Open a Pool – Removing and Installing Plugs

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 51,108
    Pool Installation expert Jonathan Broga demonstrates removing and installing plugs to your pool.

    Jonathan Broga: Hi! I am Jonathan Broga with Potomac Pool Service. I am showing you how to open a pool for the summer season. Right now, we are going to be pulling the winterization plugs and then going up to the filter system and putting the plugs in the filter.

    Its important that you pull the winterization plugs before you put the plugs in the filter. That way you won't forget to pull them and potentially try and start your system with your winterization plugs in. If you were to do that, you could easily over pressurize your system either causing damage or hurting yourself.

    So it is important that you find all the plugs in the system. I can do that in this pool because I can see them. If your pool happens to be green with summer or in the spring, you will have to use your hands to reach around the sides of your pool until you find the plugs. Now we are up with the equipment pad and we are going to get the system ready to fire it up. To do that, we need to put the plugs back-in it that we removed during winterization. You will often find that the typical spot for storing the plugs is in the hair and lint strainer basket. We will take them out of there, we will put them in the pump, we will put them in the hair and lint strainer, in our valves, in our filter, in any booster pumps we might have for a cleaner and in the heater.

    This is the hair and lint strainer, this is where we should find the plugs. Pull it out, find what you need here is a filter pressure gauge, miscellaneous seals, heater plugs. This is the plug for our hair and lint strainer. This plug has a gasket on it which is going to help it seal. If your plugs are worn or old or if you have any doubts, its a smart thing to wrap them with Teflon tape.

    Most of these plugs with the wings, like this, can be hand tight. If you have any squared off plugs, a small pair of channel locks is a perfect tool to tighten them. This plug is for the bottom of the DE filter. Notice the O-ring it has around it. This O-ring is in decent shape, but its a smart idea whenever you are putting O-rings back into system after the winter, to go ahead and give them a bead of Super Lube, something Teflon based.

    You don't want to use petroleum based lubricants on any of the rubber in your system as it will degrade them overtime. So find a Teflon based lubricant, go ahead and lube it up where you have got it and that can be hard to find. This one is under the front center of the filter. They might be in the back. It often seems by Murphy's law, they are between the fans or somewhere difficult to reach.

    They can be tough to tighten. They do have a groove in them where you could insert a screwdriver, but I found that a medium pair of channel locks is about the right size to reach under the filter and gain access. This is a pressure release valve, you might find it in a whole unit like this, in which case, with the large threads it easily screws on to the top of your filter. This one has an O-ring that I lubricated.

    On the other hand, you may find that this unit is already installed and just the pressure gauge itself has been removed. I would like to remove the whole unit as these have a tendency to crack overtime. I will thread this down in and we will leave it open in anticipation of starting the system up and not wanting pressure to build-up. This opens and closes their simple rotation. Its a good idea, if you can, to try and install this in such a way that the pressure gauge will be legible from your power source, so that you can tell what the pressure in the tank is doing as you turn the system off. I am going to reinstall this one to try and get the right angle. This is the sight glass for your multi-port valve. You may or may not have a multi-port, but if you do, this needs to be put back in it, towards checking to see if there is a gasket still in there from last fall. If it drips, it's not a big deal, it's only under pressure when you are backwashing, but looks better if it doesn't drip. This should really only be hand tight or just a tad tighter. Many of these are made of glass and if you put any pressure on them at all, they are going to break. Glass and swimming pools don't mix. This pool has a booster pump for its cleaner. Not all pools do, but this one does. This one is a quarter-inch fitting. The older models you may find an eighth-inch fitting, a very, very small plug in your hair and lint strainer basket. This would be where that small plug goes, snug it up. I will recommend just hand tightening them and if we have any leaks, we can go ahead and put another little turn on it once the system is running.

    The last plugs on this system are for the heater. There are two plugs, one below the headers here and one on the other side. This is a Raypak heater with plastic plugs. If you have a cast iron header, then most likely you have brass plugs and you have threads that are rusted beyond belief and not usable unless you tap them. If that is the case, you will have to tap them.

    So thats all that's needed to pull the plugs from the pool and put the plugs back into filter system. Next, we are going to go ahead and prime the pump and start the system up.