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Thread: Emptying Returns and other startup questions

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    Emptying Returns and other startup questions

    Having decided to open my pool myself (pool newbie), we decided to peek under the mesh safety cover last night.

    The water is relatively clear (has some gunk, but we can see the bottom in the 8ft.), not green, and is approximately 56 degrees.

    I've studied pool school, and done research but couldn't find answers to the following questions.

    1) My 2 eyeball returns are currently underwater and capped with white, handled caps. If I open them, obviously whatever is in them will end up in the pool. Is that ok?

    2) Stored filter pressure gauge seemed to have clear, rubbery material (silicone?) on the threads. Does it need some kind of lubricant or sealant when reinstalled?

    3) My pentair sand filter has a hard, clear-white plug that goes in the bottom, I assume holding the sand and water in. Does this plug need lubricant or sealant? Does it go on hand-tight or mechanically tightened as much as possible?

    4) Are there any parts in the pump or motor or filter that need lubricated, now while things are still dry?

    Thanks!

    (Oh, I see I need to update my signature! No in-line chlorinator anymore, and a new multiport!)
    18x36 26.6k IG vinyl liner over concrete or concrete blocks - liner is slipped-out in spots, but not moving; constant slope from 3.5' to 8'; 1 shallow skimmer/2 deep-end eyeball returns; Pentair multi-port valve; 2010 Triton Sand filter TR60 (replaced identical 1994 model); Sta-Rite Dura-Glas Up-rated P2RA5E-124L 5" pump w/ AO Smith Centurian B848 switchless motor 1hp; (removed-TeledyneLaars LaarsLite heater); (removed-Sun Auto. Pool Chlorinator); (replaced-Hayward Vari-flo valve SP0710x-40)

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Emptying Returns and other startup questions

    The returns probably have antifreeze in them. It won't hurt if it gets in the pool. I always start my pump with the valve set to backwash so any antifreeze in the drain or skimmer lines is pumped out. You'll probably see a big pink cone spread into the pool when you first pump through the returns. It's interesting to see how far the water flows from them.

    Your pressure gauge needs either teflon tape or some pipe dope on the threads. I use the tape. If you use pipe dope, I'd use the kind for plastic pipe, since the gauge threads into plastic.

    It's a good idea to lubricate anything that has O-rings (pump drain plugs, filter drain plugs, strainer basket lid, unions etc.) with pool lube before installing them.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Emptying Returns and other startup questions

    Excellent! Thanks for the info.

    I got some plastic thread pipe sealant today, as well as some tape, and some pool lubricant.

    I was going to try to open this weekend, but it's still cold and rainy, so I'm going to take advantage of the cold weather and wait just a bit longer. I still have much pool-area cleaning to do, so the weather is helping me there. (Who in their right mind plants a pine tree, two crabapples, and a mimosa tree by the pool? Can you find any more nasty-dropping trees to put in?)

    So, when you very first turn on your pump, you set it to backwash? I'm having brain freeze at the moment, and can't remember what ends up where in the different settings. Does the icky suction side water that's been sitting there all winter go back thru the filter, or does it bypass it when set to backwash? No...that would be if it were set to waste? Ok...I've confused myself. Can you help me understand the valve settings for that very first pump startup?

    Thank you!
    18x36 26.6k IG vinyl liner over concrete or concrete blocks - liner is slipped-out in spots, but not moving; constant slope from 3.5' to 8'; 1 shallow skimmer/2 deep-end eyeball returns; Pentair multi-port valve; 2010 Triton Sand filter TR60 (replaced identical 1994 model); Sta-Rite Dura-Glas Up-rated P2RA5E-124L 5" pump w/ AO Smith Centurian B848 switchless motor 1hp; (removed-TeledyneLaars LaarsLite heater); (removed-Sun Auto. Pool Chlorinator); (replaced-Hayward Vari-flo valve SP0710x-40)

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Emptying Returns and other startup questions

    Quote Originally Posted by amylucintfp
    So, when you very first turn on your pump, you set it to backwash? I'm having brain freeze at the moment, and can't remember what ends up where in the different settings. Does the icky suction side water that's been sitting there all winter go back thru the filter, or does it bypass it when set to backwash? No...that would be if it were set to waste? Ok...I've confused myself. Can you help me understand the valve settings for that very first pump startup?

    Thank you!
    Yes, it goes back through the filter. Then you switch to rinse to clean out any crud caught in the filter. I usually cycle a couple of times between them, then go to filter.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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