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Thread: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

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    Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    Still in my first few weeks of maintaining my pool on my own. Dug into the forum and tried to find the answers for my skimmer question, but couldn't exactly pinpoint it so I'm starting this thread. A little background: had my pool water replaced a couple weeks ago and I've been working on getting the pool chemicals in balance. During this process, I've been keen on monitoring the water level and skimmer--especially the leaves and junk floating around in the pool. I found out that my auto-leveler is bad, so I just ordered a new one to replace it. On to the skimmer/diverter....

    I noticed that the float in the diverter was being fully pulled down by the pump and closing the suction through the skimmer. From my reading it seems that the necessary step is to swing the flap to halfway and see if it creates less suction so the float doesn't come down. Is that correct? I did notice that the screw on the diverter was loose, so I tightened it and also tested the float to make sure it floats (it does). Do most pool owners have the flap halfway closed?

    During my troubleshooting, I removed the diverter altogether as I figured it would intake all the stuff from the top of the pool. But, in the morning, it doesn't seem like the skimmer is pulling very much in whatsoever. The water level seems to be fine as the skimmer flap (the door that allows water into the skimmer area) can block stuff from getting out when the skimmer is off. This is now my primary focus and want to solve it if possible. Maybe the settings are not working that force the water towards to skimmer?

    I'm happy to post pictures if that could help. Any insight into the skimmer issue would be appreciated. Thanks!
    16,000 gal Pebble Sheen pool w/ spa, Jandy Aqualink, Hayward Salt system, 60 SF DE Filter, Hayward Gas Heater, Caretaker In-floor pop-up cleaning system.
    2hp Whisperflow for filter, 2hp Dynaglass for booster, 2hp for blower, 1hp Dynaglass for scuppers.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    I wonder if THIS THREAD might help you at all?
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    Thanks Texas, that thread is helpful but doesn't answer why my skimmer doesn't appear to work as it should. If I remove the diverter altogether, shouldn't the skimmer be 100% the intake when the pool pump is on? With that being removed, my assumption is that the skimmer would collect all the stuff floating on the top very effectively. But, it doesn't appear to be doing a good job. I'm trying to troubleshoot and determine why my skimmer isn't doing a good job. For instance, I had the pump on for almost 2 days straight but still had a lot of misc leaves and particles floating around the pool. My initial question was diverter and skimmer related, but I'm really lost at troubleshooting any further if it's related to settings, pumps, nozzles etc.

    Another question I have in my mind is that the jets aren't working in unison to push the surface water into the skimmer. Any suggestions on troubleshooting that too? Thanks!
    16,000 gal Pebble Sheen pool w/ spa, Jandy Aqualink, Hayward Salt system, 60 SF DE Filter, Hayward Gas Heater, Caretaker In-floor pop-up cleaning system.
    2hp Whisperflow for filter, 2hp Dynaglass for booster, 2hp for blower, 1hp Dynaglass for scuppers.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    If you are able to remove the diverter in its entirely, then yes, all suction should be from the skimmer unless you have a main drain or something else plumbed into your skimmer or another line going directly to your pump intake. If that's not an issue for you, and you only pull water from one source (the skimmer), then that would seem to leave two things: restricted water pull from the pump (possible suction line blockage) or the weir flap not operating properly. My weir flap fluctuates about hallway open/closed when the system is on, then it should close when the system is off to prevent debris from leaving the skimmer and going back into the pool.

    Now if your pool is equipped with an auto-fill, perhaps that float is impeding flow or responsible for some of your issues. If it's collapsing on its own due to suction, it may need to be replaced.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    You are correct: with the diverter all the way opened or removed, all the suction should go towards the skimmer.

    The fact that the weir (flapper) floats doesn't mean it's working properly. It should move freely all the way to fully opened and all the way to fully closed. If it doesn't open all the way, you will suck water out of the skimmer well faster than it can flow in, which will either a) pull the diverter float down so all the suction is to the drain or b) start sucking air in a vortex which will make the pump less efficient or even lose prime. Low water level will cause the same problems.

    If the weir is waterlogged or the water level is too high, there will be too much water flowing over the top, which reduces skimmer efficiency. Here's why: Say the pump pulls 5000 gallons per hour. That's 83 gallons per minute; 19250 cubic inches per minute. If the skimmer opening is 18 inches wide and the weir allows " of water above it, that's 9 square inches. So for the water to keep the skimmer well full -- which it will, as water seeks its own level -- that's 2,138 inches per minute. 35 inches per second; 2 miles an hour. That's not very fast, easy walking speed and way slower than your hand sweeping across the surface. Now what if you double or triple the depth of the water across the weir? 12 inches per second. If you drop a ping pong ball a foot away from the skimmer, in the current, it will take a full second to enter.

    The point being, you need velocity to skim the surface. If you look at a creek, where it widens and gets shallow, the water gets covered with slime. Where the channel narrows, it speeds up and the water looks clear. Same thing with the pool.

    Now the second part: flow. That's going to take some experimentation, aiming the return eyeballs this way and that to get a good current going that will push surface debris past the skimmer opening so hopefully the intake flow will pull it in. If there aren't enough leaves or pollen on the surface to watch, drop ping pong balls or empty, capped water or soda bottles in and see where they go.
    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: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    Did the ping pong ball test last night. Turned on the pool at 8:45pm and dropped 4 ping pong balls in. The pool is basically a rectangle and the skimmer is on the top left (see attachment). Dropped the balls about 3ft from the edges, and 3ft from the corners. Woke up and NOT ONE BALL was in the skimmer! I did not have the diverter in last night figuring that I'll have more suction to the skimmer. Okay, what should I do next?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    16,000 gal Pebble Sheen pool w/ spa, Jandy Aqualink, Hayward Salt system, 60 SF DE Filter, Hayward Gas Heater, Caretaker In-floor pop-up cleaning system.
    2hp Whisperflow for filter, 2hp Dynaglass for booster, 2hp for blower, 1hp Dynaglass for scuppers.

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    Re: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    1 more thing, when I remove the skimmer basket and put my hand down to the bottom, there is a lot of suction. There are two holes there and one has no suction--assuming this is supposed to be correct. Also, even though the suction is strong, there is never a time when the water level in the skimmer is low--the water seems to always be at the mid section of the weir door (so it's not sucking in air).
    16,000 gal Pebble Sheen pool w/ spa, Jandy Aqualink, Hayward Salt system, 60 SF DE Filter, Hayward Gas Heater, Caretaker In-floor pop-up cleaning system.
    2hp Whisperflow for filter, 2hp Dynaglass for booster, 2hp for blower, 1hp Dynaglass for scuppers.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    You are correct that having only one skimmer hole operational it normal. Just the way it was plumbed. The water level in the skimmer may always be about that halfway level. It is for me. So water "pull" on the surface is somewhat dictated by the weir door to the skimmer (and to some degree wind direction). So it's good that you feel a strong suction inside the skimmer (one port), at least the plumbing shouldn't be an issue. Now it should be a matter of verifying if your weir door is defective and/or manipulating surface movement. How about return jet angles? Did we ever discuss that? Are your jets pointed slightly upwards to help with surface "push" and encourage directional flow? Just a thought.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    Now is when you wrestle with the return eyeball rings and try to loosen them enough to move the eyeballs. And that's the experimentation part. You want them generally pointing up - but not so much that you generate waves, which will aerate things and speed up pH rise - and getting some kind of flow that will move your ping pong balls past the skimmer.

    For the diverter, what I did was watch the turbulence in the skimmer and closed the flap just to where the difference was noticeable. That's enough to prevent temperature stratification.
    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: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    Thanks! I'll have to really dig into those return jets, but last night I lightly put my finger in one and didn't seem like it would move. Any strategy for loosening them and aiming it? I'm assuming that, for my pool at least, there is a clockwise push starting from the return jet that is about 4-5 feet away from the skimmer (closer to the spa). The next one seems like it's on the opposite side of the spa, another one across the pool from that and maybe 1-2 more until it returns the water back to skimmer. That sound about right in theory? Also, I should include that 3 out of the 4 ping pong balls were waiting for me in the top right corner of the pool (all the way across from the skimmer) and the other ball was on the bottom left hugging the wall. -My directional references are if you are looking at the diagram I uploaded earlier.

    Here is a pic of the 3 ping pong balls having a party in the corner---and a pic of my pool this morning. Thanks again!!!

    https://goo.gl/photos/j4CW3xBxfVJs41Xn6
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    16,000 gal Pebble Sheen pool w/ spa, Jandy Aqualink, Hayward Salt system, 60 SF DE Filter, Hayward Gas Heater, Caretaker In-floor pop-up cleaning system.
    2hp Whisperflow for filter, 2hp Dynaglass for booster, 2hp for blower, 1hp Dynaglass for scuppers.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    ha ha. Yeah, I see them hiding in the corner. Obviously they are not cooperating. I love that view by the way. Sweeeeeet. My pool is rectangular as well, but most of my jets are on one end, so they simply all "try" to push water from one end to the other (skimmer). Not sure on your jets though. I believe some type differ by the outer ring and method of losening. Maybe a pic or ask your builder perhaps to be safe?
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    Took a look at the jets and grabbed some pics (see link). When I put my finger in them to move they don't budge. I don't want to force anything with a screwdriver (yet) but what do you think? BTW, crazy as I took that view for granted while I was on my mission to see where the ping pong balls were hiding.

    https://goo.gl/photos/Tb5KrK2Gicud6j2p8
    16,000 gal Pebble Sheen pool w/ spa, Jandy Aqualink, Hayward Salt system, 60 SF DE Filter, Hayward Gas Heater, Caretaker In-floor pop-up cleaning system.
    2hp Whisperflow for filter, 2hp Dynaglass for booster, 2hp for blower, 1hp Dynaglass for scuppers.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    Oooh, I certainly see what you mean. I'm not real versed in those type of returns myself. We'll give this thread some time to see if someone else chimes in who may know the trick. Yes, that sunset reminds me of my days at Luke ('86 - '92.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    OK, I believe that you have discovered your skimmer problem. Well, not the skimmer itself, but rather that you have hardly any circulation due to the huge Eyeballs installed in your pool.

    Here is your pic, with what looks like 1" or bigger eyeballs...
    Eyeballpic.jpg

    Here is the type of eyeball I think you have, only smaller...
    Eyeball 1.jpg

    Here is how it comes apart... You have to rotate the two tabs. I use an old pair of pliers with one jaw on one side of one tab and the other jaw on the other side of the other tab.
    Eyeball 2.jpg


    I hope the distortion I see in your pics is just due to the camera or water. If the pipe that the eyeballs mount in is truly crushed, as it appears, a call to your PB to correct situation is in order. I believe that eyeballs this big will allow a lot of water to return to the pool, but not at the speed necessary to make that little river of water flow around the perimeter of your pool to happen.

    What is your filter pressure?

    But then, I've been wrong many times... just today..

    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.
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    Re: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    It's distortion in the photo because of the water. However, I was out there playing around with the eyeballs and moving them around and noticed that on one of the return jets lots of air bubbles are coming through. I looked at my pool pump and there looks like a slight bit of water leaking (maybe drops). Also, my Jandy Aqualink remote controller is sounding off a general fault error--but I think that is more about the salt water cel being a Hayward and not a Jandy and never being re-programmed.

    At this point, I've learned a lot but I think I need a set of professional eyeballs on my pool so I don't neglect something that could go seriously wrong if not attended too. I may have a slight leak on the waterfall, I don't trust the Jandy Aqualink is setup correctly, the valves may not be right, the salt cel not setup for my system correctly. I feel like my system, albeit just 8 years old, is a total mess. All this and I've been paying a pool service all along to keep this in top shape. Sigh.... I'll report once I have movement on getting someone in....I have a couple referrals already.
    16,000 gal Pebble Sheen pool w/ spa, Jandy Aqualink, Hayward Salt system, 60 SF DE Filter, Hayward Gas Heater, Caretaker In-floor pop-up cleaning system.
    2hp Whisperflow for filter, 2hp Dynaglass for booster, 2hp for blower, 1hp Dynaglass for scuppers.

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    Re: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    I think I'm addicted to making my pool work as it's supposed to and fixing everything. Over the weekend I researched on this site and figured out that air coming from my return jet could be the O-rings from the valve before the main pump. Got a set of the rings, followed some of the posts and YouTube videos, and go those swapped out. And can you believe it..no more air in the pump or jet anymore! I think it also helped the jets push water better and see it skimming more efficiently, but definitely not good enough. Has to be the aim of they eyeballs. Would've been great if my pool had 1 more return jet, but it has 4 and is square so I guess it's pretty close. My biggest pet peeve is the floating leaves that pass right in front of the skimmer but decide to go around again or get stuck in the corner or on the wall.
    16,000 gal Pebble Sheen pool w/ spa, Jandy Aqualink, Hayward Salt system, 60 SF DE Filter, Hayward Gas Heater, Caretaker In-floor pop-up cleaning system.
    2hp Whisperflow for filter, 2hp Dynaglass for booster, 2hp for blower, 1hp Dynaglass for scuppers.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    That is awesome to hear! Nice job!

    I hear you on watching a leaf float right by the skimmer! Gurrrrrrrrrrr LOL

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer & Diverter -- Not Skimming

    Everyone has a few non conformist leaves running around their pool!
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