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Thread: Leaves congregating in main drain.

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    Leaves congregating in main drain.

    To be clear, my skimmer IS working. It collects some leaves and other debris, and is easy to clean out. The issue is that some of the leaves end up sticking to the main drain (harder to clean, requires vacuuming).

    So I had a thought... But wanted to bounce the idea here first before trying it. What if when I cycle/filter I turn off the valve from the main drain and instead only send water to the pump via the skimmer? Reasoning is leaves would no longer be sucked into the main drain. Is this a terrible idea?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Actually upon thinking about this, it occurred to me that the leaves would still sink to the bottom if not captured by the skimmer; they would probably just be randomly dispersed. Thus requiring vacuuming all the same. Might be easier to grab with the leaf rake though.
    2005 build, 16K gal, IG - vinyl, 3/4 hp WhisperFlo pump, sand filter, Polaris cleaning robot

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    Re: Leaves congregating in main drain.

    I like to leave the main drain open even though is does attract debris. It is my opinion that having the main drain open insures proper circulation thus helping to eliminate any possible stagnant water issues.
    35K IG Vinyl 20 x 40 self built pool, Hayward Pro Series High-Rate Sand Filter 31" 98gal/min, Hayward TriStar 1.85hp, Hayward 400btu heater, BBB method w/Hypo, Jazz light w/matching fiber optic rope lighting around coping w/syncronized color wheels. Concrete Paver deck.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Leaves congregating in main drain.

    It is entirely possible to run a well maintained pool with no main drains at all.

    That said, I am of the opinion it's better to have main drains running to provide the best circulation possible.
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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Leaves congregating in main drain.

    If you can vary the flow, split the difference, a majority from the skimmer, and some from the bottom drain. That's how I do mine.
    No screening, open to the leaves. I run the robotic cleaner ($300) every few days. Works well.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Leaves congregating in main drain.

    It could be that your jets aren't making an appropriate circulation pattern to get the leaves to go past the skimmer before they soak up water and sink. Watch and see if they are getting stuck somwhere and see if you can adjust a return to clear that area.

    Also be sure your water level is near the mark on the skimmer. If it is too high, the skimmer action is reduced.

    Finally, adjusting the balance of the skimmer to the drain may increase surface skimming motion and help get the leaves into the skimmer.
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Leaves congregating in main drain.

    I too think you are much better off having extra flow to the skimmer than to the main drain to prevent the leaves from falling in the first place. Main drain's are not all the useful and additional circulation benefits are minimal at best. Because of some of the issues with main drains (entrapment, easily clogged and leaks), many are now choosing to build pools without main drains. Even the APSP is now recommending pools without main drains:
    http://www.poolinspections.com/manua...out-drains.pdf
    Mark
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    Re: Leaves congregating in main drain.

    JohnT: I do have serious circulation issues in one area. I have two sets of stairs going into the pool, one that has a jet pointed straight into it and debris will never collect around the walls/on those steps, and I have another set of steps that has no jets and this is where I have a very hard time keeping clean. I basically go out there every now and then and manually stir it up with my leaf rake. I wish that when the pool was built in the first place there had been a jet installed in this spot, but too late now I guess. I have one other jet in a different area that appears to be plugged by the previous owner for some unknown reason.

    mas985: Very interesting link...thanks for sharing. Answers the question of whether having a main drain at all impacts cleaning/sanitation. However the publication really only addresses the impact for building new pools. This raises the question of whether the same applies to an existing pool that was designed for one with the assumption it would be used. Could it be that the flow rate of the pump is engineered for a volume greater than the skimmer can provide by itself?
    2005 build, 16K gal, IG - vinyl, 3/4 hp WhisperFlo pump, sand filter, Polaris cleaning robot

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Leaves congregating in main drain.

    Quote Originally Posted by eskewj View Post
    Could it be that the flow rate of the pump is engineered for a volume greater than the skimmer can provide by itself?
    Pumps are designed for a very wide range of head loss and flow rate. So it really shouldn't matter much to the pump. Also, main drains tend to be on the end of a long skinny pipe (most installations) so it may improve total flow rate only a little but at the expense of skimmer flow rate. One way to tell for sure is to look at the filter pressure with the main drain on vs off. Change in flow rate is proportional to the square root of the change in pressure. If you don't notice much of a PSI change, the flow rate is changing even less.

    However, I wouldn't turn off the main drain completely. I have a very small amount going through mine just so that the water doesn't become stagnant.
    Mark
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