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Thread: Unsure about valve handle positions for on or off.

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    Unsure about valve handle positions for on or off.

    I have a new pool but the pool builder did not return to show us how to use everything. I am not sure which way to turn the handle on the valves for water coming from the skimmer and the main drains. I know which valve controls the main drain and which controls the skimmer but I am never sure if we are reducing the flow of water or increasing it. Below are the pictures of my equipment pad and valves.

    In the second picture the valve to the right is the one that pulls from the main drain. I don't feel much water pulling from the main drains but from what I read on this forum that is by design and normal. I only touch this when I vacuum. We were told to turn the main drain off when we vacuum. In order to do that the handle is in line with the pipe to the right and the little u shaped pointer is pointed to the left. Is that correct.

    The other valve to the left is the one pulling from the two skimmers. The guys who opened the pool said to turn the handle so that the handle part is catercorner with the tail lower right and the front pointing up and left. Where should that handle be pointed to have equal water pull from the skimmers. Can I make one skimmer pull more or when I adjust that valve am I just lessening the pull from both skimmers.

    I am reluctant to fool with these too much because I don't want to do anything to the pump, like shutting off all the water flow at once. Can that happen. I would think that there would be some kind of ON and OFF markings on these valves. They are capable of turning almost all the way around.

    I wanted to mark the pipes and the valves when the builder opened the pool for the summer (it was built last fall but not used) but he only sent two men who didn't really speak English.

    Thank you so much to anyone who can take the time to explain this to me so it makes sense.

    , , ,
    Built in October 2011, 16 x 26 x 20 L shaped vinyl IG steel wall pool, Hayward DE pro grid verticle filter 4800 pool, Hayward two speed superpump, 120,000 BTU Pentair Ultra Temp Heat Pump, Aqua Rite Salt system, 8' wide walk out steps, 2 skimmers, 4 returns, 2 main drains, 500 watt underwater light, intermatic mechanical timer

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Unsure about valve handle positions for on or off.

    On the tab opposite the handle is should say "CLOSED" ... that is off. In all your pictures water is able to move through all of the pipes as you do not have any CLOSED.

    You can turn them to partially close any of the paths which will adjust where the water is pulled from and returns too.

    In your 2nd picture, I am guessing the 2 pipes on the left are from the 2 skimmers and the one on the right is the main drain. What you decribed to turn off the drain is opposite of reality.

    If you turn the left most handle, you can close off one of the other skimmer or partially close it to adjust the flow.

    Feel free to play with them ... they appear to be setup such that you can not hurt the pump by completely closing the suction or the return line. You just never want the CLOSED TAB pointing towards middle pipe (towards the pump) as that will shut off the flow ... if the stops are still in place, it should not be possible to turn the valve that way.

    EDIT: My bad, the Pentair valves say OFF not CLOSED on the tab
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Unsure about valve handle positions for on or off.

    I will have to look closer to see if it says something on the tab. My eyes aren't what they used to be.
    So - for the main drain I would have the handle pointing to the left and the tab pointing toward the right and that would turn off the main drain so more suction would go to the skimmers. Is that correct?

    I am glad that it appears I can't accidentally turn the valves so that no water goes into the pump.

    Another question. I have been shutting the pump, etc., down before I turn any valves. Is that necessary? If the water flow to the pump did get shut off, would the pump automatically stop itself or just burn out.

    I am full of questions but I think it is wiser to ask those more knowedgeable rather than risk damaging all this new equipment. My water is crystal clear thanks to this site and all I have learned here and now hopefully I will master the use of the equipment.
    Built in October 2011, 16 x 26 x 20 L shaped vinyl IG steel wall pool, Hayward DE pro grid verticle filter 4800 pool, Hayward two speed superpump, 120,000 BTU Pentair Ultra Temp Heat Pump, Aqua Rite Salt system, 8' wide walk out steps, 2 skimmers, 4 returns, 2 main drains, 500 watt underwater light, intermatic mechanical timer

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Unsure about valve handle positions for on or off.

    Answers below in Blue

    Quote Originally Posted by lkae4
    I will have to look closer to see if it says something on the tab. My eyes aren't what they used to be.
    So - for the main drain I would have the handle pointing to the left and the tab pointing toward the right and that would turn off the main drain so more suction would go to the skimmers. Is that correct?
    Correct

    I am glad that it appears I can't accidentally turn the valves so that no water goes into the pump.
    Well, it looks like the external stops (pins) that are usually in the hole to prevent turning the valve too much are not actually on your valves and I can not remember if there is an internal stop also. You never want to put the TAB to the middle port on any of your valves. You can test for internal stops when the pump is off.

    Another question. I have been shutting the pump, etc., down before I turn any valves. Is that necessary? If the water flow to the pump did get shut off, would the pump automatically stop itself or just burn out.
    You do not have to turn off the pump, just turn the valves slowly. If you did cut off all flow into or out of the pump, it would not turn itself off and could overheat.

    I am full of questions but I think it is wiser to ask those more knowedgeable rather than risk damaging all this new equipment. My water is crystal clear thanks to this site and all I have learned here and now hopefully I will master the use of the equipment.
    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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    Re: Unsure about valve handle positions for on or off.

    I just checked - there is a tab that says off. So, if I have this right, if I have the off tab over a certain pipe it means that pipe is closed. There are no pins and the valves do go completely around. I looked down in the mulch and there was one black plastic thing that looks like a pin. It is a thin post with a thumbtack type head on it. There are none in the valves.

    You say never to put the tab to the middle port on any of my valves. I am not sure where the middle is. There are four places I can put the valve. I now know how to stop the suction from the main drain and the skimmers but there are still three other options. Some day I will laugh at how complicated I am making this. Can you indicate from my picture where the tab would be if I had the valve on the middle port. You can't know how much help you are giving me. Thank you for taking time to answer all these questions.
    Built in October 2011, 16 x 26 x 20 L shaped vinyl IG steel wall pool, Hayward DE pro grid verticle filter 4800 pool, Hayward two speed superpump, 120,000 BTU Pentair Ultra Temp Heat Pump, Aqua Rite Salt system, 8' wide walk out steps, 2 skimmers, 4 returns, 2 main drains, 500 watt underwater light, intermatic mechanical timer

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Unsure about valve handle positions for on or off.

    Correct the OFF tab over a pipe means it is closed.

    That pin you found sounds like one of the stops ... You just shove it in the holes on the handle and it will prevent you from turning it too far (usually there are 2 per valve). You may contact Pentair about them and then might send you some more ... who knows.

    The way you have the valves in your pictures basically allow equal flow from both pipes (because nothing is closed). I was saying, do NOT put the OFF tab over the middle pipe (opposite of your pictures). That would mean the main water path is closed and no water can move ... if you put the stops in correctly, this would not be possible.
    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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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Unsure about valve handle positions for on or off.

    Quote Originally Posted by lkae4
    I have a new pool but the pool builder did not return to show us how to use everything.
    Friend, call the pool builder and get him back out there to show you how everything works. There's no excuse for his behavior, that is, if you've actually asked him for advice. If he refuses, tell him, in no uncertain words, that you intend to discuss him - BY NAME - on TFP, the largest swimming pool website.

    You could really use the face-to-face instruction on your new pool. If you can't get it, come back here, as there are lots of experienced folks here who just want to help.

    Good luck!
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
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    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
    TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Unsure about valve handle positions for on or off.

    Quote Originally Posted by CUTiger78
    Quote Originally Posted by lkae4
    I have a new pool but the pool builder did not return to show us how to use everything.
    Friend, call the pool builder and get him back out there to show you how everything works. There's no excuse for his behavior, that is, if you've actually asked him for advice. If he refuses, tell him, in no uncertain words, that you intend to discuss him - BY NAME - on TFP, the largest swimming pool website.

    You could really use the face-to-face instruction on your new pool. If you can't get it, come back here, as there are lots of experienced folks here who just want to help.

    Good luck!
    I agree 100% that I should make him come back. I am just so mad at him that I don't even want to see him. He was wonderful during the build and we had it done in the fall so that there would be no delays in the spring. I told him I wanted to be here to get the instructions he promised. Phone calls with promises but he never showed up till June - Memorial Day was hot hot hot and we weren't swimming. He was busy getting the spring installations up and running. When he finally called to say he was coming I arranged to be here and instead of coming in person he sent two of his workers - great workers - nice men - just not much English. They opened it and told us the pool was good to go - and left. Once I got my tfp pool test kit I discovered there was no stabilizer at all in the water. I could have wound up with a green mess.

    I am just being stubborn and decided I can learn it all from you guys - which for the most part I have.

    I think I will eventually call him when I calm down on the subject. But, I have learned so much here that I am glad this all happend. I woud never have learned this much from the builder. My water is perfect!

    Thanks for taking the time to help.

    Nancy
    Built in October 2011, 16 x 26 x 20 L shaped vinyl IG steel wall pool, Hayward DE pro grid verticle filter 4800 pool, Hayward two speed superpump, 120,000 BTU Pentair Ultra Temp Heat Pump, Aqua Rite Salt system, 8' wide walk out steps, 2 skimmers, 4 returns, 2 main drains, 500 watt underwater light, intermatic mechanical timer

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