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Thread: First time pool owner, less than a month, Bunch of plumbing problems

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    First time pool owner, less than a month, Bunch of plumbing problems

    Hi everyone , I'm very happy that I found this forum, I wish I found it before 16 years old kid from Leslie's lured me into buying 300 Bucks worth of chemicals, now I realize he did not know much, lesson learned. This post is related to plumbing problems, I also have some questions regarding chemicals, and few other things. I started reading the pool school, some terms I know , some I do not, its pretty broad, so it will take me some time. This is my first pool ever, so i learn something every day.

    Short background: I bought a house built in 1985, it has a pool (full description in signature), house was a foreclosure, so I believe that owner just took all of the equipment, and afterwards bank installed equipment, but that's just my guess, i'm not sure that happened, equipment looks newish. When I finally bought it, i think bank just ran filters until it was sold, it was full of leaves and dirt. I vacuumed pool very nicely, washed the filters, added chemicals that Leslie kid suggested, and it looks pretty clear now. Last week problems started to happen, I kind of know whats going on, but I would appreciate greatly if everyone would cheap-in with some answers and ideas.

    I really want to figure out this plumbing problems that started showing in last 2 weeks.

    1) When my pump is on, it looks same like my hot-tub is running all the time, I thought at first that probably all the water returns to tub, but there is decent amount of water on all 4 return lines in the pool, I have 4 x 3-way Jandy valves, and I have a good idea how they function, they all have proper adjustments. When I play with return valve it starts leaking, building high pressure in filter, needle on filter goes a lot higher, something is in there and its leaking water, i'm going to open it and replace all the gaskets, i'm not sure which gaskets and where to buy, don't know either and how difficult it is. Piping is 2 inch. I hope that this faulty valve causes water restriction to return lines, and everything is being directed into my spillover spa return lines. Weird thing is when I turn Jandy valve fully on vacuum( main drain) and close skimmer side, spa is acting normally. Red arrow is where its getting crazy and leaking, yellow is my waterfall, and blue is return to pool where it gets separated to skimmer and main drain. skimmer has two holes, one is plumbed to one of the two main drain plates/holes. I cant use spa either, because when i turn Jandy valve fully to spa it starts to build huge pressure on filter and squirting water through the plate on top of the Jandy valve.
    20140514_195053.jpg

    2) My skimmer is sucking water like crazy,vortex effect, it seems that all the water is getting sucked through skimmer, i mean it literally sucks it dry in seconds. I assumed that it is because water is not getting sucked in through the main drain. I have this float valve on skimmer, i left it open just a little bit, and I also moved my Jandy valve just a crack open on skimmer side so it doesn't suck all the water down. I have much greater force when vacuuming now, then before when problem wasn't there, i cant remove hose from skimmer when vacuuming unless i turn Jandy valve completely closed on skimmer side and relieve pressure on skimmer.
    20140514_195106.jpg



    3) Water is also getting sucked through this little hole, what is this hole called, I think i am going to put some 2 inch plug on this hole because it is right next to my skimmer, since water is going to skimmer already what is the purpose of this intake. I stuck my garden hose into the intake pipe inside the pump, I ran water hoping to shut back some debris back through main drain plates, but all the water was coming out through this hole. After all this experimenting, my pump wouldn't prime, I try to feed the water from garden hose so the pump would catch up, and all the water was getting into the pool through this hole, then i stuck tennis ball in to this hole, filled the water through pump until it started to over flow, i closed the lid on the pump, and it caught up immediately. I don't know about this hole, i feel like plugging it.

    20140514_193402.jpg
    8.5K gal,spill-over spa IG Plaster, Hayward C2030 225sqft, pump hayward super pump II 2.5 HP 2speed SP3020, manual fill, built 1985, pool size 13' x 28', depth 3'x5', 1 x skimmer, 2 x main drain

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, less than a month, Bunch of plumbing problems

    Welcome!

    Some more pictures might help us figure out the layout. You'll probably need a photobucket account or something. Posting photos.

    What I can probably help with is that hole in the wall. Inside your skimmer you should have two holes. One sucks water. The other most likely leads straight to that hole nearby. That's a safety device. The diverter thing should be left wide open. It looks like a flying saucer, yes? If for some reason the water level in the skimmer drops too low -- evaporation, sticking weir (flapper) -- that float valve inside the diverter gets sucked closed and the water gets drawn from that hole in the wall, up into the skimmer bowl, and down the suction line to feed the pump. If you manually close that flap on the bottom of the diverter, you shut the flow off in the skimmer just the same as if the water dropped too low and the pump sucks water through that hole. So leave it wide open, or take the flapper off. And check your water level and that the weir isn't sticking.

    The way those 3-way valves work is that the side opposite the handle is blocked. In that top picture, the back wall is blocked; suction is split 50/50 between spa return and the next 3-way valve. If you turned it so the handle is at 6:00 instead of 9:00. you should stop all flow to the spa. Set it to 12:00 and the spa gets it all. You can set it somewhere in-between to reduce the spa overflow. You should always have some running through the spa, but too much tends to drive the pH up through aeration.

    I know overhaul kits are available for Jandy valves. I've never had to rebuild one personally.

    That's about all I can help you with at the moment. More pictures would help soort it out.
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, less than a month, Bunch of plumbing problems

    Skimmers drawing in air are either low pool water level or blocked/jammed wier door (the swinging flap at the mouth of the skimmer).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: First time pool owner, less than a month, Bunch of plumbing problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Darko View Post
    2) My skimmer is sucking water like crazy,vortex effect, it seems that all the water is getting sucked through skimmer, i mean it literally sucks it dry in seconds. I assumed that it is because water is not getting sucked in through the main drain. I
    I had the same problem with mine last year. I also had just bought the house and the pool was also dirty. I believe the main drain was clogged. It opened after a few days and the problem went away.
    1994 18X36 IG vinyl, about 24,000 gallons, Hayward sand filter model S244T, 2 speed 1hp pump w/timer, Dolphin Nautilus Plus Robot, in beautiful SW Ohio.

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    Re: First time pool owner, less than a month, Bunch of plumbing problems

    Hi Richard,thanks for responding, I was going to make a detailed post , but then I ran into forum rule that you are not suppose to make post too long with too many questions, and there was limitation with pictures too, I will make a short youtube video, I think that's the easiest way to explain. I understand what are you saying about the positioning of valve, but the problem is different, i will go and make a short video right now. As far as second hole goes, i dont think that it linked to that side hole, but its linked to bottom main drain, i stuck hose and i ran water through it, it started to slowly come out on the main drain in the deep end of the pool.

    Meanwhile I wanted to ask few other questions too.


    1) How do you know when to replace filter, are there optimum PSI that need to be observed

    2) How long should I run my pump, currently i ran it 5 hours in 1st speed, and 5 hours in 2nd speed. I'm also confused about the model, on housing says SP3000zl, on motor says SP1620

    3) Since its manual fill, how much evaporation is normal, i feel like I'm loosing about an 1- 1.5 inch a week

    4) Should I use metal wire brush for the plaster pool,i'm currently using soft brush

    5) Should I rent drain king, remove all the plates and just ran it through all the lines

    And the most recent problem started this week, pump in second speed was almost silent, now this is how it sounds, this things never stop I guess, unbelievable

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da5C97FcI4Y

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    Skimmers drawing in air are either low pool water level or blocked/jammed wier door (the swinging flap at the mouth of the skimmer).
    Hi jason, thanks for responding as well, I will also make a video of this problem too, water level is above normal, I also thought it was too low, so I filled it pretty good, it was on 70% full inside the skimmer,it still doing the same.

    I saw one guy online is using garden hose drain bladder to clean passages, i will try that too today.
    8.5K gal,spill-over spa IG Plaster, Hayward C2030 225sqft, pump hayward super pump II 2.5 HP 2speed SP3020, manual fill, built 1985, pool size 13' x 28', depth 3'x5', 1 x skimmer, 2 x main drain

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    Re: First time pool owner, less than a month, Bunch of plumbing problems

    So Richard here is the video, i was kind of explaining along the way, sorry the video its a little shaky and blurry. I think that little hole that I was asking about is used when you vacuum pool, when I turn valve on oposite side of skimmer, where it says vacuum, it pulls all the water through there, also when i ran water from garden hose, its coming out only on that same hole, it could be that it was intended to be used for vacuuming pool only.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV1RkpnPw8Y
    8.5K gal,spill-over spa IG Plaster, Hayward C2030 225sqft, pump hayward super pump II 2.5 HP 2speed SP3020, manual fill, built 1985, pool size 13' x 28', depth 3'x5', 1 x skimmer, 2 x main drain

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    Re: First time pool owner, less than a month, Bunch of plumbing problems

    bump
    8.5K gal,spill-over spa IG Plaster, Hayward C2030 225sqft, pump hayward super pump II 2.5 HP 2speed SP3020, manual fill, built 1985, pool size 13' x 28', depth 3'x5', 1 x skimmer, 2 x main drain

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    Re: First time pool owner, less than a month, Bunch of plumbing problems

    If the hole under your skimmer is hooked to your main drain its because of the new code. They either want 2 main drains or a safety cover on the drain so you cannot get sucked to the main drain when your pumps are running. You do not want to cover that hole then.
    20x40 in ground liner pool deepest part 5 feet.
    concrete deck
    live in North Dakota
    it has a slide too
    just bought this house in 2013 so this is new to me Travis

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, less than a month, Bunch of plumbing problems

    1) You replace your filter cartridge when the clean filter pressure starts to go up (despite the cleaning).
    2) Most pools are fine with 4 hours of total pump run time, though some require a bit more.
    3) 1/8" to 1/4" a day is normal, less if it is extremely humid.
    4) Use a soft brush for the first year. After that you can switch to a SS brush if you want to.
    5) A drain king only costs around $7, so you tend to buy them, rather than rent. It is fairly easy to use, so worth a try, but I don't see it helping.

    Have you tried raising the water level in the pool?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: First time pool owner, less than a month, Bunch of plumbing problems

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    1) You replace your filter cartridge when the clean filter pressure starts to go up (despite the cleaning).
    2) Most pools are fine with 4 hours of total pump run time, though some require a bit more.
    3) 1/8" to 1/4" a day is normal, less if it is extremely humid.
    4) Use a soft brush for the first year. After that you can switch to a SS brush if you want to.
    5) A drain king only costs around $7, so you tend to buy them, rather than rent. It is fairly easy to use, so worth a try, but I don't see it helping.

    Have you tried raising the water level in the pool?
    Hi Jason,

    Thank you for the response first of all,

    1)As far as pump running time goes, i tried to calculate, I kind of have a feeling that my pump is more than enough strong, so I don't have to run it for long hours.

    According to Hayward , i looked into this graph , and I'm not sure if understand this correctly.

    superpumpII_perfdata.jpg


    This is my thought process on this one, I have SP3020 , feet of head I'm not sure what it means, but I used some online tool to calculate feet of head using PSI, I just input PSI on my filter gauge, which is reading around 12-15 psi. It comes out to 35 ft of head, maybe Im wrong.

    Also Hayward states that 2" piping will have maximum flow of 80 GPM.

    SO according to picture if I run pump for three hours = 80 GPM X 180 minutes = 14400 gallons, which is almost twice as my pool capacity.

    3) what do you mean by first year soft brush, and then switch to SS, this pool was built 30 years ago, whats the relevance with first year.

    5) I already bought drain king, some smaller version 25 ft long that you attach to drill, I need to use it because I tried running water through my line that goes from skimmer to main drain plate in the deep end, and it wouldn't even budge, i i used one of those drain cleaning bladders that is attached to garden hose, water build so much pressure that it bursted into pieces, and I was going slow and gradually.

    I just need to figure easiest way to remove main drain plates, because I think both of them are clogged, I don't think that any water is being drawn through my main drains. I tried placing heavy 45 lb dumbbell in deep end, and than dive and hold it with one hand, and tried to unscrew it, but its really not that easy to line up driver and water is pushing you, running out of breath. So I might try to make 8 ft long screw driver, will see.

    Water level maxed out.
    8.5K gal,spill-over spa IG Plaster, Hayward C2030 225sqft, pump hayward super pump II 2.5 HP 2speed SP3020, manual fill, built 1985, pool size 13' x 28', depth 3'x5', 1 x skimmer, 2 x main drain

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