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Thread: Pool Skimmer Help - A Pool Skimmer 101 Question

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    Pool Skimmer Help - A Pool Skimmer 101 Question

    To any that help out with this, thanks in advance.

    On my third year in running the pool at the house we bought, and continuing to have problems with the setup. I have air getting into my inlet side somewhere depriming the pump when not running, I'm currently losing 2-3 inches of water per day (evaporation in 70/80 degree weather in Seattle of that magnitude seems off) but I'm needing help understanding the setup of the skimmer, as I think I'm missing parts / plugs.

    In the skimmer setup, I have two drain openings with no plug or float. When we purchased the house, the owner had a small suction driven cleaner installed in one. I cannot remember if the second valve was plugged or open. Since then, I had tried to install a newer, Kreepy Krauly last year, but with limited success (never enough suction to keep it moving). I cannot remember if I pulled the second plug then or not. Also, no skimmer basket in the skimmer itself, only the pump filter basket is in line prior to the pool filter itself.

    Tonight, after having the pump off since last weekend, we ran water into the pool to at least get the pump running and chlorine into the pool to help get it back to clean. The water was just barely up into the skimmer basket, but I had planned to shut the ball valve for the skimmer off and just pull from the main drain.

    The pump itself sits a full story above the waterline and some distance away. Ball valves exist for both the skimmer line and main drain. We use a drain blaster to push water via the skimmer up the pump, plus have had a water inlet installed prior to the pump to help get water into the system. We got the pump primed (air bubbles in the pump but primed) closed the ball valve for the skimmer, then turned off hose & drain blaster. At this point, the skimmer still was pulling water even though I had shut the ball valve for the skimmer line off. So now I'm lost as to what the plumbing for the skimmer even is.

    Ultimately, I'm trying to understand:
    1. Do I need to have one of the two lines plugged? Does it need a float in one to switch over to the main line for pumping?
    2. Is there something in the overall setup that I should consider for checking why it was still pulling from the skimmer basket with the skimmer line plugged?
    3. Should I install a skimmer filter basket?

    Bonus questions
    1. Any idea why my pool could be losing 2-3 inches per day w/o the pump & heater running? It can be at the mid-point on the skimmer face plate one day, bottom of skimmer opening the next day, below the skimmer face plate day 3, at the return eye the 4th.
    2. In the deck of the pool, I have two round plastic covers with a pvc pipe in the middle, cement around them, and zero clue what they do. Any ideas of what it can be would help.
    Attachment 31357Attachment 31356

    Thanks everyone truly appreciate it.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Skimmer Help - A Pool Skimmer 101 Question

    I cannot open the attachments. Are they supposed to be pictures? If so please use the insert image button (looks like a square with tiny squares at the corners and a tree in the middle) to attach pictures to your post. I would like to see pictures of your current pool and equipment pad set up to understand the problem a little better. Also, please edit your signature to include information about the pool such as pool type (above ground or in ground), surface (vinyl, plaster, or fiberglass), size in gallons, pump brand and horsepower, filter type (sand, DE, or cartridge), filter brand and size, and any water features, cleaning systems, and if there is a spa (attached or detached). It will show up at the bottom of everything you post and it is easier for us to help you if we don't have to search the thread for this information.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Pool Skimmer Help - A Pool Skimmer 101 Question

    If your loosing 2-3 inches of water a day in Seattle WA you have a leak in your pipes or pool liner.

    Pressure side pool cleaners normally use a second booster pump to increase the pressure of the single outlet.

    Please provide more details of your pool and pictures of your plumbing set up. It sounds a little strange to have your pumps up so high...
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    Re: Pool Skimmer Help - A Pool Skimmer 101 Question

    Here's an image of my pool itself


    We had the pool "full" and running on Sunday. If you look at the water level now, two days later, you can see how much it has dropped in this next photo. On Sunday, the waterline on the skimmer was at the next to top screw mark on the skimmer face plate. Significant water loss.


    To help quantify the height from pool to pump, the first pic is across the pool to the fence where the second pic is taken from. The small lattice covered cabinet is where the pump, filter & heater all set.




    The initial question regarding the skimmers can be seen in the two following pics showing inside the skimmer area - there is no skimmer attached and no plug in either opening. The one on the right is where we'd hook up the kreepy krawler if we were actually using it.





    Here are a few pics of the setup of the pump, valves, etc. Will answer questions on those. Key here is the pump is showing air in the top of the clear opening while operating, plus air bubbles from eye returns can be seen while in operation









    Finally, the bonus question - here's images of what I have two of around the pool and just don't have an idea as to what they are





    Thanks again to all, I appreciate the help
    8 x 20 Inground Pool - 3' to 5' deep, WhisperFlo 3/4 HP Pump, Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter, Pentair 300 Off-Line Feeder, MiniMax NT Heater

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    Re: Pool Skimmer Help - A Pool Skimmer 101 Question

    Water level has continued to drop. I bought some gel food coloring to do a at home dye test. Put in a fair amount, watching it slowly dilute as it dropped tot he bottom. Gave it some time, as as it disolved and diluted, it settled towards to the bottom, but was pulled down and around the main drain, so guessing my leak is somewhere in my main drain line given I've got air in my line & leaking below all openings (except steps or light in vinyl liner). So at this point, would it be safe to try and plug my main drain and the extra skimmer line inlet, then run it just off my skimmer? I'd assume to close the main line ball valve while pump is in operation to not be pulling out of the empty and broken line. Thoughts?
    8 x 20 Inground Pool - 3' to 5' deep, WhisperFlo 3/4 HP Pump, Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter, Pentair 300 Off-Line Feeder, MiniMax NT Heater

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Skimmer Help - A Pool Skimmer 101 Question

    Yes close off the main drain and see if the leak continues. I see the water has not dropped below the return in the picture, has the water level continued to drop? Do you have a light in your pool? If the pool continues to leak and it has dropped past the normal openings in the liner (steps, skimmer, return, light) and the main drain has been plugged, look for tears in the liner. Check all the seams for splits. You can do the dye test on any suspicious areas.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Pool Skimmer Help - A Pool Skimmer 101 Question

    Will plug this weekend. Liner is showing more wrinkling this year, and at 10 years old, wondering if its also not an issue with the liner as well? Know its in the middle of the lifespan of most liners, so thinking I'm looking at having to have lines pressure tested & a liner replacement.

    This is why I just want to fill in the pool
    8 x 20 Inground Pool - 3' to 5' deep, WhisperFlo 3/4 HP Pump, Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter, Pentair 300 Off-Line Feeder, MiniMax NT Heater

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