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Thread: Best way to troubleshoot one return that stopped working

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    Pisces's Avatar
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    Best way to troubleshoot one return that stopped working

    Hi, guys...I tried to search this, but just can't find a good starting place. I'm not very knowledgeable about the lines, pump, filter, returns...I take care of everything else, so I'm asking this for my husband, who's been the troubleshooter for the pool equipment, as he is with everything else. He's looking at our pics of the build, lines, etc. now.

    I noticed that one return in our deep end suddenly stopped working. No water coming out at all. The other three returns (I have a very small 7000 gallon pool) are just fine and dandy. I'd love to be able to call our pool builder, but they are no longer in business. DH is an engineer (electrical) so if you just give us some ideas on where to start, I'd be so grateful! TFP has helped me keep a healthy and sparklyicious pool for over 2 years now, and this is the first thing we're stumped on. Very little has actually gone wrong yet.

    We see no evidence of leaks, dirt coming into the pool, etc. We do have 2 Queen Palm trees growing at that end of the pool. TIA!
    7,000 gal. IG gunite, SWG, PebbleSheen interior finish-Aqua Blue, 8' vanishing edge raised 16-jet overspill spa, 2 12" waterfalls, tan shelf with bubbler.
    Pentair equipment: Easy Touch 8, Intellichlor IC-40, Intelliflo VF 3050, 2.5 hp Whisperflo spa pump, 1 hp Whisperflo water feature pump, Quad 100 DE filter, Master Temp 400 heater, Legend Platinum Cleaner (3/4 hp pump). Autofill, TF-100 Test Kit w/salt and borate strips.

    Pisces Pool Build

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to troubleshoot one return that stopped working

    Assuming you have eyeball return fittings, I'd rotate a couple of the others to 90 degrees from the water flow or have several people hold their hands over them to see if the back pressure will make the problem return flow. If that's the case, it could be a design issue and/or a reduction in water flow that is putting all of the water through the other returns.

    If that doesn't make a difference, I'd be thinking there is something in the line. I'd pull the fitting off that return, shut off the pump and remove the lid and basket, and put a hose with a rag wrapped around it to get a seal into that return to see if water flows into the basket or out the other returns. You'll be able to tell if water is flowing through the other returns by the cooler temperature.
    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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    Pisces's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to troubleshoot one return that stopped working

    Thank you John T!! My husband said "OK! Makes sense!". We will try those things tomorrow. According to the build pictures, it looks like this return is the "end of the line" return, the last one in the line of 4 going around the pool. Will report back when we get something going. Many thanks.
    7,000 gal. IG gunite, SWG, PebbleSheen interior finish-Aqua Blue, 8' vanishing edge raised 16-jet overspill spa, 2 12" waterfalls, tan shelf with bubbler.
    Pentair equipment: Easy Touch 8, Intellichlor IC-40, Intelliflo VF 3050, 2.5 hp Whisperflo spa pump, 1 hp Whisperflo water feature pump, Quad 100 DE filter, Master Temp 400 heater, Legend Platinum Cleaner (3/4 hp pump). Autofill, TF-100 Test Kit w/salt and borate strips.

    Pisces Pool Build

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to troubleshoot one return that stopped working

    Quote Originally Posted by Pisces
    Thank you John T!! My husband said "OK! Makes sense!". We will try those things tomorrow. According to the build pictures, it looks like this return is the "end of the line" return, the last one in the line of 4 going around the pool. Will report back when we get something going. Many thanks.
    That sounds bad. Normally you route the return plumbing so the all have the same length of run from the pump.

    Have you changed to a multi or variable speed pump? Filter pressure gone up?
    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: Best way to troubleshoot one return that stopped working

    Hey Pisces

    I agree that your plumbing is probably in 'series', rather than parallel. I'm surprised that you haven't noticed this sooner. Try John's suggestion of capping the other returns and see what happens.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Pisces's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to troubleshoot one return that stopped working

    JohnT...we have the same Intelliflo pump and filter pressure has only gone up slightly, but it's time for our yearly -ha-backflush. We can't do it now because of water restrictions here. That may also help the problem. We're so overbuilt equipment-wise for our teeny tiny pool, it's hard to see the pressure go up any. I mean..baby pool with a ginormous spa on one end.

    Hi Ted!! Hope you're doing well!! Yes, from the pics, it is plumbed in series, I'm almost positive. We will try what you guys have suggested and see what happens! It's not a huge emergency but I'd like to get that return going again soon. Will work on it some today, but I'm going to see the Doobie Brothers tonight with a girlfriend, so I'll be leaving DH here to trobleshoot more. Usually it's ME slaving away out there over a hot pool!! Ha! I'm putting him to work today!

    Thank you guys...you are both too awesome!
    7,000 gal. IG gunite, SWG, PebbleSheen interior finish-Aqua Blue, 8' vanishing edge raised 16-jet overspill spa, 2 12" waterfalls, tan shelf with bubbler.
    Pentair equipment: Easy Touch 8, Intellichlor IC-40, Intelliflo VF 3050, 2.5 hp Whisperflo spa pump, 1 hp Whisperflo water feature pump, Quad 100 DE filter, Master Temp 400 heater, Legend Platinum Cleaner (3/4 hp pump). Autofill, TF-100 Test Kit w/salt and borate strips.

    Pisces Pool Build

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    Re: Best way to troubleshoot one return that stopped working

    Enjoy the concert!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Pisces's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to troubleshoot one return that stopped working

    Thank you Ted!! We did. They were really awesome, and you could tell they had a good time onstage. Very tight performance. Took me back to the '70's and seeing them for the first time. Rocked out!! Sadly, the pool returns didn't get much attention, but we will work on it this week. Old school rock and roll won out. Ha!
    7,000 gal. IG gunite, SWG, PebbleSheen interior finish-Aqua Blue, 8' vanishing edge raised 16-jet overspill spa, 2 12" waterfalls, tan shelf with bubbler.
    Pentair equipment: Easy Touch 8, Intellichlor IC-40, Intelliflo VF 3050, 2.5 hp Whisperflo spa pump, 1 hp Whisperflo water feature pump, Quad 100 DE filter, Master Temp 400 heater, Legend Platinum Cleaner (3/4 hp pump). Autofill, TF-100 Test Kit w/salt and borate strips.

    Pisces Pool Build

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