Winterizing Fiberglass Pool / Plugs, Etc

Apsuhead

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2020
320
Clarksville TN
Pool Size
19250
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-9)
My fiberglass pool in TN was installed last December and I kept it open without a cover during the winter. The equipment wasn’t hooked up til spring but I kept the water sparkling with the help of TFP during the winter. I’m planning to winterize myself while keeping the pool uncovered this winter so Im trying to get my supplies ready. I have one skimmer, 2 main drains and 2 returns. I plan to use a big shop vac to blow out the lines. Use Gizmo in the skimmer, and plug the returns. My PB recommended stand pipes on the returns but can I just plug them underwater while blowing them out? I’m going to drain the sand filter and pump. I will remove my SWG cell and install a dummy pipe. Do I need the saftron plugs for the ladder bases during the winter? I have a skimmer cover but water gets in, so I was going to order a skimmer plug that is supposed to seal the water out. Thanks for all the info, looking forward to tomorrow 👍
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pookiesunshine

Gold Supporter
May 12, 2016
647
Cincinnati, OH
....My PB recommended stand pipes on the returns but can I just plug them underwater while blowing them out? ....
That's the way i used to do it and it worked fine. Now i use adapters like the stand pipes so it is easy to add antifreeze to the return lines, but after plugging them, i turn them so they are pointed down (and are below the water level). I do not fill the pool back up after draining it below the skimmer. It naturally refills during the winter.
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,558
NY
My PB recommended stand pipes on the returns but can I just plug them underwater while blowing them out
Search for blow through ‘bungee plugs’. They allow the water and air to pass but seal themselves the moment the pressure stops. They also make ‘duck plugs’ but I was very disappointed with the quality of them. The ice also removed the protective cap leaving the flimsy ‘duck lips’ of the plug exposed most of the winter. The bungee plugs are much more robust.
Do I need the saftron plugs for the ladder bases during the winter
They should work well. I MacGuyver-ed my own before I knew they existed.
have a skimmer cover but water gets in, so I was going to order a skimmer plug that is supposed to seal the water out
Many of the reviews point to them leaking. I believe mine did due to the skimmer age and being slightly warped over time. Yours might still hold because it’s had less time to weather. Cut up a pool noodle and fill the skimmer basket either way. Any water that gets in there either from the skimmer mouth or the skimmer lid won’t be able to harm you if 85% of the skimmer is pool noodle.
 
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Apsuhead

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2020
320
Clarksville TN
Pool Size
19250
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-9)
Thanks for the info! Both of my returns are connected to a single return line. I’m thinking that I can put a regular plug on the nearest return and then use a bungee return on the farthest return when blowing them out. Correct?
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,558
NY
I’m thinking that I can put a regular plug on the nearest return and then use a bungee return on the farthest return when blowing them out. Correct
That’ll work but the air pressure may trap the water in the closed leg. It’s only a few gallons, but still. Blow and then stop for 30 seconds to allow that leg to drain back into the main pipe and then blow a second time to clear most of it.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,558
NY
It’s probably half a dozen or 6. With 2 the pressure will be shared and neither will get as much. With one you may trap some water in the closed leg. 🤷‍♂️

So I would close the one but turn off the blower for a bit to allow it to drain before hitting it a second time. Put a gallon of RV antifreeze in each pipe for further insurance.
 
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Apsuhead

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2020
320
Clarksville TN
Pool Size
19250
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-9)
E3837119-98C1-47B0-8A12-F37C060EEB77.jpeg
Here is the plumbing to my 2 returns. I wanted 2 home runs lines but I didn’t catch my PB in time before they installed them.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,558
NY
Sweet !!! The first return leg is so short it won’t matter either way. Plug it and bungee plug the further one. (If that’s the right direction of flow, if not do it reverse). Cycle the blower just because and get most of that last gallon out too. Then add a gallon of Antifreeze at the pad in that pipe.

I duct taped a funnel to a 5 ft piece of garden hose to help get more of the antifreeze in the pipe at the pad.

in the spring remove the far end bungee plug and the pad plug and blow the antifreeze to the pad and out with a shop vac. Whatever you don’t get can then mix with the pool water because it won’t be much.
 
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Apsuhead

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2020
320
Clarksville TN
Pool Size
19250
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-9)
7F5D8691-48C7-40E0-B2F0-E94CBE1519A8.jpeg48789692-501C-43A9-94AA-1995ABD52B5D.jpeg
I’ve got my supplies ready. Now i’m trying to get a plan ready to blow out the lines. I have access to a big portable air compressor and also a 10 gallon shop vac. I’m hoping one of these will do the job of blowing out the lines and main drains. Thinking about getting a hayward pump lid cover and modifying it if the shop vac would work. I will eventually get a cyclone if these options don’t work. I can hook up the air compressor to the pump drain plugs or the sand filter pressure gauge port. Any suggestions for my set up?
 

Apsuhead

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2020
320
Clarksville TN
Pool Size
19250
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-9)
We had a warm December so I didn’t close the pool. It’s been running mostly at a low speed 24/7 with my VS pump. We just got a good snow and it will be cold the next 2 days. Hope the power doesn’t go out 🥶
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