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Thread: Help me identify this valve's use

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Apr 2014
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    Henderson (Las Vegas), NV, United States
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    Help me identify this valve's use

    Hi,
    I have a 15-18 year old in ground plaster swimming pool in the Las Vegas, NV area. It also has an overflow spa attached. The pool has returns from the main drain and skimmer baskets of the pool (and from the spa) , goes through the pump, then a cartridge filter, then a gas heater and then can return to the pool or spa. There is a valve that can be turned to route the return water through a in-floor cleaner or through the eye-ball returns. I understand all of this equipment and how it works. However, there is another valve that I do not know what it does. Its near the in-floor cleaner side of the equipment, so I assume it has something to do with the return water.
    2016-08-31 11.09.01.jpg

    Its the item in the foreground of this photo. It consists of 3 pipes that come up out of the ground. there is a 3-way valve in the middle, that in order to turn, you have to dig the rocks out of the way because it turns downwards. On the pipe on the right side it has an Ortega check-valve. You can unscrew the right end. so basically water can press it open and go down, but not come back up the right most pipe. I have no idea what this does. I have no idea if the handle is in the correct position or not. The rest of the equipment had pool labels on it with wording like "CLEANER" or "SPA" but this had nothing (or it got painted over or scraped off years ago).

    In the background, you can see the pool in-floor cleaner stuff as a reference. The valve that turns the in-floor cleaner on is over to the left of the heater (out of view in the photo). here are photos of those valves:
    2016-04-01 12.24.40.jpg2016-04-01 12.24.46.jpg

    Any ideas? My concern is that this might be some sort of drain or something and its in the wrong position. I've turned it both ways and removed the check valve and water doesn't really come out of this. I haven't tried it with the cleaner on. i don't usually use the floor cleaner as I have a suction hose robot that does a better job of vacuuming the pool of leaves and dirt.

    thanks and let me know any questions you may have.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify this valve's use

    Well, hey and least you played with the valve to see what it does unlike some

    The only thing I can think of is a an overflow valve, that would allow you to have some water diverted to the spa (on the right with the check valve) when in pool mode. The check valve would prevent the spa from draining when the pump was off.

    It is also a little odd to me that you have two pipes feeding the infloor dome. Not sure what those are both for.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Help me identify this valve's use

    yeah, not sure about that either. It looks like there is a small check valve on the middle pipe of the infloor dome cleaner probably to keep water from going back down.

    right now my pool is losing water, so I either have a leak or some valve is turned in a manner that is draining it through some unknown drain line. I think I am going to need to get a guy to come out and look at it.

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    Re: Help me identify this valve's use

    I spoke to a guy at the pool company that took over for the original pool installer and he made a few guesses, but we never really figured it out over the phone or exchanging photos.

    I ended up doing the bucket test and determined that my water loss was from evaporation. It was about an inch a day and I didn't think the sun could take it that fast, but i guess combined with a breeze it really goes quick. I got an inch a day out of a bucket sitting on the pool step too.

    I think i discovered what the mystery pipe was for when I looked in a manual for some automation controls. They had a page 46 that described each pipe http://www.pentairpool.com/pdfs/suntouchUG.pdf

    The manual said "4. a spa makeup line (consisting of a manual gate or ball valve, for elevated spas install a check valve) to bypass the pool return line. This will enable some of the chemically-balanced water from the pool to cycle through the spa. The manual valve will allow the amount of bypass to be adjusted.".

    Since my spa is a foot above the pool and waterfall overflows into it, I do have the check valve.

    anyway, that solves the mystery!

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help me identify this valve's use

    Glad you got it all understood. Yes, the evaporation can be brutal, although 1inch is pretty severe. There are sites that state rates for various areas, I think I get about 4 feet a year.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Help me identify this valve's use

    i agree that is a by-pass to supply water to the spa, by turning the handle towards the check valve [ that is the flow of water ] you should be able to see an increase of water over the spa dam, to prove the point

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