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Thread: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

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    "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    Hello everybody:

    On my wish list to do is to install a SWG. However, I would need to remove the section of 1.5 inch pipe that includes my regular chlorinator, as well as a 4" T which goes into the ground, but appears to do nothing.

    I have no idea what it is for, what is was for, what it does or doesn't do, or if I can even delete it. The few I've asked about it had no idea either.

    Any ideas anyone?

    Maybe it was for the well that was dug when the pool was built to bring down the water table? I dunno.

    Thanks for any help,
    Mike
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    Mike

    9500 gallon plaster/gunite pool w/waterfall, 1/2 HP 1sp pump, 120 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 336 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panels, CPSC16 SWG, Boratized

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    I've never seen anything like that before. Have you dug down and seen if there's a leg under it? You might pour some dye in the system and see if you can tell if the water comes out somewhere you can't explain.
    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: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    I've only dug down about a foot. Seems to go on beyond that. I didn't want to get myself into a digfest without asking first.
    Mike

    9500 gallon plaster/gunite pool w/waterfall, 1/2 HP 1sp pump, 120 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 336 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panels, CPSC16 SWG, Boratized

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    If you're gonna cut and replumb for an SWG anyway, you could try blowing in there with a shop vac or leaf blower and see where the air comes out. I'd rather cut, blow, and fix than dig anyday!

    Edit: took a closer look at the picture; it looks like that's a 3 or 4 inch tee? Could it go to the sewer?
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    I don't think so. I don't think the sewer line is anywhere near this.

    Is it possible the pool builder sunk this to support the pipe that holds the chlorinator? Maybe the span was too long or something?
    Mike

    9500 gallon plaster/gunite pool w/waterfall, 1/2 HP 1sp pump, 120 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 336 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panels, CPSC16 SWG, Boratized

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    Lana537's Avatar
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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    Hello,

    I love a good mystery; this is interesting.

    So we are looking here at the return side of the system, after the chlorinator, right? These two or three pipes all go back to the pool, with one valve only to choose between two of the three pipes, correct? Do I have this straight?

    I don't know your pool. How many returns do you have? Any water features? An attached spa?

    How old is your pool?

    I probably won't be able to help, but this is any interesting puzzle.

    Lana
    23,600 gallon, refurbished 1960's inground concrete, Jandy sand filter w Jandy 2 hp variable speed pump, Pool Pilot Digital SWCG+Chemtrol 2100+CO2 tank; PebbleTec White Pearl with 10% Cobalt Blue Dark Beadcrete by Olympic Pool Plastering, Georgia. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit; Aqua Check Salt test; LaMotte borates test, and Jack's Magic Sequest test kit; SparklyPoolitis level: extremely high.

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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    Lana: You are correct on all guesses.

    The valve you see after the Mystery T is for the returns to the spa (waterfall) and to the pool itself.

    Pool was built in 1995.

    The owner of the house before us didn't even know the code to his alarm, so I didn't bother to ask him about this.
    Mike

    9500 gallon plaster/gunite pool w/waterfall, 1/2 HP 1sp pump, 120 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 336 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panels, CPSC16 SWG, Boratized

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    Lana537's Avatar
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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    So my wager is that the fat T after the chlorinator is a pair, few, or one of your returns--no valve because why ever have no movement in the pool?, and then after that is your waterfall and/or more returns.

    How many returns do you have in the pool? Even if only 2, the T pipe could go to one, and the valved pipe goes to the other, unless you choose to forgo the return action in order to have a robust waterfall going.

    These are my guesses---I don't have a crystal ball.

    Lana
    23,600 gallon, refurbished 1960's inground concrete, Jandy sand filter w Jandy 2 hp variable speed pump, Pool Pilot Digital SWCG+Chemtrol 2100+CO2 tank; PebbleTec White Pearl with 10% Cobalt Blue Dark Beadcrete by Olympic Pool Plastering, Georgia. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit; Aqua Check Salt test; LaMotte borates test, and Jack's Magic Sequest test kit; SparklyPoolitis level: extremely high.

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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    Nah, only two returns to the pool...the spa and the pool itself, both controlled by the valve downstream from the Mystery T.
    Mike

    9500 gallon plaster/gunite pool w/waterfall, 1/2 HP 1sp pump, 120 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 336 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panels, CPSC16 SWG, Boratized

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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    I wonder if the spa/waterfall was added after the pool was built.

    Maybe originally, there was only the one return pipe to the two eyeballs--the mystery pipe. Then the waterfall and spa was added, the original pipe for the two eyeball returns was diverted to become what we now see as the pipe to valve and two separate pipes, one for the waterfall and one for the two eyeballs.

    Lana
    23,600 gallon, refurbished 1960's inground concrete, Jandy sand filter w Jandy 2 hp variable speed pump, Pool Pilot Digital SWCG+Chemtrol 2100+CO2 tank; PebbleTec White Pearl with 10% Cobalt Blue Dark Beadcrete by Olympic Pool Plastering, Georgia. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit; Aqua Check Salt test; LaMotte borates test, and Jack's Magic Sequest test kit; SparklyPoolitis level: extremely high.

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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    Does your spillover operate on a much smaller scale even with the waterfall closed at the valve? This may be a tee to a dedicated return in the spa to ensure constant filtration. (Skip to bottom before doing this) You could try turning your existing valve to close off the inlet side vs. either the waterfall or pool returns and see if the waterfall is still operating. Keep an eye on your filter pressure as you do this just in case the T dead ends. Don't want to blow any lids off.

    *Whoa! Hold that thought. What's that actuated valve before the chlorinator? It looks like you have a heater loop. Is there a solar setup connected? The "T" could just be the return from wherever that first valve goes off to. Or is that what the check valve is connected to?

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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    Yes, that is the solar heater valve, and the check valve below that is on the solar return line.

    So, no go on that theory!

    I have no spillover at all in the spa when the inlet valve to it is off, which is the valve just downstream of that Mystery T.
    Mike

    9500 gallon plaster/gunite pool w/waterfall, 1/2 HP 1sp pump, 120 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 336 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panels, CPSC16 SWG, Boratized

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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    Ok, so I'd go back to closing the inlet side of the last valve. You may have to loosen the retainer on top of the handle to get it to turn to that position. Close it off slowly, watching the pressure as you go to make sure you're not just pushing against a wall. If the pressure remains ok with that valve completely closed then you will be able to get a look at where the water is going.

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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    Ooh, that was a good thought and got my juices going. I went out to the pad just now. Unfortunately, the valve won't close off that position, just the other two. Oh, well.
    Mike

    9500 gallon plaster/gunite pool w/waterfall, 1/2 HP 1sp pump, 120 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 336 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panels, CPSC16 SWG, Boratized

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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    Lana:

    Sorry, I misspoke. I do have four eyeballs in the pool, not two. And one eyeball in the spa. But they seem to all be fed from the two lines that are controlled by the valve downstream from the Mystery T. I do know that the spa/waterfall feature was indeed built when the pool was built.

    From that one valve, I can stop the flow completely either to the pool, or the spa, but not both simultaneously.

    I have let this mystery not bother me for a year (since we bought the house), convincing myself that it was just some kind of support for the long pipe that the chlorinator is on. But that doesn't make any sense. Would it go to the sewer? Why?

    Now it is beginning to drive me nuts.

    I went to the pad and finally pulled and pushed on it, and it seems solid as a rock.
    Mike

    9500 gallon plaster/gunite pool w/waterfall, 1/2 HP 1sp pump, 120 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 336 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panels, CPSC16 SWG, Boratized

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    It's a mystery to me. I agree with Spishex, about closing off the outboard valve and see where the water is still flowing into the pool/spa if it flows at all. I don't think it's just a support but stranger things have happened.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    Quote Originally Posted by Magnew
    Ooh, that was a good thought and got my juices going. I went out to the pad just now. Unfortunately, the valve won't close off that position, just the other two. Oh, well.
    There are stops for the handle preventing it from going all the way around. If you take out the screw in the top of the handle where it pivots you'll be able to lift the handle up off the stem a bit to clear those stops.

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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    Spishex and Dave: I did it. I pulled the handle on the return valve up past the stop, and turned it to turn the inlet off. The pressure at the gauge went up to 20 psi and stopped. I only did this momentarily to notice some things, and then let the flow continue.

    What I did notice is that there is no flow when the inlet to that valve is off. I know this because there is a bubble in my strainer basket lid, maybe the size of a dime. When I close off that valve (creating backpressure to that Mystery T), the bubble stops moving entirely. No flow at all.

    So, at least I am satisfied that that T is not in use anywhere (as in maybe supplying my neighbor with filtered water).

    But, just what the heck was that thing ever used for? And, can I safely delete it when I re-plumb for the SWG?

    I believe there is an option where you can become a member and pay a fee? I will do that. This site is SO worth it!

    Very grateful to everyone,
    Mike
    Mike

    9500 gallon plaster/gunite pool w/waterfall, 1/2 HP 1sp pump, 120 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 336 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panels, CPSC16 SWG, Boratized

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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: "Mystery" T--what is this thing?...

    I'd say that you can safely delete it in the replumb. It would still bug me until I figured out where it went. It probably just goes into the ground and is capped off but who knows.
    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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