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Thread: Dumb question: which way is the flow of water?

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    Dumb question: which way is the flow of water?

    Dumb question as I'm still trying to understand my pool system (pool + waterfall which flows into the pool). Can someone help me understand the flow of water?

    I've uploaded a photo of my pool equipment as is:

    http://imgur.com/uHzYWE1

    And here's an annotated version where I've drawn what I *THINK* the flow is:

    http://imgur.com/DBDGd6d

    And the reason I'm asking is that I'm trying to troubleshoot the salt cell -- and it appears it might be installed backwards! Which would explain a lot! Can someone please help confirm that my flow (2nd image) is correct? If it is, then the salt cell is backwards!

    I've color-coded the image so that if the ID'ing of any specific part is necessary, it's a little easier.

    Thanks!
    Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley)
    15k gallon in-ground (IG) pool (I believe it's plaster)
    DE filter (Heyward), using cellulose instead of DE
    Jandy APURE1400 3-port salt cell

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Dumb question: which way is the flow of water?

    It appears as though you have it right with the flow arrows you've drawn.

    Is there an indicator on the salt cell showing which way water is supposed to flow through it?
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Dumb question: which way is the flow of water?

    Your chart is correct. Although the green pipe closest to the pump is currently shut off. I can't see the valve positions for the yellow and orange returns, so it could be either or both getting flow.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Dumb question: which way is the flow of water?

    @Charlie_R: There is no indicator written on the salt cell, but after googling for the instruction (installation) manual, it specifies the opposite. (And the salt cell has never worked properly...so maybe that has something to do with it!) I can easily reverse it.

    @Richard320: Yellow and orange returns are for the pool and the waterfall. I know because I know if I turn the lever, the waterfall turns on and off.

    What do you think I should do about the green valve? You're right that it's completely turned in one direction (though I don't fully understand the valve so am not sure which side is currently on/off -- depending on which way the lever is pointing). Should I try moving the valve? Any harm? What should I be looking for?

    Photo of the valve close-up (i.e. top of the green arrows from the second picture in the original mail):

    http://imgur.com/ah3V1Mr
    Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley)
    15k gallon in-ground (IG) pool (I believe it's plaster)
    DE filter (Heyward), using cellulose instead of DE
    Jandy APURE1400 3-port salt cell

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Dumb question: which way is the flow of water?

    How many skimmers do you have? If only one, is there a main drain?
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Dumb question: which way is the flow of water?

    There is 1 skimmer.

    What is a main drain? (Sorry for the dumb question...what am I looking for?)

    I do see this on the opposite side of the pool from the skimmer, and have no idea what it is. It's the first time I've ever opened it:

    http://imgur.com/eHM64kN
    Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley)
    15k gallon in-ground (IG) pool (I believe it's plaster)
    DE filter (Heyward), using cellulose instead of DE
    Jandy APURE1400 3-port salt cell

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Dumb question: which way is the flow of water?

    Inside the valve is pretty much the same shape as that handle. So the wide end is blocking off the one pipe. My guess is that the other end goes to the main drain or the spa drain (if you have a spillover spa) or perhaps a suction-side cleaner. The easiest way to tell is to turn it and see what happens.

    If it does go to the main drain, you might not be able to see any difference. They're designed not to have huge suction to keep kids from getting trapped. Brushing a leaf gently at it might cause the leaf to get sucked in and then you'll know. You might also hear the pump sound different and the pressure to drop a little as it's sucking water through a longer section of pipe.

    PS: the main drain will be a grate at the very bottom of the pool in the deep end.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Dumb question: which way is the flow of water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Inside the valve is pretty much the same shape as that handle. So the wide end is blocking off the one pipe. My guess is that the other end goes to the main drain or the spa drain (if you have a spillover spa) or perhaps a suction-side cleaner. The easiest way to tell is to turn it and see what happens.

    If it does go to the main drain, you might not be able to see any difference. They're designed not to have huge suction to keep kids from getting trapped. Brushing a leaf gently at it might cause the leaf to get sucked in and then you'll know. You might also hear the pump sound different and the pressure to drop a little as it's sucking water through a longer section of pipe.
    I'll try that experiment in the next day or two. Dumb question...is it likely that one pipe goes to the skimmer and the other goes to the main drain? If so, then my logic tells me the skimmer is 100% open and the main drain is 100% closed. Does that jibe with your guess? (There is definitely suction from the skimmer; I've used it to vacuum, etc.)

    If I'm correct, what's the normal/right/usual setting? 50-50 between skimmer and main drain?

    I do have little kids. Any harm in leaving it 100% skimmer?

    PS: the main drain will be a grate at the very bottom of the pool in the deep end.
    Then I only have one main drain.
    Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley)
    15k gallon in-ground (IG) pool (I believe it's plaster)
    DE filter (Heyward), using cellulose instead of DE
    Jandy APURE1400 3-port salt cell

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Dumb question: which way is the flow of water?

    No harm in leaving the main drain closed. Many pools that are built dont even have a main drain at all. Its handy at times though when you get a lot of dirt on the bottom of the pool. Sweep the dirt to the main drain and it will be sucked into the filter.

    If you set the 3 way valve 50/50, you will probably loose some of the skimmer efficiency but there is no harm in it.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Dumb question: which way is the flow of water?

    I've set the diverter in my skimmer - same effect as the three way valve, just not as convenient - so that there's barely any visible reduction in turbulence in the skimmer. It's probably 20-25% to the main drain. The skimmer works the same, but I avoid some of that temperature stratification that's so shocking to the syetem when you dip your toe in and it feels great and then you jump in and discover that even as little as 4 or 5 degrees makes a big difference!
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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