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Thread: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

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    "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    I bought a house that has a pool last January. Other than the auto top off not being connected, the pre-purchase pool inspection was good.

    I have been undoing the prior owner's "home improvements" with great frustration.

    I didn't pay much attention to the pool getting settled in withe new job, young family, etc., so I hired a guy to maintain the pool last summer, But after having a greenish pool most of last summer, and seeing the mortar on the bricks disintegrating, I decided to start paying attention.

    I had Ca hardness less than 80, stablizer over 200, and pH about 8 after a few weeks of warm weather this spring and ongoing Pool-guy maintainance. I fired him.

    I have good chemistry thusfar wtih several water changes and the BBB method, and the SWG will be plumbed in this weekend.

    I now have noticed that the main drain does not appear to be plumbed in. The two feeder lines to the main pump serve the two skimmers, each with its own true union valve.

    I took the cover off the drain today, and boy was the box dirty. I vacumed it out and found an old toilet plunger in the muck, and the draining pipe is clogged with toilet gasket wax.

    The prior owner had described draing the pool aznd having it buckle, requiring a rebuild.

    I am guesing that the work was second rate, with a slow leak in the main drain plumbing, so he just plugged it. There is no doubt that a conscious effort to plug the drain was made.

    What short and long term risk will I be taking if I clean out the pipe and give it a go?
    Any way to test the integrity of the system?
    Is fiberoptic visualizaation a "pipe dream"? (sorry)
    What kind of cost/effort to repair if the piping is compromised?
    Any other theories on what's going on?
    Perhaps this is standard OP when building a new pool, and they forgot to unplug it once ready to go?


    Li'l help?

    THANK YOU!!
    1) The size of your pool in gallons about 38000 gal, 20x40", about 8 ft at deepest.
    2) The type filter you have (sand, DE, cartridge) sand
    3) If your pool is an AG (above ground) or IG (in ground) IG
    4) If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass Plaster
    5) If you know, tell us the size pump and the size (flow rate) of your filter. ? I do have a polaris accessory pump for the sweeper.

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    Re: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    Brackish,

    Welcome to the forum.

    What size pool? How deep? How many returns?

    It is not uncommon to have the main drain plumbed to one of the skimmers. That skimmer would have two holes in the bottom not plugged. The other skimmer may well have two holes but one is almost surely plugged.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    I have two skimmers and four returns, not counting the polaris return.

    The pool is about 38000 gal, 20x40", about 8 ft deep at deepest.

    Both skimmer boxes have only one hole.

    I kinda figured that the main drain and one of the skimmers were/are plumbed together, but how would you regulate the relative flow? I would have expected one drain line from the main, and one from the skimmres, with the flaps in each skimmer box used to restrict flow in one when using the other for vacuuming, etc.

    Oh, and its not a toilet plunger, but the flapper in the reservoir of a toilet that lifts on flushing.
    1) The size of your pool in gallons about 38000 gal, 20x40", about 8 ft at deepest.
    2) The type filter you have (sand, DE, cartridge) sand
    3) If your pool is an AG (above ground) or IG (in ground) IG
    4) If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass Plaster
    5) If you know, tell us the size pump and the size (flow rate) of your filter. ? I do have a polaris accessory pump for the sweeper.

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    Re: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    Ouch! None of those are the answers I had hoped for!! Oh well.

    Then it seems you have to figure out how water from the main drain would get back to the pump. There is no point in opening the drain if the pipe from it has been removed. Does that make sense or have I overlooked something in your post?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Sounds like the MD/ plumbing system is GREAT :P

    As Duraliegh said, there should either be a dedicated MD line or it connects to one of the skimmers

    What you want to do is find where the MD line goes and pressure test it, to see if the line is good. Since the skimmers only have 1 port, look to see if there may have been another line run to the pump at some point (is there a 'newish' 90 - where once there was a 'tee'?)

    Odds are that the MD was abandoned at some point in the past, due to a broken line and plugged to keep the pool from leaking.

    Dave answered while I was, but that just means that he uses all 10 fingers when typing

    We'll stick with you as you try to find the non- pool end of the MD
    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: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    So the second hole in the skimmer box would connect to the MD and go to the pump separately from the main skimmer line, so I should have three pipes (MD/skimmer1, skimmer1, skimmer2) feeding the pump, but I have two (skimmer1, skimmer2).

    How would you then decrease the relative flow from the MD, except at the pump with a valve? What then, would be the point of connecting to the skimmer at all?
    1) The size of your pool in gallons about 38000 gal, 20x40", about 8 ft at deepest.
    2) The type filter you have (sand, DE, cartridge) sand
    3) If your pool is an AG (above ground) or IG (in ground) IG
    4) If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass Plaster
    5) If you know, tell us the size pump and the size (flow rate) of your filter. ? I do have a polaris accessory pump for the sweeper.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    It is possible, but quite unusual, to see two skimmers and a main drain and two pipes at the pad with one of the pipes being for each skimmer. It is much more likely that one of the pipes at the pad is for both skimmers and the other is for the main drain. Of course it is also possible that it was my way at once time and then got switched during the "rebuild" to work the other way.

    Main drains are sometimes plumbed to the skimmer so the pump can still draw water even if the skimmer is completely clogged.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    I have played with the valves at the pad and each definately serves a different skimmer.



    There is no evidence of a history of a third pipe at the pad (learning the lingo).

    Any further thoughts on trouble shooting this? The obvious answer is just to unplug it and see how it goes, but I wonder/stress the risk.

    The only plausible plumbing possibility I can see is



    Has anyone heard of wax gasket being used in this way?




    I think I see now about the two hles in the skimmer box, I imagined



    but I think you're saying



    at least as far as flow in the skimmer box goes.

    Thanks everyone, I know I'm getting a bit wordy
    1) The size of your pool in gallons about 38000 gal, 20x40", about 8 ft at deepest.
    2) The type filter you have (sand, DE, cartridge) sand
    3) If your pool is an AG (above ground) or IG (in ground) IG
    4) If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass Plaster
    5) If you know, tell us the size pump and the size (flow rate) of your filter. ? I do have a polaris accessory pump for the sweeper.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    Yep, you are figuring it out.

    I have seen all kinds of strange setups. People sometimes plumb their pools in weird, useless, ways.

    My main though is that someone when to a lot of trouble to block up the main drain. They wouldn't normally do that for no reason. They would do that because the main drain was leaking. It is possible that you can simply unseal it and everything will work, people sometimes do crazy things, but I think that is highly unlikely.

    If you do unseal it, be sure you have all the equipment and supplies required to seal it up again on hand.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    Both skimmer boxes have only one hole.
    The last diagram you drew (very helpful) is what I was thinking. Your statement above would make that setup invalid. Did you re-look and find a skimmer with two holes open?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Did you re-look and find a skimmer with two holes open?
    What am I? A freakin' idio. . .

    Oh. . .

    Well, yes

    The skimmer furthest from the pump has two holes. So this should be the plumbing



    I remain reluctant to unclog the MD. I think I'll wait till the fall and have a pro take a looka t it.

    How crucial is the MD to overall pool health? It seems like I'd just have a bit more debris at the deepest bottom to deal with.
    1) The size of your pool in gallons about 38000 gal, 20x40", about 8 ft at deepest.
    2) The type filter you have (sand, DE, cartridge) sand
    3) If your pool is an AG (above ground) or IG (in ground) IG
    4) If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass Plaster
    5) If you know, tell us the size pump and the size (flow rate) of your filter. ? I do have a polaris accessory pump for the sweeper.

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    From the pics you made it looks like you've got 1 return

    I feel it's best to have at least 1 return for every suction port, but it's not essential. Circulation in the bottom of the pool is preferalbe, but you can get away with not having it. If you'd had more than 1 return, I 'd have simply said to point a return eyeball at the floor to help with the lower movement. You will definitely want to brush the pool and vacuum once a week to keep things from growing in the ~non circulating areas down there
    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!)

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    Nah, four returns. I just didn't draw it that way. The return in the deep end is pointed at the MD


    Any thoughts on how to proceed?
    1) The size of your pool in gallons about 38000 gal, 20x40", about 8 ft at deepest.
    2) The type filter you have (sand, DE, cartridge) sand
    3) If your pool is an AG (above ground) or IG (in ground) IG
    4) If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass Plaster
    5) If you know, tell us the size pump and the size (flow rate) of your filter. ? I do have a polaris accessory pump for the sweeper.

  14. Back To Top    #14
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    I would just leave it alone. Even though it is nice to have one, there is no great need for a main drain.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    I have a pool with no main drain...i kinda like it...

    http://desjoyauxusa.com/advanced-pool-t ... iltration/

    While I am not advocating this as a "better" pool design...I am just letting you know that it does work...I do tend to collect debris in the far corner of my deep...but the robot does a great job of getting it up...

    This "should" be a straight forward job for the repair crew.

    It sounds like you may want to contact to previous homeowner to know exactly what was done, so that you do not duplicate his errors....
    25,000 gal IG Utopia pool/Raypack gas heater/BBB

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: "new" pool with . . . anomalies

    I also have no main drain, and don't really notice the difference. I'm sure I'm getting less optimized water turn over, and I try and make sure I give it a good brushing in the deep end more regularly to keep things stirred up if I'm not swimming often, but seems to be working ok for me.
    Jim

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