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Thread: 2 Suction Lines between Skimmer, Pool drain & Spa Drain?

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    2 Suction Lines between Skimmer, Pool drain & Spa Drain?

    Hi Eveyone,

    I recently purchased a home built in 1972. I don't believe the pool was original, but I would guess it's 20+ years old. My question is related to the plumbing. The pool deck is surrounded by concrete, so I can't easily dig down to see how the pool is plumbed. There are 2 suction lines coming into a 3-way valve which feeds the pump. I observe that one line sucks from the spa and one from the skimmer. The pool main drain seems to be clogged, since I swam down to the bottom and felt no suction with the 3-way valve turned either way. Is it likely that the pool main drain and the spa drain would be on the same line or, the skimmer and the pool drain on the same line? The pool is an in-ground 14' x 30' pool in southern California. It seems to me that in order to ever effectively heat the spa, I would need the spa suction line on it's own (there is currently no heater, nor do I know if there ever was one). But wouldn't the pool main drain need to be on it's own line in order to drain the pool? By the way, on the return from the filter, there are two line with a 3-way valve, one goes to the pool and one to the filter.
    Besides all the plumbing questions, if anyone has some tips on unclogging the main drain, that would be great too!

    Thanks,

    Chris
    14k gallon in-ground pool, Hayward Max-Flo II 3/4 hp pump & Hayward Perflex EC-50AC DE Filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: 2 Suction Lines between Skimmer, Pool drain & Spa Drain?

    Your main drain may not be clogged. Even when working correctly you won't be able to feel any suction from it.

    It would help greatly if you could post some pics of the pad.

    Your main drain is most likely plumbed into the bottom of your skimmer. There should be a diverter in the bottom of the skimmer. It'll look like either a space ship or a twinkie. That's how you adjust the flow between the skimmer and the main drain.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: 2 Suction Lines between Skimmer, Pool drain & Spa Drain?

    So, are you saying that there might be some sort of valve in the skimmer to switch between skimmer and main drain? And maybe it's switched to skimmer right now, that's why there is no suction at the drain? Interesting, thank you. I'll check when I get home from work. That would make sense, although I don't remember noticing anything like that before.
    14k gallon in-ground pool, Hayward Max-Flo II 3/4 hp pump & Hayward Perflex EC-50AC DE Filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: 2 Suction Lines between Skimmer, Pool drain & Spa Drain?

    The space ship or twinkie could be missing or you will just have to adjust it to pull more from the floor if that is your desire (although not really needed). You should find 2 holes under the skimmer basket one to the pump and one to the floor drain. Without a diverter, it is easier for the pump to pull from the skimmer so you would get very little flow from the floor.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: 2 Suction Lines between Skimmer, Pool drain & Spa Drain?

    It looks like there is a second hole, but it has a PVC plug in it. It sounds like I'm missing the Skimmer/Main Drain Diverter. I even see what looks like a large rubber gasket that probably helps seal the diverter. How important is it to have a diverter? Is it basically just a back-up in case your pool level ever drops below the skimmer, or is there something else it does?

    Thanks!
    14k gallon in-ground pool, Hayward Max-Flo II 3/4 hp pump & Hayward Perflex EC-50AC DE Filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: 2 Suction Lines between Skimmer, Pool drain & Spa Drain?

    Well it sounds like either the pipe from the Skimmer to the floor is capped or the floor does not run to your skimmer. The diverter is pointless if there is no hole/pipe to the floor.

    Is the plug from the top or from below the Skimmer?

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: 2 Suction Lines between Skimmer, Pool drain & Spa Drain?

    There have been cases where the skimmer and main drain are just "tee'd" together underground.

    If that's the case you could block (or partially block) the skimmer hole and the main drain would suck more then. If you block the hole and it doesn't starve the pump then that's what's going on.
    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: 2 Suction Lines between Skimmer, Pool drain & Spa Drain?

    Here is a picture of the inside of the skimmer. It looks like I'm just missing the "space ship" part as referenced earlier. Does that seem correct? The octagonal white piece appears to be a threaded pvc plug, although I haven't tried to unscrew it yet. The lid on the skimmer says Swimquip WC27-92. From searching on the web, it looks like my skimmer might be similar to a Swimquip U-3. Does anyone have any helpful info on this skimmer? Does this look like the right part?
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/SWIMQUIP-STA...0#ht_728wt_952


    Thanks!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    14k gallon in-ground pool, Hayward Max-Flo II 3/4 hp pump & Hayward Perflex EC-50AC DE Filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: 2 Suction Lines between Skimmer, Pool drain & Spa Drain?

    Well. I would suggest you try to remove the plug and then try to determine is it is plumbed to the floor. The skimmers I have seen that are capped were usually glued shut from the bottom.

    The only reason you need the float/diverter is if you can remove the plug and find that it is indeed connected to the floor drain and want to be able to adjust the suction from the floor.

    If you can't remove the plug or find that it is not plumbed anywhere, then you do not need the float diverter for anything.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: 2 Suction Lines between Skimmer, Pool drain & Spa Drain?

    I would plug the hole for a moment and see if the pump starved. If it doesn't they are plumbed together. If it does then try to remove the plug.
    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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