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Thread: Help Locating Skimmer and Main Drain Valves (Flow Problem?)

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    Surf Hawk's Avatar
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    Help Locating Skimmer and Main Drain Valves (Flow Problem?)

    Hello, I am a new pool owner of 2 months and now feel good about chemicals and am now trying to fully understand the pumping system. I have recently noticed my skimmer not being as effective, which after some research here I think may be caused by needing to backwash my DE filter (did it one month ago, pressure now up from 27 to 31), or that I've been filling my pool too full.

    I want to experiment with the flow to the skimmer vs the main drain, and I'm not sure where those valves are. I have attached a photo. If my assumption is correct, "In 1" is from the MD and is totally shut off, and "In 2 is from the skimmer and wide open. So I really can't get any more skimmer action. Those both tie in together and go to the inlet to the pump on the far left. The return is shown coming from our solar system, which is bypassed right now as I thought the flow was pretty low. I can't prove it, just the noise of water coming back down seemed more like trickling than gushing.

    Any advice on those two inlets and how best to diagnose my perceived lower "flow" are appreciated. Thanks.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    22,000 gallon IG; plaster; 16x32 Rectangular, Depth 3.5-8Ft.
    Hayward Pro-Grid DE Filter - 48sqft w/ cellulose fiber & Hayward Energy Flo RS Pump - .75HP (1.85SF)
    Very old 312sqft solar system, TFT-100 Kit with Speedstir

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help Locating Skimmer and Main Drain Valves (Flow Proble

    Change the valves and see what happens

    In 1 could be for a dedicated suction cleaner line. The floor drain could be plumbed into the bottom of the skimmer ... if so, there may be a float diverter under the basket that is partially closing off the skimmer to pull from the floor.

    That seems like some pretty high pressure for some reason.

    Also, for a 26600 gallon pool we would recommend a minimum DE filter size of around 72 sqft, so yours is certainly on the small size.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Surf Hawk's Avatar
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    Re: Help Locating Skimmer and Main Drain Valves (Flow Proble

    Thanks for the reply. There are two "ports" in the skimmer, one has suction that I have used to attach the vacuum hose, and the other one I don't know what it does. Not sure what a float diverter would like like but I don't seem to see anything in there when I lift the basket besides the two ports. I'll check again.

    Also, may have made a mistake after backflushing the filter my first and only time. The manual said to put 6lb of DE into skimmer after the flush, which I did, but then later read that is for setting it up the first time. Subsequent applications of DE are supposed to be much less. I will backflush this weekend and put the proper amount of DE in (assuming I can research that number).
    22,000 gallon IG; plaster; 16x32 Rectangular, Depth 3.5-8Ft.
    Hayward Pro-Grid DE Filter - 48sqft w/ cellulose fiber & Hayward Energy Flo RS Pump - .75HP (1.85SF)
    Very old 312sqft solar system, TFT-100 Kit with Speedstir

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help Locating Skimmer and Main Drain Valves (Flow Proble

    Will if you can see the hole right below the basket, you do not have the spaceship looking float diverter. BUT, the only thing the diverter would do is reduce the skimmer suction forcing it to come from where ever the other hole goes.

    Are there any other ports in the pool that you do no know what they are for that the other valve could be tied to?

    Read this article on DE maintenance: use-and-care-for-de-filters-t4086.html
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Surf Hawk's Avatar
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    Re: Help Locating Skimmer and Main Drain Valves (Flow Proble

    As far I can see the only inlet/outlets to the pool are two return ports, a main drain and a skimmer. Now that I think about it, I've never seen anything "stuck" on the main drains so it probably has zero suction.

    Thanks for the DE article. I will do a more through backwash this time as I only did one backwash last time and one rinse. I will also only add 80% back in. I am probably do for a manual rinse and inspection soon since the filter is 4yrs old and it is unknown what the previous owner did to maintain it. We have very hard water here and my CH is really high so there could be some deposits on the grids.
    22,000 gallon IG; plaster; 16x32 Rectangular, Depth 3.5-8Ft.
    Hayward Pro-Grid DE Filter - 48sqft w/ cellulose fiber & Hayward Energy Flo RS Pump - .75HP (1.85SF)
    Very old 312sqft solar system, TFT-100 Kit with Speedstir

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help Locating Skimmer and Main Drain Valves (Flow Proble

    The floor drains are designed to not really show apparent flow so they are less of a hazard.

    Have you opened valve 1 and at least partially closed valve 2? Having both open holes in the skimmer and a second valve at the pump with no extra ports in the pool is a bit mysterious.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Surf Hawk's Avatar
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    Re: Help Locating Skimmer and Main Drain Valves (Flow Proble

    I slowly opened that closed valve and closed the open valve. The water level started to drop in the window in the pump, so I didn't want to go down that road too far.

    Did a correct backflush today using instructions in the stickie and it really helped a ton. Pressure dropped to 19 after a multi flush and rinse cycle. Added 75% of the DE and pressure rose to 21. Before I could hardly vacuum, best vacuum experience so far. Thanks!
    22,000 gallon IG; plaster; 16x32 Rectangular, Depth 3.5-8Ft.
    Hayward Pro-Grid DE Filter - 48sqft w/ cellulose fiber & Hayward Energy Flo RS Pump - .75HP (1.85SF)
    Very old 312sqft solar system, TFT-100 Kit with Speedstir

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