Ok, so here's the deal, a friend of mine just purchased his first home with a pool and I offered to maintain it for him. Since we just replaced the liner, I don't see a point in having the pool professionally opened. I have a few plumbing questions though as the pool/spa combo don't seem to be fitting any of the diagrams I have seen so far. First of all, the pool has no drain or equalizers in the liner, even though the skimmer has an outlet for one, this has me very confused. To be perfectly clear, the only plumming that is in the pool is the skimmer and three returns, I know this because I inspected it while the liner was out. I am very perplexed by this, what am I supposed to open? The skimmer has a pipe extending upwards that I assume is the pump return and vacuum hookup, the top is a typical affair with a rubber twist off plug. However, this pipe extends much further than it ought to, it sticks up above the mouth of the skimmer, making it seemingly impossible for the pump to get suction and for the skimmer basket to sit in its place. I am thinking this pipe needs to be removed entirely, however, I don't know how they ran the pool for 7 years like this. The other line (closer to the pool where the main drain/equalizer should be hooked up) has a PVC end cap installed backwards, this does not look like it is supposed to be removed. Can the pool function properly without a main drain/equalizer? The pool is on a steep hill, is it possible they didn't install a main drain simply because water can be easily siphoned? Should I be worried about the pools plumbing system working properly without a main drain/equalizer? I am concerned about the pump getting air pockets.
Onto the next question, I cannot find any hint of a chlorine feeder, yet the previous owners clearly used tablets. The skimmer deffinitely has nowhere to put tablets and the plumbing by the pump and heater has no place for tablets either, it is very simple and straight forward. This is not a huge issue, since I will be using a the BBB method, however, I would like to know what is going on with this.
Lastly, the previous owner clearly told us that the pool heater also heats the spa, yet the spa hookup lines to the heater are clearly not being used, this also has me perplexed, do people sometimes reroute the plumbing this way? I cannot find any valves that would accommodate such an absurd idea.
Thanks in advance for any input you may have!