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Thread: Blowing out lines - Air Compressor

  1. #1
    haeffnkr is offline Registered+ Thread Analyst haeffnkr 0
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    Default Blowing out lines - Air Compressor

    I have a 14K fiberglass pool and I need to blow out the lines including the 8' deep end main drain.

    Does anyone use an air compressor to blow out the lines of their IG pool?
    If so what pressure is the max? Is there enough volume?
    If not what kind of commercial blower is best?

    I have a nice air compressor but I understand volume is needed not so much pressure. I nice electric leaf blower does nothing for my returns, let alone the deep end.

    thanks Kevin

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    Poconos is offline SuperMod Emeritus Sniggle Mechanic Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars
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    Default Re: Blowing out lines - Air Compressor

    Kevin,
    There are a lot of issues with deep end main drains. Usually you can't blow them completely because of the pressure required. Yes, to blow lines volume is required, not pressure. I can see where a high pressure compressor can be used for the main drain line to lower the water in the pipe below the frost line, then plug it or throw a valve. On your return lines...how deep are the return jets? Mine are at most 14" below water level and either my shop-vac or my electric leaf blower will work. Used both. At most a gas powered blower should be much more than enough.
    Al

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    ChuckD is offline Registered+ Widget Weaver ChuckD 0
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    Default Re: Blowing out lines - Air Compressor

    This maindrain purging stuff has got me thinking. Even tho I'm pretty sure I do an adequate job when I close by blowing out with line a shop vac and quickly slapping a rubber plug on and duct tape, I have to admit to occassionally, at the coldest times of the year, wondering if my pipes are silently succumbing to the ravages of frost. A 35' run from the pump to the pool only adds to my anxiety. I know those lines are not below the frost line.

    What I'm thinking I might try this year is to secure my vac to the pump end of the MD line, run it till bubbles emerge, and move a piece of heavy gauge poly into place over the drain. Turn the vac off and allow the pool water pressure to press it into place covering the drain. With enough overlap, I ought to get enough seal.

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    Poconos is offline SuperMod Emeritus Sniggle Mechanic Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars
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    Default Re: Blowing out lines - Air Compressor

    Chuck,
    You will only get a temporary seal with the poly over the drain. Pretty quickly water will leak in and seek the level of the pool water. If the 35' run is above the pool water level it will remain dry. How about installing a ball valve on the line where you hook the shop vac? When you get the line blown dry then just close the valve. Problem I can see is these valves are not necessarily fully air tight under air pressure and over the many months of Winter may leak a little. They should be a good air seal but ya never know. Of course over the Winter you could blow the line once in a while. Just my opinion, and I don't have a main drain, but I believe as long as water is in a verticle pipe heading to the drain, let it freeze as the frost depth increases. It will freeze and plug at the top then progressively work the ice plug lower with the bottom end always being open to relieve expansion pressure. Pipe shouldn't break. I can see a scenario where you get a long hard freeze, then some time where the surface temperatures climb above freezing thus melting the top end of the verticle pipe, then re-freezing. Two ice blocks...surface and one one deeper. As the center freezes...poof. I certainly welcome comments on this statement.
    Al

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    ChuckD is offline Registered+ Widget Weaver ChuckD 0
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    Default Re: Blowing out lines - Air Compressor

    True enough. And if I'd typed out my complete thought (what, you can't read my mind?) I'd have added that I'd then slap the rubber plug and Tape of Duct on the pump end. The poly would really just buy me some time to get the vac off and plug in place before too much water re-entered the drain. Kind of a cheapo one-way valve, albeit a leaky one.

    Needed would be a ring-type affair to fix to the end of the telescoping pole larger than the drain, bent at an angle to press the poly onto the drain as the vac was turned off (and a wife with a good sense of humor, which I have). Got an old skimming net that I'll sacrifice.

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    haeffnkr is offline Registered+ Thread Analyst haeffnkr 0
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    Default Re: Blowing out lines - Air Compressor

    My returns are roughly 14" below the water.
    My main drain is 8 feet.

    The guys that blew it out last year brought out one of these...http://www.poolcenter.com/winter_sup...mighty_vac.htm ....
    Had the main drain blown out in a few seconds and threw the valve at the pump. so the drain line was air locked.

    I believe my gas blower has less MPH than my neighbors electric one....but anyway.

    I have a nice 25 gallon - twin cylinder 220 volt compressor. I will buy one of the above blowers if necessary. But I dont really want to spend that kind of money if I dont need to....
    Surely someone has used both and can let me know what is best or what works.
    I plan to try the compressor soon. I will hook up a regulator to the line and put a quick connect on a plug in my stand tube in the skimmer.

    thoughts?

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    Default Re: Blowing out lines - Air Compressor

    We always use an air compressor. Ours is 5hp and 20 gallons. Gets the job done nicely.

    You'll be OK using yours.
    Why BBB? Because money can't buy happiness, but saving it sure can!

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    Default Mighty Vac is what I Use

    I puchased the Mighty vac http://www.poolcenter.com/winter_sup...mighty_vac.htm and used it now for two years.

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    haeffnkr is offline Registered+ Thread Analyst haeffnkr 0
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    Default Re: Blowing out lines - Air Compressor

    thanks doggie.
    What was the pressure set to?

    thanks Kevin

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    Default Re: Blowing out lines - Air Compressor

    We go 20 to 25 psi. Good luck
    Why BBB? Because money can't buy happiness, but saving it sure can!

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