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Thread: Can I close off some of my returns?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2009
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    St. Louis, MO
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    45

    Can I close off some of my returns?

    I have an inground pool, 30,000 gallons. There are two "step jets" (returns in the steps out of the shallow end) and four other returns. I think I would get better circulation if I closed the step jets and just used the four other returns. (The builder said the returns on the steps is to help keep them clean.) However, I don't have a valve to do this. Instead of incurring the cost to re-plumb the equipment pad and add a shut-off valve for these two returns, is it okay to just screw in my winter plugs? I have some rubber plugs I usually use when closing, but I also have some that screw into the return fitting. Is there any harm in just closing them off this way? Too much pressure build-up in the line or anything? This seems to me to be the easy and cheap way to do it.
    30,000 galllon, inground, vinyl liner, L-shaped pool
    1.5 hp pump, sand filter, heater, run pump 24/7
    Aquarite salt system
    St. Louis, MO, USA

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
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    37,879

    Re: Can I close off some of my returns?

    Closing off a couple of returns shouldn't be a problem as long as most of them are still open. Take a look at the filter pressure right before you change them and again afterwards. If it goes up between zero and two psi then you are totally fine. If it jumps up by 10 then you have a problem.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Can I close off some of my returns?

    be careful a lot of step jets are plumbed using hydrotherapy jets (letting air in to give it the spa effect, but if you plug it up and run the pump water will start to come out of the air tube resulting in the pool losing water,
    so if you plug them off take a good listen in that area

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    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    45

    Re: Can I close off some of my returns?

    I think I know what you mean about the air jets. My friend's pool has that feature. I also have a hot tub, and it seems like it works the same -- you can open or close the air to get more or less bubbles. In my case, there are no air adjustments near the steps, so I assume they are no hydrotherapy jets.

    My basic question was, can I cause any damage closing them off at the pool, as opposed to installing a valve back at the equipment pad to close them off.
    30,000 galllon, inground, vinyl liner, L-shaped pool
    1.5 hp pump, sand filter, heater, run pump 24/7
    Aquarite salt system
    St. Louis, MO, USA

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Can I close off some of my returns?

    should not be a problem

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    North Central Texas
    Posts
    1,358

    Re: Can I close off some of my returns?

    If they are standard eyeball return, re., the kind that has a screw on collar that holds the eyeball in you can purchase little disc that you insert into the eyeball to restrict them. One came with my Pool Skim. To use on one of my eyeballs it would not stay in place so I trimmed it a little and then glued it into the eyeball. Eyeballs can be purchased separately too in case you want to change them back. The disc and eyeballs cost very little. If you like having them closed off you could always do that later to neaten things up a bit. Eyeballs, also come in various size and type of openings. If you don't like them all the way closed you could always put one in that has a smaller opening.

    On the other hand, I wish I had returns on my steps. That's where most of the sand and silt collect from doggies and none of my auto sweeps make it all the way up the steps.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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