Winterize Inground Pool
The Cyclone Vacuum and Pool Blower was an essential piece of equipment I needed to begin winterizing my own pool. I’ve been paying a pool guy around $400 a month each of the last 9 summers to winterize my in-ground pool. With the long, sustained, and deep freezes we are known to get in Colorado, closing an in-ground pool properly is essential. The $400 annual cost seemed small compared to the thousands of dollars I could risk in busted piped by failing to properly blow-out my lines and drain. Finally, I got the courage, did plenty of reading on-line about pool winterizing and decided to do it myself. Only two things have kept me from previously winterizing my own in-ground pool: 1. Understanding how to do it, and 2. Lack of the proper equipment to blow-out the pool lines. One thing leads to another, so I’ll start with number one:
Blowing out Your Pool Lines and Main Drain
All in-ground swimming pool systems circulate water through the pipes around the perimeter of the pool and out the return jets inside of the pool. When freezing temperatures arrive you don’t want to have any residual water left in these pipes that could freeze-up, expand and bust costing you thousands of dollars. In ground pools also have a main drain line. In some cases, this main drain is controlled by the valves through your pump equipment. You need to get the water out of this line too or it could potentially freeze. You blow the water out the main drain and then air-lock it by turning the valve off. This requires a lot of blowing power. As I read about this, I learned that most shop-vacs simply don’t have the power to accomplish this part of the pool-closing task. As it turns out, my own main drain is not connected at all to the main pipe of my pool lines and I do not have a valve to air-lock it to prevent water from coming in. My solution was to blow anti-freeze through the line and the manually lock the pipe by inserting a plug. Next to my main drain port is the skimmer port. I blew all of the water out of my jets one at a time. When each jet began bubbling in the pool, I would close them up with a plug and the move onto the next one. Last, I have a fountain port. I turned the fountain valve on and then continued blowing air through the skimmer line until the water all gushed out of the vacuum port. I felt very confident that my lines were all cleared of water as I noticed nothing but air coming out of the vacuum port. Next, I opened up my plugs in my heater and pool equipment and continued blowing in the same manner through the skimmer until nothing but air was coming out of my pool equipment. Voila, I was done! It was not my intention to show you how to close pool. There are plenty of videos and other DIY sites that show you that. Also, there are dozens of different ways to accomplish the same task. Another method is to blow the lines from the pool pump side of the equipment. Either way, what I did want to demonstrate is that the Cyclone Vacuum and pool blower was a necessity.
Using the Cyclone Vacuum and Pool Blower
Whether you are blowing from your pump basket or your skimmer line, you will need to find the right-sized attachment that will connect the Cyclone blower to your ports. After that nothing could be simpler. You plug in your hose to the port and flip a switch and brace yourself: This little machine has infinitely more power than even a really expensive shop vac. With the proper fitted hose you can keep it blowing while you walk around the pool, plugging up your jets, and then inspecting your pump equipment as you go. The Cyclone provides a continuous, powerful volume of air velocity without ever seeming to get very warm, even after about 5 minutes of use. For such a powerful piece of equipment it is surprisingly small and light weight; at least a 1/3rd the size of my 5-Gallon Shop-Vac. If I could wish for one improvement it would be for variable speed settings. Because my main-drain line is so short, the Cyclone blower was almost too good at blowing the anti-freeze through the line and into my pool. Perhaps, my less powerful shop-vac might be better suited for this job. Either way, for around $300.00, this unit will pay for itself in just a year. With the proper attachments, the Cyclone Vacuum and Pool Blower can also be used in other applications such as blowing out your lawn sprinkler lines. For swimming pool winterization in cold climates, however, the Cyclone Vacuum and Pool Blower is absolutely necessary.