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Thread: Should skimmer water skip the pool filter?

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    Should skimmer water skip the pool filter?

    My 9 month old play pool has two pumps.
    1) Variable speed for pool/spa (Paramount in floor cleaning) or spa (heat and therapy)
    2) Single speed 1 1/2 hp pump for skimmer/surface returns or waterfall (valve choice)

    The cartridge filter only handles the water running through the variable speed pump...so water that gets sucked into the pool drain gets filtered before being returned to the pool through the floor cleaner heads.

    The water that gets sucked through the skimmer is only "filtered" by the skimmer basket and the basket strainer on the single speed pump before heading back to the surface returns.

    I can't help but wonder if I would have been better off if all the water circulation went though the variable speed pump/cartridge filter path (but not simultaneously of course). I realize this would likely have an energy savings benefit, but I'm more concerned with getting fine floating stuff out of the pool.

    Pool is a normal sized (15,000 gal) with spill spa. Automation and all equipment is Pentair.

    Any suggestions? My pool builder suggested that we put a sock-like thing on the skimmer basket to catch more fine particles, but is that the best "fix"?
    AG 18'X52" round Ultra frame Intex 8961 gallons with sand filter and SWG 1600 gph also have TF-100 Test kit

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    Re: Should skimmer water skip the pool filter?

    Better off putting the sock in the mouth of the pool builder
    What ever possessed them to build the system like that

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Should skimmer water skip the pool filter?

    Welcome to TFP.

    I'd want everything going through the filter especially the skimmer.

    Can you post a pic of the pad? If you can someone may have a simple way to replumb the system so the variable speed pump handles everything.
    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: Should skimmer water skip the pool filter?

    Thanks for helping me understand this...I've attached the photo.

    I've been talking to the pool builder about this, and am asking him why he took the approach he did. He's a really good guy, so I think he will do what is best for the pool, not just what is best for him.

    Why is it be better to filter the skimmer water vs the floor drain?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    AG 18'X52" round Ultra frame Intex 8961 gallons with sand filter and SWG 1600 gph also have TF-100 Test kit

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Should skimmer water skip the pool filter?

    It's not better to filter the skimmer water. The point is to filter everything, skimmer and MD. On a lot of pools the MD gets plugged or leaks and has to be plugged off and if you only filter the water coming from the MD you've just lost the ability to filter.
    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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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Should skimmer water skip the pool filter?

    I see three intakes to the intelliflo; spa suction and two pool suction (skimmer and drain? 2 drains?). Are you sure the waterfall pump isn't using a sidewall suction or drain for its source? Using the skimmer would be silly.
    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: Should skimmer water skip the pool filter?

    I just ran the waterfall...and at least some (probably all) of the water is pulled from the skimmer. The only sidewall suction in the pool was connected to the main drain as I recall.

    I checked the third input to the intelliflo -- it is from a pool wall inlet (dedicated suction line) in case a traditional pool cleaner is used.

    Thanks for helping me get a handle on this....
    AG 18'X52" round Ultra frame Intex 8961 gallons with sand filter and SWG 1600 gph also have TF-100 Test kit

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    Re: Should skimmer water skip the pool filter?

    I don't see any union connectors on the pumps so that will make servicing interesting.

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    Re: Should skimmer water skip the pool filter?

    Where are the return jets for the single speed pump? Sometimes the single speed pump is just for water features and therapy jets, usually around a bench.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Should skimmer water skip the pool filter?

    This setup is kind of crazy, certainly not the preferred way to do things. But, aside from wasting some electricity running the single speed pump to get any skimming, it is perfectly usable. You can still get both filtering and skimming, you just need to run both pumps. There is no requirement that skimmers filter, as long as the filtering happens.

    If you want to improve the efficiency you could eliminate the second pump and run everything with the IntelliFlo. However, for that to work you will probably need to get a larger filter, plus switching on the waterfall will require both turning a valve and changing the pump speed, which will only be convenient if you also get an automation system.

    Quote Originally Posted by teapot
    I don't see any union connectors on the pumps so that will make servicing interesting.
    Unions on pumps are uncommon. I consider them an added point of failure that is best avoided. Pumps normally last a long time, and whatever PVC plumbing is required when the pump fails is easy enough. I suppose that if you like to tinker with your plumbing setup they can occasionally be worth having.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Should skimmer water skip the pool filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Quote Originally Posted by teapot
    I don't see any union connectors on the pumps so that will make servicing interesting.
    Unions on pumps are uncommon. I consider them an added point of failure that is best avoided. Pumps normally last a long time, and whatever PVC plumbing is required when the pump fails is easy enough. I suppose that if you like to tinker with your plumbing setup they can occasionally be worth having.
    In our colder environment we often remove pumps etc to winter them indoors, plus as you said I buy different gadgets to attach to my system for trial purposes so each to their own.
    It would be ok if this layout had been more conventional but now each pipe will need cutting to modify it and what is the point of the skimmer if it's not to skim the surface detritus and filter it out, small particles get stuck on the surface tension so won't sink and hence get filtered out. may as well do away with the skimmer and use a net! save a lot of electricity.

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