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Thread: Cut Off Valve replacement

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    Cut Off Valve replacement

    Hello All,
    I have an older inground, vinyl lined pool built on a hill behind the house. The pump is set up next to the house and is below the level of the pool. I've been faithfully following BBB for the better part of five years and I figured there has to be someone here that can help with a silly problem.
    I was opening the pool this week and well on the way to clear water when the skimmer cut off valve busted. It's still closed and no water is leaking but it's obvious that the valve is broken in the closed position. Again, the pool is probably twenty years old and I'm sure the valves are original. I can't get enough pressure to drive my Kreepy Krauly.
    I'm good with PVC and I can replace the valves (might as well replace the drain cut off while I'm at it). The problem is the water. How do I block the water coming out of the pool? A tennis ball will solve the skimmer but what about closing off the main drain? Any easy solution?
    thanks so much for your help.

    ACM

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Cut Off Valve replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by acmaxey
    Hello All,
    I have an older inground, vinyl lined pool built on a hill behind the house. The pump is set up next to the house and is below the level of the pool. I've been faithfully following BBB for the better part of five years and I figured there has to be someone here that can help with a silly problem.
    I was opening the pool this week and well on the way to clear water when the skimmer cut off valve busted. It's still closed and no water is leaking but it's obvious that the valve is broken in the closed position. Again, the pool is probably twenty years old and I'm sure the valves are original. I can't get enough pressure to drive my Kreepy Krauly.
    I'm good with PVC and I can replace the valves (might as well replace the drain cut off while I'm at it). The problem is the water. How do I block the water coming out of the pool? A tennis ball will solve the skimmer but what about closing off the main drain? Any easy solution?
    thanks so much for your help.

    ACM
    Hey, ACM, welcome to the forum.

    That's a challenge. I don't have main drain so I'm gonna' guess a little bit. It seems like you could remove the main drain cover (I hope you aren't in Canada....Brrrr!) and do the tennis ball thing while someone opens the valve down near the pump.

    Others more experienced with main drains will likely have a better solution.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Cut Off Valve replacement

    Some people put a rubber mat over the main drain. You could plug it. But here's my method:

    Buy a drain king. Connect it to your hose and then slide the hose through your new valve so the hose is wearing the valve like a ring.

    Now you're ready to cut the line. It's going to be messy. Don't wear your nice leather shoes.

    Once you've got the old valve off and the pipe/water fountain exposed, slide the drain king into the pipe and turn on the hose. This will plug the line and your valve will be in position to glue over it.

    Glue the valve on, give it a minute to let the glue dry enough to create a seal, and then turn off the hose, pull it out, and close the valve.

    It's good to have the other end of the plumbing ready to go so you can connect it, open the valve, and turn on the pump ASAP. That will allow the pump to create suction pressure inside the valve which will ensure that the glue is drawn in and doesn't cause a leak.

    *This only works with systems that are about 1' or so below water level. Beyond that there's enough back pressure on the line to overcome (and by overcome I mean spectacularly pop) the drain king. If you're much deeper than that consider the mat or plug method.

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    Re: Cut Off Valve replacement

    Welcome to TFP!!

    The skimmer is easy enough to plug, the MD, you either have to don SCUBA gear or lay a mat (as Tim said), plastic or piece of liner over the drain ... and it will still dribble out water. However, no fear! - jamming some bread into the pipe will stop the leak long enough to apply wet/ dry pvc glue and then the valve will hold back the water while you plumb up the other side of it

    A pic or 2 may help inspire other ides of making this fix

    Good luck with the repair! We'll be around to bounce ideas off of 8)
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Cut Off Valve replacement

    thanks Dave,

    No, we're down here in Texas where we can get away with the pool being up 9 months out of the year.

    Tim,
    Unbelievable idea. I bow to your superior intellect.

    Bread? I am really impressed.

    I'm sending a picture. The problem I have is that both skimmer and main drain connect to the same pipe before going on the the pump. Today, I closed off the skimmer, thinking I could do one at a time but, with the filter closed, I was still getting water coming through the strainer basket. I was afraid to cut the skimmer line, thinking that I would still lose water through the main drain, even though the cut off was closed. Im thinking there are issues with the MD cut off as well.

    I've looked and I believe the equipment to be about 4 feet below the skimmer and about 4 feet above the MD.

    WHich way should I go?
    thanks again.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    cut off valve replacement Continued

    thanks for the welcome Dave,
    We're down here in Texas where we can get away with the pool being up 9 months out of the year.

    Tim,
    Unbelievable idea about the Drain King. I bow to your superior intellect. This would seem to be the way to go....

    Ted,
    Bread? I am really impressed.

    I'm sending a picture. The problem I have is that both skimmer and main drain connect to the same pipe before going on to the pump. Today, I closed off the skimmer, thinking I could do one at a time but, with the filter closed, I was still getting water coming through the strainer basket. I was afraid to cut the skimmer line, thinking that I would still lose water through the main drain, even though the cut off was closed. Im thinking there are issues with the MD cut off as well.

    I've looked and I believe the equipment to be about 4 feet below the skimmer and about 4 feet above the MD.

    WHich way should I go?
    thanks again.

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: cut off valve replacement Continued

    That's pretty low. If you try the drain king just be sure to keep some of Ted's bread handy in case it pops from the pressure.

    So if the skimmer is plugged then it does indeed sound like you've got water coming through the main drain valve. How much? If it's not extreme you might be able to dry fit a cap fitting over the line while you work on the skimmer valve.
    I'd plug the skimmer and close both valves, cut the plumbing an inch or two above each one and then remove the plumbing from the pump inlet. Cap the main drain line (if you're a real stickler you could wrap the top of the cut pipe in teflon tape before you do it), cut out and replace the skimmer valve, plan the main drain valve's location and then build the manifold required to connect both valves to the pump. You'll want to have the male adapter already threaded into the pump (teflon or pipe doped) waiting to be glued into said manifold, or you could use a union in front of the pump to make it easier to take apart later.
    Once you've got all that ready to go, replace the main drain valve, close it, glue in the manifold and start up the pump.

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    Re: Cut Off Valve replacement

    I merged the two threads together for clarity.

    I did essentially the same thing a couple of years ago so I can give you some advice.

    Water will pour out of the pipe, faster than you think it will. That wouldn't be so bad, but it starts before you can cut the line completely, and it will spray everywhere. Have a test plug ready, adjusted so it will go in but not need too many turns to seal the water so you can catch your breath to get ready to do the work. You have to stay focused to make a good square cut for best sealing of the new connection, even though you are being showered. I had the double joy of being almost upside down in a rapidly filling hole while I was doing it.

    I had planned to place a rubber feed pan over the drain to reduce the flow, but I had algae so badly that I couldn't see to get it in place. Here's the pan It's soft enough to grab a smooth surface like a plunger, so if you try it, make sure you don't get it stuck.

    I planned to mount it to my pole and have somebody hold it upside down over the drain while I worked. I still believe it would greatly reduce the flow to make the repair much less insane.

    I think the drain king would work, but you'll need two hands to get it into the pipe if you can't cut the flow down some. I was working underground, so I didn't want to use a valve. I used a repair coupling which uses rubber compression seals, and had everything ready to go when I pulled the test plug.

    Think about what you are going to do, and practice putting the pieces in place and letting your helpers know what you want done. Screaming louder doesn't help them understand. Have everything in reach and have somebody standing by to fetch anything you drop.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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