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Thread: main drain vs skimmer vs both - effects on circulation and t

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    Diver's Avatar
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    main drain vs skimmer vs both - effects on circulation and t

    I’m getting ready for my first spring pool opening. The pool has a main drain, a skimmer and 3 returns (actually 4, but one is plugged, I assume there was a problem with it). The previous owner of the pool only had a skimmer intake open. One of the reasons is that he used to put trichlor pucks in the skimmer basket and I'm speculating that he didn’t get enough flow if both skimmer and main drain were open.

    Since I’m not going to have any pucks in the skimmer, I was wondering if I should have both skimmer and main drain open? I understand that having some water going thru skimmer will help to get floating stuff off of the surface, but my thinking is that main drain intake will be much better for circulation.

    I would imagine that skimmer only intake would result in some stagnation of the deeper layers of water. Using main drain only would ensure the best turnover and circulation. If I don’t get much trash in the water, is it ok to use only main drain?
    26K In-ground Vinyl Pool | Hayward DE4820/SP0710XR50 filter | 1.125 HP Dual Speed Hayward Super Pump | Aquasol Solar

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: main drain vs skimmer vs both - effects on circulation a

    Yes, you want both the skimmer and main drain open (unless there is some problem).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Diver's Avatar
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    Re: main drain vs skimmer vs both - effects on circulation a

    Jason, I was thinking you would be the first to respond as usual Are you on the forum all the time ?

    Beside the garbage collection is there any downside to not run the skimmer?

    I read about danger of using main drain exclusively due to potential of someone getting stuck on the drain:

    taken from here: http://www.troubleshooters.com/pool/pump/index.htm

    No large quotes without permission.

    is it a real possibility or is it a little too far fetched??
    26K In-ground Vinyl Pool | Hayward DE4820/SP0710XR50 filter | 1.125 HP Dual Speed Hayward Super Pump | Aquasol Solar

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: main drain vs skimmer vs both - effects on circulation a

    Modern drains are required to be either dual drains or more than 3 feet wide, so they don't have that problem. If you have an older single drain under 3 feet you should never run the suction to only the drain. Actually having a problem is rare, but there is no point in having a risk of death when there is an easy way to prevent it.

    The whole point of the skimmer is skimming. If you turn off the skimmer then no skimming, but otherwise no problems.
    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

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    Diver's Avatar
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    Re: main drain vs skimmer vs both - effects on circulation a

    cool, thank you.
    26K In-ground Vinyl Pool | Hayward DE4820/SP0710XR50 filter | 1.125 HP Dual Speed Hayward Super Pump | Aquasol Solar

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    Re: main drain vs skimmer vs both - effects on circulation a

    For me personally, I have found running around 60%-75% suction from the main drains and 25%-40% from the skimmers is adequate for proper skimming and adequate filtration. I find that pulling more water from the main drains aids in better circulation and ultimately quicker filtration if my pool is it's anything other than sparkling clear.

    Doug

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