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Thread: Pump pressure dropped and returns not as strong after brushing dirt to main drain

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    Pool valve questions

    I am so confused about the pool valves. There are two; the left one controls how strong the jets are.
    1. If the jets are full strength, does that mean that the valve is open or closed?
    2. If the jets are full strength, does that mean the skimmer vacuum is off? Conversely, if the jets are off, does that mean the skimmer vacuum is max strength?
    3. I attach a vacuum to the skimmer, should I set the valve to jets full, jets half, or jets off?
    4. For normal use, should it be set to jets full, jets half, or jets off?
    5. The right valve controls the water to the statue. I can leave that closed, right?



    What is this valve and what should it be set to? It is near the big tank in the pic below.


    Here is the tank. This is the pool filter, right?
    Outdoor concrete pool, 14,000 gallons, Purex Triton Clean & Clear Plus cartridge filter.

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    Re: Pool valve questions

    I'm going to try to answer these.

    1. If the jets are full strength, does that mean that the valve is open or closed?
    That particular valve would be full open

    2. If the jets are full strength, does that mean the skimmer vacuum is off? Conversely, if the jets are off, does that mean the skimmer vacuum is max strength?

    Skimmer is probably one of the valves. And if the the main drain valve is off, then you would see an increase in skimmer suction if that valve is open all the way.

    3. I attach a vacuum to the skimmer, should I set the valve to jets full, jets half, or jets off?
    Find the the main drain valve and start at half way turn to see what kinda skimmer suction you would have when you plug in your vacuum hose

    4. For normal use, should it be set to jets full, jets half, or jets off?
    All my valves are full on during normal running

    5. The right valve controls the water to the statue. I can leave that closed, right?
    Can't answer this, but if you want to have a statue without any running water then the valve would need to be off

    I'm sure I'll be corrected by somebody with more knowledge then I.

    I have a sharpie marker that I have labeled my valves with when I figured everything out a few years ago. It really helps

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oops.., Red valve might be a waste water valve, don't mess with it yet.

    That last pic looks like a cartridge filter, so that would be your filter. Clean it if you haven't

    You tube or Google might help with your filter questions
    Last edited by Mark R; 09-03-2015 at 03:45 PM. Reason: Edit
    12k gal Gunite/Hayward filter C5520BH with quad 33 inch filters. 2.5 hp motor. Pool is on south side, so full sun light. Spill over spa.
    Laar's heater LT250-Low NOx Gas Fired for pool/spa 250,000 BTU. Roof mount 6 panel solar system installed east/south. TF-100 test kit. May-September 100+ degrees out side.

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    Re: Pool valve questions

    It would be helpful if you stated where the piping from the valves go to. Your picture is a very close up view and only shows the valve bodies, which doesn't help identify their purpose.

    The pipe going up from the right valve goes to the ____________.
    The pipe going down from the right valve goes to the____________.
    The pipe going up from the left valve goes to the ___________.
    The pipe going left from the left valve goes to the____________.

    EDIT: If you don't know where the pipes go then take a further back photo so we can see for ourselves.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pool valve questions

    That is a cartridge filter.

    More here on cleaning them,
    Pool School - Maintenance and Cleaning of Pool Filters

    and here,
    Re: How to clean a cartridge filter
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Pool valve questions

    Quote Originally Posted by gtemkin View Post
    It would be helpful if you stated where the piping from the valves go to. Your picture is a very close up view and only shows the valve bodies, which doesn't help identify their purpose.

    The pipe going up from the right valve goes to the ____________.
    The pipe going down from the right valve goes to the____________.
    The pipe going up from the left valve goes to the ___________.
    The pipe going left from the left valve goes to the____________.

    EDIT: If you don't know where the pipes go then take a further back photo so we can see for ourselves.
    Sorry about that. Here is a picture.


    I believe that the right one only controls water to the statue fountain.

    The one on the left, it seems like the current position does partial jets and partial skimmer vacuum. From there I can turn 90 degrees left and right. One of them does full jets and one of them does no jets.

    Another question; is the left one in the wrong position? I'm able to rotate it 360 degrees with some force and I don't know what the correct position should be.
    Outdoor concrete pool, 14,000 gallons, Purex Triton Clean & Clear Plus cartridge filter.

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Pool valve questions

    Great picture!. It would also be helpful if you'd describe exactly what "ports" and water features your pool has. In other words, how many return jets, do you have a main drain, you already mentioned you have a skimmer and sculpture fountain but are there any other possible water items, maybe something that doesn't seem to do anything.

    The 3-way pool valves you have, have 3 pipe connections. They are shaped like a T. Connected to the the base of the T is usually, although not always, the input pipe that is feeding pressurized water to the valve, and at the top of the T are the pipe connections to the 2 output pipes that water can flow out of. The handle can be positioned to block one of the output pipes (water won't flow into that blocked pipe, but will flow into the other non-blocked output pipe), or not block either output pipe (water flows to both output pipes equally), or the handle can be positioned to partially block one of the outputs while not blocking the other output. That was a mouthful!

    You can also position the handle so the OFF marking isn't facing any pipe, as your picture shows your left hand valve to be. That is the position that allows water to flow to both outputs.

    The valve handle has a marking on the part that you don't grab that says OFF. if you position the handle so that the OFF faces one of the pipes, that is the pipe that is closed off from water flow.

    Aside from how the valve work, your system takes in water from the pool using the pipe that comes out of the ground and goes to the pump. That is called the SUCTION side of your system. At the top of your pump is a pipe that goes to the filter. That is the start of the PRESSURE side of your system. Every other pipe, valve and piece of equipment that is fed by that is to the left of that pipe, is on the PRESSURE side of your system.

    You mentioned your skimmer action is reduced when you re-position one of your 2 3-way valves. That would make sense because you may be closing off some of the flow on the pressure side (by closing one of the valve outputs). It's kind of like putting your hand over your mouth and not being able to blow; because you're blocking the flow. In your case, there will be reduced skimmer action if you block flow on the pressure side of your system.


    I am so confused about the pool valves. There are two; the left one controls how strong the jets are.
    1. If the jets are full strength, does that mean that the valve is open or closed?

    It means you've opened the flow path to the jets by opening the valve to those jets. In addition, if you close valves that feed other items, more water will flow to your jets because it's not being "wasted" on those other items.


    2. If the jets are full strength, does that mean the skimmer vacuum is off? Conversely, if the jets are off, does that mean the skimmer vacuum is max strength?

    No, just the opposite, If the jets are full strength it's because you're not restricting flow at the skimmer and are able to supply the jets with plenty of water form the skimmer. If the jets are off, it's it's like covering your mouth, nothing can get out so nothing, including the skimmer is flowing water. However, you do have other water paths like your fountain and the unknown pipe in the ground, so there are other factors.

    3. I attach a vacuum to the skimmer, should I set the valve to jets full, jets half, or jets off?

    Yes, full everything open on the pressure side to so there's NO pressure side blockages. That will maximize the pumps ability to suck. However you probably can ignore the statue and leave it's valve as is since it probably is a low flow device.
    4. For normal use, should it be set to jets full, jets half, or jets off?

    Generally full on.

    5. The right valve controls the water to the statue. I can leave that closed, right?

    Yes. That might be the one valve that you partially close to throttle back the flow to the statue. I'm guessing the statue is intended to just have a low flow of water going through it, not a gusher.

    I imagine this is ultra confusing. Hope I haven't made it more so.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Pool valve questions

    Quote Originally Posted by gtemkin View Post
    Great picture!. It would also be helpful if you'd describe exactly what "ports" and water features your pool has. In other words, how many return jets, do you have a main drain, you already mentioned you have a skimmer and sculpture fountain but are there any other possible water items, maybe something that doesn't seem to do anything.

    The 3-way pool valves you have, have 3 pipe connections. They are shaped like a T. Connected to the the base of the T is usually, although not always, the input pipe that is feeding pressurized water to the valve, and at the top of the T are the pipe connections to the 2 output pipes that water can flow out of. The handle can be positioned to block one of the output pipes (water won't flow into that blocked pipe, but will flow into the other non-blocked output pipe), or not block either output pipe (water flows to both output pipes equally), or the handle can be positioned to partially block one of the outputs while not blocking the other output. That was a mouthful!

    You can also position the handle so the OFF marking isn't facing any pipe, as your picture shows your left hand valve to be. That is the position that allows water to flow to both outputs.

    The valve handle has a marking on the part that you don't grab that says OFF. if you position the handle so that the OFF faces one of the pipes, that is the pipe that is closed off from water flow.

    Aside from how the valve work, your system takes in water from the pool using the pipe that comes out of the ground and goes to the pump. That is called the SUCTION side of your system. At the top of your pump is a pipe that goes to the filter. That is the start of the PRESSURE side of your system. Every other pipe, valve and piece of equipment that is fed by that is to the left of that pipe, is on the PRESSURE side of your system.

    You mentioned your skimmer action is reduced when you re-position one of your 2 3-way valves. That would make sense because you may be closing off some of the flow on the pressure side (by closing one of the valve outputs). It's kind of like putting your hand over your mouth and not being able to blow; because you're blocking the flow. In your case, there will be reduced skimmer action if you block flow on the pressure side of your system.


    I am so confused about the pool valves. There are two; the left one controls how strong the jets are.
    1. If the jets are full strength, does that mean that the valve is open or closed?

    It means you've opened the flow path to the jets by opening the valve to those jets. In addition, if you close valves that feed other items, more water will flow to your jets because it's not being "wasted" on those other items.


    2. If the jets are full strength, does that mean the skimmer vacuum is off? Conversely, if the jets are off, does that mean the skimmer vacuum is max strength?

    No, just the opposite, If the jets are full strength it's because you're not restricting flow at the skimmer and are able to supply the jets with plenty of water form the skimmer. If the jets are off, it's it's like covering your mouth, nothing can get out so nothing, including the skimmer is flowing water. However, you do have other water paths like your fountain and the unknown pipe in the ground, so there are other factors.

    3. I attach a vacuum to the skimmer, should I set the valve to jets full, jets half, or jets off?

    Yes, full everything open on the pressure side to so there's NO pressure side blockages. That will maximize the pumps ability to suck. However you probably can ignore the statue and leave it's valve as is since it probably is a low flow device.
    4. For normal use, should it be set to jets full, jets half, or jets off?

    Generally full on.

    5. The right valve controls the water to the statue. I can leave that closed, right?

    Yes. That might be the one valve that you partially close to throttle back the flow to the statue. I'm guessing the statue is intended to just have a low flow of water going through it, not a gusher.

    I imagine this is ultra confusing. Hope I haven't made it more so.
    Thanks so much for the detailed response. It clears up a lot of things. I do have a main drain, but I don't know what the valve position should be to make it maximum suction.

    I do have a question about what you said. When I put the "off" away from all pipes, that seems to be the highest vacuum suction from the skimmer and it's half jet power. When I move it to block one of the pipes, the jets are full strength, but I don't know at what expense,...maybe less skimmer suction, although it should be some other water flow that is blocked, right? Wouldn't putting it at this position be the best for normal usage?

    I do have an unrelated question about the main drain; where does the dirt go when sucked from the main drain? Is it ok for me to brush dirt to the main drain rather than vacuum it?
    Outdoor concrete pool, 14,000 gallons, Purex Triton Clean & Clear Plus cartridge filter.

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    Re: Pool valve questions

    Both the main drain and the skimmer are suction side devices and as such, they are both connected to the suction side pipe that goes into the ground at the front end of the pump. Many pools have a skimmer pipe and a separate main drain pipe feeding the suction side of the pool. In that case they would typically be joined together with a 3-way valve which would allow you to easily direct which device you want to have suction directed to (skimmer for better surface clearing and maintenance vacuuming; main drain to promote more deep water circulation or to drain the pool; or both skimmer and drain open for general total filtering and circulation). However, your skimmer and main drain appear to be joined underground without an above ground valve. That's not bad though, it's just the way it was configured when built.

    Yes, when the 3-way valve is positioned with the off not covering any of the ports. you're not blocking any water flow, therefore your water flow is at it's maximum (lot's of paths for that pressurized water to take; "no hand covering mouth") vs having one of the pipes blocked which would restrict total water flow (only one path for pressurized water; "mouth half covered"). The more restrictions you have on water flow the less flow you have and the less suction you have (you can't suck or blow with you're hand over your mouth, but the more you uncover your mouth, the easier it is to suck and blow.

    We still need to identify your 3rd pipe. Any thoughts as to other water jets or something else?

    Here's how you should track it. Pressurized water comes from your pump, goes through your filter, comes out the filter and goes around a bunch of corners to the 3-way valve on the left. It can then flow to the right or left, but for testing purposes, place the handle so the OFF is on the right side. Water should then only be able to flow to the pipe on the left side, so go around and feel where water is coming out of (return jets, fountain or something else). Whichever item has pressurized water coming out is the time the left pipe feeds.

    Next, turn the left 3-way valve handle until the OFF mark blocks the left pipe and have the right 3-way valve with the OFF mark toward the top pipe (right valve like in the picture). Now you will be feeding pressurized water to the bottom pipe. Go around the pool and find the item that has pressurized water coming out and that will be the item the bottom pipe of the right valve feeds.

    Lastly, turn the 3-way valve so the OFF faces the bottom pipe. Go around the pool again finding the item with pressurized water coming out and that is the the item fed buy the top pipe of the right valve.

    There's more to tell you but you must establish what each pipe feeds before you can go further.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Pool valve questions

    Great answers gtemkin. What I was trying to explain but couldn't type it right
    12k gal Gunite/Hayward filter C5520BH with quad 33 inch filters. 2.5 hp motor. Pool is on south side, so full sun light. Spill over spa.
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    Re: Pool valve questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark R View Post
    Great answers gtemkin. What I was trying to explain but couldn't type it right
    Thanks. Hoping my wordiness and typos don't further confuse the original poster! After we figure out what the 3 output pipes are going to, I think we'll be able to give the poster a better set of valve settings to work with.

    G
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Pump pressure dropped and returns not as strong after brushing dirt to main drain

    After brushing dirt into the main drain, I noticed that the pump pressure dropped and the returns are not spraying as strongly as before. I was hoping that the dirt would end up in the debris catcher, but I didn't see much dirt there.

    What caused the problem and how do I fix this?
    Outdoor concrete pool, 14,000 gallons, Purex Triton Clean & Clear Plus cartridge filter.

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    Re: Pump pressure dropped and returns not as strong after brushing dirt to main drain

    Clogged main drain line. Backflush the line.
    Mark
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    Re: Pump pressure dropped and returns not as strong after brushing dirt to main drain

    Quote Originally Posted by Grayson73 View Post
    After brushing dirt into the main drain, I noticed that the pump pressure dropped and the returns are not spraying as strongly as before. I was hoping that the dirt would end up in the debris catcher, but I didn't see much dirt there. What caused the problem and how do I fix this?
    Please provide us a little more information. Your main drain would have to be pretty strong regarding suction that automatically after brushing dirt in water, it would be sucked through the system and be concentrated only in that area. I have gone down to my main drain and can barely feel the suction. I know that they work, but not enough to suck up debris like a vacuum.

    Please describe pressure before and after incident (What PSI reading?) Your returns are not working as efficiently (how can you tell?). What exactly is a debris catcher? Is that the basket at your pump? Any fine dirt would not be caught, but actually get to your filter? What type of filter, etc?

    Please add signature with details of pool. I would recommend shutting down system and removing the return fittings. Check inside for any obstructions, etc. Then place back and turn on pump-filter. Also, it is possibly your valves have been turned, etc., causing this issue? Please post pictures if possible.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
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    Re: Pump pressure dropped and returns not as strong after brushing dirt to main drain

    If you have a valve on the suction line that splits the water flow between skimmers and main drain you can try switching all flow from the drain to see if the extra suction clears the line.
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    Re: Pump pressure dropped and returns not as strong after brushing dirt to main drain

    I knew that pressure went down because the jets when on full strength move the water so much that it makes sounds, and I can see the frothing.

    I tried again this morning and it was stronger than before. I do have a few questions and hope you can help me make sense of my pool!

    These are my valves. Can you help me understand what the settings are for? This is what happens at each setting

    Left valve with "Off" facing left: Return jets are at full strength
    Left valve with "Off" facing down: Return jets are at medium strength
    Left valve with "Off" facing right: Return jets are off
    Right valve controls the water coming out of the pool statue. I usually leave that off, but sometimes turn it on slightly to get some water flowing from that location.

    What is this? Should I ever touch the valve or change it from "run" to "pause"?



    What is this container on the left? I tried to open it but couldn't get it open. There's a knob at the bottom as well, which seems to hold the water in? When should I remove it?
    Outdoor concrete pool, 14,000 gallons, Purex Triton Clean & Clear Plus cartridge filter.

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    Re: Pump pressure dropped and returns not as strong after brushing dirt to main drain

    Hi Grayson,

    Seems like you lost your way back to the previous post in which you asked similar questions about your valve system. It would help to keep all your pool questions in the same post so folks can help you better.

    Here's a link to your last post questioning what your valves do:

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...alve-questions

    First thing you need to do is identify exactly what each of the 3 return pipes going into the ground do. We can help you do that but you have to return to the same posting, not create a new one.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Pump pressure dropped and returns not as strong after brushing dirt to main drain

    When you say "pump pressure dropped" what do you actually mean? Did the filter pressure gauge really lower in its pressure reading? Or are you misstating and really mean that the pump flow reduced?

    The likely problem is different depending on what is actually happening.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I merged the threads. Seems that your valves were previously explained.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Pump pressure dropped and returns not as strong after brushing dirt to main drain

    See comments in line.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grayson73 View Post
    I knew that pressure went down because the jets when on full strength move the water so much that it makes sounds, and I can see the frothing.

    I tried again this morning and it was stronger than before. I do have a few questions and hope you can help me make sense of my pool!

    These are my valves. Can you help me understand what the settings are for? This is what happens at each setting

    Left valve with "Off" facing left: Return jets are at full strength
    Left valve with "Off" facing down: Return jets are at medium strength
    Left valve with "Off" facing right: Return jets are off
    Right valve controls the water coming out of the pool statue. I usually leave that off, but sometimes turn it on slightly to get some water flowing from that location.
    Seems like you have a handle on what things do so what else do you need to know? I think one of the valves probably controls the in-floor cleaner (see below).


    What is this? Should I ever touch the valve or change it from "run" to "pause"?
    This if for your in-floor cleaner. Most of the time you will want to leave it on run.



    What is this container on the left? It is called a pump basket and it collects debris so it should be emptied every week or two.I tried to open it but couldn't get it open. Put a bar or stick through the handle to get some leverage but be careful. Also, sometimes the lids come off easier with the pump running. Don't worry though, the suction will still hold the lid on. There's a knob at the bottom as well, which seems to hold the water in? When should I remove it? That is a drain plug and usually only used during closing to remove all the water from the pump basket.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Pump pressure dropped and returns not as strong after brushing dirt to main drain

    Quote Originally Posted by gtemkin View Post
    Hi Grayson,

    Seems like you lost your way back to the previous post in which you asked similar questions about your valve system. It would help to keep all your pool questions in the same post so folks can help you better.

    Here's a link to your last post questioning what your valves do:

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...alve-questions

    First thing you need to do is identify exactly what each of the 3 return pipes going into the ground do. We can help you do that but you have to return to the same posting, not create a new one.
    Ok, I will post there, but this was a new problem that just occurred which is I why I posted a new thread.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    When you say "pump pressure dropped" what do you actually mean? Did the filter pressure gauge really lower in its pressure reading? Or are you misstating and really mean that the pump flow reduced?

    The likely problem is different depending on what is actually happening.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I merged the threads. Seems that you valves were previously explained.
    Yes, the gauge lowered and the return jets got weaker. The past two nights, I noticed that it's strong when I first start, but when I check it in the morning, it's weak again.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    See comments in line.
    What is an "in-floor cleaner" and what does it do? Is that the main drain suction?
    Outdoor concrete pool, 14,000 gallons, Purex Triton Clean & Clear Plus cartridge filter.

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Pool valve questions

    A suction clog would result in lower flow and lower filter pressure. A dirty filter would result in lower flow and higher filter pressure. I am still not clear what you issue is.

    The in floor cleaner is all the pop up heads around the bottom of the pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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