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Thread: Single Hole Skimmer but No Bottom Drain Valve

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    Single Hole Skimmer but No Bottom Drain Valve

    I'm confused about my pool's plumbing and hoping someone can give me a clue as to what might be going on. So here are facts:

    * I do not have any valves before my pump; just a single input pipe.
    * I have one skimmer and it has a single hole; no equalizer line.
    * I don't appear to have any suction at my bottom pool drain.[/list]

    Based on this, I have no idea what my bottom drain is connected to. It's not an equalizer because there is only one hole in my skimmer. It's not plumbed separately to the pump because there is no valve at the pump. I suppose it's possible that it merges with the skimmer line somewhere underground, but I haven't read online about anyone having that kind of configuration, and I would expect at least a little suction at the bottom drain in that case.

    Does anyone know what might be going on?

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Single Hole Skimmer but No Bottom Drain Valve

    Hmmm.... Can you block the skimmer hole with something like a tennis ball? If the drain and skimmer are connected, that should direct all suction to the drain and at least let you know that part. Is there anywhere that the drain might be connected to a valve below grade and can only be drained to waste? Give us a little more info like how old pool is and what your equipment is. Kinda weird with a drain that goes no-where......Good Luck!
    Sami
    16,000 IG, SWG, 175 sq. ft. cartridge, 1.5 hp pump, vinyl, Charlotte NC
    TF-100, Pool School, Pool-Calc

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Single Hole Skimmer but No Bottom Drain Valve

    The pool is about 30 years old I think.
    About it being "drained to waste", that might be possible. I'm not entirely sure what you mean, but it sounds similar to something a contractor mentioned to be about the bottom drain only being used to empty my pool. Can you fill me in a bit more on what this means and how I can know if this is really the case?

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Single Hole Skimmer but No Bottom Drain Valve

    I would guess that the main drain line had a leak and was disconnected at the pump and plugged in the main drain. I would check around the skimmer line going into the the pump for a capped off line. Probably right under the dirt.

    To find out if the main drain is connected to the skimmer line underground, I would suggest this:

    1) Turn off the pump.
    2) Put a running garden hose into the skimmer hole to see if water flows out of the main drain.

    You should be able to tell if water is coming out of the main drain by watching for dirt and debris moving due to water flow. If the pool is clean, try putting something light by the main drain grate to see if it moves. Perhaps leaves or a light plastic lid placed over the grate. Don't leave the main drain covered.

    Is this a concrete pool?

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    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston TX 77064
    Posts
    101

    Re: Single Hole Skimmer but No Bottom Drain Valve

    Burgermeister - I just had my 40 year old pool replastered and in that event, the main drain attached to the skimmer came lose. Had to replace the skimmer anyway. So they disconnected the line to the drain through the skimmer replacement and now I have a one whole skimmer. I have an uninterrupted loop on my pool, kind of a no thrills set up. See attached. Needless to say, I will have the drain removed next time I replaster.

    Could be that this happened to your pool years ago and no one documented or noted. Is this what yours looks like, too? (I get embarrassed sometimes compared to some of the set-ups they all talk about on this site )
    Attached Images Attached Images
    13200 gal, IG, plaster, built 1985, replastered 2012, Mytilus MA-90C cartridge filter, 2716 Blue Line In-ground Pump and Motor (1 HP), (manual clean/brush/test with Taylor K-2006, TFP since 2012) in Northwest Houston TX

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Single Hole Skimmer but No Bottom Drain Valve

    I suppose that could be the case. Hard to say. I'll try blocking the skimmer sometime and see if I get suction in the bottom drain. But it's a bit cold to jump in there and swim down to feel for suction

  7. Back To Top    #7
    mas985's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Pleasanton, CA
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    11,482

    Re: Single Hole Skimmer but No Bottom Drain Valve

    Even if the main drain is connected, in most cases you will not "feel" or "see" any flow. The cover is designed to lower the velocity so it will usually not pull in debris from more than a few inches away.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    Tucson, AZ
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    37,389

    Re: Single Hole Skimmer but No Bottom Drain Valve

    I would suggest just putting a tennis ball in the skimmer hole while the pump is still running for a minute. If you continue to get filter pressure and water coming out of the return jets, then the floor must be tied in the skimmer pipe somewhere underground. If the jet flow stops, then the floor plumbing must be terminated somewhere.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Single Hole Skimmer but No Bottom Drain Valve

    A pipe would extend from the drain with a valve somewhere between the drain and a low point/ditch in the adjacent area. May be in a small capped drain valve box or even at the line.. Are you lines PVC or metal. If metal, then someone with a metal detector may be able to loctate the line in the yard and then work from there.
    Another choice would be to blow air in the skimmer hole and see if you get bubbles in the drain area.
    Where are you located? May get some local boys to work for refreshments!! Again, Good Luck!
    Sami
    16,000 IG, SWG, 175 sq. ft. cartridge, 1.5 hp pump, vinyl, Charlotte NC
    TF-100, Pool School, Pool-Calc

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