Winterizing badly installed deck jets

generessler

Active member
Dec 13, 2020
25
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Hi all. We're in North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Moved in this past summer. The pool has four Pentaire Deck Jet IIs. They hadn't been used for 7 years. After fixing broken valve actuator wiring, they worked fine. Joyful to see.

We're keeping the pool open for the winter. I blew out the jets to avoid running them on cold nights. But for two, the cups around the nozzles do not drain, though there' supposed to. Installation manual here. Best I can tell by probing through the drain holes with wire, they're embedded in mortar. (The deck is sandstone flags.)

Now something that was confusing earlier makes sense. When I was getting them back in operation, I found the balls of those two nozzles popped out of the sockets. Thought that was weird. Now I see they must have been forced out by rain that got into the cups and couldn't get out before it froze.

I'm wondering what I can do about this. My best thoughts:
  • Coil some "closed cell backer rod" in the cups. This is the stuff used in pavement cracks to fill space under the rubberized caulk. It's advertised to displace water that wants to settle in the crack and allow ice around it to expand with no harm. Seems like this might help a lot. But that's a guess.
  • Get a long masonry bit and drill through the drain holes through the mortar into dirt. This might be a nice fix if the soil is free-draining, but could end up drilling through a pipe, which would be a disaster.
All thoughts appreciated.

Funny. The pool was installed by a company that's been around for at least 14 years with a great reputation. But I keep finding things that just aren't quite right...
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,068
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I think you are on the right track with your two ideas above. Give them a try.
  • Coil some "closed cell backer rod" in the cups. This is the stuff used in pavement cracks to fill space under the rubberized caulk. It's advertised to displace water that wants to settle in the crack and allow ice around it to expand with no harm. Seems like this might help a lot. But that's a guess.
  • Get a long masonry bit and drill through the drain holes through the mortar into dirt. This might be a nice fix if the soil is free-draining, but could end up drilling through a pipe, which would be a disaster.
Post some pics of the problem deck jets and your deck any maybe we can see other fixes.
 

generessler

Active member
Dec 13, 2020
25
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Thanks for the reply! Sorry life slowed me down on this, but back to it today. Here is the Deck Jet II with cover removed. The white spot is an aluminum plug in the jet opening.

The black cup fills completely with rain water.
Deck Jet empty.jpg

Here's one completed: 3/4" closed cell foam backer rod pressed in as much space as possible. The idea is that even when water fills the rest of the space, freezing won't be able to exert enough force to do anything bad.

Deck Jet filled.jpg

I'm not going to muck around with drilling drainage holes. The chance of disaster seems too great.

As always, comments appreciated. Have great holidays!
 
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Kasey00

In The Industry
Jan 27, 2021
2
Texas
When water freezes, it expands with enormous force. It's the force that breaks up highways, splits garden hoses, explodes beverage cans in your freezer, and it's the force that expands and cracks pool pipes, filters, pumps and skimmer baskets. If you are closing up your pool for the winter, you should always take precautions to protect from vidmate freeze damage no matter where you live—even pool owners in the South have learned, to their regret, that freezing temperatures are an ever-present risk.
 
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