.
You can thread the air fitting right into the spot for the drain plug on the pump.
Throw the filter on REC.( if you have a sand filter,) and it will blow out your pump, skimmer, return and solar panels.

.
This is actually the best advice I've seen for blowing out lines if you have a sand filter that you can put on RECIRCULATE. Done this way, a compressor will work (normally they have a tough time since they dont move a lot of air). This method basically uses a closed system and runs the air thru the closed up pump. This way, all the lines, both suction and returns, will blow air. Theres really no need to lower the water below the returns. Just let it bubble and screw the plug in while it bubbles. Just thow the multiport to backwash when you plug the last pipe in the pool so you dont blow the filter. i saw this method used on a Youtube video. works great.
 

Opus4

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 24, 2009
47
Central NJ
I've edited my question in the first post to indicate that while I don't have a main drain, both the skimmer/return lines are about 12" underground for about 10 feet. Unless the compressor blows a lot of air, wouldn't it leave a fair amount of water in the underground lines?

I've got a cartridge filter, btw.

I had someone close it for me last year & they just had a small blower, but I didn't pay attention to what it was, unfortunately.
 

PoolGuyNJ

TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
3,192
South Central NJ
The RINSE setting works better than B/W. Opening the filter's drain cap lets out even more.

Matt, That blower was worn out. I have the same one and can blow out a 12' drain easily.

Pancakes won't provide the volume needed for a long enough period. The ONLY time I use them is with Paramount floor systems and their special plugs.

Scott
 

Durk

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2007
654
New Jersey
bk406 said:
Heckpools said:
Id use a compresser if possible. The small pancake compressers sold at walmart will work just fine.
You can thread the air fitting right into the spot for the drain plug on the pump.
Throw the filter on REC.( if you have a sand filter,) and it will blow out your pump, skimmer, return and solar panels.

.
This is actually the best advice I've seen for blowing out lines if you have a sand filter that you can put on RECIRCULATE. Done this way, a compressor will work (normally they have a tough time since they dont move a lot of air). This method basically uses a closed system and runs the air thru the closed up pump. This way, all the lines, both suction and returns, will blow air. Theres really no need to lower the water below the returns. Just let it bubble and screw the plug in while it bubbles. Just thow the multiport to backwash when you plug the last pipe in the pool so you dont blow the filter. i saw this method used on a Youtube video. works great.
This is the way I have been closing mine since 2005. It is key to install a pressure regulator (or use the regulator on the unit) to reduce pressure to 15-20 psi. That is more than enough to blow the main drain, and shoot water in the skimmer 8 feet in the air, and allows the compressor to keep pace indefinitely. If you keep it at 90 psi., it empties the tank pretty quickly, and then the compressor can't keep up. My compressor, a 5hp 50gal. is actually in the basement, and, since I only have 100' of air hose and its 200' to the pool, I use good old garden hose at 20psi and attach it to a hose bibb I installed between the pump and the MPV. The hose bibb controls the air flow as I switch the valves around.
 

PoolGuyNJ

TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
3,192
South Central NJ
A 50 gallon compressor has the volume needed. A 2 gallon pancake doesn't.

Opus is quite correct the the pancake would likely leave plenty of water in the line. The compressor that fills the tank doesn't produce a large volume, it creates a lot of pressure, sort of like a Polaris booster pump.

Scott
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
I would just like to point out an electric leaf blower is likely to generator a lot more pressure and air flow than a wet/dry vac, and will likely be a lot cheaper algo.

Ike
 

Opus4

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 24, 2009
47
Central NJ
Hmmm ... well, I thought the answer would be more clear-cut than this. :)

What I like about the shop vacs I'm looking at is that they have detachable blowers, so they would be similar to leaf blowers while also being useful as a vac, when needed. I have no other current use for an air compressor & the larger ones look to be a lot more expensive than what I want to spend, at least for something I would use once a year.

I suppose I may just end up trying a vac/blower.
 

Heckpools

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 8, 2009
318
New Jersey shore
Scott, the orange blower was a 2hp, not the 3hp now sold at scp ect..

My brother winterizes most of the sprinkler systems for my pool customers, and uses nothing but a pancake compressor. I have a 3hp blower vac, made for pool closings and liner installs that also blows maindrains 12ft deep with no problem, yet it wouldnt even pop up the closest sprinkler head when we tried using it for a sprinkler job.

With the pankcake, he blows each zone twice... the first time gets out 90% of the water from each sprinkler head in that zone, then second round just spits some water and mist.

Im pretty sure this pool we are talking about is an above ground pool, with solar.

personally, id feel more comfortable with a compressor then a shopvac...

OR, you can buy yourself the type of blower i use for about $350. Then you can blowout all your neighbors pools for 75$ and make some extra cash on the side :goodjob:

i LOVE this little fella
http://www.nextag.com/Cyclone-3-Hp-Heav ... C3DDFFD28E
 

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