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Thread: New pool owner ready to open up

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    drestes's Avatar
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    Question New pool owner ready to open up

    Hello all, this is my first time to post. We purchased a home last fall with a pool. The previous owner had a local pool company close the pool, but I wanted to open it myself this spring and use the TFP method to maintain it. I have been reading the questions & replies in this Forum as well as reading Pool School trying to get ready for the summer.

    I've never owned a pool before and had a few questions regarding the equipment and how to get it ready to operate. I will be removing the cover this week. Here are my questions:

    1. In the pump basket, there are 3 plugs. It looks like two belong in the pump but I don't know where the 3rd could belong. Any ideas on this? I couldn't see that the Polaris pump had a plug, but maybe I overlooked where it went?

    2. The pump says that it is self-priming, but the cover for the basket says to fill with water before operating. Will it fill with water automatically or do I need to pour a bucket of water in first?

    3. I have a valve leading into the pump that can point to the Main Drain or Skimmer. It is currently set to Main Drain. For normal operation, do I need to move this over to Skimmer or should it be set somewhere in between the two in order to draw water from both?

    4. There is a pipe with a red T-handle coming from the ground in front of the filter. It looks like it is currently closed. The pipe doesn't lead to any of the equipment, it basically just comes out of the ground and ends. Any ideas on what this could be since it doesn't connect to any equipment? Maybe this is a pipe for an additional feature I don't have installed?

    Thanks for any help you can give! I'm sure I'll have many more questions once I begin testing the water.

    David
    18 x 36 vinyl liner IG pool, grecian shape, ~27k gal
    1.5 hp Hayward Super Pump, Hayward DE3620 Filter
    Hayward Aqua Rite Electronic SWG, Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner
    TF-100 test kit with SpeedStir

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    Re: New pool owner ready to open up

    Hello David,

    1 typically the people who close the pool put the plugs in the basket. My pump has two plugs and the filter has one and the heater has one. If you start it up you will find where it belongs pretty quickly.
    2 I would fill it with water, since it is probably mostly drained from the winter
    3 you may want to post some pictures so we can see what you have
    IG plaster, 22,000 gallon, Jacuzzi Laser Sand filter

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    Re: New pool owner ready to open up

    Quote Originally Posted by drestes View Post
    1. In the pump basket, there are 3 plugs. It looks like two belong in the pump but I don't know where the 3rd could belong. Any ideas on this? I couldn't see that the Polaris pump had a plug, but maybe I overlooked where it went?
    Every setup is different, but I think you're right. My polaris pump has a drain plug right on the front at the bottom. It's the smallest plug and it's kind of hard to see.

    Quote Originally Posted by drestes View Post

    2. The pump says that it is self-priming, but the cover for the basket says to fill with water before operating. Will it fill with water automatically or do I need to pour a bucket of water in first?
    You should probably add water and a hose may be better. You'll need to not only fill that basket, but also the pipe that runs from the pool to that basket. That can take a lot of water although sometimes water from the pool can fill the pipe most of the way once you remove the plugs from the bottom of the skimmers.

    Quote Originally Posted by drestes View Post

    3. I have a valve leading into the pump that can point to the Main Drain or Skimmer. It is currently set to Main Drain. For normal operation, do I need to move this over to Skimmer or should it be set somewhere in between the two in order to draw water from both?
    Generally speaking, you'll want water comming from both the skimmer and the bottom drain.

    Quote Originally Posted by drestes View Post

    4. There is a pipe with a red T-handle coming from the ground in front of the filter. It looks like it is currently closed. The pipe doesn't lead to any of the equipment, it basically just comes out of the ground and ends. Any ideas on what this could be since it doesn't connect to any equipment? Maybe this is a pipe for an additional feature I don't have installed?
    Is it metal? It may be a gas line for a heater?? Other than that, I have no idea.

    Good luck.
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

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    drestes's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner ready to open up

    OK, I went out and got the cover off, removed the plugs from the returns and re-installed the return jets and Polaris connector. I found that there were 2 plugs to install in the pump and one smaller plug that went to the Polaris pump.

    I used the water hose to fill the pump basket and pipes, and set the valve to pull from both Main Drain & Skimmer. When I turned the pump on, it just hums. It won't pull any water. I know the pump was working last fall. Any thoughts on why it won't work now?

    Thanks for the advice!
    18 x 36 vinyl liner IG pool, grecian shape, ~27k gal
    1.5 hp Hayward Super Pump, Hayward DE3620 Filter
    Hayward Aqua Rite Electronic SWG, Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner
    TF-100 test kit with SpeedStir

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    Re: New pool owner ready to open up

    If I had to guess, I'd say a valve out of position. Pictures would help. Pump priming doesn't happen immediately. It might take a minute or two for it to get the water flowing.
    12000 Gallon IG Plaster built 2/15/2014. Jandy 340 sg ft 127 gpm filter, Jandy 1 HP stealth pump. Circupool RJ-45 SWG (overkill). TF-100 with Speed Stir.

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    drestes's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner ready to open up

    Quote Originally Posted by jmbradwell View Post
    If I had to guess, I'd say a valve out of position. Pictures would help. Pump priming doesn't happen immediately. It might take a minute or two for it to get the water flowing.
    Here is a photo of the valve position. I believe this is correct? Could the pool company have done something to winterize it that maybe I need to undo before it will work?

    18 x 36 vinyl liner IG pool, grecian shape, ~27k gal
    1.5 hp Hayward Super Pump, Hayward DE3620 Filter
    Hayward Aqua Rite Electronic SWG, Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner
    TF-100 test kit with SpeedStir

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    Re: New pool owner ready to open up

    That looks like you have the valve cutting off the main drain. Turn it 180 degrees from where it is and that should be a normal operating position. Also, make sure you don't still have winterizing plugs in your skimmer(s) as with the valve in it's current position, it should still be drawing in water from the skimmer (although even self-priming pumps do need some time to get started, as jmbradwell says).
    24,000 gallon in-ground plaster, Pentair FNSP60 60 sq. ft. DE filter @ 9,000 GPH, 2HP WhisperFlo pump, CircuPool RJ45 SWG, 399k BTU Raypak heater, built 2008. Taylor K2006C kit.

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    zimm's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner ready to open up

    Yes, check your skimmer in the bottom for a plug.

    Fill pump with water, then make sure you put the lid on so it can pull a suction. Give in a few minutes to see if primes.
    45'x12' 17k gal, IG plaster, Pool Pilot Nano+ SWG, 1/2hp Whisperflo pump, PAC-FAB TA-60D sand filter, Raypak 266 heater
    Pool School + Test Kit + Pool Math = Trouble Free Pool

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    drestes's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner ready to open up

    I finally got the pump working! The impeller was frozen up and I had to remove the pump motor and unstick it. Now it works like a charm! I wound up calling the local pool store and the guy walked me through how to do it over the phone. He said they had seen a lot of that problem this spring with all the snow & ice we had this winter. I guess the local pool guys do know a little something!

    So in the photo above, I have the main drain turned off? I assumed that since the arrows were pointing toward all three pipes that meant they were open. How little I know about these things. I'll turn it 180 degrees and get the main drain working too. Thanks for the info!
    18 x 36 vinyl liner IG pool, grecian shape, ~27k gal
    1.5 hp Hayward Super Pump, Hayward DE3620 Filter
    Hayward Aqua Rite Electronic SWG, Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner
    TF-100 test kit with SpeedStir

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