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Thread: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

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    New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    Hi!

    First post but I've been doing a lot of research on this site since I bought my house and am now a new pool owner. The pool was installed in '96 and I've been slowly figuring everything out since I moved in, in September '13. I've got most everything under my belt but still had a couple questions about some of the plumbing.

    1) There is a vent pipe sticking out of the ground at the equipment pad. What could this be going to? I do have a bench with "therapy jets" in the back but I've never been able to get bubbles unless I plug one up with a finger and then pull it out.

    2) I have a valve that directs water to the returns or the in-floor cleaning system. On the return side it Tees. Then on one side it goes through a check valve and connects with the in-floor side of the valve. Why would this be plumbed this way?
    -TC-

    1996 - 15K gal | IG Plaster | 4.91 sqft Pentair Triton II - FR74 | Hayward Super ****** unknown HP | Polaris 5port Caretaker

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Someone should be along today who can answer your plumbing questions.
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    Can you post a picture of the layout?

    I suspect that the "vent" is air injection for the spa jets. When the jets are running, do you hear any noise in that pipe?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    Bama, Hi!

    Here are the two pictures showing my system. I've added in the bit of pipe under ground level that can't be seen in the photo. From the valve it Tees... I've shown the pipe come to an end but I just have not dug any farther to see where it goes. I assume that side goes back out to the pool, one way or another. The check valve is what I'm so confused about. I also added the direction that the check valve is installed, depicted as the blue arrow.

    I have not heard any noise out of the vent pipe when the jets are on and I was unable to dig around enough last night to see where it might connect to.

    Thanks for any help!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    -TC-

    1996 - 15K gal | IG Plaster | 4.91 sqft Pentair Triton II - FR74 | Hayward Super ****** unknown HP | Polaris 5port Caretaker

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    The capped pipe with a notch cut out is for air induction for the therapy jets. If it is not longer working, there could be something in that pipe that has clogged it ... bugs, debris, etc. I had this at previous house for my spa and in spa mode that pipe make a lot of sucking/gurgling noise as the air was drawn in.

    Looks to me that it is setup to allow some flow through the floor plumbing even when you have it turned off (not sure why this was done). But if you turn the valve for the floor to be on, the check valve would prevent the water from flow out the walls and lowering the required pressure for the floor jets.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    I agree with JB's synopsis. I'd check the vent pipe to see if it's clogged with something.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    Any thoughts on the best way to check for a clog? I took a water hose to it and it never seemed to back up.
    -TC-

    1996 - 15K gal | IG Plaster | 4.91 sqft Pentair Triton II - FR74 | Hayward Super ****** unknown HP | Polaris 5port Caretaker

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    Is the cap glued on? There really is no reason for it to be. Hopefully you could just pull it off and see inside.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    Well, apparently it was glued on. I just broke it off at the notch. Anyway, looking down into the pipe I can see water. If I spray water into it it backs up a bit, then goes back down, then backs up a bit… when I stop spraying and look, the water is gone, then slowly fills back up.

    I should mention two things, 1) I don't have an actual spa. I just see on the original pool invoice "therapy jets" and I have a built-in bench with two jets on the back. 2) the two jets don't have any nozzle on them. They're just holes at the moment, maybe a collar where jets used to be.
    -TC-

    1996 - 15K gal | IG Plaster | 4.91 sqft Pentair Triton II - FR74 | Hayward Super ****** unknown HP | Polaris 5port Caretaker

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    If it is air pipe, when you turn on the jets, the water should get suck out and you should hear/feel air going through the pipe.
    Mark
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    I really don't feel or hear any air getting sucked through. Do I just need to keep digging until I… haha, get to the bottom of it
    -TC-

    1996 - 15K gal | IG Plaster | 4.91 sqft Pentair Triton II - FR74 | Hayward Super ****** unknown HP | Polaris 5port Caretaker

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    So with ONLY the therapy jets on, do you still see water in the pipe and not feel any air being pulled in?
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    Okay, great test! Now, I don't think my valves were designed to work like this but, with ONLY the jets on I got bubbles galore out of one of the jets and lots of gurgling and sucking from the pipe in question.

    So, now, why would one get air and the other doesn't? Also, I'm not sure if I should be concerned by the valve for returns and in-floor. Pictured above it's the valve on the right. Should I really be able to turn it all the way around to close off the inlet side? In theory, my wife, (or anyone else for that matter) could close off all return to the pool. Is this the accepted way to plumb this?
    -TC-

    1996 - 15K gal | IG Plaster | 4.91 sqft Pentair Triton II - FR74 | Hayward Super ****** unknown HP | Polaris 5port Caretaker

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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    Quote Originally Posted by tcross04
    Okay, great test! Now, I don't think my valves were designed to work like this but, with ONLY the jets on I got bubbles galore out of one of the jets and lots of gurgling and sucking from the pipe in question. I should add, I still see water sitting in the pipe.
    -TC-

    1996 - 15K gal | IG Plaster | 4.91 sqft Pentair Triton II - FR74 | Hayward Super ****** unknown HP | Polaris 5port Caretaker

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    The air might be more balanced if you actually had eyeballs in those returns.

    Usually there are stops in the valves to prevent you from being able to close everything off ... maybe those have been removed.

    So how did you managed to close off the other wall returns? Or are there only the therapy jets by the bench?

    I guess I am not sure what the 3 different return paths are ... what is the left return pipe for off the left valve?
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    The left valve is always sending to the valve on the right, with the option of sending to the jets.

    The valve on the right sends either to wall returns or the in-floor cleaning system. You are correct, the stops are broken.
    -TC-

    1996 - 15K gal | IG Plaster | 4.91 sqft Pentair Triton II - FR74 | Hayward Super ****** unknown HP | Polaris 5port Caretaker

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    Got it. Was not 100% that the left pipe isolated the bench jets.

    FYI, I have 3 therapy jets on a bench as well. My air vents are in the deck right above the jet ... very loud and annoying to hear that right there. And for whatever reason, only 2 of the 3 have bubbles. Even if I plug the first ones, the 3rd will not pull in air if I remember correctly.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    I tried plugging my "jet with bubbles" to see if the other would pull air and it just backed up and went out the vent pipe.

    Any thoughts on the valves? Is the valve on the right supposed to work differently?
    -TC-

    1996 - 15K gal | IG Plaster | 4.91 sqft Pentair Triton II - FR74 | Hayward Super ****** unknown HP | Polaris 5port Caretaker

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    That won't work because the air lines and water lines are tied together.

    When it comes to venturi jets, flow rate is everything. If you don't get enough flow rate, the pressure drop is not sufficient to suck out the water in the air line. The jets are competing against each other for the flow rate so if you have anything else on, they may not work properly. Also, depending on how they were plumbed, one jet may have more head loss than the others and so will get less flow rate because of that which might mean it won't generate bubbles.

    But one thing to try is to clear the lines. To do that, you have to remove the jet nozzles (in addition to any eyeballs) and see if you can flush out the lines. The nozzles can sometimes be deep within the pool walls and are not always easy to find or remove.
    Mark
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    Re: New pool owner, a couple plumbing ??

    I wanted to fill everyone in who have helped. And, anyone in the future who may have a similar issue.

    The answer to the first question is the vent pipe is for the therapy jets. The plate for the Jandy valve was put on wrong. I just needed to pull it off and reinstall it 90 degrees different. This allows the valve to close off all returns and only send to the jets. This gives enough flow rate to suck all the water out of the pipe.

    The answer to my second question is the 30# check valve is installed backwards. That valve should be set so that if the caretaker locks up and the pump deadheads it opens to the return lines, releasing the pressure.

    Thanks for all the help I've gotten from this forum! Best resource I've found for learning how to take care of my new/old pool.
    -TC-

    1996 - 15K gal | IG Plaster | 4.91 sqft Pentair Triton II - FR74 | Hayward Super ****** unknown HP | Polaris 5port Caretaker

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