Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Safely run Caretaker 99 as main return?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Duluth, GA (ATL)
    Posts
    121

    Safely run Caretaker 99 as main return?

    So I just recently bought this house and they recently (in the last 5yrs) had the pool/spa combo built. The pool has those Caretaker 99 heads to self clean the pool. My other house has a 40,000gal (18x40') pool with the Polaris 360 cleaner we have to drop in every so often.

    Now I noticed on the Caretaker 99 setup, there is no other return in the pool. They are basically using this Caretaker 99 as the return. Only other return inside the pool is the Venturi Nozzle for the Polaris Leaf-B-Gone system also present. Other than that there is a water feature that can be activated/diverted water to as the return. But cant use the water feature at the same time as the Caretaker 99, there isnt enough pressure, so have to turn off the water feature to get about 15psi on the Caretaker 99 valve to get that to properly work.

    Now when we bought this house half the stuff didnt work, so we started fixing thing one by one. One thing we noticed was the Caretaker 99 heads never poped up, even with the water diverted to that, next thing we know the 5way valve explodes and water spews all over the place. So we had to rebuild that, turns out the internal gears were half gone.

    So now that we got it all working, Im wondering can I safely run this all the time since I dont have a true return? Im afraid I will over wear the 5way valve and that thing will explode again. Those internal gears are all plastic/nylon I believe. So not sure if they were meant to run 100% as the pool return.

    Whats are the recommendations? Cause right now I was thinking to put a JVA in on the Jandy Valve to where I can divert the water to the water feature as the main return and then only run the Caretaker 99 for a few hours at a time with the Aqualink RS. But the problem with that is running the Water feature all the time it keeps bringing my pH up and bringing my TA down cause technically it keeps "Aerating" the water alot more cause the water drops about 3ft.

    Dixit
    Picture of Pool
    14,000 Gallon Freeform Plaster based pool. 1,000 Gallon Spa with Spillage Basin. Jandy Aquapure Ei Salt Water Chlorine Generator. Jandy CL580 Cartridge Filter. Sta-Rite P6E6G-208L Filter Pump. Jandy JHP2.0 Spillage Pump. Jandy LX400 Heater. Caretaker 99 Floor cleaner. Polaris Leaf-B-Gone. iAqualink.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Safely run Caretaker 99 as main return?

    Pretty sure the Caretaker is designed to be run full time. There have been a few other members that only had it as their return as well.

    That system must be run for a long time for the nozzles to rotate fully around and attempt to keep the floor clean. I had it at my previous house and ran it full time (8 hours/day). Did a pretty good job keeping the pool clean except for a couple corners that would collect dirt that had to either be swept or vacuumed.
    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!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Duluth, GA (ATL)
    Posts
    121

    Re: Safely run Caretaker 99 as main return?

    Right Im pretty sure that is what the previous owner did and seems like that 5way valve internals (which has a rebuild kit for it) were worn (the shaft that goes into the gears had worn where the hole was larger so the gear was wobbling more than spinning freely flat).

    So I feel like it probably has a life of maybe 4-5yrs before the gears inside has to be replaced. The bellows on the valves itself also were cracked and worn. Its just that part that scares me cause when it jammed up inside (the 5way valve) all the water pressure backed up and there was no other return so basically it exploded that 5way valve (basically separated it from the band clamp). Would hate to have that happen while Im out of town and come back to an empty pool.

    Dixit
    Picture of Pool
    14,000 Gallon Freeform Plaster based pool. 1,000 Gallon Spa with Spillage Basin. Jandy Aquapure Ei Salt Water Chlorine Generator. Jandy CL580 Cartridge Filter. Sta-Rite P6E6G-208L Filter Pump. Jandy JHP2.0 Spillage Pump. Jandy LX400 Heater. Caretaker 99 Floor cleaner. Polaris Leaf-B-Gone. iAqualink.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    In the Industry
    malcolmb5325's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    166

    Re: Safely run Caretaker 99 as main return?

    normal life is about 15,000 hours which works out to be 5 years on an average of 8 hours a day. make sure you keep an eye on the chlorine level as high chlorine can effect the piston membranes and they will deteriorate very quickly. in most installs they have a 3 way valve prior to the water valve which connects to a pool return so you can adjust the flow into the water valve to maintain your 15 - 19 psi rating, but it looks like they forgot.......
    16,000lts Fibreglass, Magna Mineral Pool Water
    Jandy CV340 Cartridge filter, Zodiac TRi SWC, Z4 iAqualink, Jandy Laminar Jets, Solar Heating, Spa Jets with Jandy 1.5hp Epump operating everything.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Duluth, GA (ATL)
    Posts
    121

    Re: Safely run Caretaker 99 as main return?

    Alright that works. For me with my 14,000 gal pool I only run the pump (2hp Sta-Rite) for only 5hrs. I have a flowmeter on the pipe as it exits the LX heater and Im sitting at about 60-65gpm when its on the Caretaker system. When its flowing almost everything to the caretaker system I get about 15psi on the Caretaker 5way valve PSI gauge.

    If I take it off the Caretaker and divert the water to the water feature, then my flowmeter goes upto about 80gpm. So even at 60gpm (on the Caretaker) Im doing almost 1.5 changeover in the pool in those 5hrs. At the higher GPM on water feature return, we close to 2 changeovers in 5hrs.

    As far as why they didnt put a return, I dont know about that. But reading this forum it seems normal that people have the system installed as the only return. I still want to probably put 2 JVAs (will need two to adjust the water diversion on the Caretaker and Waterfeature) on the Jandy 3way valves and maybe put it on a timer so that it runs the Caretaker for say a few hours a day or maybe run full time once a week or so. But still debating that.

    Or as you mentioned if its about 5yrs, one could just preventitive maintenance wise just buy the rebuild kit at the 5yr marker and change it anyways. Kit is only what about $60 or so.

    Dixit
    Picture of Pool
    14,000 Gallon Freeform Plaster based pool. 1,000 Gallon Spa with Spillage Basin. Jandy Aquapure Ei Salt Water Chlorine Generator. Jandy CL580 Cartridge Filter. Sta-Rite P6E6G-208L Filter Pump. Jandy JHP2.0 Spillage Pump. Jandy LX400 Heater. Caretaker 99 Floor cleaner. Polaris Leaf-B-Gone. iAqualink.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •