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Thread: Closing all but skimmer for vacuum

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    Closing all but skimmer for vacuum

    So in order to make my wife happy (since she wanted the pool, she vacuums) is it "safe" to close my two main drains and divert 100% of the suction to the skimmer/vacuum line ?

    I was thinking it would starve the pump, etc...or am I just being nuts and I should go for it!
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Closing all but skimmer for vacuum

    Most all of us aboveground and a lot of inground owners only have one skimmer and we use it when vacuuming and have no problems. I'd say that you should figure out how much you should cut back the main drain flow to get optimal vacuum siction and go with that. If it's all the way that's fine.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Closing all but skimmer for vacuum

    Ok - makes sense - for some reason I just thought it was too much. Thanks for clearing it up !
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Closing all but skimmer for vacuum

    Quote Originally Posted by toofast
    I was thinking it would starve the pump, etc...or am I just being nuts and I should go for it!
    Just go for it, but stand by the pump for a bit to make sure it worked.

    I cannot do what you're suggesting, though, as it does starve my pump. Learned by doing & watching, though - I can completely shut off the valve for the deep skimmer/main drain, then open it back up a couple of turns and everything works like a charm. Then, I vac using the shallow end skimmer. Course, my valves are the old style gate valves - I don't know if the new style Jandy valves allow for partial opening/closing.

    Good luck!
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Closing all but skimmer for vacuum

    I vacuum with 100% suction on the pump. Yeah, the pump is noisy and flow is reduced, but it recovers just fine when everything's back to normal, and I've been doing it this way for several years.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Closing all but skimmer for vacuum

    Sounds like our pools are plumbed in similar fashion.

    I have a valve that controls the suction feed into the pump, the two inputs on the valve are from the skimmer and from the main drain at the bottom of the pool. I can close off the skimmer port to get 100% feed from the pool bottom's main drain, or close off the main drain to get 100% flow through the skimmer...or have it set anywhere in between with partial flow from both.

    For normal operations I leave the valve in the middle...with both ports wide open.

    When I vacuum through the skimmer box, I find that I the vac can float off the pool floor with the valve in that middle position, so I close off the bottom drain a bit to get more flow through the skimmer. I rotate the valve just until I can hear the pump straining a bit, it makes using the vacuum much more effective.

    If I were to close off the bottom drain completely and go 100% skimmer, the suction is so strong and the overall flow through the vacuum hose is so restricted that the pump really labors. It pulls so hard that it actually "shrinks" the length of my vacuum hose by several feet, and the hose becomes too short to reach the far end of the pool!

    So there's a happy medium in there for me. You'll find one for yours too.
    20' x 40' plaster pool with 6'D 4-jet spa. Estimate 23K Gallons
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    Re: Closing all but skimmer for vacuum

    Cool, thanks for all the posts....I have individual valves on both drains and the skimmer. So I can close 1 main down completely and then close the other partially or completely if need be. I will try to find my happy medium!
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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