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Thread: Seems to be no suction in floor drain but skimmer ok

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    Seems to be no suction in floor drain but skimmer ok

    We have a plaster pool with a floor drain (old style cover) in the deep end, a skimmer in the shallow and a port to attach the floor vac in the side/center. There are 2 return pipes that lead to a jandy valve which leads to the strainer/pump. At the 12 o'clock position the skimmer works, at 6 o'clock the vacuum and at 9 o'clock (give or take) a combo of the two. I have assumed that the floor drain and skimmer share the same return line.

    I cannot figure out how to adjust the floor drain to get better suction from that drain. The only other visible valves are on the return side. One is the slide valve for backwashing. One leads to a small pipe which feeds the side spray which cools the water. The other is an orange valve on the main return (I am not sure what that is for so any insight is appreciated).

    When I use the brush to slowly sweep debris over the floor drain, it doesn't suck down into the drain as I would expect. Even when I go super slowly and stop short of the drain to allow the momentum of the debris and the suction power of the drain to work, it still seems that the dirt just kicks up and resettles anywhere but into the drain. We do not have one of those safety covers on that drain so I would expect it to be pretty powerful. Any thoughts on what could be happening?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Seems to be no suction in floor drain but skimmer ok

    Welcome to TFP!

    Take a look inside your skimmer, under the skimmer basket, and tell us if you see one pipe, two pipes, or some complicated mechanical thing with a sliding panel.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Seems to be no suction in floor drain but skimmer ok

    Thank you for a quick reply. I see two pipes.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Seems to be no suction in floor drain but skimmer ok

    Is there one of these in the bottom of the skimmer, covering the two holes?



    Also, you mentioned above that the debris seems to settle everywhere but on the drain. Does it appear that water is flowing out of the drain, rather than in?
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Seems to be no suction in floor drain but skimmer ok

    No, there is no cover like that over the 2 pipes in the skimmer. Just the basket sits on top of the holes.

    I don't believe water is coming into the pool through the drain as stuff will sit on the grid....just not get sucked in. The debris only moves if I brush the it up. Plus I have never felt water pressure when pushing the brush over that area as I feel when running the brush over the return jets.

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    Re: Seems to be no suction in floor drain but skimmer ok

    I'm thinking maybe it's a misunderstanding of how your valves work. The labels were missing from a couple of mine and they were peeling off the others. Being a first time pool owner at the time (only been 3 months ago, don't want to sound like an old timer) I took the valve apart to see exactly what was happening when I turned the handle in whatever direction.

    Can you post a picture of your valve setup?

    Jim.
    In ground Pool, 13,000 gallons, Cartridge filter (big), Single pump, Hayward Goldline Aqua Rite
    Central Florida
    Miller Lite
    Tony Stewart

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    MrsFusion's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    Re: Seems to be no suction in floor drain but skimmer ok

    I will be watching and waiting for replies on this...my SIL is having the same problem!
    5,000 Gallon 16'x 48" Intex Ultra Frame, Waterway 1hp sand filter, Intex SWG, AquaCritter, TF100
    Climate/Location: SW Iowa

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