The concept of closing an in ground swimming pool

RobHudson

Member
Aug 25, 2020
24
Philadelphia, PA
I'm back. I blew from the pad with the cyclone. First the 2 wall skimmers, then put in antifreeze and gizmos. Blew out the main drain and air locked. Blew out the spa drain and air locked. For about 2 minutes after that, I heard an air hissing sound. I assume this means I have a leak somewhere?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? It stopped after about 2 minutes. I assume that means water had come into the line at that point.

I'm going to retry the main drain and spa drain. Not sure what I could be doing wrong, unless the seal on the valve is broken. I know that happened to one of the valves earlier in the year.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,471
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Go back into the pump housing and insert a black winter plug. Unfortunately, I have learned that the shut off valves are not 100% air tight, no matter what the manufacturer states. What kind of pump do you have?
 

RobHudson

Member
Aug 25, 2020
24
Philadelphia, PA
Go back into the pump housing and insert a black winter plug. Unfortunately, I have learned that the shut off valves are not 100% air tight, no matter what the manufacturer states. What kind of pump do you have?
Pentair Superflo VST

I tried the plug in the intake and put the cap back on from where I was blowing. I can still hear hissing.

I tried locking the spa then the main, and vice-versa to attempt to figure out where the hissing was coming from. Unfortunately, I can distinctly hear both hissing.

The only thing that didn't result in hissing is if I leave the 2 valves open and use the black winter plug and try to cap quickly. The problem there is that I can't blow out both the spa and main at once. So, if I do one and then the other, the one that is done first will leak air until I'm done with the 2nd.
 
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Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,471
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Please upload a picture of the areas in question. Spray solution of soapy water on the shut off valves to see if you have air bubbles. It may from the top of the valves, which would require the gasket replacement, and not on the inside. I was referring to the inside.

If air is not leaking from the top, and air passes the shut off area inside the valve, it can be plugged inside the pump basket if you have a nice round port. It could be the Pentair pump does not have a nice round opening. If so, you are in PA, so the frost line is not too bad. Then I would add antifreeze to the spa so the water does not freeze, and worry about main drain as there is room for expansion down below, which I doubt will get to 6-8 feet, depending on your depth.
 

RobHudson

Member
Aug 25, 2020
24
Philadelphia, PA
Please upload a picture of the areas in question. Spray solution of soapy water on the shut off valves to see if you have air bubbles. It may from the top of the valves, which would require the gasket replacement, and not on the inside. I was referring to the inside.

If air is not leaking from the top, and air passes the shut off area inside the valve, it can be plugged inside the pump basket if you have a nice round port. It could be the Pentair pump does not have a nice round opening. If so, you are in PA, so the frost line is not too bad. Then I would add antifreeze to the spa so the water does not freeze, and worry about main drain as there is room for expansion down below, which I doubt will get to 6-8 feet, depending on your depth.

I tried the soapy water. I was able to find a leak in the main drain in the handle in the space where the handle attaches. I took the handle apart and the seal is not broken. Not quite sure where to go from there. Duct it???

The setup is in the 2nd pic. To the left is where I'm blowing from. I have one of those extended plugs in the pentair pump, since it was easier to get in. You can kind of see it in the picture.

If I'm giving up on the air lock for the main drain, do I just leave that handle open for the winter? I assume yes as

If I'm putting anti-freeze in the spa line, the only way can I get it in there is to take off the jandy handle and stick the tube in, which I'm capable of. How much do I put in? Do I leave that handle open for the winter?
 

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gwtw

Well-known member
Apr 23, 2018
94
Kentucky
Sorry for the late response. The Poly 60 will eat away at the chlorine, and vice versa from what I understand. It is always best to allow the levels to drift down the minimum, based on CYA relationship. Hard to tell if lower levels, based off CYA would cause any problems. It is always good to test before and after the Poly 60, to see how much chlorine has truly been taken away from the algaecide.
Are you suggesting that the poly tends to work better if you add it at the minimum FC level for your CYA, instead of adding it at normal FC level or at half shock level? I've used it several times in the past and found that it tends to decrease FC by almost half but I've always added it at half shock level or slightly below that. If I add it at minimum FC level this year instead and it decreases FC to 2 ppm or below, will it still protect my pool from algae for a few weeks until the water turns colder? I also need to know what dose to use because I bought a new brand this year and there is no winterization dose listed on the bottle.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,471
Monmouth County, New Jersey
If you have time, search on line to see if they sell new gaskets. Outside of this, you may have to replace the whole unit, as I do not recall if there was a gasket with the Pentair Shut off valves. The water is under the frost line and you should just leave it open. The other option is to try to add some type of sealer, but this could also create such a mess (not sure) and hard to remove. I would also try calling the manufacturer to see what they say.

There is one pool company down here that does not blow out lines in the winter, especially this area as they claim everything, the piping is built below the frost line. For me, I do not take chances, but the main drain (IMO), should be perfectly fine. I have done experiments where I left a pipe of 100% water outside in the winter upright only to have the cap move 1" on a 3' 4" 3,000 PSI PVC. Nothing happened and no cracks. Now think about 90% of the water being removed in the lines. I would be more concerned about soil shifting underground with great force causing damage to piping. Rarely (it happens) do I hear about broken pipes underground.
 

RobHudson

Member
Aug 25, 2020
24
Philadelphia, PA
If you have time, search on line to see if they sell new gaskets. Outside of this, you may have to replace the whole unit, as I do not recall if there was a gasket with the Pentair Shut off valves. The water is under the frost line and you should just leave it open. The other option is to try to add some type of sealer, but this could also create such a mess (not sure) and hard to remove. I would also try calling the manufacturer to see what they say.

There is one pool company down here that does not blow out lines in the winter, especially this area as they claim everything, the piping is built below the frost line. For me, I do not take chances, but the main drain (IMO), should be perfectly fine. I have done experiments where I left a pipe of 100% water outside in the winter upright only to have the cap move 1" on a 3' 4" 3,000 PSI PVC. Nothing happened and no cracks. Now think about 90% of the water being removed in the lines. I would be more concerned about soil shifting underground with great force causing damage to piping. Rarely (it happens) do I hear about broken pipes underground.
For the spa drain, do I just keep pouring in anti freeze until it starts coming out in the spa?
 
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