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Thread: Need to replace drain cover

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    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Elkridge, MD
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    81

    Need to replace drain cover

    I just bought my house last year and when the company came out to close the pool and blew the air through the lines, we noticed the bottom drain cover kind of displaced when the large bubbles went past it. Over the winter, the pool was closed, then we opened the pool up and found that the cover had moved off of the inlet area. We pulled it up out of the water and found that it was never actually connected to the drain inlet, but instead was simply weighed down by 2 weights and a bit of wire strung through the holes in the drain cover.

    Well, simply putting it back wasn't an option because it didn't seem safe, but also because the wire they used was copper and had thoroughly corroded. So I planned on attaching the cover properly to the inlet to make things safe and found that the inlet does not have any screw holes to attach the cover. In fact, the cover (I actually found 2 different types left at the house) sits perfectly in the inlet, but the screw holes align where there is no plastic to actually drill into (they're inset from the edge about 2 inches, and the rim of the inlet is only about an inch, so they'd screw into nothing). I also inspected the inlet area and there are no holes in it already from a previous cover, or for a new cover to drill into.

    So the question is, how are these normally screwed in? Could it just be they never had a proper drain cover for the pool? Or do they normally drill one on when they install the pool and never did it right the first time? Or are there covers that are used for my kind of inlet that will work and won't move (like a weighted cover)? To make things tougher, we have water in the pool, so I can't take pictures, and any work would need to be done by diving down. All the inspection and testing was done just by going down with goggles, and I don't have a scuba suit or anything to do any higher effort work.
    33,000 gallon gunite pool and Spa (in ground), SWG
    Sta-Rite System 3 Modular Media Filter (300 Sq. Foot cartridge filter)
    Jandy Lite2 Natural Gas Pool and Spa Heater

    Maryland, USA

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    SW PA
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    Re: Need to replace drain cover

    Sounds to me that they didn't have the right cover. Why else would it be weighted down and have copper wire through it to *attach* it?

    Maybe someone with more knowledge than I will be along to help you with this.

    Good Luck!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Nov 2013
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    Elkridge, MD
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    Re: Need to replace drain cover

    So I started looking around at different covers to figure out how to replace this. My setup seems to be fairly normal for a concrete pool, so I'm not exactly sure how it would have been set up in the first place, unless it used a flat 'grate' type cover to sit flush. The drain has a 9 or 10" round opening, a small lip around the top, a larger drop (about 7 inches deep) where the drain pipe comes into the hole from the side. The old drain cover i have sits perfectly in the lip at top, but as I mentioned before, the cover would be screwed in more in the center of the cover, not on the edge where it actually connects to the lip. The other problem is that the lip has 2 small circles where it looks like you'd screw the cover in, but there are no threads, so you'd have to use self-tapping screws for it, I'd assume (underwater with no power drill....hmmm).

    So looking around, I found several types of drain covers, and realized that what it looks like I'm missing is a ring or plate that goes between the lip and the cover. For instance, the Paramount SDX Retro cover has a black plate that actually screws into the lip where the 2 small holes would be for screws. Once you connect that, you connect the actual cover to that plate through the center (as the plate completely covers the hole already and has several screw holes in the middle where the cover can screw into it. http://www.amazon.com/Paramount-Suct.../dp/B004MCNZ18

    Another option possibly, I can't find good reviews/instructions, is a 'ring' that has holes to allow you to screw it into the lip of the drain, and has screw holes inset in the middle of the ring to allow the cover to screw into those. Again, only problem is I can't tell if this item is actually doing what I think it's doing, so I'm more hesitant to go this route. http://www.amazon.com/Hayward-WGX104..._bxgy_lg_img_y

    Last option is to get a cover that has the holes on the very outside where it would actually be resting on the lip of the cover, instead of more centered where it has no where to screw into. I just found this cover, and while I think it's too small to work for me, something similar where the holes are on the outside is what I need to fit without an 'interim' plate or ring. http://www.amazon.com/Vortex-White-D...8PKXNZZF0KFE5J

    Anyone experienced in replacing their drain cover? Again, my setup doesn't seem anything out of the ordinary, except that the pool is (I think) 20-25 years old or so, so who knows what type of cover it started with. It also doesn't have a secondary main drain as a backup in case one gets covered up. I can maybe take a picture today, but the pool is 12' deep so it may not be that clear, but it may help if someone who can help needs any clarification. I'm shutting the pump off right now if people swim as a safety precaution, but I'd rather just know it's safe without worrying, especially if people want to swim while I'm not home.
    33,000 gallon gunite pool and Spa (in ground), SWG
    Sta-Rite System 3 Modular Media Filter (300 Sq. Foot cartridge filter)
    Jandy Lite2 Natural Gas Pool and Spa Heater

    Maryland, USA

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    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Elkridge, MD
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    81

    Re: Need to replace drain cover

    Bump. I've read just about every thread now on other people's issues replacing drain covers. http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...g-drain-covers shows some pictures that looks very similar to my setup. The holes on the outside edge of the grate cover fit where the screw holes are on the drain, but newer (and the one that was weighted down when i got it) covers seem to have holes closer to the center that would not connect to the screw holes unless a spacer ring or plate is installed first.

    Has anyone here replaced their drain cover before? Or seen how it's installed? None of the cover reviews or instructions are very clear on what I would need to do. It's been a while with no reply, so I may just buy the first one I listed above that's supposed to work for older pools and try it out. I was hoping for some insight before I wasted the time/money/energy on something that may not work.

    That being said, there seem to be enough posts on the forums about issues with replacing covers or screws to the covers, or questions about the types of drains and covers that there should be a sticky or a informational page somewhere about this. Or if there is, I haven't seen it and someone should point me to it.
    33,000 gallon gunite pool and Spa (in ground), SWG
    Sta-Rite System 3 Modular Media Filter (300 Sq. Foot cartridge filter)
    Jandy Lite2 Natural Gas Pool and Spa Heater

    Maryland, USA

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    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: Need to replace drain cover

    It sounds like you are missing the spacers that come with the cover. I'm not sure you can order those
    All the retro covers come with spacers to attach to the drain and the actual cover attaches to them.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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