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Thread: Backwash plumbing question

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    Backwash plumbing question

    I was hoping to get a little advice on the backwash plumbing for our pool. I'm new to all of this - we just bought a house with our first pool, so sorry if this is a very basic question. The pool inspector told us that our backwash valve was never plumbed completely. Below is the backwash valve waste outlet (I think) in green, and another line in red that I'll explain below. I've included two pictures so you can see the plumbing from two different angles.

    PoolEquip1 - Copy red.jpg

    PoolEquip4 - Copy red.jpg

    1. The piped line in red is not connected to anything at the top (by the red arrow) and appears to simply run to the edge of the pad and discharge there (with a spigot on the end for some reason - is that normal?). Should this be the discharge line for the backwash valve? Is there any other purpose this line could or should serve?

    2. Is there anything wrong with leaving the waste outlet for the discharge valve (in the green circle) open as it currently is? In this setup, it would just dump out onto the concrete pad by the filter. I don't plan to do this but am just wondering if there was anything wrong with what the previous owner was doing that may have caused any problems. Also wondering if this is something that should absolutely be addressed before we start the pool back up (it's getting new plaster, coping, and tile right now).

    3. Would you suggest plumbing the valve outlet (the green circle) to the other line that appears to be connected to nothing (the red line)? Or should I do something else to pipe the backwash outlet discharge out away from the filter?

    Thanks for any thoughts or help!
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    Looks like you have a spa. Are you sure that line in red isn't the air intake for the spa jets? You can find out by running the spa and putting your hand over the opening of the pipe; you'll feel air suction. Don't know why they put a spigot on it other than maybe it fills with water and the previous owner wanted to drain it.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Looks like you have a spa. Are you sure that line in red isn't the air intake for the spa jets? You can find out by running the spa and putting your hand over the opening of the pipe; you'll feel air suction. Don't know why they put a spigot on it other than maybe it fills with water and the previous owner wanted to drain it.
    Hmm, I'll double check that tomorrow, it's possible. Although you'll notice that in both pictures, there's a pipe on the right side that goes straight up vertically off the top of the photos (it has a black wire spiral wrapped around it) - I was under the understanding that this is the air intake for the spa blower and jets. Does that sound right? Here's a picture of the upper part of that pipe so you can see what I'm talking about.


    PoolEquip2.jpg
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    Ah, yes, that was the missing part of the picture.

    Hmmm....then what is the mystery tube for??

    I would not go hooking up your backwash from the filter to the pipe until you ascertain where that pipe goes. Unless it dumps into your sewer, you do not want to force filter backwash into your pool plumbing.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    Makes sense - I honestly didn't notice whether that red line connected to something that went into the ground (by the spigot), or if it just runs to the edge of the cement pad without going into the ground....I thought it didn't go into the ground, which is why I thought it may have been intended to be the backwash line. I'll take a close look tomorrow morning to see if it does indeed go into the ground.

    If it does go into the ground, any idea how to figure out whether it's dumping into the sewer or not? Thanks again!
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    Quote Originally Posted by lvrpl View Post
    Makes sense - I honestly didn't notice whether that red line connected to something that went into the ground (by the spigot), or if it just runs to the edge of the cement pad without going into the ground....I thought it didn't go into the ground, which is why I thought it may have been intended to be the backwash line. I'll take a close look tomorrow morning to see if it does indeed go into the ground.

    If it does go into the ground, any idea how to figure out whether it's dumping into the sewer or not? Thanks again!
    From the picture, it looks like the pipe goes into the ground. Are you on a septic tank or a city sewer?


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    I'd try to figure out where the red line runs but for now I'd likely just put a 90 on that drain and at least run enough PVC to get the water past the edge of the pad so the water isn't flooding the pad and your feet.
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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    From the picture, it looks like the pipe goes into the ground. Are you on a septic tank or a city sewer?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    We're on city sewer. You're probably right that it goes into the ground and I just wasn't paying close enough attention - I'll verify that tomorrow.
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    So I double checked this morning and, as seems obvious now (even from the pictures), that red line that is open at the top end certainly feeds into the ground. So that leads me to two questions:

    1. Is there any way to determine if that red pipe is feeding into our city sewer, or if it's something else?

    2. In order to do a backwash later this week when we get the pool up and running after the replaster is finished, could I just attached a hose from the backwash valve (in the green circle) to the edge of the pad? Could this be a viable longer term solution if the plumbing is a headache on that valve (there isn't much clearance between the bottom of the backwash valve in the green circle and the pipe right below that runs to the blower)?

    Thanks again for the help.
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    1. Is there a black, 4" clear out drain cover somewhere nearby. Since you are on city sewer, there should be on your property somewhere a way to access the main sewer line (it looks like a black, PVC threaded pipe cap). This is what a plumber would use to clear out your drain pipe in the case only a major sewer line blockage. You could put a garden hose down the mystery tube, run water and then open up the sewer drain and see if you can hear water flow. Careful though because the smell can be pretty wretched. Also, be sure no one is using any sinks, showers or toilets when you test.

    2. Yes, you can do that. I actually have some long runs of 1-1/2" PVC pipes and elbows that I use to build a backwash pipe so that I can redirect my backwash flow. Some folks just use a blue 2" backwash hose to redirect flow but that was not the best option for me. The nice part is, when I'm done, I disassembly the piping and store it near the equipment pad.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    Looks like this -




    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    Alright, circling back on this - the red pipe does in fact feed to the city sewer (I found where the pipe feeds into the sewer drain at the front of the house). I'm going to plumb the backwash valve discharge to that red line sometime this week (I'm going to have to work around that air inlet line as it's currently in the way). Thanks for the help!
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    Quote Originally Posted by lvrpl View Post
    Alright, circling back on this - the red pipe does in fact feed to the city sewer (I found where the pipe feeds into the sewer drain at the front of the house). I'm going to plumb the backwash valve discharge to that red line sometime this week (I'm going to have to work around that air inlet line as it's currently in the way). Thanks for the help!
    Good to know. Just an opinion, but you do not have to permanently plumb it (gluing it). I have my backwash line just rough plumbed out to drain and I take it apart when not in use. The backwash is free-flowing water under very little pressure so my tubing never comes apart.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    Thanks, that's a good point. I don't think I'd ever really want to remove it, but rough plumbing it without glue would probably be a lot easier. Perhaps I'll rough plumb that backwash line in, and then just keep an eye on it in case it starts leaking a lot, at which point I could think about gluing it. Thanks!
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Good to know. Just an opinion, but you do not have to permanently plumb it (gluing it). I have my backwash line just rough plumbed out to drain and I take it apart when not in use. The backwash is free-flowing water under very little pressure so my tubing never comes apart.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    One other question on this - the drain line goes down into the ground, runs from the backyard to the front yard, and then comes back above ground in the front yard, where it then goes into the sewer drain pipe. I don't have a picture right now, but picture the drain on the front of the house like this: the sewer drain pipe sticks up from the ground in my front yard about 4 or 6 inches. The drain from my pool equipment comes up out of the ground next to it and then does a u-turn back towards the ground to feed into the open sewer drain pipe.

    So my question is this - do you think I could still rough plump my backwash line from the filter? I understand that it's under very little pressure, but it would have to provide enough pressure to push that water down into the ground and then back up in the front yard. Does that make sense? Just wondering if I'm setting myself up for a big leak. Thanks!
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    I'm wondering if the "red" pipe was going to be a backwash drain to the city sewer and the stand up end was vent for sewer (air behind water). If so there should be a trap somewhere so gas can't come back through pipe. But the spigot at the end confuses me. When I first looked at pics before reading post I thought spigot might be for something like a feed to a slide or water feature.

    Since I've always backwashed into yard, are there any regulations about backwashing pool water into sewer systems ?
    Si -central Mo. 32' x 16' -- 3'4" to 6' deep Vinyl liner - 16,500 Gals : Triton II filter -Duraglass 2 hp pump - 1 speed : SI-30 salt generator
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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    Hi IVRPL. Sorry to have seen this late, but, better late than never. Your red line pipe is a waste/backwash line. That's why it has a sightglass fitting on it. It enables you to see the backwash water going out and when the water is clear, your backflush is done. An oldie part but I think some pool system still use them

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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    Quote Originally Posted by lefty51 View Post
    I'm wondering if the "red" pipe was going to be a backwash drain to the city sewer and the stand up end was vent for sewer (air behind water). If so there should be a trap somewhere so gas can't come back through pipe. But the spigot at the end confuses me. When I first looked at pics before reading post I thought spigot might be for something like a feed to a slide or water feature.

    Since I've always backwashed into yard, are there any regulations about backwashing pool water into sewer systems ?
    I guess that's possible, but here's what I think happened with that red pipe: the previous owner got a new filter (or at least a new backwash valve, the old multiport was lying around) and the old filter backwash tied right into the red pipe. The plan was probably to tie the new backwash line back into the red pipe. However, the new backwash valve discharge is in a position that interferes with the piping that goes to the blower inlet pipe. Instead of replumbing the blower inlet line to make enough room to plumb the backwash valve outlet to the red line, they just left the job unfinished with the backwash valve outlet plumbed to nothing. Does that make sense?

    I think the to fix this correctly, I first need to replumb the blower pipe (the pipe with the electrical cord spiralled around it) so that it doesn't pass right below the backwash valve discharge outlet. Then I can plumb the backwash valve discharge outlet into the red pipe. And while I'm at it, I should probably replace that sight glass (I just ordered a new one).

    Also, I don't think there is any regulation about the backwash going into the city sewer. Or at least, everyone on my street with a pool has their backwash line plumbed similarly into the city drain.

    Thanks for all the help!
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    Re: Backwash plumbing question

    Boy are my eyes bad. OldPoolMan spotted the sight glass between the pipes. I thought they were just disconnected where they were going to tee in the backwash line.

    I figured it was okay to drain to sewer, that's where the backwash would end up anyway. Out here in the country, when I went to drain pool to replace liner the county was worried about chlorine in the water ?????

    I asked what was in my drinking water and were they concerned I would destroy cow manure or bleach the Angus out.

    They said it would be okay to drain in my 5 acres as it would dilute down before hitting the ditch and culvert. Whew, thank goodness I diverted an EPA disaster
    Si -central Mo. 32' x 16' -- 3'4" to 6' deep Vinyl liner - 16,500 Gals : Triton II filter -Duraglass 2 hp pump - 1 speed : SI-30 salt generator
    TF-100 with speedstir

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    Backwash plumbing question

    If the backwash line was correctly plumbed into the sewer line, then there should be a p-trap type configuration to prevent the backflow of sewer gas. It sounds to me like that might not be the case and is probably why there is a spigot there - possibly to flush fresh water from a hose down the line to clean it out.

    Some municipalities changed their discharge regulations making it illegal to send either DE or pool water (considered chemically treated water) or both down a municipal drain. Installations are typically only grandfathered in until you change the filter, then you would have to follow the new regs. You should quietly check into your local regulations on that matter.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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