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Thread: Pipes for pump & circulation

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    Pipes for pump & circulation

    Anyone who can tell me which pipe does what?

    Basically, all the pipes are open except the 2 which are labelled HEATPUMP - The heatpump is not currently on, so it is isolated. All the other orange taps are in the open position.

    In the setting it is at now, the pipes are open and the water is circulating. I have the pump on and the circulation jets in the pool are working.

    My questions are:

    1) On the right there are the 3 taps.. Why is the bottom one a blank? I assume it does not matter which position this one is in?

    2) I was trying to get the cleaning hose to suck, but not sure which pipe to open/close? The cleaning hose connects to the skimmer.

    3) Under normal filter mode, the taps should all be in the current position? All open (except the heatpumps ones, at this time).

    Thanks for any help you can offer. Great forum, already got the spa working from the information provided here on this board.
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    I learned to swim head first.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    Welcome to TFP!

    1) Most likely the third pipe used to go somewhere, but some previous modification removed it. You can ignore it.
    2) The valves on the two remaining pipes going into the pump control where water is drawn from. That might be two skimmers or a skimmer and a main drain, or something similar. You often need to turn off the one you are not using for the vacuum, or partially turn off the others depending, to get the vacuum to work correctly.
    3) Yes, the positions shown in the photo are recommended for heatpump off and otherwise normal operation.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    Ok great thanks. So there's a main drain at the bottom of the pool and one skimmer so I need to see which one is which so that I can turn off the main drain when using the cleaning vac. That makes sense.

    Do I turn the one off which goes up to the pool? That's the "return" I think? This one seems to be the only one which controls the 3 jets which are opposite the skimmer. Is ther any harm in switching this one off while the pump is running?

    Thanks.
    I learned to swim head first.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    Is there anywhere I can read correct information about the "RETURN" etc, and how the circulation system actually works? I am worried about shutting down the return, so do not want to do so to Vacuum until I have definite confirmation.

    It seems to me that I have to turn off the "return" value so it is closed - When it is open the circulation jets (opposite the skimmer) are pushing water out and I dont think the pool should be vacuumed with those jets running?
    I learned to swim head first.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    There are basically two parts to the circulation system. Everything between the pool and the pump suction is the "suction" side (i.e. Water is "sucked" from the pool) and everything between the pump discharge and the pool, is the "return" side (i.e. water is "returned" to the pool).

    In order for a suction side vacuum to work correctly you should leave all the "returns" wide open and the heatpump out of the loop (like shown above). You also need to close the main drain valve, at least partially, as you figured out. Leaving the returns wide open will create more suction so your vacuum works better. You can adjust the main drain valve to where you get good operation from the vacuum.

    You do not want to close everything on either the suction side or the return side off at any time.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    Ok. Thanks for confirming. I´m going to give it another go in the morning, see if I can get it sucking better. Last time I tried I could get virtually no suction, so something wasn´t right. Thanks for confirming about the "return", I´ll leave that then.

    I´ll let you know how I get on.

    Cheers.
    I learned to swim head first.

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    To elaborate:

    With both skimmer(vac connected) and main drain open - the suction takes the path of least resistance and your vac doesn't have much suction. Closing (partially or all the way) the main drain limits the suction to just the vac which greatly improves the vac suction. Too much might suck up a liner and so forth so partial closing of the valve on the main drain is sometimes needed rather than just shutting it off. With both off there is no flow and eventually the motor is damaged.

    With returns - if you limit the flow out you reduce your suction in. The water has to go somewhere - the pressure rises the more restricted the flow is - with no output there is no flow, and no suction and eventually the pump or the filter gets damaged.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
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  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    Thats great, makes a lot of sense.

    Thanks for all your help!
    I learned to swim head first.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    Got good suction today Cleaned the pool nicely and now I know exactly how to set the valves for using the pool vacuum. Thanks for the previous answers, helped a lot and made sure I didn´t do something silly...

    Two more questions:

    What position should the valves be in to backwash the filter? Should they all be open as per the normal filtration?

    The pressure gauge is broken on the filter, is it worth replacing it? Easy to do? On my last pool I used to backwash when the pressure was below 1bar, without the pressure gauge I can´t use the same thinking, so is there another way of knowing when to backwash?
    I learned to swim head first.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey
    Got good suction today Cleaned the pool nicely and now I know exactly how to set the valves for using the pool vacuum. Thanks for the previous answers, helped a lot and made sure I didn´t do something silly...

    Two more questions:

    What position should the valves be in to backwash the filter? Should they all be open as per the normal filtration?

    The pressure gauge is broken on the filter, is it worth replacing it? Easy to do? On my last pool I used to backwash when the pressure was below 1bar, without the pressure gauge I can´t use the same thinking, so is there another way of knowing when to backwash?
    Yes valves on normal setting when back washing.

    Yes replace gauge. The go bad but they aren't crazy expensive. Backwash when pressure rises 25% from starting levels.


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    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    Are there directions for how to replace the gauge anywhere?
    I learned to swim head first.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey
    Are there directions for how to replace the gauge anywhere?
    As far as I know - it's a simple twist off twist on - they are threaded and you might need teflon tape to keep leaks at bay but otherwise nothing special that I know of. Maybe worth posting pictures of the dead gauge installed so people can talk you through it.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

  13. Back To Top    #13
    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    A bit OT - Is that a head of hair at the left side of your picture? Thought it was a pretty strange looking sand filter, at first.
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  14. Back To Top    #14
    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    Quote Originally Posted by CUTiger78
    A bit OT - Is that a head of hair at the left side of your picture? Thought it was a pretty strange looking sand filter, at first.
    Ditto to that!
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    Quote Originally Posted by UnderWaterVanya
    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey
    Are there directions for how to replace the gauge anywhere?
    As far as I know - it's a simple twist off twist on - they are threaded and you might need teflon tape to keep leaks at bay but otherwise nothing special that I know of. Maybe worth posting pictures of the dead gauge installed so people can talk you through it.
    Here's a better picture of the filter. Is this ok, or should I take another closer up? ( ok, seems I can't upload picture at thus moment as on iPad, will upload later)
    I learned to swim head first.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    Quote Originally Posted by CUTiger78
    A bit OT - Is that a head of hair at the left side of your picture? Thought it was a pretty strange looking sand filter, at first.
    Lol. Yes, it's a head of 6 year old hair.
    I learned to swim head first.

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    Here´s the picture of the filter and gauge.
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    I learned to swim head first.

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    Just grab that gauge and unscrew it (CCW). Righty tighty - lefty loosy

    Take it to the local pool store or the local plumbing or hardware store and get one that will work. Pick up some teflon tape or paste while there, if you don't have any. Bring it back home and tape or paste the threads and thread it back into the port. Tighten it just hand tight to begin with and if it leaks a little tighten it a little more at the time until it stops.
    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

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    Will update you when ive tried to get this sorted. Thanks for your instruction Bama.
    I learned to swim head first.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Pipes for pump & circulation

    I think it will likely take a few days to get the part.. Will the filtration etc work as usual without the gauge being on the filter? Guess its got some form of valve which prevents leakage without it being attached.
    I learned to swim head first.

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