Hi there! My husband and I moved in to a new home about a month ago and inherited our first pool ever. We are correcting a ton of issues that were left behind (new filter installed about 3 weeks ago is one thing) and I just discovered something new while using my kreepy krauly that I need help with. For some background, the pool turned green as soon as we moved in and we spent a few weeks getting the pool back to clear. Things look clear and normal with the exception on the deep end; there is debris (yellow and fine, dead algae?) that needs to be vacuumed up, but I need my questions answered first before I vacuum again. Apologies in advance for any unclear terminology usage as we are still learning!
The last detailed test results I have are from Saturday when we had a reading at the pool store, but unfortunately are partial results as noted because I can't find my results sheet:
FC about 3.2
CC about 4.5 (I know that my free chlorine was a little low compared to my total chlorine)
CH can't remember but I know it was "normal"
-From these results we added 2 lbs of shock that evening.
I used a basic test strip today (Tuesday) and everything looked great: FC ~2 or 3 / TA ~100 / pH ~7.2-7.8. Again the pool is clear, but there is only whitish/yellowish sandlike debris at the deep end. Flow from return jets looks great and water level is good.
OK here are details before my questions:
When I hook up the kreepy krauly, we change one of the valves on our plumbing so that we know it is pulling from the skimmer basket only and not the bottom drain too (per kreepy instructions). We figured out which way to close the valve by trial and error and it seemed to be right: when I turn the valve to pull from only the skimmer, the kreepy krauly operates totally normal, moving at the correct speed around our pool, picking up waste. However, I just noticed Sunday that when I have the valve in this position where only the skimmer is pulling and the kreepy krauler is working normally, the pressure on the filter gauge is 0 (normal filter operation hovers at 12psi). There are also large bubbles continuously coming from the returns into the pool ONLY when I have the pump pulling from the skimmer only. I checked the kreepy krauly line for gaps but the air is pulling from somewhere else. This does not happen during "normal" filter operation. Finally, when I am done vacuuming and I switch the valve to pull from both the bottom and the skimmer, it appears everything I have sucked up blows out through the returns back into the pool.
Monday (yesterday) I tried to use the kreepy krauly without changing the valve (pump pulling from both bottom and skimmer and normal pressure (12psi) on the filter gauge, ie normal operation) and the kreepy krauly didn't work properly as expected (barely clicked and didn't move). I made sure I was using the correct valve setting by turning it the other direction. We confirmed that there was no suction from the skimmer and assumed there was only suction from the bottom. The interesting thing is that there was normal pressure on the filter gauge, when I turned the valve that direction. So I am wondering if my plumbing is set up wrong somewhere or I possibly have a clog.
Question 1: Is it weird that when we change the valve to only suck from the skimmer (and therefore have the kreepy krauly work perfectly) that there is NO pressure on the filter? Or is this normal? We are definitely getting great suction from the skimmer when we do this, but I have not been able to check if the bottom drain is shut off as expected.
Question 2: Should I be concerned that when I switch the valve back over and start the pump up again with everything in "normal" configuration, it appears that all of my vacuum waste comes right back out into the pool by the returns? Seems like a dumb question because my heart sank when I first noticed this and maybe I just need to be pushing to waste for a few seconds? That wasn't in the kreepy krauly instructions but I may be missing something basic.
Question 3: Am I adjusting the wrong valve to control where the pump is pulling from?
I have attached a picture so you know which valve we are adjusting. In the picture, the valve is set to normal operation. When I have it running from the skimmer only, it points to the right pipe. That bag of sand is apparently holding one of our pipes together (found this out by accident) and clearly needs to be fixed. This could be a huge part of the problem but I am having a hard time getting someone to come help us fix that up.
My appreciation for the knowledge here is immense so thank you in advance!!