Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

Can I Use A Shop Vacuum To Winterize My Pool?


One of the most popular swimming pool closing questions is “how can I blow out my pool lines” and the question that usually comes next is “can I use my shop vacuum to inflate the air pillow, blow the water out the pool plumbing and also remove the water from the skimmers?”Can I Use A Shop Vacuum To Winterize My Pool? The answer to that question is “yes” if you have a decent sized shop vacuum. You of course will also need a few hand tools to take apart the filter, pump and plumbing but yes, you can use a shop vacuum to winterize most types of swimming pools if the shop vacuum is big enough.

You will also want to remember that when you are using your shop vacuum to work on your swimming pool you will want to make sure you use it in “wet mode” which usually means that you will want to remove the dry filter from inside of the tank.

Using The Shop Vacuum To Inflate The Air Pillow

If you have an above ground swimming pool and you use an air pillow in the winter time you will be glad to know that you can use a shop vacuum to inflate it. A shop vac can be a fast, easy and effective way to fill up the air pillow compared to using your household vacuum or a heavy air compressor. Take your air pillow out of the bag and open the red valve. Once you open the valve you will want to hold the end of the shop vacuum up and over the opening of the valve and inflate the air pillow. Once you have inflated the air pillow you should take two pieces of duct tape and put them over the valve. This is a trick of the trade in the swimming pool industry. This way in the winter time when the weather turns the pool water into ice and then the ice squeezes the air pillow, the valve won’t pop open. The duct tape will prevent the air pillow valve from blowing open and stop the pillow from deflating during the middle of the winter.

Blowing Out The Swimming Pool Plumbing

If you have an above ground pool you will want to blow all of the water out of the skimmers and hoses. You then will want to suck up and blow out all of the water from inside the pump and the filter tank. Make sure to also empty out the tank on the shop vacuum every once a a while so you do not overfill the vacuum tank.

If you have an inground swimming pool you will first want to disconnect your pump and filter from the swimming pool plumbing. But first you will want to lower the water down level down in your pool below the skimmers and the returns, You can do this with your filter system by placing the pump to suck from the main drain and then you would need to set the multi-port to waste so you could pump the water out of the pool. Make sure that you monitor this when you do so, otherwise you could pump down the whole pool. You will just want to lower the water to right below the return jets on the pool wall.

Now that the water level is lowered you can use the shop vacuum to push all of the water out of the pool plumbing lines and into the pool. Take the shop vacuum and place the hose end onto each one of the fittings for each one of the lines at the filter system area. Meaning, you will need to manually blow out the skimmer lines, the return lines and then the main drain line. Once the water is blow from inside the swimming pool plumbing and into the pool you can then insert your Gizzmo’s into the skimmers and then plug the returns with either black rubber plugs or threaded plugs with o-rings.

Removing The Water From The Pump & Filter

Once you have blown up your air pillow and winterized your swimming pool plumbing you can use the shop vacuum to remove any left over water from inside your skimmers, pool filter tank and pool pump housing. Be sure to remove all the water from inside your pump to make sure it doesn’t freeze during the winter season.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them below;


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