What do I need for closing anthony style pool?

sdtfp

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Jun 4, 2020
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I have a beefy leaf blower (https://www.stihlusa.com/products/blowers-and-shredder-vacs/professional-blowers/br600/). Will that work for an anthony style pool where the skimmer and main drain line are connected and I have a double plug? The pool techs used a cyclone, so I am confident that will work. Just dont want to buy it if its unnecessary.

Also, how I attach the cyclone or leaf blower to blow things out? I saw them do it and I already forgot. PRetty sure they remove the whole pump and then they connected the cyclone to skimmer and pump side pipes. And At the end one of those two pipes was plugged. I'm guessing the pump side.

Is it a good idea to practice closing now before it gets colder? I'm guessing here in lower NY the water temp will reach 55 sometime in october, so it will be cold. Any NY/NJ/CT people can chime in when they close?

Finally, for this style pool there is no gizmo that will work correct?


 

mknauss

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Consider joining us this Saturday at 11AM EDT for a TFP Expert Discussion on Winterizing.
 

sdtfp

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A month later and I need to do this soon.

I currently need help with plug sizes and how to attach the cyclone to the drain and suction lines.

For plug sizes, I think I need a 1" for two return lines. I went to the pool store and they were absolutely no help and stuff was out of stock. I looked online and saw that a #5 and a #6 are both 1". Could someone confirm which is it? Also, there are $2 plugs and $20 plugs (Winter Plugs for Pool Winterization). What is the difference? I think I want to go for the cheap option because I am not sure on the sizing and dont want to waste money on wrong size.

For connecting the cyclone, I plan to remove the pump, which I know how to do. But How do I connect cyclone to the two pipes. I am pretty sure they are 2" pipes and the cyclone is 1.5 inch. The pipes have an outer thread and the cyclone has an inner thread. What is that called or what do I need? I imagine its called 1.5 inch NPT male to 2 inch male adapter? Or is there a hose like that so I can place the cyclone on the floor?

I've read various threads here about a special lid on the pump for this, but I don't mind removing the pump and that is what the pool techs used to do.
 

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anthonypool89

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Aug 26, 2016
957
Berks County, PA
What type of skimmer do you have? I also have an Anthony pool and use a double plug that has a #8 and #9 winterization plugs. You mentioned you already have a double plug though (?) I don't bother with a cyclone, but rather just hook my air compressor to the top of the filter tank and blow right through there. I do the two return lines first. If there is no air coming through them while the air pressure is still on, then I go to the drain line and blow that out and done. I use a baster to suck the remaining out of the skimmer. If no more is coming up from the drain, that's it. Put the cover on and finished. I was astounded that when I opened the pool this past spring there was still air pressure down in the drain line. Usually there isn't - although theoretically there SHOULD be. It's an imperfect system at best since I'm sure over the winter there is some leakage through those plugs, especially considering that the skimmer gets full of water during the off season. I try to keep the water level pumped down to below the skimmer as much as possible. As an added precaution I put a gallon of antifreeze in the return line and also one in the skimmer line.
 

sdtfp

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Jun 4, 2020
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What type of skimmer do you have? I also have an Anthony pool and use a double plug that has a #8 and #9 winterization plugs. You mentioned you already have a double plug though (?) I don't bother with a cyclone, but rather just hook my air compressor to the top of the filter tank and blow right through there. I do the two return lines first. If there is no air coming through them while the air pressure is still on, then I go to the drain line and blow that out and done. I use a baster to suck the remaining out of the skimmer. If no more is coming up from the drain, that's it. Put the cover on and finished. I was astounded that when I opened the pool this past spring there was still air pressure down in the drain line. Usually there isn't - although theoretically there SHOULD be. It's an imperfect system at best since I'm sure over the winter there is some leakage through those plugs, especially considering that the skimmer gets full of water during the off season. I try to keep the water level pumped down to below the skimmer as much as possible. As an added precaution I put a gallon of antifreeze in the return line and also one in the skimmer line.
thanks for replying! Somehow i missed this.

I have a double plug but no idea what numbers it is. Maybe i can measure them?

What filter tank do you blow through for returns? You mean the de filter top where the pressure gage is? Or the pump top? For returns I was planning to put multiport in recirculate and connect the cyclone to the pipe that is usually connected to the pump outlet. If you meant the pump top, then our ways are pretty similar, just for my way I remove the pump.

I am not following on how you do the skimmer. I guess since you do the top of the pump (i think) you get air on both suction and return lines at the same time. So after you plug return lines, you plug the skimmer and at this point only the main drain is unplugged. So then you would keep blowing that until you see air on the main drain..... and then you would push the double plug down to plus the main drain as well. Then you use the baster for any water left in the skimmer basket. Is that correct?

I am goign to be trying to close this weekend but some questions remain like I mentioned above.

New questions I jsut though of is:
1. How do you know how far to push the double plug to close the drain? Push it all the way until you cant anymore? I'm worried the pool techs just used whatever size they had available and there a trick to it.
2. How do you know the main drain is iar tight? Again, if I dont have the right length double plug, it may not plug correctly. Other than that I read I should keep blowing bubbles on it for 30 seconds.
3. Does the main drain get water back in it after I plug it? So basically, I am blowing the pipe from the pump to the plug only. So from the plug to the main drain, the pipe will fill with water correct? Or is there some physics I dont know about where air can stay under water without bubbling up?


p/s.. I just measured the diameter of the double plug and the bottom one is 1.25 at the bottom and 1.5 at the top ...and the top one is 1.5 at the bottom and 1.75 the top. Looking at plug chart this sounds like a #8 and a #9.. but im not sure.
 
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sdtfp

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Jun 4, 2020
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Okay so I closed the pool over the weekend.

A couple of unexpected things happened. I put the multiport on recirculate thinking this would isolate the connection from pump pipe to returns. Apparently it does not and I got a bunch of DE and waste into the pool. I cleaned up as best I could with my pool robot. I hope that the remnants don't create a breeding ground for algae come spring. So I ended up cleaning the DE filter first and once that was all clean, pumping air into the pipes was no longer polluting the pool water. I ended up adding a floater with chlorine tabs just to be on the safe side and also because it's kinda warm and maybe I closed too early.

I ended up cleaning each blade of the DE filter individually and noticed two of the blades had a small hole. Maybe about half an inch each. So come next spring I will look at how to replace the covers on these blades.

I also broke one of the hoses to my hayward "chlorinator" (used when I go on vacation), so come spring, I will find out how to replace that.

Regarding some of my earlier questions,

For the return plugs I used:

I lowered the water about 13" which is below one of the returns with a "water feature". The other two returns were a bit lower and would of required me lowering the water another 4-5 inches. I didn't feel comfortable with that so I plugged them while the cyclone was running. Then I went to the pump side opening and poured some pool antifreeze in there.
Interestingly, I tried lowering the water from the main drain.. as this is a question I had on whether it would be possible on anthony/sylvan style pools... and it didn't seem like there was enough suction happening, so I opted to use a sump pump to take out the water below the skimmer line.

For the cyclone to pipe connections I used:
And the hose adapter that came with the cyclone
I had order other things and none of them worked out, but its free returns on amazon...

The connection from cyclone to the 3 ft hose through adapter was snug and I didn't require any clamps to hold it down. The connection from hose to my pipes were not snug and it required 1 person to hold it. Even though a lot of air was coming back at me, there was plenty going to the returns and suction pipes.

Regarding the main drain seal... I was able to get air out of the main drain by inserting the double plug about 95% of the way down. I let that run for 30 seconds and then i pushed in the double plug the rest of the way. I did have water in the skimmer at that time as I had forgotten to clear that. I feel like that was a mistake and I now left water in the skimmer pipe between the top and bottom of the double plug. Should I try to redo this step? I also have no idea if the main drain is properly sealed, I don't think there is any way to know. I guess due to physics there should be an air pocket in that pipe right now and even if there is water, due to pressure and depth, it would be hard for it to freeze? I feel very uncomfortable on these points...

So due to my concerns, should I redo the winterizing of the main drain?
 

anthonypool89

Gold Supporter
Aug 26, 2016
957
Berks County, PA
Maybe i can measure them?
Most rubber expansion plugs have the size right on the plug - usually on the wider end.
What filter tank do you blow through for returns?
Top of the DE filter tank, air compressor attaches where the pressure guage usually is.
So after you plug return lines, you plug the skimmer and at this point only the main drain is unplugged. So then you would keep blowing that until you see air on the main drain..... and then you would push the double plug down to plus the main drain as well. Then you use the baster for any water left in the skimmer basket. Is that correct?
yep...exactly.
1. How do you know how far to push the double plug to close the drain? Push it all the way until you cant anymore? I'm worried the pool techs just used whatever size they had available and there a trick to it.
2. How do you know the main drain is iar tight? Again, if I dont have the right length double plug, it may not plug correctly. Other than that I read I should keep blowing bubbles on it for 30 seconds.
3. Does the main drain get water back in it after I plug it? So basically, I am blowing the pipe from the pump to the plug only. So from the plug to the main drain, the pipe will fill with water correct? Or is there some physics I dont know about where air can stay under water without bubbling up?


p/s.. I just measured the diameter of the double plug and the bottom one is 1.25 at the bottom and 1.5 at the top ...and the top one is 1.5 at the bottom and 1.75 the top. Looking at plug chart this sounds like a #8 and a #9.. but im not sure.
1. I don't think there's a need to push it down as far as possible. Once there are lots of bubbles coming through the drain, I wait about 10 seconds or so, then push the plug in. If water can be suctioned out of the skimmer pot so that no more comes up from the drain, the line is plugged.
2. If it wasn't air locked, the skimmer pot'd quickly fill up again. Water seeks its own level.
3. again, air locked.
you get air on both suction and return lines at the same time.
Right. The air is directed to both return lines and over to the skimmer at the same time, although the bulk of the air comes through the returns. Once those are both plugged, then all the remaining air is directed over to the skimmer / drain line.

Yes to a number 8 and 9 plug.

Looks like you're already done...so hope all went well! I closed mine today.
 

anthonypool89

Gold Supporter
Aug 26, 2016
957
Berks County, PA
Regarding the main drain seal... I was able to get air out of the main drain by inserting the double plug about 95% of the way down. I let that run for 30 seconds and then i pushed in the double plug the rest of the way. I did have water in the skimmer at that time as I had forgotten to clear that.
Yes...there is water in the skimmer until you're completely done and remove whatever remains in the skimmer pot.
I now left water in the skimmer pipe between the top and bottom of the double plug.
Nope...because you blew out the skimmer line first. The air had to push the water out of that line prior to being able to direct the air down to the drain. What I do is tighten the wingnut on my double plug just enough so that when I push the bottom plug in right at the point where the plumbing t's off on a 90 degree angle (one line goes over to the pump while the other continues down to the drain) it effectively directs the air down to the drain. I do this before I even start blowing the lines - experimenting with tightening or loosening the wingnut until the bottom of the double plug doesn't easily slip down any further.
Should I try to redo this step? I also have no idea if the main drain is properly sealed, I don't think there is any way to know. I guess due to physics there should be an air pocket in that pipe right now and even if there is water, due to pressure and depth, it would be hard for it to freeze? I feel very uncomfortable on these points...
It's so easy to overthink all this...I know cause I've secondguessed myself many time over the course of 32 years and sometimes wound up pulling all the plugs and starting over. Today didn't go as well as hoped for since one of the new expansion plugs I bought for the return lines must be defective in some way - tried it over and over again but every time bubbles came through after the second return was plugged. I finally wound up using a plug from either last year or before. I keep a whole bag full of various plugs - cause you never know. I've gotten to the point where if I remove the water from the skimmer after the drain is sealed and there is no more water coming up, I'm content that it's done. As someone else commented here, if the water freezes all the way down to the bottom of the pool....yowsers!!! Probably all of us are in a deep freeze well before then! At any rate, I add a gallon of antifreeze to both lines after all is done.
 
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