I talked to Chris in technical support for Paramount Pools in Tempe AZ at 602-315-5646, who explained how the filtering/cleaning system works:
- Infloors clean from the main drain.
- The cleaner pump must work at the same time as the filter pump (otherwise the dirt will just spin around).
- You can run the filter pump without the cleaner pump - but you won't get any cleaning of debris - you'll just get filtering.
- The four fixed heads on the wall at the deep end are on the filter pump and run continuously.
- Likewise, the two fixed (non-spinning) popups at the deep end are on the filter pump and run continuously.
- The two skimmers each have two ports on the bottom, one of which is connected to the cleaning system in each skimmer (which is not filtered).
- Often, one of the skimmers (the one furthest from the debris canister near the deep end) has the other bottom port blocked off.
- Often the other skimmer near the debris canister at the deep end has the second bottom port also connected to the filter system.
- You want that skimmer turned down (40%) so that most (60%) of the suction is through the main drain.
- If you have both valves open all the way, the skimmer will pull 85% and the main drain 15% which will not be efficient.
- The hole to the side of the debris canister is just an equalizer to allow water to cover the lid to seal it (since it uses no o-rings).
- The two drains on the wall are safety drains.
To test how the skimmers are plumbed:
Turn off filter pump & turn cleaner pump on --> one port in each skimmer should be pulling
Turn off cleaner pump & turn filter pump on --> only one skimmer port should be pulling
- The 3" heads are in the pool: They have to go in the same body - but they do not have to be in the same rotation position (they rotate 18 times to a circle).
- Modules and water valves are on top of the pool, and they 'must' go back the way they came (they're each different).
- There are two different modules - 4 port has tubes connecting 3 of the pistons on top - so they have to go back in EXACTLY the same way!
- Of those three connected ports, the center one is the tube that feeds the second module (the other two are blocked off).
- You have to insert the heads exactly so that the center of those three is always on the one unblocked tube surrounded by blocked tubes.
- The first module has, in effect, 4 ports, and the second module has 6 ports and it's called a 9-port system.
One test of the water valves is to look at the operating pressure on the gages on top of each water valve:
- The most common failure mode is a stuck piston in the water valve which will cause the heads in the pool to stay in the popped-up position.
- Each of the two water valves on the pool deck has a psi gauge attached.
- The first valve feeds the second valve 1/2 the time so the second valve will have zero pressure 50% of the time.
- The first one should be at 22 psi to 25 psi (in the green zone).
- The second one should be at about 19 psi to 20 psi (and at 0psi 1/2 the time).
- The heads last 5 years. You open the lid and buy new innards.
- The run/pause switch on top will lock it on one set of modules (i.e., it will put it on pause - but it's not very useful).
As for the mechanics of the debris canister, he said:
- The debris canister has five ports
1. One of the two large horizontal ports (closest to the pool) is plugged off.
2. The other ;large horizontal port (furthest from the pool) goes to the filter pump
3. The one small horizontal port goes directly to the pool and is simply a pipe to allow water to equalize pressure to seal the debris canister lid (which doesn't use o-rings)
4. One of the two large horizonal ports aims toward the skimmer but is actually plugged off.
5. The second of the two large horizontal ports aims away from the skimmer and is the water coming from the main drain.
Optionally, the plugged horizontal port, if it's not plugged could go to the a) skimmer, or b) it could go to a vacuum line.
He said the vacuum procedure, if you want to do it, is:
a) Turn filter pump off (critical step!)
b) Remove the lid of the debris canister.
c) Remove the blue basket of the debris canister
d) Fill a vacuum hose with water (to prime it)
e) Hook the vacuum hose to the vertical port furthest from the pool in the debris canister (this is the suction port)
f) Turn on the filter pump
g) You should be able to vacuum (as long as you don't lose prime in the process of running back and forth)
If you remove the debris canister lid without shutting the filter pump, water will suck down into the bottom and it will suck air & the pump may lose its prime.