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Thread: Which Valve Does What ?

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Which Valve Does What ?

    How should the valves be set for normal daily duties? And to Backwash?

    this is on a 25,000-30,000 gallon pool with 1 pump & 1 booster pump, DE filter, Water Heater and hopefully these pics show it all.

    The pool is collecting "dust" at the bottom of the pool especially on the return side of the pool.

    just moved to the house so not sure how the valves need to be set bc ive moved them since moving here.

    I know the Filter needs to be cleaned also, probably most of my problem as far as the dirt on bottom.

    thanks.



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    banditig's Avatar
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    Re: Which Valve Does What ?

    I would get a helper to check were water is moving and lable each pipe. Look for activities in skimmer(s).
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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Which Valve Does What ?

    My first suggestion would be for you to hire a local pool maintenance guy to come in and clean your filter and explain how the whole system operates. Once you've seen it done once, you can then do it yourself. I say this because no one here can tell you for sure what each valve does. That said, I'll provide my guess...

    Your main pump "sucks" water out of the pool and then pushes it through your filter and your heater and then returns it to the pool. The pump sucks water from either the Main Drain or the Skimmers, or a combination of the two of them. Directly in front of your main pump are two valves. I suspect that the valve farthest away from your pump is connected to your skimmers and the valve closest to the pump lets you select water from either the Skimmers or the Main Drain. In your pictures it appears to me that you are currently drawing all your water from your Main and nothing from your Skimmers. I say this because the valve closest to the pump is set so that no water can come in from the other valve. Note that the handle points to the open port and that the wedge shape point to the closed port.

    I recommend that you set the valve closest to the pump so that the handle faces directly at the pump, with the wedge end pointing away from the pump. This will fully open both ports for this valve. Then do the same thing to the valve furthest away from the pump so that both ports are open.

    Sorry but I can't figure out what is going on with the return side of your system. Your current return valves are set up in such a way that none of the valves have any water flowing through them...????

    Your backwash valve is the one directly in front of the Filter. You would pull up to backwash, but at this point I think the smart thing to do is to dissemble and clean the filter first so that you have a known starting point.

    Again, I recommend getting a knowledgeable pool guy to walk you through this the first time.

    Some questions I would have are:

    1. Does your pool cleaner work/run at all?
    2. How many skimmers do you have?
    3. How many returns do you have?
    4. Can you feel water (under pressure) coming out each return?

    Good luck with your project.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Which Valve Does What ?

    Thanks for the replies.

    I had a pool guy doing it when i first moved into the house, but he has since disappeared and ive been left in the blind.

    He had it sparkling Clear everyday.

    After he left, i had it going for about a month and then ran out of chlorine tablets and hadnt done any research on how to maintain a pool and im sure you can figure out where that went.

    Needless to say a month later i got the algea under control and the pool not green anymore. After that it took me a while to get the pool clear again and when i did, it didnt stay clear for very long. The time that it did get clear was after cleaning out the filter, so i assume thats my issue as of now (for sure b/c the pressure has gone up on the gauge)

    The return ports dont supply much pressure. They are also pointed up , which ive read isnt the best. also i had stuck a finger into 2 of the return ports and it popped the PVC pipe at the same time, at the T after the Heater.

    I think that the pool used to have a Spa but not anymore. Also the pool has a high salt count (i took it to Leslies pools and they tested it) but the guy said that it wont hurt anything but maybe the system was at one time a salt system but maybe something went wrong and they switched back to chlorine prior to selling to save money. ??

    Also in the 11th picture, what is that ? one time i came outside after having a party and it was actually knocked upside down, i put it back upright and have yet to figure out what it is .

    Recently the basket in front of the pump had a hole in it so it was letting leaves get by and i assume directly into the dump. Is there a method of cleaning the pump ?? to remove the debris, if any accumulated.

    I had actually been moving the valves right before i took these pictures. I got to thinking that me moving them trying to figure out what did what might end up messing something up or maybe building up pressure and messing something up?? Im pretty sure they are not set in the right place bc i actually turned the pump off bc the pressure on the filter gauge was rising above where it normally did, 2-3 PSI above what it had been before i moved a handle or 2 , but i had read somewhere that the filter could blow the top bc of a pressure related problem..

    anyhow im going to go outside and see what it does with ur suggestions.

    thanks for the reply, hope i didnt confuse ya on this scatter reply.,

    BTW , i have 2 skimmers, probably 8-10 (just guessing right now, and i think some actually dont work) but all have very low pressure.

    And my pool cleaner handt been working for hte past 2 weeks and i had been cleaning it myself but its been VERY hard to keep up bc of all the falling leaves and trees are surrounding the pool. The thing that goes before the auto cleaner had messed up, i assume got debris in it and it was not functioning properly. I just replaced it on thursday so ive been running the booster pump and cleaner 24 hrs trying to get it all cleaned up on the bottom.


    I think ive got hte basics of how to get the pool right , as long as i can figure out these valves. I cant find anything that is setup in the same or even close to the way mine is.

    So i should turn a valve and look inside the skimmer to see if the leaves are being sucked to the bottom of the basket ??

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Which Valve Does What ?

    I'm not sure I even know where to begin.. but, I'll give it a shot.

    I don't think it is possible for the pump to create enough pressure to pop the top on a DE filter as long as the band is secured correctly. Each pool is different, but the pressure is usually between 10 and 20 PSI, with a clean filter. As the filter gets dirty the pressure will increase. So if the normal clean pressure is 10 PSI you'd need to clean your filter when the pressure gets between 18 PSI or sooner. This is why I suggested you get the filter cleaned before moving forward.

    It would be best if we could focus on one area at a time. Let's do the suction side first. Turn the valves as I suggested and then go to each skimmer. Is it obvious that water is being pulled into the pump? If not, take the Skimmer basket out and reach in and see if you can feel any suction. In theory, you should have suction at both Skimmers, if so, move the furthest valve so that you close off one of the two ports. Recheck the Skimmers and see which one no longer has any suction. You can call that Skimmer #1.. Move the same valve and shut off the other port. Skimmer # 1 should now have suction and Skimmer # 2 will be off. This of course assumes that my guess is correct. But I think you can see how this process works and you should be able to determine what these two valves control. You will not be able to "see" the main drain working, but if you can identify the two skimmers you can assume the other port is for the Main Drain.

    If your skimmer baskets are "full" of leaves you should empty them now. You should also replace the pump basket, as it is there for a reason.. You really don't want bigger items to get into the pump and/or filter.

    So. Go turn the valves and see if you can determine what the two valve in front of the pump control. Once you know what those two valves do, set them to turn on both Skimmers and the Main Drain and then report back with the filter pressure reading and we will go from there.

    I suspect the filter is full of dead stuff.. and that is one reason you have no pressure at the returns. Did you clean the filter the first time or was this done by the pool guy you used to have?

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Which Valve Does What ?

    i have a few questions

    I think that the piping might be confusing bc the pool (i think) used to have a spa built into it but the previous owner had the spa removed and i assume that is why it has more valves than normal ?? (or is this a normal amount?)

    Also about a year ago i had stuck my finger into a return port where i believe the spa used to be and when i did this on 2 of the ports a pipe busted. WP_20151112_13_53_25_Pro.jpg (BTW, this is an old pic prior to changing the valves) It busted at the T coming out of the hot water heater. I replaced the piping there with normal PVC pipe but im pretty sure it had some different type of pipe prior and also had a reducer inside the pipe. Im pretty sure i didnt match what i took off, would this be something i need to have checked out ??? i thought the pvc pipe was for hotter liquids, and since i didnt use the heater, i didnt see this as being an issue. ??

    How do i know how much DE to put back into the skimmer to make my filter work correctly?? I normally just put 2 cups into it and assume thats correct.

    Also for some reason my Polaris Cleaner Keeps getting stuck and doesnt want to back out from where its stuck. It also has lower pressure than it normally does. I have changed out the Squirter thing that sits before the cleaner that is supposed to get it out of situations like this but it seems to be messing up again. I assume its getting something clogged in it and making it malfunction ?? someone had mentioned to me that i could clean them out instead of buying another one (this would be my 3rd one but i still have the 2 others that i can clean if possible).


    And yes the filter was nasty. It was slimy but i got it cleaned up real nice and since the pressure had dropped below 20 and hasnt risen since. And the water has remained Clear.




    AGain, thanks for the help.

    much appreciated

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