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Thread: No Suction In Main Drain

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    No Suction In Main Drain

    Hi All! I'm not only a newbie to the forum but also a newbie to taking care of a pool. The wife and I just bought an older home and it has a pool with what looks to be older equipment. Ok, here's the deal.

    When I purchased the home there was no drain cover in the deep end. I bought a new cover and swam down to install it yesterday. To my surprise, there was no suction. I stuck my hand in, nothing. I got back out, played with the Jandy valve in every which way, nothing from the main drain. I can get sharky (the automatic pool cleaner) to work great, I can get the skimmer to suction, but nothing from the main drain. On top of that, my automatic pool cleaner only works with FULL flow. I cannot have the skimmer pulling water or there is not enough power to move the cleaner.

    There are 2 lines that go into the Jandy valve before making their way into the pump. I would assume one is for the automatic pool cleaner and the other is for the skimmer & main drain. Please help! I'm pretty self sufficient but completely new to pool care.
    26,000 Gallon Pool
    Triton II Filter - 74 gpm FFR - 4.91 sq/ft FA
    1 1/2 HP Pentair Motor & Pump - OLD
    2" lines

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: No Suction In Main Drain

    Post a picture of your equipment.
    Are there two holes in the bottom of your skimmer?
    Are there any labels on the plumbing anywhere?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: No Suction In Main Drain

    Great question, I'll check when I get home and I'll also post a few pics. There are no labels on the plumbing at all. The only label is on the motor.
    26,000 Gallon Pool
    Triton II Filter - 74 gpm FFR - 4.91 sq/ft FA
    1 1/2 HP Pentair Motor & Pump - OLD
    2" lines

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    Re: No Suction In Main Drain

    Ok, I have a bit more information now. I've included the pool specs that I know in my signature and have attached a few pictures. There is definitely no labels on the plumbing but there are 2 holes in the skimmer. I've attached a picture of that as well. Let me know what you think. As always, thanks so much!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    26,000 Gallon Pool
    Triton II Filter - 74 gpm FFR - 4.91 sq/ft FA
    1 1/2 HP Pentair Motor & Pump - OLD
    2" lines

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: No Suction In Main Drain

    It looks like one hole in the bottom of the skimmer is plugged?? Is it?

    Where does your cleaner plug into the pool at?

    I'm thinking that the two lines coming into the Jandy valve are the skimmer and the MD (main drain).
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: No Suction In Main Drain

    I'm pretty sure that hole is not plugged. I'll check again but I believe that was just the way the pic turned out as it was getting dark. The automatic pool cleaner plugs into the pool a few feet away from the skimmer, maybe a foot below the surface of the water on the wall.

    I think your right on the Jandy valve. My biggest concern was that there was no flow (that I could feel with my hand) in the main drain. I wanted to address that before I start thinking about a new pump/motor. Which by the way, needs to happen soon I'm sure. I've seen some other pics where the skimmer holes are covered by some sort of flap. Should I have one of those?
    26,000 Gallon Pool
    Triton II Filter - 74 gpm FFR - 4.91 sq/ft FA
    1 1/2 HP Pentair Motor & Pump - OLD
    2" lines

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: No Suction In Main Drain

    So you adjust the Jandy valve to get the cleaner to operate?

    You probably do need a diverter if both holes are plumbed to something.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: No Suction In Main Drain

    Correct, the Jandy controls the flow for the cleaner, the skimmer, and I would assume the main drain. I've played with it in every which way but cannot get any flow from the main drain. Is the second hole in skimmer connected to the main drain? Thanks so much for your input.
    26,000 Gallon Pool
    Triton II Filter - 74 gpm FFR - 4.91 sq/ft FA
    1 1/2 HP Pentair Motor & Pump - OLD
    2" lines

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: No Suction In Main Drain

    The MD is normally connected to a skimmer hole. Do you have a vac plate for the skimmer? Either way, take something and that fits pretty well and lay it on top of the skimmer basket. If the second hole is to the MD, and it's not plugged, it'll start sucking pretty good. Keep an eye on the pump strainer to make sure it doesn't run dry when trying this.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: No Suction In Main Drain

    Thanks Dave! I'll give that a try tonight. I don't have a vac plate but should probably get one.
    26,000 Gallon Pool
    Triton II Filter - 74 gpm FFR - 4.91 sq/ft FA
    1 1/2 HP Pentair Motor & Pump - OLD
    2" lines

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