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Thread: Pool valve questions..

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    Pool valve questions..

    Hi everyone,

    I bought a house that has a pool... The pool is a 30,000 gallon in-ground vinyl. I have two skimmer boxes, one bottom drain and a Polaris. The pool also has two sets of jets... two by the stairs, one in the deep end and one in the shallow end. The pool has two three-way valves located by the pump (a DE pump). One is black and one is white. The white valve is before the pump/filter and the black valve is after. I've attached two pictures. I have two questions.

    1.) I believe (based upon trial and error) that the white valve controls which skimmer box the water is being pulled from. It seems that if the handle is pointing at position 1, the one skimmer box is on and the other is off. If the handle is pointed at position 2, the second skimmer box is on and the other is off. If the handle is pointing at position 3, all water to the pump is cut off. If the handle is pointing at position 4, both skimmer boxes are on. I've confirmed this by just moving the valve and checking each skimmer box for movement. My question is, how do I isolate the bottom drain? I'm trying to vacuum the bottom becuase I have residual dead algea from an outbreak that occurred a few weeks ago but I don't think I'm getting enough suction. The vacuum seems to stir up more of the stuff than it sucks up, so when I'm done vacuuming some of the particles are suspended in the water and later accumulate (again) on the bottom.

    2.) With regard to the black valve, anyone have any idea what each position does? You can see the boster pump hose for the Polaris. I know one of the positions will cut off water to the Polaris, but I'm not sure which it is. Also, this valve seems to operate differently from the white valve... the white valve seems to cut off water to which ever position it points, whereas the black valve doesn't... I'm a bit confused.

    Can anyone help?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pool valve questions..

    The top one is easy. You're exactly right about the operation of the white valve.
    The main drain os most likely plumbed into the bottom of one or both of the skimmers. Look in the bottom of the skimmer and see if there's a round UFO or twinkie like device in the bottom covering the holes.

    The black valve operates just like the white one. You don't say where the pipes from that one go so there's no way to tell what it does but by your description of the returns I'd say it directs flow to the main returns and/or the stair returns.
    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
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    Re: Pool valve questions..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    The top one is easy. You're exactly right about the operation of the white valve.
    The main drain os most likely plumbed into the bottom of one or both of the skimmers. Look in the bottom of the skimmer and see if there's a round UFO or twinkie like device in the bottom covering the holes.

    The black valve operates just like the white one. You don't say where the pipes from that one go so there's no way to tell what it does but by your description of the returns I'd say it directs flow to the main returns and/or the stair returns.
    Thanks for the reply... I know the skimmers have two holes in the bottom, but I've never seen a UFO or a twinkie down there. Is there a way to shut off the bottom drain? I'm trying to get better suction to my vacuum. I've read that if you totally isolate the skimmer attached the vacuum, the hose can collapse. My suction is no where near that. Most of the time, I can barely feel it when I stick my hand under the water and feel the bottom of the vacuum.

    Regarding the black valve, I'm not sure where the lines go. I do know that one position cuts flow to the Polaris, because that stopped moving and I thought it was broke until I changed that valve.

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    37,879

    Re: Pool valve questions..

    At least one of the two skimmers should get full suction when you adjust the white valve to draw water only from that skimmer. It isn't clear where the main drain is hooked up, but I imagine it connects to one of the two lines heading to the skimmers. The other should get full suction when the valve is in the correct position.

    The while valve can be set to intermediate positions if there is any sign of the vacuum getting too much suction. Vacuums work fine with 100% of the suction from a smaller pump, but can have problems or collapse when getting 100% of the suction from a larger pump. In any case, if you can get too much suction, you can easily adjust the white valve to get the right amount of suction.
    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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    Re: Pool valve questions..

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    At least one of the two skimmers should get full suction when you adjust the white valve to draw water only from that skimmer. It isn't clear where the main drain is hooked up, but I imagine it connects to one of the two lines heading to the skimmers. The other should get full suction when the valve is in the correct position.

    The while valve can be set to intermediate positions if there is any sign of the vacuum getting too much suction. Vacuums work fine with 100% of the suction from a smaller pump, but can have problems or collapse when getting 100% of the suction from a larger pump. In any case, if you can get too much suction, you can easily adjust the white valve to get the right amount of suction.
    So you're saying that the bottom drain is probably connected into one of the skimmer boxes and the other skimmer box is what I should use to vacuum? Is there anyway to tell just by looking down the skimmer box?

    I had been using the skimmer box closest to the pump, but maybe I'll try the other and see if the suction's better. I have what I belive to be eitehr dead algae or inert phosphate on the bottom of my pool that I cannot get rid of. I had an algea outbreak and the pool store gave me "shock" and phosphate remover. The next morning, the bottom of the pool had what appears to be white or light brown sand on the bottom. It was mostly in the deep end, along the line where the bottom goes from flat to an incline.

    I've vaccumed about four times (twice to waste and twice using the filter) and although I have a lot less, there's still some clearly noticable on the bottom. I know the vacuum isn't getting enough suction becuase when I go along the bottom, a lot of the white/brown stuff gets stirred up so I get a cloud around the vacuum head, no matter how slow I go. I think that stuff remains suspended for a day or two and then resettles on the bottom and that's why it appears to keep coming back.

    I'll try the other skimmer and let you know how it goes. Thanks,

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

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