What Size Air Compressor to Blow Out Pool Lines: The Ultimate Guide

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To blow out pool lines, the ideal size for an air compressor is between 5 to 10 gallons. A properly sized air compressor is necessary to effectively remove water from pool lines and prevent freezing during colder months.

Failing to use an decent sized air compressor may result in incomplete removal of water, leading to potential damage to the pool plumbing system. It is crucial to choose an air compressor with sufficient capacity to handle the task at hand and ensure efficient operation.

With the right size air compressor, you can confidently maintain your pool’s plumbing system and prevent costly repairs.

What Size Air Compressor to Blow Out Pool Lines

Table of Contents

Factors To Consider When Selecting An Air Compressor

When selecting an air compressor for blowing out pool lines, consider the power requirements and capacity needed to effectively remove water from the lines.

A properly sized air compressor will ensure efficient and thorough pool line maintenance. When it comes to blowing out pool lines, choosing the right size air compressor is essential.

Here are some key factors to consider when making your selection:

Pool Size And Layout

  • Consider the size of your pool: The larger the pool, the more air pressure and volume you will need to effectively blow out the lines.
  • Look at the layout of your pool: Take into account any complicated or intricate plumbing configurations, as this will affect the amount of air pressure required to clear the lines.

Pipe Diameter And Length

  • Determine the diameter of your pool pipes: The diameter of the pipes will determine the amount of air pressure needed to effectively clear the lines.
  • Measure the length of your pool pipes: Longer pipes will require more air volume to ensure the entire system is properly cleared.

Pressure Requirements

  • Understand the required air pressure: Different pool systems have varying pressure requirements for effective line clearing. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations or consult a professional to ensure you select an air compressor that meets these requirements.
  • Consider the pressure regulators: Some systems may have pressure regulators to reduce the risk of damage. Make sure your chosen air compressor is capable of accommodating these regulators if necessary.

Equipment Compatibility

  • Check compatibility with your pool equipment: Some pool systems have specific requirements for the type and capacity of the air compressor. Ensure your chosen air compressor is compatible with your pool equipment to avoid any damage or inefficiencies.
  • Consider portability and noise levels: If you have limited storage space or noise restrictions, opt for a compact and quiet air compressor that suits your needs.

Remember, choosing the right size air compressor is crucial for efficiently blowing out your pool lines. By considering factors such as pool size and layout, pipe diameter and length, pressure requirements, and equipment compatibility, you can ensure a successful and hassle-free winterization process.

Determining The PSI Requirements For Pool Line Blowouts

Determining the appropriate PSI requirements for pool line blowouts involves finding the right size air compressor. Understanding the necessary pressure for clearing the lines ensures the efficient removal of water without causing damage to the system.

Understanding The Importance Of PSI

Maintaining the right PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) during a pool line blowout is crucial to prevent damage to your pool’s plumbing system. A high PSI can cause pipes to burst, while a low PSI may not effectively clear out the lines.

Common PSI Requirements For Pool Lines

The recommended PSI for pool line blowouts generally falls within the range of 30-50 PSI. However, it’s essential to check the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific pool equipment, as some may have slightly different requirements.

The PSI requirements can also vary depending on factors such as the size of your pool, the length of the pipe, and the number of return lines. Taking these variables into account ensures a thorough blowout without causing any harm to the plumbing system.

Calculating PSI Based On Pool Size And Pipe Length

  • To determine the appropriate PSI for your pool line blowout, you can follow a simple calculation based on the size of your pool and the length of the pipe.
  • Measure the length of the pipe in feet. For example, if your pipe length is 50 feet, note this measurement.
  • Determine the total gallons of water your pool holds. Using the formula Pool Volume = Length x Width x Average Depth x 7.5, calculate the pool volume.
  • Multiply the pool volume by 0.43 to find the approximate amount of air needed to blow out the lines.
  • Divide the result by the length of the pipe measured in feet. For our example of a 50-foot pipe, divide the total air volume by 50 to obtain the PSI required for the blowout.
  • By following this calculation, you can ensure that you have the correct PSI to effectively clear out your pool lines without causing any damage.

Remember, always prioritize safety and consult professionals or pool equipment manufacturers if you have any reservations or unique circumstances regarding your pool’s plumbing system. A pool line blowout done with the appropriate PSI will help prepare your pool for the colder seasons and prevent any potential issues down the line.

Calculating The Cfm For Efficient Pool Line Cleaning

To efficiently clean pool lines, it is crucial to calculate the CFM (cubic feet per minute) for the right size air compressor.

By determining the correct CFM, you can effectively blow out pool lines and ensure proper maintenance of your pool system.

Blowing out pool lines is an essential maintenance task to ensure the longevity and proper functioning of your swimming pool. To make this process as efficient as possible, it’s important to understand CFM (cubic feet per minute) and calculate the necessary CFM requirements based on the diameter of your pool lines.

What Is Cfm And Why Is It Important?

CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and measures the amount of air flowing through a specific point in one minute. When it comes to blowing out pool lines, CFM is crucial for efficient cleaning. Here’s why:

  • CFM determines the strength and velocity of the air flow, which is necessary to effectively clear out debris and water from the pool lines.
  • Adequate CFM helps prevent any leftover water from freezing and causing potential damage during the winter months.
  • The right CFM ensures a thorough blowout, removing any dirt, leaves, or other contaminants that may accumulate in the lines over time.

Determining CFM requirements based on pipe diameter

The diameter of your pool lines plays a significant role in calculating the required CFM for efficient blowouts. Here’s how you can determine the CFM requirements based on pipe diameter:

  • Measure the diameter of your pool lines in inches.
  • Use the following formula: CFM = (Pipe Diameter Pipe Diameter) / 2
  • Round the calculated CFM value to the nearest whole number.
  • This will give you the minimum CFM requirement for effectively blowing out your pool lines.

Ensuring decent CFM for efficient blowouts

To ensure that you have the necessary CFM for efficient pool line cleaning, it’s essential to consider a few factors. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Check the CFM rating of your air compressor. This information is usually listed in the product specifications provided by the manufacturer.
  • Compare the CFM rating of your air compressor with the minimum CFM requirement calculated based on your pool line diameter.
  • Ensure that the air compressor you choose has a CFM rating equal to or higher than the calculated CFM requirement.
  • Having a compressor with enough CFM will ensure that your blowouts are efficient, saving you time and effort in the long run.

Remember, having an air compressor with the right CFM rating is crucial for effectively blowing out your pool lines. By calculating the CFM requirements based on your pipe diameter and ensuring adequate CFM, you can achieve a thorough and efficient cleaning process.

So, make sure to choose the right air compressor for your pool maintenance needs.

Compressor Types For Pool Line Blowouts

Get the right air compressor size for blowing out your pool lines with ease. Discover various compressor types suitable for this task and ensure efficient cleaning and maintenance of your pool system.

When it comes to blowing out pool lines, choosing the right air compressor is essential. There are different types of compressors available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

In this section, we will explore the differences between single-stage and two-stage compressors, as well as oil-less and oil-lubricated compressors.

Let’s dive in.

Single-Stage Vs. Two-Stage Compressors

Single-stage compressors

  • Suitable for small to medium-sized pools
  • Have a single piston that compresses the air in one stroke
  • Typically more affordable and portable
  • Provide a maximum pressure of around 120 PSI
  • Perfect choice for occasional use and light-duty applications
  • May not be suitable for larger pools due to limited pressure capacity

Two-stage compressors

  • Ideal for large pools or commercial settings
  • Feature two pistons for compressing air in two stages
  • Deliver higher pressures, usually above 150 PSI
  • Offer better efficiency and duty cycle compared to single-stage compressors
  • Tend to be larger, heavier, and more expensive
  • Recommended for regular and heavy-duty use

Oil-Less Vs. Oil-Lubricated Compressors:

Oil-less compressors

  • Do not require oil for lubrication
  • Produce clean, oil-free air, making them suitable for sensitive applications
  • Require less maintenance and do not produce oil residues
  • Can be nosier compared to oil-lubricated compressors
  • Usually have a shorter lifespan compared to their oil-lubricated counterparts

Oil-lubricated compressors

  • Utilize oil for lubrication, reducing friction and wear
  • Operate more quietly compared to oil-less compressors
  • Tend to be heavier due to the oil reservoir
  • Offer better cooling properties, leading to longer operational periods
  • Generally more expensive and require regular oil changes and maintenance
  • Now that we have explored the different types of compressors, let’s summarize their pros and cons.

Pros and cons of different compressor types

Single-stage compressors


  • Affordable and portable
  • Suitable for small to medium-sized pools
  • Ideal for occasional use


  • Limited pressure capacity
  • May not be suitable for larger pools

Two-stage compressors


  • Delivers higher pressures
  • Suitable for larger pools or commercial settings
  • Better efficiency and duty cycle


  • Larger, heavier, and more expensive

Oil-less compressors


  • Produce clean, oil-free air
  • Require less maintenance
  • Suitable for sensitive applications


  • Noisier operation
  • Shorter lifespan

Oil-lubricated compressors


  • Quieter operation
  • Longer operational periods
  • Better cooling properties


  • Heavier and require regular maintenance and oil changes

Considering these factors, it’s important to choose a compressor that aligns with the specific requirements of your pool. Whether it’s a single-stage or two-stage compressor, oil-less or oil-lubricated, understanding the pros and cons will help you make an informed decision.

Make sure to consider the size of your pool, frequency of use, and maintenance preferences to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Steps For Properly Blowing Out Pool Lines

Looking for the right size air compressor to blow out your pool lines? Follow these steps for a proper technique that will help ensure a smooth and effective process. Don’t risk damage to your pool by using the wrong compressor size.

Preparing The Pool For Blowout

  • Drain the pool: Begin by draining the pool to a level below the skimmer and return lines. This will prevent any water from entering the lines during the blowout process.
  • Clean the pool: Before starting the blowout, make sure the pool is thoroughly cleaned of debris, leaves, and other impurities. This will ensure that the pool lines are clear and ready for blowout.
  • Remove pool accessories: Remove any accessories such as ladders, handrails, and diving boards from the pool. This will allow for easier access to the pool lines during the blowout.
  • Close pool valves: Close all the necessary valves in order to isolate the pool lines. This will prevent air from escaping during the blowout and ensure maximum pressure is achieved.

Connecting The Air Compressor To The Pool Lines

  • Locate the main drain valve: Find the main drain valve in your pool system. This valve is usually located near the pool pump and filter.
  • Attach the air compressor: Connect the air compressor to the main drain valve using a suitable adapter. Make sure the connection is secure to avoid any air leakage.

Setting The Appropriate Pressure And Cfm

  • Determine the appropriate pressure: Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or seek professional advice to determine the recommended pressure for your specific pool system. This ensures safe and effective blowout without damaging the pool lines.
  • Check the CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) rating: Verify that the air compressor has an adequate CFM rating to provide sufficient airflow for your pool lines. Insufficient CFM may result in an ineffective blowout.

Gradually Blowing Out Each Section Of The Pool Lines

  • Start with the skimmer lines: Begin blowing out the skimmer lines by gradually increasing the air pressure. This will push any remaining water out of the lines and prevent freezing.
  • Move to the return lines: After the skimmer lines are clear, move on to the return lines. Repeat the process of gradually increasing the air pressure to remove any water from these lines.
  • Repeat for other accessories: If your pool has additional lines or accessories, such as a spa or waterfall, follow the same steps to blow out these sections. Ensure each section is thoroughly cleared of water.
  • Monitor for air and water flow: Throughout the blowout process, keep an eye on the air and water flow. Adjust the pressure if necessary to maintain a steady flow of air and ensure all water is expelled from the lines.

Remember, proper blowout of pool lines is essential for preventing freeze damage during colder months. By following these steps and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure the longevity and functionality of your pool system.

Safety Measures To Follow During Pool Line Blowouts

Find the perfect air compressor size to blow out your pool lines and ensure safety with our comprehensive guide. Discover the key factors to consider and choose the right equipment for efficient and effective pool maintenance.

Blowing out pool lines is an essential step to prepare your pool for the winter season or any prolonged period of non-use. It helps prevent water from freezing in the pipes and causing costly damage. However, it’s crucial to prioritize safety during this process to avoid any accidents or unintentional damage.

Here are some safety measures to keep in mind:

Using Proper Protective Gear

  • Safety glasses: Protect your eyes from any debris or particles that may be blown out with the compressed air.
  • Ear protection: Reduce the risk of hearing damage by wearing earplugs or earmuffs to dampen the noise of the compressed air.
  • Gloves: Use gloves to shield your hands from cold temperatures as well as potential irritants or sharp objects.

Handling Compressed Air Safely

  • Keep the air compressor outdoors or in a well-ventilated area: This prevents the accumulation of hazardous fumes or gases indoors.
  • Check for any leaks or damages in the air compressor hoses: Ensure the equipment is in good condition before use to prevent accidents.
  • Use the appropriate pressure: Adjust the pressure to a suitable level for blowing out the pool lines, considering the specific requirements of your pool system.

Preventing Damage To Pool Equipment And Plumbing

  • Disconnect the pool pump and filter: Before blowout, turn off the pool pump and filter to avoid damaging these components during the process.
  • Use the correct attachments: Attach a nozzle with a suitable size and shape to ensure efficient air flow without damaging the pool lines.
  • Begin with low-pressure air: Start with low pressure and gradually increase if necessary, to prevent any sudden surges that may harm the pool equipment or plumbing.
  • Work systematically: Start from the furthest point in the pool system and gradually move towards the main drain or skimmer, ensuring all lines are thoroughly blown out.

Remember, safety should always be your priority when performing maintenance tasks like blowing out pool lines. By following these safety measures, you can successfully prepare your pool for the winter season while minimizing any potential risks or damages. Stay safe and enjoy a hassle-free swimming experience when summer returns.

Troubleshooting Common Issues During Pool Line Blowouts

To properly blow out pool lines, it is essential to have the right size air compressor. Choosing the appropriate compressor size ensures efficient troubleshooting of common issues during pool line blowouts.

When it comes to blowing out pool lines, several common issues may arise that can hinder the process. In this section, we will discuss some of these troubleshooting points to help you successfully complete the task.

Insufficient Air Pressure Or Cfm

  • Inadequate air pressure or CFM (cubic feet per minute) can pose a challenge during pool line blowouts. Here are some possible reasons for this issue:
  • Incorrectly sized air compressor: Ensure that you have the appropriate size air compressor for the job. Match the CFM rating of the compressor to the pool system’s requirements.
  • Air compressor limitations: Check if your air compressor is capable of generating sufficient air pressure to clear the pool lines. Some compressors may struggle to reach the required pressure.
  • Air loss through fittings and connections: Make sure all fittings and connections are tightly secured to prevent air leaks, which can reduce the overall pressure and CFM.

Air Leaking From Connections

  • Air leaks in the connections can significantly impact the efficiency of the pool line blowout process. Consider the following points to address this issue:
  • Inspect connections: Thoroughly examine all connections for signs of leakage. Look for loose fittings, damaged O-rings, or worn-out seals.
  • Apply Teflon tape: If you find any fittings that are not perfectly sealed, apply Teflon tape to create a tight seal and prevent air leaks.
  • Replace damaged parts: If you notice any damaged or worn-out parts, such as O-rings or seals, replace them to ensure a proper connection.

Frozen Or Blocked Pool Lines

  • Frozen or blocked pool lines can cause significant hindrance during the blowout process. Consider the following steps to tackle this issue:
  • Thaw the frozen lines: If your pool lines are frozen, use warm water or a heating device to thaw them out. This will allow for a smooth blowout process.
  • Clear blockages: In case of blockages, use a plumbing snake or a jetting device to remove any debris or sediment blocking the pool lines. Clearing these blockages will ensure proper airflow during the blowout.

Dealing With Water Accumulation In The Lines

  • Accumulated water in the pool lines can be problematic during the blowout process. Follow these steps to address this issue:
  • Use a shop vacuum: Employ a shop vacuum to remove any water that has accumulated in the pool lines. This will prevent damage to the air compressor and ensure efficient blowout.
  • Use gravity drainage: Consider using gravity to drain the water from the lines. By removing any low spots or adding drain valves, you can facilitate the water’s natural flow out of the lines.

Remember, troubleshooting these common issues before and during the pool line blowout process will help you overcome obstacles and achieve a clean and successful blowout.

Regular Maintenance For Air Compressors Used In Pool Line Blowouts

Regular maintenance for air compressors used in pool line blowouts is crucial to ensure optimal performance. Determining the appropriate size of the air compressor for this task depends on the size of the pool and the length of the pool lines, which should be carefully considered for effective and efficient operation.

Cleaning and lubricating the compressor

  • Regularly clean the air compressor to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
  • Use a soft cloth to wipe off any dust or debris on the exterior of the compressor.
  • Check the air filter and clean or replace it as needed to maintain proper airflow.
  • Lubricate the moving parts of the compressor according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Proper lubrication helps reduce friction and extend the life of the compressor.

Checking for any damages or leaks

  • Inspect the hoses and connectors for any signs of damage, such as cracks or leaks.
  • Tighten any loose connections to prevent air leakage.
  • Look for visible wear and tear on the compressor, such as frayed wires or broken switches.
  • Test the pressure release valve to ensure it is functioning correctly.
  • Check the overall condition of the compressor for any unusual noises or vibrations that may indicate a problem.

Storing the compressor properly

  • Clean the compressor thoroughly before storing it to remove any dirt or moisture.
  • Find a clean, dry, and well-ventilated area to store the compressor.
  • If the compressor has a fuel tank, drain it to avoid any fuel-related issues during storage.
  • Disconnect the power supply and properly secure any cords or hoses to prevent damage.
  • Cover the compressor with a protective cover to shield it from dust and debris.

Regular maintenance is crucial for the proper functioning of an air compressor used in pool line blowouts. By following these maintenance practices, you can ensure that your compressor remains in optimal condition, allowing for efficient and effective blowouts without any hiccups.

Taking the time to clean, lubricate, check for damages or leaks, and store the compressor properly will not only extend its lifespan but also enhance its overall performance. So, make regular maintenance a priority to keep your air compressor running smoothly season after season.

Hiring A Professional Vs. DIY Pool Line Blowouts

Hiring a professional for pool line blowouts ensures accurate sizing of the air compressor, preventing damage. DIY attempts may lack expertise and risk pool line damage.

Pros And Cons Of Hiring A Professional Service

Hiring a professional service to blow out your pool lines can offer several advantages, but it also comes with a few drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons to consider:


  • Expertise: Professional pool service providers have the experience and expertise to perform pool line blowouts effectively and efficiently. They are familiar with different types of pool plumbing systems and can ensure that all the lines are adequately cleared of water.
  • Time-saving: By hiring a professional, you can save valuable time and effort. They will come equipped with the necessary tools and equipment, handle all the technical aspects, and complete the job quickly.
  • Convenience: Hiring a professional service gives you the convenience of letting someone else handle the task. You can sit back and relax while the experts take care of the pool line blowout.


  • Cost: One of the main drawbacks of hiring a professional service is the cost involved. Professional pool services come at a price, and the cost can vary depending on factors such as the size of your pool and the complexity of the plumbing system.
  • Scheduling constraints: Working with a professional service means you will have to adhere to their schedule. You may need to coordinate with them to find a suitable time for the pool line blowout, which may not always align with your availability.

Benefits Of DIY Blowouts With The Right Equipment

If you’re a pool owner who likes to take matters into your own hands, performing a DIY blowout with the right equipment can be a viable option. Here are some benefits of tackling the job yourself:

Cost savings: Performing a DIY blowout can save you money as you won’t have to hire a professional service. The initial investment in the equipment may seem expensive, but it can pay off in the long run.

Flexibility: When you choose to do it yourself, you have the freedom to perform the blowout whenever it suits you. You won’t have to coordinate with a professional service or factor in their availability.

Control and satisfaction: Doing the job yourself gives you full control over the process. You can ensure that each pool line is adequately cleared and take the time needed to do it right. Plus, completing the task on your own can be satisfying and give you a sense of accomplishment.

Understanding your pool: Performing a DIY blowout allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your pool’s plumbing system. You become more familiar with its intricacies and can identify any potential issues that may arise in the future.

Keep in mind that performing a DIY blowout requires the right equipment and a basic understanding of pool plumbing. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the process, it’s best to hire a professional service to ensure the job is done correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions On What Size Air Compressor To Blow Out Pool Lines

How Much Air Pressure Do You Need To Blow Out Pool Lines?

The recommended air pressure for blowing out pool lines is typically around 30-50 PSI.

Can You Use Air Compressor To Blow Out Pool Lines?

Yes, you can use an air compressor to blow out pool lines effectively.

Is A Shop Vac Strong Enough To Blow Out Pool Lines?

Yes, a shop vac can be powerful enough to blow out pool lines effectively.

Will A 6 Gallon Air Compressor Blow Out Sprinklers?

No, a 6-gallon air compressor may not have enough power to blow out sprinklers adequately.


To effectively blow out pool lines, it is crucial to choose the right size air compressor. The correct size will ensure efficient and thorough cleaning while minimizing damage to your pool system. By considering factors such as the length and diameter of the pool lines, as well as the pressure ratings of the air compressor, you can make an informed decision.

Remember to consult your pool manufacturer or a professional to determine the specific requirements for your pool. Investing in a suitable air compressor will help you maintain the integrity of your pool system and prevent costly repairs in the future.

Regularly blowing out pool lines is essential for winterizing and preparing your pool for the colder months. Take the time to research and select an air compressor that meets your needs, and enjoy a hassle-free pool season year after year.

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