Question on blowing out lines

milesmol

Member
Sep 12, 2021
12
Philadelphia, PA 19046
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I am closing my pool in PA for the first time, and feel like I am missing something when blowing out the skimmer lines.

No matter how much air I push through the lines, the water level always comes back to the bottom of the skimmer (inside the skimmer box). I believe that this also roughly matches the water level left in the pool.

The return lines are all cleared and plugged now, so I there is no water between the filter and returns. Now still seeing water in the skimmer lines, and not knowing the exact layout of the plumbing from the skimmers / main drains has me nervous.

I attached a rough diagram of how the pool is set up, along with pictures of the equipment pad.

Thoughts or recommendations here?
 

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milesmol

Member
Sep 12, 2021
12
Philadelphia, PA 19046
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
There is only one opening in the skimmer... So I guess the setup is something like this:

1639330189082.png

How would I go about getting the air out of the lines in this case, if the main drain is connected to the same plumbing? Would just loading up the pipes with extra antifreeze be sufficient?
 

VTpc

In The Industry
Jan 1, 2021
7
Vermont
You could use antifreeze. Is there a shutoff in front of the pump? You could blow air from the pump into the line, plug the bottom of the skimmer while air is bubbling out, then turn the shutoff to airlock the floor drain.
 

milesmol

Member
Sep 12, 2021
12
Philadelphia, PA 19046
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
That makes sense - I can blow from the pump back into the lines - and just keep one skimmer/drain valve open (of the 3 in the picture) and follow your procedure for each. I'll give that a try and see how it goes.
 

milesmol

Member
Sep 12, 2021
12
Philadelphia, PA 19046
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Quick update on how this worked out.

I cleaned out the skimmers, and screwed in a Gizmo in each.
  1. Close all valves except the skimmer/drain valve I want
  2. Use the shop vac to blow until the main drain bubbled
  3. Stopped blowing and put some antifreeze in the line
  4. Blow until the main drain bubbles again
  5. Closed the Valve and added antifreeze to the skimmer and checked for air leaks
For the deep end, I don't think I had enough pressure to blow the lines out until it bubbled. However, after a test run, the water was definitely drained down from the bottom of the skimmer, so a good amount of water must have gone out (at least to get below the frost line here). So I followed the same procedure, just waiting 1-2 minutes instead of seeing bubbles, and added plenty of antifreeze into the line.

I feel pretty confident that it should be all good for the winter now (unless someone sees something I missed).
 

vtpools

In The Industry
Apr 26, 2019
84
VT
Generally you just need to airlock the drain lines; if you blow air through them and then stop, add antifreeze, and blow air through them again you're just wasting antifreeze. Doesn't surprise me that you weren't able to use a shopvac to clear the deep end drain, you need a compressor or a cyclone vac to do that.
 

Woody007

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
36
Midwest US
I really don't know much about this, but I try to learn by watching the shop do it. The thing I see them do, that I didn't see in your comments, was that they put the Gizmos in and then blew the air in through the top of the Gizmo. Water and air shot out the other skimmer/Gizmo and the bottom drain. The returns were blowing air as they capped them, but I don't recall if they moved a valve or not in that step.
Our pool is a liner so they don't really lower the water, if that matters.
Just my input from observations of what they do. Also, they have a powerful blower that really gets the water out..
 
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