Winterize a Pool – Blow Out Lines, part 1

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 131,968
    Jonathan Broga with Potomac Pools shows you how to winterize a swimming pool including how to blow out the lines.

    Jonathan Broga: Hi! I am Jonathan Broga with Potomac Pool Service, Design and Construction. Today I am showing you how to winterize the swimming pool. Right now we are going to blow out the lines. Blowing out the lines is the single most critical step to winterizing the pool in areas that experience hard freezes. If there is a place or a way that you could seriously damage your swimming pool and cost yourself extraordinarily large amounts of money, this is it. If you have any doubts about your ability to understand or properly blow out your swimming pool lines then I advise you hire a professional. We are going to be using a Mityvac by CG Industries to blow high volumes of air through these pipes. In my hand I have got an Adaptor, we are going to adapt this vacuum running it backwards to blow air through this hose to this pipe which is adapted to a two inch threaded fitting in the bottom of the skimmer. Now that this is set up and threaded into the bottom of the skimmer. I am going to turn the blower on; the system is still in backwash which I think is a most appropriate way to start blowing. You will empty the filter of all the water, you will delete the need for pushing that water through the pipes along with whatever is in the filter, it can get blown out of the backwash line. So that's how I start this is in Backwash. Right now the far side skimmer on the other side of the pool is still open, we may get some water blowing out of that. It's not a problem and that's fine, it's working towards the eventual progression of getting all the pipes empty. Now that we have air moving through the filter system we're going to direct that air where we want it to go, to clear out what we want to clear out. At this point, I have to assume, you understand your valves and how they turn and what the various handles mean. In this pool you can see we have injected air into the shallow skimmer, right now because of the back pressure created on the filter system, the air is taking the path of least resistance out the deep skimmer. What we really want to do is force it through that filter and force that water out the backwash line. So I am going to close that deep skimmer, we will come back to it later and blow it out at that time. Now the water is coming up the shallow skimmer going into our system and going out the backwash line. We are going to change our multiport valve to re-circulate rather than pushing the air out the backwash line now we are going to push it back to the pool. Re-circulate means, it's not going through the filter, simply going through the valve and back to your pool. Then we will decide where we want to push it. What line we want to blow out and we will do those one at a time. While the air is moving, you can move this handle to re-circulate. The first area I have chosen to blow dry is the spa; the air is coming down this pipe, moving to this valve where it's being directed to the spa. All the spa jets are currently being blown out with air; water is being expelled from the jets. If you have a spa, it's likely that you also have a blower that is meant to inject air when you are using the spa. In this case, the blower is right here. When you have a blower, it's important to use that to augment the blower on the deck. The line that supplies the blower with air has water in it right now. We are going to turn the blower on to clear that line. When using the blower either the blower for your spa or the blower in general to blow out your lines, let it run long enough until the lines stops spitting water. When it stops spitting water and primarily spitting air, that line is clear and can be plugged. This particular pool has actuated valves meaning they are mechanically actuated for the suction and return side rather than manual. In this case with this particular brand the actuator will have to be removed from the valve, in order to be able to turn it 180 degrees to purely isolate the pool, to blow out the lines. It's a simple matter of four screws but it's required to do the job properly. Now that we have removed the actuator allowing us to turn this up full 180 degrees. We will turn it directing the air from the spa to the pool. Now we are blowing out the pool lines, the water follows this pipe and I have got it directed to floor. This pool has floor returns, mainly the returns around the bottom of the pool and I am pumping air through them right now. Once air comes out the floor returns, I can simply close this valve which will lock off that pipe. As water tries to re-enter the floor returns, it will be unable to do so and the pipe will be air locked. It will be filled with air; water will not be able to enter it because the air has nowhere to go. We are going to rotate this valve 180 degrees thereby directing the water to the main drain, the goal there is the same thing. We are going to fill the main drain line full of air, then close it off preventing water from re-entering that line.