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Thread: Main Drain, Vacuum, Vac Plate and Skimmer

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    Main Drain, Vacuum, Vac Plate and Skimmer

    Confused how all of this works. I bought a vacuum and hose a few weeks ago and thought I knew what I was doing but after a little reading it appears I don't. I have been putting the hose in the suction side of the skimmer which I noticed doesn't fit all that great. I do not have a vac plate and didn't know I needed one. I also assumed the main drains at the bottom of the pool sucked at all times until this weekend when I finally swam down and found no suction. I have been sweeping debris down to them thinking they would suck it up but nothing happened. So what is the correct setup for all of this? My skimmers do have two holes but I think one of them is capped or closed. There is a flap in both skimmers but if I close the suction with the flap the pump grinds.
    18,500 gallons, Cartridge Filter, In Ground Plaster. Jandy CL460 Filter

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    Re: Main Drain, Vacuum, Vac Plate and Skimmer

    I assumed everyone would want pictures so I went out and took these. I think I figured out the main drain issue but I don't know where I should set the valve. The valve appeared to be closed so I opened it about half way. Second question is what is the Jandy Valve for? It is labeled Spa Sprays but I don't know of any spray jets other then maybe the return jet that is piped just like an eyeball without the eyeball in the bottom of the spa that only works when the pool is running which I guess makes sense since this is piped on the pool side of the spa return. Here are the pics.





    Should the main drain be completely open and then partially closed to vacuum?

    Sorry for so many questions.
    18,500 gallons, Cartridge Filter, In Ground Plaster. Jandy CL460 Filter

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    Re: Main Drain, Vacuum, Vac Plate and Skimmer

    Went out to look again this morning in the light and I am confused all over again. There are a total of 4 pipes on the suction side of the pump. There are two at the end one which has the black valve that was closed and another one without a valve. Past those which can't be seen in the pictures is labeled skimmers. On the opposite side of the valve is labeled spa skimmers which I assume is the main drain in the spa and these are currently shut off by the electronic valve.

    Still haven't had a chance to swim down to check on suction but I suspect on of the 4 drains is connected to the pipe without the valve, a second one is connected to the pipe with the valve and the other 2 drains are connected to the waterfall.

    Does this sound accurate?
    18,500 gallons, Cartridge Filter, In Ground Plaster. Jandy CL460 Filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Main Drain, Vacuum, Vac Plate and Skimmer

    Lets start at the pump suction. I can't tell what the pipe is on the left of the actuated 3-way valve is but I'll assume it's the suction from the spa. On the right side of the 3-way valve you have two suction lines. The one with the 2-way valve is the Main Drain and the one without a valve is the skimmer(s). Since on'y the MD has a valve you can't restrict the flow from the skimmers to improve the suction from the MD. They really should have put a 3-way valve between the skimmer & MD lines.

    The jandy below the check valve on the returns controls the spa sprays.

    We need th pics to be a little further away to be able to know more.
    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: Main Drain, Vacuum, Vac Plate and Skimmer

    Thanks for the response Bama. There are actually three pipes on the pool suction side of the 3 way valve. Right before the tee there is another tee that cant be seen cause of the pics which is labeled skimmers. There appears to be actually two main drain suction lines one that has a valve and one without a valve. Here is another pic that may help.

    18,500 gallons, Cartridge Filter, In Ground Plaster. Jandy CL460 Filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Main Drain, Vacuum, Vac Plate and Skimmer

    Do you have two separate MD's? That's unusual.

    I see the Tee now.
    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: Main Drain, Vacuum, Vac Plate and Skimmer

    I have a total of 4 drains in the bottom of the pool. I assume two of them are for the water fall and two of them are for the drain. One of them appears to be piped without a valve and the other with a valve. I plan to figure all this out tonight by opening and closing the valves and swimming down to feel for suction. I assume I can open and close the one main drain valve to regulate the amount of suction from the skimmers.
    18,500 gallons, Cartridge Filter, In Ground Plaster. Jandy CL460 Filter

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