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Thread: Pool with odd plumbing

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    Pool with odd plumbing

    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!

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Pool with odd plumbing

    Pools are built frequently with no drain. Not an issue.

    People often use floaters for chlorination, so no need for an inline chlorinator.

    Are there valves to direct the returns to the spa only? That's common to direct the return water to the spa, which gets warm much more quickly than the pool.
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    Re: Pool with odd plumbing

    I edited my above post with a little bit more information I just found about the skimmer (the top has been taped down while the liner was being installed so I couldn't look at it).

    Good to know about the drain issue, the plumbing is extremely simple, one pipe goes from the ground to the pump, then to the filter, and from the filter to the heater and straight back into the ground. I would like to think that there is some plumbing or controls on the spa that would allow flow to be changed but the spa is completely enclosed (has no visable plumbing of its own) and we cannot get power to it at this time to find if there is some electronic control that would accommodate this function, the whole situation is a bit of mess since all of this wiring and plumbing is located beneath a massive walled in patio.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Pool with odd plumbing

    If the spa needs power, it's probably self-contained and not part of the pool plumbing.
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    Re: Pool with odd plumbing

    Thats what I thought, the owner told us otherwise though, I guess I will have to pull the spa apart. Any ideas about the skimmer issue in the first post?

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Pool with odd plumbing

    I'd assume a pipe sticking out of the skimmer is a winterizing plug.
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    Re: Pool with odd plumbing

    Hmm, that seems a little redundant since they plug it all anyway, oh well. I took the pipe out, I didn't think it came out at first because I couldn't get it to turn with the monkey wrench, I put some vice grips on and it slowly started to cooperate. Now the skimmer basket fits and the waterline is where it needs to be for the pump to work properly. There's some bugs and small leaves in there, I tried to get them out but they are about 2.5' down becuase of how they did the skimmer setup on this pool, are they a concern?

    Also, can someone direct me to a guide or thread about how to start chemicals in a pool for an empty fill. I tested my water the other day at the pool store and it came out with

    PH 8.0
    Alkalinity 110
    FC 0.5
    TDS 200

    I picked up some stabilizer, bleach, borox, baking soda, and muriatic acid. I figured the CYA would bring the PH down some and I should retest from there. What order should I fallow after that? Do I need to wait for the vinyl to expel its chemicals first or not?

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