Winter is the time of year many of us have to close the pool to protect the plumbing from freezing temperatures. But do you know how to blow out pool lines with air compressor tanks?
In this article we’re going to explain how to empty pool water lines in simple steps that anybody can apply. This way you can save a bit of cash from having to call in a pool maintenance contractor.
A lot of people prefer to close the pool and drain the pipes for winter. It also prevents damage to the pipes when temperatures drop below zero. As per air compressor fit author, anyone can blow out a pool with the right equipment. In this case, we want to look at how to go about using an air compressor for the job.
Preparation for Blowing Out Pool Lines
Here’s what’s required to complete the job:
- An adapter that allows you to connect the compressor hose to the pool water lines
- A sufficient amount of compressed air
If the water lines are larger than the standard ½ -inch diameter, the job will require a higher volume of pressurized air and most likely, a bigger compressor.
To empty a water line, it has to be pumped full of air fairly rapidly. This pressurized air will push the water out through an opening at one end, which ideally should be at a lower position than the air pressure inlet.
If your pipes are metal, then it’s possible to plug in compressed air at industrial levels. Plastic pipes and PVC can only handle pressures of around 15 psi and not much more. However, you may safely raise the pressure higher if at 15 psi your compressor doesn’t push the water out.
Convoluted piping allows you to blow out clogged pool lines with an air compressor set to high intensity and in a short period of time. This helps to increase the volume of water blown out in a minute.
Steps for Blowing Out Pool Lines
Step 1: Draining the pool water
The first step to blowing out pool lines with an air compressor involves draining the pool water. Drain the water to a level of between 5-10 inches below the skimmer. Having done this, proceed to empty the remaining water from the skimmer using either a small hand-pump or a similar device. Finally, set your pool valve to recalculate (this applies if your pool uses a multi-port valve.)
Step 2:Blowing the suction
Here you will turn your attention to the incoming lines to your pool, also known as the suction. These are all the water lines that are linked to the pump which typically include a major drain line plus one or two skimmers. Now, for people that have just one skimmer, just blow out the air from the skimmer out to the pump.
When working with two skimmers, start by blowing from one skimmer to the pump, and then again from the pump to the other skimmer. For this to work, the valve installed on the pump has to be turned off first. Make sure to blow out the water for at least two minutes from each line. Do this until the water stops draining and it’s only a mist coming out.
*To blow the main drain, reopen the valve for the pool line but keep the lines from the just-blown skimmer(s) shut in order for the process to be effective.
Step 3: Blowing the pool equipment
In this step, all the main pool equipment such as the heater, pump, and filter need to be drained as well. To do this, start by removing drain plugs to allow the pressurized air inside the pump to flow out. This air is built up from the previous step and will push out any remaining water as it lets out. Again, locate the multi port valve and set it to recalculate. Turn the slide valve on your pump so that you can blow air to push water through. If the pump doesn’t use a slide valve, it should still be possible to let out the water once you disable the drain plug on your filter.
Step 4: Emptying out return lines
The goal here is to blow out the return lines by using high pressure. Force a high amount of air pressure into the pump until a distinct bubbling sound comes out of the return line. Plug each of the return lines and blow for 3 minutes until the bubbling sound stops. At this point your pool lines will be winter-ready and you can rest easy with zero damage to any of the plumbing.
Blowing Out Pool Lines FAQs
Can You Use An Air Compressor to Blow Out Pool Lines?
Yes, an air compressor can be used to blow out pool lines with only a moderate risk of over pressurizing water pipes or additional fittings. The risk is an effect of high air pressure with low air flow. Other devices create mild air pressure with plenty of air flow.
Can You Blow Out Pool Lines Using a Leaf Blower?
Technically, it can work if you’re using one of those powerful leaf blowers that work on gas. However, you may run into challenges trying to fix it to the lines with duct tape. This may only be a decent option for shallow skimmers but not any heavy-volume return lines.
Can You Blow Out Pool Lines With a Shop Vac?
It depends. A 5-horse power canister can be used to blow the lines and handle the water resistance with minimal effort. The problem with shop vacs is that some models release a huge amount of excess air pressure when met with water resistance. However, they may still blow out skimmers as well as return lines.
Problems occur when a significant volume of water has pooled inside the water lines and then temperatures drop below freezing. This water will harden and the resulting ice will expand, causing the pipes to crack. If this is allowed to happen, the water will start to leak once temperatures rise. This in turn forces pool owners to call in a plumber to repair damaged water lines.
Get yourself a small compressor with a tank that carries 2-3 cubic feet of compressed air, a regulator to control the outflow, and a high-flow air hose. For home owners who don’t mind DIY projects, use this article to learn how to blow out pool lines with an air compressor.