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Thread: Skimmer efficiency and return flow orientation

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    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Orange County, CA
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    Skimmer efficiency and return flow orientation

    As our pool often gets leaves blown into it from the yard of a self-described "tree hugger" next door, we need to have efficient skimming to keep our pool from turning into a large cup of tea. Our MX8 does a reasonable job, but things can get out of hand. I have noticed two issues that seem to really affect skimming efficiency. The first is the level of water in the pool. Our skimmer doesn't seem to function well when the water is over 1/2 the height of the skimmer inlet. To address this, I turned off the autoleveler and backwashed a large volume of water. This helps the skimmer create rapid surface flow and it's definitely working better.

    The second issue is more difficult to remedy. The pool returns are built into the sides of our gunite pool, but they lack adjustable eyeball ports. So, the water is directed straight out into the pool. This unfortunately does not lead to any purposeful movement of debris toward the single skimmer. The returns appear to simply be 1" PVC pipes that end about 1/4" inside the plaster surface. Is there a way to control the return flow to affect a clockwise flow toward the skimmer? Obviously, eyeball returns would be best, but I'm not sure how I would plumb them.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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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: Skimmer efficiency and return flow orientation

    It sounds like you are either missing the skimmer weir, or your existing weirs are not working correctly. The weir is a swinging panel that has a float on one end that closes off most of the skimmer opening except for a shallow layer right near the surface. That helps keep the water flow into the skimmers working well regardless of the water level.

    Slip fit return fittings, held in by friction, are fairly common. They normally fit into 1 1/2" PVC pipe. Hopefully your pipes are actually 1 1/2". If so, it will be easy to find something that works.
    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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    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Orange County, CA
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    696

    Re: Skimmer efficiency and return flow orientation

    The skimmer weir is there. It was missing a piece of styrofoam backing a few months ago, and I replaced that with some stryofoam I cut carefully to fit in there. However, it could probably work a bit better by having greater buoyancy. I do agree that's part of the problem. But, the surface area is rather large, so getting some clockwise surface flow would help. I'll look into the slip fittings as that may be the way to go. Also, our autocleaner hose tends to block/attract leaves on the surface. I wonder if I bought some hose weights to submerge the hose if that might help getting the leaves to circulate toward the skimmer better as well.

    Cheers...

    Craig
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    tsunami's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
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    Oceanside, CA
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    138

    Re: Skimmer efficiency and return flow orientation

    Waterway Plastics make 1" slip fit return fittings in white, grey, or dark grey.
    40 X 26 Free Form Pool with attached 9 X 7 Spa raised 18" with 8 Jets and Spillover, and an Art Rock Waterfall/Grotto with accent rocks, 26,000 gallons
    Intelliflo VF-3050 for Pool, VS-3050 for Spa Jets, VS-3050 for Waterfall/Grotto, Quad DE 80, 400K BTU Mastertemp, Intellitouch i7+3 w/ iS10 10 Function Spa-Side Remote, Intellichlor IC40 Salt Chlorinator, Telephone Remote, 2 Intellibrites for Pool/ 1 for Spa, Solar Panels on 2 story Roof w/ 75% coverage
    Pebble Tec Tropical Breeze Tsunami's Pool Build

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