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Thread: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

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    How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    I have three, somewhat related, questions which, without experience, dumfound me how they can be, in my pool:

    The first question is:
    Q1: What could make a booster pump, which appears to be otherwise working, have extremely low pressure (8 psi) measured at the water valve on the deck?
    [attachment=2:35tzzk9e]water_valve_pressure.gif[/attachment:35tzzk9e]
    The second question is:
    Q2: How on earth can a filter pump, which also appears to be working, push a two-inch diameter column of water through the air?
    [attachment=1:35tzzk9e]debris_canister.gif[/attachment:35tzzk9e]
    The third question is:
    Q3: How can I tell which floor or wall drain is actually working (since I can't feel any water flow)?
    [attachment=0:35tzzk9e]wall_drain_skimmer.gif[/attachment:35tzzk9e]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    To give you some background on the water valve pressure question #1, the 1.65 HP (net) booster pump sucks water from the two skimmers and then pushes that otherwise unfiltered water out to the 15 Paramount PC2000 three-inch pop-up squirters in the pool floor, where these two Paramount water valves regulate which of the pop up squirters work at any one point in time:
    [attachment=1:oal8kior]water_valves.gif[/attachment:oal8kior]
    Unfortunately, the cleaner system, which used to work fine, isn't working well (it's leaving debris all over the pool bottom).

    The only thing I see that is obviously wrong is that there is no pressure in some pop-up floor jets, low pressure in others, and good pressure in others - and - the water valves have low pressure.

    So I don't know if it's the water valves themselves, or, the pressure from the pump pushing water into the water valves (or from the skimmers feeding the pump on the suction side).

    My problem with this 9-port water valve system is that the #1 (4-port) water valve develops only 8 psi of pressure (instead of about 20 psi for the 'green zone'), while the #2 (6-port) water valves develops essentially 0 psi of pressure. According to the owners manual, the first valve should develop around 20 psi, and the second valve should develop slightly less than that (and drop to 0 periodically).

    I'm simply trying to troubleshoot why my first water valve develops only about 8 psi, and the second water valve develops almost zero psi all the time. In the picture pf the first post, you see I've screwed in a new pressure gauge, just to make sure the reading I was getting from the original paramount gauges was accurate (it was).
    [attachment=0:oal8kior]water_valve_pressure_gauge.gif[/attachment:oal8kior]

    So, basically, my question #2 is how do I test why there is almost no pressure developed at the water valve?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

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    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    To give you some background on the filter pump question, I have the optional Paramount PCC2000 debris canister.

    The flow of water is from the pool though the main and secondary drain, to the debris canister, to the filter pump, to the filter, and then back to the pool wall jets and floor jets and/or spa outlets.

    Here is a picture of the debris canister, looking down, with only the safety cover removed:
    [attachment=1:1yxo35ud]debris_canister_with_safety_cover_removed.gif[/attachment:1yxo35ud]

    Here you see the same debris canister, with the plexiglass watertight cover removed:
    [attachment=0:1yxo35ud]watertight_cover_removed.gif[/attachment:1yxo35ud]

    What I just can't fathom is how the 2-inch wide column of water is forced to fall, from left to right in that picture, into that debris canister, since, there can't possibly be suction with the air replacing the water gap. Yet, it seems to work. It seems to defy physics, but more likely, I just don't understand how it really works.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    To give you an idea of the background regarding the third operational question, I have a main drain, and on the wall nearby, a safety drain, for the main drain.
    Since we aren't allowed to annotate pictures with text on this forum, I'll circle the main drain in yellow, and the safety drain in red in the photo below:
    [attachment=2:3dsqublv]main_drain_and_safety_drain.gif[/attachment:3dsqublv]

    I also have another wall drain, near one of the skimmers, which I'd like to know whether it operates with the skimmer (on the unfiltered booster pump), or if it operates with the main drain (on the filter pump), or both:
    [attachment=1:3dsqublv]main_drain_and_safety_drain_skimmer_wall_drain.gif[/attachment:3dsqublv]

    In addition, the spa has two drains on the floor:
    [attachment=0:3dsqublv]spa_drains.gif[/attachment:3dsqublv]

    Since that makes a total of 5 drains, I'd like to better understand my pump pressure problems by double checking which drains are working when the various pumps and Jandy valves are set properly (there are about 17 Jandy valves - but I think I understand what every one does).

    Hence my question number 3:
    Q3: How can I prove which drain is working at any particular time?
    (i.e., what's the trick to testing whether a drain is operating at any particular point in time since you can't "feel" anything with your hands?)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    asxetos's Avatar
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    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    For the first one, is the impeller of that pump intact, or, in other words, is there any impeller left in there?

    For the second one, is there a siphon operating, already full of water, creating this flow to the debris canister when the cover is removed?

    For the third one, liquid food coloring, or other non toxic dye, released near the area in question can indicate flow / no flow towards any specific drain.
    Donīt be fooled by the sheep on my bike, I swim with fish in my sound equipped pool.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    Q1: Can't answer without some history. Did the system ever work properly? Did the problem happen after another event? Are there two pumps in series (booster usually is)? Do the heads pop up with all zones? Are all the heads installed? You only mention pressure but is something not working?

    Q2: Water seeks it's own level so will always flow from a higher elevation or pressure to a lower elevation or pressure. It is likely the port that you are showing in the picture is below the pool water level so when the pump is on, it removes water from the leak canister exposing the pipe which is below the pool water level so water starts to flow into the leaf canister. However, when the canister lid is on, the pressure in the canister is probably below atmospheric so the water will flow faster. So you need to make sure that it sealed well or air can get sucked into the suction pipes.

    Q3: Ditto to what asxetos suggested. Although, why does it matter?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    Quote Originally Posted by asxetos
    is there any impeller left in there?
    My mistake. I should have mentioned that I recently replaced all the pump seals, and the pumps are in apparently perfect working order:
    -Is there a pump fitting adapter to stop this inlet leak?
    [attachment=1:3n0zcwxo]pump_seal.jpg[/attachment:3n0zcwxo]
    Quote Originally Posted by asxetos
    is there a siphon operating
    Hmmm... I'm not sure I understand the question. For equipment, there is only:
    a) The filter pump (& the filter & the plumbing to and from the pool)
    b) The main drain (& the safety drain on the wall nearby)
    c) The debris canister (& the plumbing from the main drain and to the filter pump)

    There is certainly nothing that is "apparent" as a siphon; but I agree, it's strange for a pump to be able to suck water through air for as long as I've tested it (at least fifteen minutes at a time).

    Quote Originally Posted by asxetos
    For the third one, liquid food coloring, or other non toxic dye, released near the area in question can indicate flow / no flow towards any specific drain.
    Ah, that's a GREAT idea! I will try. It may be hard to photograph, but I'll let you know how well it works out.
    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Did the system ever work properly?
    Yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Did the problem happen after another event?
    I'm not sure. It hasn't worked well since the spring re-opening. But it may merely have slowly deteriorated over time.
    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Are there two pumps in series (booster usually is)?
    None of the three pumps are in series.
    1. Filter pump (1.65 HP, pulls water from drains, filters, pushes back through walls of the pool & spa)
    2. Cleaner pump, aka booster pump (1.65 HP, pulls water from skimmers, pushes back unfiltered thru popups)
    3. Spa jet pump (2.0 HP, only used to bubble water, and is not related to these questions)
    [attachment=0:3n0zcwxo]pumps_all.jpg[/attachment:3n0zcwxo]
    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Do the heads pop up with all zones?
    Nope. That's the main problem. Some don't pop up. Others are anemic.
    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Are all the heads installed?
    Yes. All 15 heads are in place. They used to work, so I know they're the correct heads. I removed about four or five, in sequence, one at a time, and put them back in the same holes because nothing was wrong with them, so I didn't bother removing the rest, as the pop-up heads do not appear to be the problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    You only mention pressure but is something not working?
    My mistake. The pop-up heads are not sweeping the debris to the deep end of the pool to be picked up by the main drain. The problem is some are spurting out water weakly, others are strong, and some aren't working at all. Since there isn't any vacuum for a self-cleaning pool, what's not working is the (supposedly) self-cleaning system. I'm trying to debug why it's not working, and, I see nothing overtly wrong except the pressure at the water valves is only 8 psi when it should be 20 psi. Calling Paramount, they say the pump might not be developing pressure - so that's why I ask how to test the pressure of the pump (which appears to be otherwise working just fine).
    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    It is likely the port that you are showing in the picture is below the pool water level
    Hmmm... that does make sense. I had not thought the opening was below water level (it's right about at water level, so I'll measure somehow and report back. That does make sense though.
    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    why does it matter?
    Question #1 matters because I'm trying to debug why the cleaner system isn't working well.
    Question #2 matters because you can't debug that which you don't understand.
    Question #3 matters for the same reason; I can't debug why the cleaning system is anemic if I don't even know whether the drain on the wall below one skimmer feeds the filter or feeds the cleaner pump (or both).
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    Ok, thanks for the clarification(s).

    Have you taken apart the zone valve to see if there are any parts broken? The valve should cycle through each of the zones but if the zone valve is broken and sends water to all the zones at once, the filter pressure would be lower than normal and the zone pressure would be lower than normal.




    BTW, is this picture with the pump on? It doesn't appear to be flowing very well which could mean you have a suction side blockage somewhere:

    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Have you taken apart the zone valve to see if there are any parts broken?
    Yes. Last week, after reading all I could about the water valves:
    I removed the black cover from both valves, making 100% sure I marked and re-installed them in the proper locations - and - that they were initially installed in the proper locations (they're not symmetric).
    [attachment=1:13759h5u]water_valves.jpg[/attachment:13759h5u]
    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    if the zone valve is broken and sends water to all the zones at once
    This is the crux of the problem, as the gears appear to be working, but, some pistons appear to be sticking, yet, when I asked Paramount, they said the problem can be one of three things:
    1. Bad gauges (I've tested that by using the new gauge which got the same low-pressure readings)
    2. Bad valves (I've tested them as far as I can test and the only thing I know of are the sticking pistons; they otherwise work)
    3. Bad pump pressure (hence my question on how to test pump pressure in operation)
    [attachment=0:13759h5u]valve.jpg[/attachment:13759h5u]
    So, my main question is how to tell if it's the cleaner pump not developing pressure?
    How do you test pressure developed by a pump anyway?
    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    is this picture with the pump on?
    Yes. This picture was of the filter pump on. I didn't mention it, but, you seem to have noticed a problem that I think is plaguing the filter pump, which is that it seems to have lower force when I put the Jandy valve to suck water from the Filter than when I suck it from the Spa. Which tells me that something may be clogging the piping from the main drain to the debris canister. Problem is, how do I unclog the main drain plumbing if it's partially clogged?
    Note: The two problems are unrelated (the cleaner pump runs the cleaner system, which isn't working well, while the filter pump runs the filtering system, which, as you noted, seems to be slightly weak at the debris canister.)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    None of the three pumps are in series.
    1. Filter pump (1.65 HP, pulls water from drains, filters, pushes back through walls of the pool & spa)
    2. Cleaner pump, aka booster pump (1.65 HP, pulls water from skimmers, pushes back unfiltered thru popups)
    3. Spa jet pump (2.0 HP, only used to bubble water, and is not related to these questions)
    I missed this the first time I read it but having unfiltered water go back to the cleaner heads is really asking for trouble. I am not sure why the PB did this but I would consider changing this setup. This may have nothing to do with your problem but at some point it will cause a problem.

    But I would agree that it could be a suction side blockage somewhere. Check the pump impeller inlet for anything stuck in there. You can also try to back flush the suction line through the pump basket pipe connection. Make sure you remove the canister or skimmer basket first.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    having unfiltered water go back to the cleaner heads is really asking for trouble.
    Apparently they're all built that way, according to the manufacturer's web site:
    - http://www.1paramount.com/products/pcc/
    There is only the filtering of the basket in the skimmer, and a similar basket in the pump itself.
    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Check the pump impeller inlet for anything stuck in there.
    The impellers are all working as the pumps are strong at the baskets (and I personally replaced the seals after the diagnosis started).
    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    You can also try to back flush the suction line through the pump basket pipe connection. Make sure you remove the canister or skimmer basket first.
    I don't understand {u]how[/u] to back flush. I have a cloth filter, so, it doesn't get back flushed to clean.
    Since the pumps are 8 feet below the waterline, I don't know how to back flush back up to the pool.

    Do I reverse the pump somehow to back flush?
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    To check the impeller and back flush the suction line do the following.

    1 - Open pump lid and remove the basket.

    2 - Reach down to the bottom of the basket and check the impeller inlet for debris.

    3 - Wrap a garden hose with a wet rag and stick into the pipe coming into the top of the pump basket.

    4 - Try to seal the hose/rag into the pipe and turn on hose. Flush until clear.


    Also, I don't see anything on the Paramount site which would indicate to bypass the filter.

    However, in the FAQ they talk about both methods although I still think it is a bad idea to have the head run off a skimmer line. A wall port would be ok since not much debris goes through that but a skimmer port has a lot of small debris that could get hung up in the heads.

    What HP pump should I replace my old pump with?
    DO NOT GO BY HP, the criteria for a pool with a single pump running the cleaning system along with the filter and possibly the heater is that you need a pump that products a minimum of 65 gpm at 80 foot of head. On a pool with a booster pump operating the cleaning system you will need 60 gpm at 65 ft of head. If the pool store does not know how to find this information then you are buying from the wrong place!
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    Quote Originally Posted by rock
    Do I reverse the pump somehow to back flush?
    No. I believe this suggestion means you stick a garden hose in a line at the pump and shoot water back towards the pool. You may have to wrap a rag around the hose to get the pipe to fill up w/ water. Then, see if water flows out at a skimmer, drain, etc.

    I am puzzled by a statement you've made more than once: "Filter pump (1.65 HP, pulls water from drains, filters, pushes back through walls of the pool & spa)." Normally, a filter pump sucks (pulls) water out from skimmers & drains and pushes it out through the filter back to the pool. So, is your filter pump really in line after the filter?
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
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  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Try to seal the hose/rag into the pipe and turn on hose. Flush until clear.
    I guess this procedure is for a pool where the equipment is at or above grade?
    I may not have mentioned that my equipment pad is 8 feet below the water line of the pool.
    A two-inch wall of water pours into the baskets the moment I remove the tops without shutting off the incoming water flow.

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    I don't see anything on the Paramount site which would indicate to bypass the filter.
    I'm not an expert but there is absolutely no doubt that the cleaner pump is unfiltered. There are a lots of ways to tell, not the least of which is that there is absolutely no connection to the filter other than from the filter pump. Also, when I errantly vacuumed using the skimmer port, putting a tennis ball into the other skimmer port, I could visibly see the dirt going right back into the pool. Also, there's no suction in the skimmers unless the cleaner pump is running. In summary, there is absolutely no doubt the cleaner system bypasses the filtering system.

    Would you or I build a pool that way? Maybe not. But, certainly this pool is designed that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    I still think it is a bad idea to have the head run off a skimmer line ... a skimmer port has a lot of small debris
    I do not disagree with you. Personally, I'm ready to just hook the filter pump to the unused-but-plumbed vacuum port in the middle of the side of the pool. Then I would flip a Jandy valve and I could then vacuum the bottom manually. (I'm curious - you guys that have vacuums - how often do you vacuum a pool anyway?).

    Quote Originally Posted by CUTiger78
    you stick a garden hose in a line at the pump and shoot water back towards the pool.
    My confusion is due to the fact the pumps are 8 feet below the pool waterline. Conceptually, I can't see how a garden hose is going to hold back a two-inch diameter flow of water (which will empty the pool given enough time).

    Quote Originally Posted by CUTiger78
    Normally, a filter pump sucks (pulls) water out from skimmers & drains
    I know. These self-cleaning pools are not built that way. There is no doubt the filter pump plumbing comes from the debris canister which comes from the main drain. There is absolutely no doubt that filter pump pushes the water through the filter and then to either or all of three pipes, which I've determined what they are by shutting them off and turning them on.

    These three pipes feed:
    1. Two one-inch diameter spa wall ports
    2. Four deep-end pool wall ports
    3. Two deep-end debris-curtain pop-up jets
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

  15. Back To Top    #15
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Pleasanton, CA
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    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    Do you have a valve in front of the pump that you can shut off? This would at least allow you to check the pump impeller.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Do you have a valve in front of the pump that you can shut off? This would at least allow you to check the pump impeller.
    Yes. Every pump has a set of valves in front of them. If they weren't there, the pool would empty itself the moment I open up the basket.
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    For the record, I ran a few experiments with the suggested food coloring.


    I found out what each of the 5 foot-wide drains do (3 floor and 2 wall drains) plus the two skimmers and the debris basket:


    1. Floor drain (main)
    2. Safety drain (wall near floor drain)
    3. Spa drain (main)
    4. Spa drain (secondary)
    5. Skimmer drain (wall near skimmer 1)

    I couldn't tell which of the two spa floor drains was the main and which was the safety though, as they both seemed to suck up dye equally:


    Basically, the pool operates on two wholly separate circuits.

    FILTER CIRCUIT:
    From main floor drain and secondary wall drain, to debris canister to filter pump to filter and back through four wall jets in the main pool and two wall jets in the spa and two always-on floor rotating pop-up squirters in the pool.

    SKIMMER CIRCUIT:
    From skimmer 1 and skimmer 1 wall drain and skimmer 2 to skimmer (aka cleaner) pump to water valve 1 to water valve 2 to 15 rotating popup squirters, timed in series by the 9-port water valves.
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

  18. Back To Top    #18
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Re: How do pool pumps actually work (in my pool anyway)?

    With low pressure and the heads not deploying fully, the focus should still be on the suction side. But given the height of the pump relative to water level, I am not sure there is going to be an easy way to clear the line. BTW, do you see any air in the cleaner pump basket?

    In the picture below, is the cleaner pump the closest to you? Is that a check valve on the output of the cleaner pump and you sure there is nothing wrong with the flapper in that check valve? If stuck or broken, it could reduce the flow rate and pressure to the cleaning heads.

    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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