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Thread: Plumbing issue? New issue found while using kreepy krauly.

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    Plumbing issue? New issue found while using kreepy krauly.

    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:
    CA 90
    TA 110
    pH 7.3
    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!!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Winchester, KY
    approx 20,000 Gallon, IG vinyl, approx 15 years old
    HaywardS244T Sand Filter, Utilitech 1HP pump

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing issue? New issue found while using kreepy kraul

    Welcome to TFP.

    First thing to do is back off and take a little wider picture so we can see the entire pad.
    Which way (relating to the picture) do you turn the valve to get skimmer only?

    1. The pressure will certainly be les when the vacuum is on but it probably shouldn't be zero.
    1a. If that bag of sand is holding the plumbing that is at very least part of your problem and maybe all of it.

    2. Yes you should be. Changing the valve in the picture should not change anything with the filter and it should not cause the filter to bypass debris.

    3. If you are adjusting the valve in the picture, it's the correct valve to be adjusting.

    Who installed the new filter?
    How much sand did they put in it?
    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

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    Re: Plumbing issue? New issue found while using kreepy kraul

    Thanks Dave!

    Attached is a wider picture of my set up with the valve when I have it on skimmer only (arrow of valve pointing to the top pipe, away from the sand bag).

    1/1a. Great and maybe the rigged pipe is what pulls the air in when we are on skimmer only. No water is leaking out when the sand bag is there, but I am sure air can get in.

    I just went out and did a quick test: I switched the valve to skimmer only without hooking up any vacuums and noticed the pressure dropped only to 10psi (normal for me is about 12psi). More bubbles than usual started coming from the returns again as well. I attached the manual vacuum and the pressure stayed about here (10psi) and I could feel suction on the bottom of the vacuum with my hand. I turned off the filter and left the valve to skimmer only and hooked up my kreepy krauly. Once I started the pump, the kreepy started working well and the pressure dropped to about 4psi, but not to 0. I watched it for a bit and it stayed at about 4psi. So this may not be as bad of news as I thought, especially since you said it was normal for the pressure to drop some on the gauge. I am going to contact kreepy and see if this is normal operation (their 1.800 # in the manual has been disconnected so I will post in their forum).
    2. Good to know thanks. Since I have the kreepy running now with some pressure, I may run to waste for a few seconds after I am done just in case. Any harm in that until I figure out why the vacuumed up debris may be coming back out through the returns when I switch back over to normal operation?
    3. Awesome, thanks for the confirmation.
    4. New question: since I now have pressure during kreepy use and it seems to be working very well per the manual, are the bubbles that are moving through the lines detrimental to my filter/system while I am vacuuming? Since I don't know exactly where they are coming from, but assume it is from that loose pipe (with the sandbag), will having this flow of air bubbles while I am vacuuming cause any issues?

    The new filter was installed by our local pool store but I am not sure how much sand they put in. I will ask right away.

    Thanks again for everything!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Winchester, KY
    approx 20,000 Gallon, IG vinyl, approx 15 years old
    HaywardS244T Sand Filter, Utilitech 1HP pump

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing issue? New issue found while using kreepy kraul

    4. You need to find and fix the leak. Also, 4 PSI from 12 is too low and the reason is because of the air getting into the pump. fix that leak and you'll see the pressure stay higher.

    Are you changing the multiport valve setting when you're running the vacuum?

    Don't backwash after each vacuum. Only baskwash when the pressure rises 25% above the clean pressure. That's about 15 psi.

    If the filter is bypassing stuff you ned to get the people that installed it back out there to make sure it's not something wrong with it.
    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

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    Re: Plumbing issue? New issue found while using kreepy kraul

    Hi Dave,

    Sounds good and I will get the pool folks out ASAP to fix my leak and double check everything else.

    I am not changing the multiport valve setting when I am vacuuming: I turn the pump off, change the bottom valve so the suction comes only through the skimmer and turn the pump back on after the vacuum is hooked up. I keep the multiport valve on filter the entire time.

    Thanks!
    Winchester, KY
    approx 20,000 Gallon, IG vinyl, approx 15 years old
    HaywardS244T Sand Filter, Utilitech 1HP pump

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing issue? New issue found while using kreepy kraul

    That good. It definitely points to something wrong with the sand filter. It could be a displaced spider gasket from the factory.
    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

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing issue? New issue found while using kreepy kraul

    Quote Originally Posted by jwalfrey
    1/1a. Great and maybe the rigged pipe is what pulls the air in when we are on skimmer only. No water is leaking out when the sand bag is there, but I am sure air can get in.
    That's exactly right. Gotta fix that if you want things to operate properly.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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