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Thread: Pump and filtration question

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    Pump and filtration question

    Hi folks,

    I'm new here. I'm also new to pools having moved from a colder climate where we don't really have them (Great Britain).

    So this is the situation. It's an outdoor pool serviced weekly by our pool guy. I noticed recently that there was a tide mark on the top row of tiles and also I bit more "flotsam" in the pool little bits of debris nothing serious. I checked insider the chamber on the where the strainer basket is located and noticed there was no water movement so guessed that there was probably a blockage or something.

    I went around to the pump and it was humming in the usual way and I looked inside the glass inspection window and it was dry, much to my surprise. The waterfall was operating normally so I assumed, probably wrongly, that if the waterfall was working there was water throughput in the pump. So anyway I shut off the pump at the breaker.

    I was told by somebody that the waterfall would stop whenever there had been a pump problem and that the pump screeched when it had blown in the past. I also took reassurance from the fact that a pool guy attends weekly and would have hoped he would bring any issues to my attention. It is a relatively new pump I should mention.

    My my question is, obviously I was given bad information and in seeing the waterfall operating I assumed pump was all okay, so what is the likely scenario here? There is only one pump by the way.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    Welcome!

    Without seeing your setup, it's impossible to be sure, but...

    There's probably a valve in the wrong position. It could be as simple as the pool guy switched the intake to a vacuum port and forgot to turn it back to skimmer when he was done.

    When you shut off the pump, the waterfall did stop, correct? Because sometimes there is a separate pump for features and the water just goes through the pump and goes nowhere near the filter or heater.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    If the waterfall was working, then A pump was running properly. Now, the clues are: whether you have more than one pump and/or did the pool guy leave a valve in the wrong position? Or both?

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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    Hi and thanks guys for getting back so quickly!

    ok the valve question I need to check. There is only one pump. When I shut off the pump at the breakers it shut of the waterfall. Perhaps, as you say, a valve is in the wrong position.

    If I can describe the setup briefly:

    There are three pipes coming out of the ground and which feed into the pump right where the inspection window is - which as I mentioned contained no water but I could see airflow moving some dust around in there.

    Coming out of the top of the pump it flows into a tall filtration cylinder and then out of that and through the "heatwave" heater. Out of that is moves through a small chlorinator chamber then splits into three pipes again which disappear underground.

    The valve positions on the three pipes coming out of the ground are (from left to right) horizontal, horizontal, vertical. On the return three pipes they are (left to right) vertical, vertical, horizontal.

    Maybe that info helps?

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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    Is it possible that the pump basket was not dry just so full of water and no air bubble that it looked dry?

    The other option besides the valve in the wrong position mentioned above is a float valve in the skimmer at the pool. If you have one then you probably don't have a valve on the suction side both the main drain and skimmer would feed through the bottom of the skimmer, at times if the pump is running at high enough speed (like may be the case when the water fall is on) the float valve can get sucked closed stopping the skimmer and drawing all water from the main drain. Pictures of you equipment pad and inside the skimmer under the basket may help determine the most likely scenario.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    Quote Originally Posted by Expat View Post
    Hi and thanks guys for getting back so quickly!

    ok the valve question I need to check. There is only one pump. When I shut off the pump at the breakers it shut of the waterfall. Perhaps, as you say, a valve is in the wrong position.

    If I can describe the setup briefly:

    There are three pipes coming out of the ground and which feed into the pump right where the inspection window is. Coming out of the top of the pump it flows into a tall filtration cylinder and then out of that and through the "heatwave" heater. Then back again through a small chlorinator chamber then plots into three pipes again which disappear underground.

    the valve positions on the three pipes coming out of the ground are (from left to right) horizontal, horizontal, vertical. On the return three pipes they are vertical, vertical, horizontal.

    Maybe that info helps?
    Not really. A picture might help.

    The key is that the pipe that comes out of the pump strainer - that's the bucket thing with the clear lid - is the suction pipe. Probably there is a valve or even a whole bunch of valves, connected to that. One of them should go to the skimmer.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    Hi atttech-2

    I will get some pictures. By the way, Sorry to sound like an imbecile here guys, I do appreciate your help.

    I did wonder about whether it was actually full of water but having examined it closely it looked more like air flow rather than water based on the way the debris was reacting inside. Having said this I could be completely wrong of course.

    i don't see a float valve in the skimmer as you describe. Just a collector basket and the two opening for the lines at the bottom of it. There is quite a lot of light debris in there like tiny seedlings etc. There is no movement in that chamber whatsoever and I recall that it usually swirls.

    i will try to get these pictures and provide a link.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ok Richard320. Thanks for that. So The water flow is reverse to how I was describing it?

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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    Quote Originally Posted by Expat View Post
    I did wonder about whether it was actually full of water but having examined it closely it looked more like air flow rather than water based on the way the debris was reacting inside.
    Congratulations on having sparkly water!

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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    Last edited by Expat; 02-25-2016 at 02:00 PM. Reason: Insert pictures

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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    If your system is like mine and you have drain valve on the output of the pump (normal hose bib you can use to drain some water when it rains) you should be able to open that valve while the pump is off and if the pump basket is full it will break the suction holding the water in and prove weather or not it is full of water. The other option is the filter pressure gauge bleeder open that for a few seconds and see what happens in the pump basket.

    - - - Updated - - -

    OK looks like you only have 1 of your suction lines open probably a floor drain for either the pool or a spa if you have one. the 2 valves on the extreme left near the building where the handles are perpendicular to the pipe are closed my guess is one is your skimmer and the other is spa or pool.

    Good news is I am 99% cretin the pump basket is full
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    Thanks atttech-2. We don't have a spa here so it must be for the pool. Should I open all those valves?

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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    I had a similar situation, I thought it was dry but when i open the lid At the pump to clean the strainer it was obviously full of water.

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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    Thanks 1herm4. How easy is it to open that lid? Ours seems pretty much stuck shut.

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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    Also, if I change the position of those valves do I need to change the opposite valves in any corresponding way?

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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    If it were me I would always have the skimmer open and to a lesser degree the floor drain. That way if the skimmer ever becomes blocked you still have a supply from the floor and do not burn out the pump. The third valve could be for a suction side cleaner, if that is the case there will be a port on the side of the pool. That one does not need to be open if you don't have a cleaner attached. I would open them one at a time see if you can figure out what each does and label them just never run the pump with all 3 shut.

    - - - Updated - - -

    No you should not have to change the return valves. Again turning the return valves one at a time to figure out what they do would be a good idea just never all shut at the same time while the pump is running.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    Much appreciated. I'll check it out. Thanks. I'll let you know.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    Quote Originally Posted by Expat View Post
    Thanks 1herm4. How easy is it to open that lid? Ours seems pretty much stuck shut.
    I whack the ears with something heavy and blunt to loosen the lid. Usually it only takes a tap or two. It only has to turn 1/4 turn.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Pump and filtration question

    Like a piece of a 2x4.
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