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Thread: Help understanding skimmer/floor plumbing

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    Help understanding skimmer/floor plumbing

    Split by moderator from HERE. Please ask questions in your own thread. Thanks, jblizzle

    I just bought my house last summer and thought the main drain was not hooked up because there never was any suction. My plastic skimmer has two holes, one is plugged, and there is a "round spaceship" with the pool equipment that I never knew what to do with. After reading this thread, can you tell me if there is an easy way to tell if the main drain is hooked to this? I'd like to use it before I open the pool and don't want to get into the freezing water.
    30k gallons in-ground vinyl
    1.5 hp pump 300 lb sand filter
    Polaris cleaner, T15 Hayward SWG
    Jackson, Mississippi

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Help understanding skimmer/floor plumbing

    How is the 2nd hole plugged? Permanently or with a removable plug?

    The spaceship just sits on an o-ring under the skimmer basket. The flap on the bottom can be closed off to force suction from the floor which is may be plumbed to the 2nd port (or in rare cases it is attached to the skimmer line by a Tee underground).
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Help understanding skimmer/floor plumbing

    There isn't anything all that easy to confirm the connection. The best way I know of is to turn the pump off, add an entire bottle of food dye to the skimmer, and then run the garden hose into the skimmer for a while. If it is connected to the main drain the dye will show up coming out of the main drain after a while. Keep in mind that this approach doesn't work 100% of the time, as occasionally the dye gets too dilute to be clearly visible at the drain. Longer term the dye is harmless and will fade away after a few hours (or perhaps a day or two at worst).
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    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Buckeye AZ

    Re: Help understanding skimmer/floor plumbing

    are you sure there is not a valve over by the pump that controls how much return you get from the skimmer vs. the main drain?

    edit: not return per se poorly worded. But a valve on the suction side of the pump that determines if you pull water from the main drain or the skimmer.
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