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Thread: Main Drain?

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    Main Drain?

    First Post. I recently purchased a house (45 days ago) that has a pool. I have had pools before but only when I was younger and lived with my parents. Alot of this stuff is coming back to me but..... slowly. I got a couple questions and hope someone could help me out. #1 I have a main drain but there is no flow or suction in it. Iwas under the assumption that is how most stuff gets sucked into the sand filter. Question #2 I lose pressure and prime EVERYTIME I vacuum the pool. It takes me about 3 hours to vacuum since I have to disconnect from the skimmer, wait for the pump to catch up, start vacuuming again. I wish I would have found this site a month ago its got great information!
    24,000 Rectangular Vinyl IG, Sand, 1.5 Hayward Pump

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Main Drain?

    Welcome to the forum.

    1. Lack of flow into your main drain could be cause by several things. Sometimes it is an obstruction in the main drain pipe, sometimes it is owners intentionally plugging it, sometimes it is improper valve settings. YOu'll have to do some detective work to figure out why yours is not drawing water.

    2. It sounds like you have an air leak in your vacuuming hose. When you hook up the leaking hose, air is quickly sucked into the system and you will lose prime and all ability to vacuum.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    poolgirl22's Avatar
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    Re: Main Drain?

    I have valves to open and close both my main drain and the skimmer right by the pump. What I didn't know until a couple years into my pool ownership is that 10-15 feet from my equipment right where the main drain comes out from under the pool is another main drain shut off valve. Why ? I have no idea for sure, but I assume to give extra protection from losing all my pool water if there was a leak between the exit point from under the pool and the equipment.

    Sooooo check to be sure there are no additional incremental shut off valves that may not be open.
    Backyard pool-less, but used to be.....
    16,100 gallon, 18x38 3.5 ft deep oval AG, Vinyl, Sand, 1hp pump
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Main Drain?

    Question one I may be able to help with. Pull the basket out of your skimmer and see if there are two holes underneath. One will have suction with the pump running. The other most likely goes to the main drain. And you're probably missing the diverter - a little flying-saucer-looking thing.

    Mine was gone, so I dropped about ten bucks on a new one and what a difference. Just tonight I was messing around with things and shut the little flap underneath that diverter and put full suction to the main drain. Had a few small bits of something down in the bottom, so I just nudged them towards the drain with the brush and away they went.

    Question two is either an air leak somewhere or your pump pushes water out faster than it can suck it in through the vacuum hose. You might have valves such that you can draw just a little from somewhere else (I use the spa) to keep the pump primed while vacuuming.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Main Drain?

    The prime purpose of a main drain is to circulate water so I wouldn't be concerned if you don't "see" anything get sucked up into the main drain unless it is very close.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Main Drain?

    Question #1 Wow okay I looked in the skimmer and there is a second hole there but its seems to have a plug there, ya would think I would know my own pool by now. Thanks for making me feel like an idiot Richard320, just kiddin appeciate the help. I have no freakin clue how to get it out either. Couple questions again #1 Why is it there? #2 Do they sell a tool at the pool store to get the stupid thing out?

    As for my original post question #2 I do have a valve that I have no freakin clue what it does it says "Jandy Valve" on it. I thought I have tried to put it in several different positions. It comes up out of the ground in two places then goes to the Jandy Valve, then from the Jandy valve has one pipe going straight into the pump filter/pump.
    24,000 Rectangular Vinyl IG, Sand, 1.5 Hayward Pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Main Drain?

    Quote Originally Posted by acroberson
    Question #1 Wow okay I looked in the skimmer and there is a second hole there but its seems to have a plug there, ya would think I would know my own pool by now. Thanks for making me feel like an idiot Richard320, just kiddin appeciate the help. I have no freakin clue how to get it out either. Couple questions again #1 Why is it there? #2 Do they sell a tool at the pool store to get the stupid thing out?

    As for my original post question #2 I do have a valve that I have no freakin clue what it does it says "Jandy Valve" on it. I thought I have tried to put it in several different positions. It comes up out of the ground in two places then goes to the Jandy Valve, then from the Jandy valve has one pipe going straight into the pump filter/pump.
    If it's plugged, leave it alone. It probably goes nowhere. That three-way valve goes to the inlet of the pump? That's probably where you control it.

    You may have sludge clogging the pipe. It is the lowest point in the pool, after all. All the fine silt ends up there. Try a drain king.

    Shut things down, remove the strainer basket and feed it in with the valve set to skimmer. Turn on the hose and see if you get water coming up in the skimmer. Then shut off the hose, let the drain king relax, switch the valve to the other position and let 'er rip. I bet you see an ugly cloud form above the main drain.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Main Drain?

    Thanks for the info Rich. By closing my valve off to what I assume is the main drain I was able to vacuum the pool entirely today. I got the ph balanced and threw in 4 bags of shock, as recommended by my local pool store after getting the water tested. I got some Pro Guard Algicide to combat my pools algae. Does anyone know of a better product or cheaper product that works as well. I got 2 bottles @ $17 a piece. I can assure you I will not let this pool get this bad EVER again. I haven't tried the drain king but will try once I go to Lowes. Again thanks for the help.
    24,000 Rectangular Vinyl IG, Sand, 1.5 Hayward Pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Main Drain?

    Quote Originally Posted by acroberson
    I got some Pro Guard Algicide to combat my pools algae. Does anyone know of a better product or cheaper product that works as well. I got 2 bottles @ $17 a piece. I can assure you I will not let this pool get this bad EVER again. I haven't tried the drain king but will try once I go to Lowes. Again thanks for the help.
    Liquid bleach.

    You need to read Pool School some more and get yourself a test kit - a good one, as discussed in Pool School.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Main Drain?

    Started the bleach (BBB method today) but there seems to be conflicting advice on whether to pour in front of your jets or directly in the skimmer. It seems in front of the jets makes a little more sense unless you put it on recirculate.
    24,000 Rectangular Vinyl IG, Sand, 1.5 Hayward Pump

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    Re: Main Drain?

    For what it's worth, I pour mine in front of the return. Makes life easier. It's a bigger hole to hit for less spillage and it circulates REAL fast too.
    18'x24' (10,000 gal) above ground pool, 19" Proline sand filter (45 GPM), Jacuzzi 1.5 HP 2 speed pump

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