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Thread: Another First Timer

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    Another First Timer

    Long story short we bought a house with a pool that was installed in 2010 last July (northern south carolina). Since it was our first pool, we had service for a little while by a company and he gave us very basics on how to measure. We bought a kit, and ditched him towards the end of the season and the last few weeks took care of it ourselves. Now I'm certain, he gave some bad tips (i.e.) in the summer pump needs to run about 18 hours a day, etc. Now its time for me to really know how to keep my pool. I have some pictures and was hoping someone could just label some of the valves/pipes as to what they expect they do. It's a chlorinated system, that I think I'm going to convert to salt water in the next few months myself. The pool guy estimated 12/15000 gallons (I calculated less guessing), but I really dont know for sure. I think I'm going to drain it half way this year and refill. At the end of last season the CYA was high, although when we had the pool guy come by he was like it's a little high, but you're still good.
    left side.jpgright side.jpg

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Another First Timer

    Welcome to TFP!

    Congrats on taking over the maintenance in your pool. Once you get it figured out you can add you pool info to your signature as shown here, Pool School - Read This Before You Post

    All those valves are suction side valves and most likely the left is for a bottom drain and the two right each go to a skimmer. I don't know why there is an extra valve right in front of the pump. The middle pipe coming from the filter valve is probably a waste line to that also goes to the street for backwashing if it is sand or DE or for draining water from the pool if it is a cartridge filter. The valve behind the pressure gauge diverts water to that drain line. Yes, the pipe coming from the tab dispenser goes to the pool returns. Is your pool water level above the equipment pad? That would explain the extra valve on the return line.

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    Re: Another First Timer

    Thanks!! I would say they are about the same level, if one is higher than the other its not by much. That middle line with the filter, clearly needs cleaned, but I cannot unscrew it to save my life. So the left pipe of 5 goes to a hose that I can role to the street, so I know what that one does. The pipe just to the left of that coming from the chlorine tablet holder thing, I'm guessing returns to the pool? I have 2 bottom drains and 2 skimmers if that helps? Is it possible the the 4 right pipes all go to 2 skimmers and 2 drains? all those valves should be in the "ON" position and are all coming FROM the pool?

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Another First Timer

    I concur with pooldv.

    Left to right my guess is drain - returns - floor drains - skimmer1, skimmer 2.

    The two floor drains will be teed together as a safety feature, so no children can get trapped on the bottom by the suction. So they are not individually controlled, hence only one pipe.

    The only way to be sure of what goes where is by experimentation. On those three way valves, the handle is the open end, the wedge opposite indicates the closure. So turn the valve between pipes 3 & 4 so the handle points right. That should close off the drains. Then go check that the skimmers are both flowing. Turn the valve to the left. The skimmers should stop. Go back to skimmers open and turn the valve between pipes 4 & 5 and see which skimmer shuts off. Once things are identified, grab a magic marker and label the pipes. Label the picture and save it on your computer, too, because the markers do fade away over time.

    You can reduce the flow to the drains quite a bit and still avoid temperature stratification and it will improve the skimmers' efficiency. You may also find that if the skimmers have vastly different length pipe runs that one works better than the other, and you can equalize them by moving that valve to throttle back the closer one.

    Of course, if you have a suction-side pool cleaner, that changes everything. Take a few minutes to fill out your signature.
    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: Another First Timer

    I'll be honest, no idea if i have a suction side pool cleaner. I also don't have a clue to tell which way the valve on my "chlorinator tube" should be. I have a "nozzle" to the left of the tube labeled on and off, so I know that controls the rate, and the more chlorine i want the more i turn it on, but the valve AFTER it, I can't tell which way is "on" or "off". with the lid off, if I turn it one way it will start overflowing, but the other way it will just stay level.

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    Re: Another First Timer

    Quote Originally Posted by Ejkeebler View Post
    I'll be honest, no idea if i have a suction side pool cleaner. I also don't have a clue to tell which why the valve on my chlorinator tube should be. I have a "nozzle" to the left of the tube labeled on and off, so I know that controls the rate, and the more chlorine i want the more i turn it on, but the valve AFTER it, I can't tell which way is "on" or "off". with the lid off, if I turn it one way it will start overflowing, but the other way it will just stay level.
    Most likely that valve after the chlorinator is so you can open the thing to add pucks without water draining out of the pool through the open lid. The only time to close it is when you're adding pucks or opening the filter.
    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: Another First Timer

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Most likely that valve after the chlorinator is so you can open the thing to add pucks without water draining out of the pool through the open lid. The only time to close it is when you're adding pucks or opening the filter.
    OK so the way it is over flowing is likely the proper position?

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    Re: Another First Timer

    Quote Originally Posted by Ejkeebler View Post
    OK so the way it is over flowing is likely the proper position?
    Yes. Open, the way it is now. Unless you're working on something and want to keep the water in the pool.
    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: Another First Timer

    OK after some experimenting as suggested the two pipe on the right go to the skimmers, I have identified each and labeled! Now the Far Left pipe of the group of 4 connected to that white dirty filter thing. When I turn that valve to "off" it stops water from blowing out of a hexagon type connector inside my pool. Thoughts on what that is?

    and your saying the way i have the valve open in the chlorinator is correct, that pipe is return to the pool?

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Another First Timer

    Quote Originally Posted by Ejkeebler View Post
    OK after some experimenting as suggested the two pipe on the right go to the skimmers, I have identified each and labeled! Now the Far Left pipe of the group of 4 connected to that white dirty filter thing. When I turn that valve to "off" it stops water from blowing out of a hexagon type connector inside my pool. Thoughts on what that is?

    and your saying the way i have the valve open in the chlorinator is correct, that pipe is return to the pool?
    It may be that there used to be a pressure side cleaner. Hard to tell in the photo, but is the valve between the pump outlet and the filter marked 7 in the lower picture feeding that object with the gauge on it and then the "hexagon type connector"? That would explain it, although if so, it was misplumbed, because you don't want to send unfiltered water to the cleaner. Since you don't have a cleaner, leave that valve closed. There's no good reason to pump water from the pool and then return it unfiltered.
    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: Another First Timer

    yes im guessing your exactly right. I have now turned that off. Thank you so much!!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Another First Timer

    Quote Originally Posted by Ejkeebler View Post
    yes im guessing your exactly right. I have now turned that off. Thank you so much!!
    With that shut off the filter pressure should have increased. That's normal.
    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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