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Thread: Partial drain of pool using existing pump

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    Partial drain of pool using existing pump

    I'm interested in partially draining my pool a few times because CYA is off the charts. Being new to all this, I thought I could just use my regular pool pump to drop the level a few feet, then refill it. This is an in ground pebble tec pool. When the water level got to the skimmer level, I quickly realized that I don't understand how the plumbing works, maybe someone can help me out. The pool has two drains, one skimmer and a suction port we use for a crawler. The skimmer bottom has two holes in it, and it has a device in it with a little "door" to adjust skimmer flow, and a float that drops down when the water level is low, presumably to prevent the pump sucking air through the skimmer. At the pump there is a valve that chooses between skimmer/drain and suction port, which I use to tune the suction to the crawler.

    I thought that the device in the skimmer would allow the water level to go below the skimmer while the pump continued to draw water from the drains. This is partially true but what I observe is that the pump sucks against the blocker in the skimmer for a minute or less, then the skimmer fills up partially with water and the thing floats up. This confuses me. What are the two holes for in the skimmer? Is the drain connected to the pump via the skimmer (one hole is from the drain, the other to the pump)? If so, why?

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    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: Partial drain of pool using existing pump

    Floats are not particularly effective at blocking air from entering the skimmer bottom so it isn't surprising you are having some difficulty.

    You can try to make the float more effective by using some pool lube on the float seals. There are two. One seals the float body to the skimmer bottom via a lip. The second seal is an o-ring that seals the hole that the float closes on. If both seals are not perfect, some air is bound to leak in.

    BTW, the two holes in the bottom of the skimmer are as you said, one goes to the main drain and one to the pump.
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