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Thread: cap off return?

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    cap off return?

    First year pool owner. I have a vinyl IG pool, about 15000 gallons, maybe a little less. Hayward 36sq ft DE filter. I am having an issue with dirt etc. coming back into the pool through one of the returns. My pool guys came out and said the filter looks fine and it is probably a crack in the pipe somewhere and the dirt is getting in and they will cap off that return. They said something about a pressure test also but then left. (Only my wife was home when they came so I this is all the info I have). I have 2 returns over the steps (one of these is where the dirt is coming out) and 2 more returns around the pool. I assume the pipe can be replaced but that seems like it would be a lot more difficult. Is it fine to just cap it off?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: cap off return?

    Depends where the break is if there is truly a break ... which at this point I doubt. Are you losing a lot of water from the pool? If not, the it is unlikely the problem is a break in the pressure side pipe.

    Usually all the returns are looped together, so capping off one return would still allow the water to leak out the pipe.
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    Re: cap off return?

    I haven't noticed water loss from the pool. What would be the normal course of action? I don't even now exactly what they mean by capping it off - it that return just closed at some point close to the filter/pump?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: cap off return?

    You will have to ask them what they are thinking of doing.

    With no water loss, I would be inclined to think it is a filter issue. How can dirt enter a pipe that is pressurized?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: cap off return?

    It is possible there is some water loss but I have not taken notice. Plus with some rain along with backwashing when I was trying to figure out if it was related to the filter for the last week or so I may have not noticed some water loss if it wasn't too significant. I don't know how dirt would enter the pressurized pipe, that's why I am on here, I don't know anything about this!
    Thanks for your help.

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    Re: cap off return?

    on a possibly related note -when I was trying to figure out what the issue was, I backwashed a couple times and there always seemed to be sand in the clear viewer thing (at least it looked somewhat like sand) Which is also what I am seeing on my pool bottom along with dirt. I thought maybe it could be DE but not sure. I backwashed for about 2 minutes or so, rinsed for maybe a minute and then did it again but same thing. If the dirt was getting in through the return line I wouldn't see it during backwashing would I? or maybe it just isn't related?

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    Re: cap off return?

    any other input on this? Does dirt coming through a broken pipe for the return sound like a normal reason I would be getting dirt/sand in my pool from the return? They said the filter looks fine. Is there anything else that may be causing this? Is capping the return a normal way to resolve this?

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    Re: cap off return?

    I would really appreciate if anyone has any input, otherwise I am just at the mercy of my pool guy. At this point they have suggested a pressure test for $250. They believe there is a crack in the return pipe. Does that sound likely? If that is the case - does the ground from the filter to the pool have to be dug up just to find exactly where the crack is?

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    Question dirt entering pool through return

    Please keep your issues in one thread. Also, it is against the rules to spam other forums with the same questions to fish for more responses. Please read: Forum Rules and Etiquette Casey~

    I posted in the "Pumping Station" section but haven't really got much help so I am hoping someone else might see my post here and be able to help. I will sum up my issue here or you can look at that post. I hope it is not a problem posting here also but this is my first season as a pool owner and I need help and I don't like just having to hope my pool guy knows what's best.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...cap-off-return

    I have an IG pool around 15,000 gallons or maybe a little less, with a Hayward 36 Sq ft. Pro Grid Micro filter or something like that.

    My pool guy looked at my filter and says it is fine, he said there is probably a crack on my return line and dirt is getting in. It seems like it is just the one return the dirt is coming in from but I probably could test that further ( i have 4 returns). They said they would want to do a pressure test for $250.

    I initially thought it was the filter and backwashed/rinsed several times. Even after several times of backwashing and the water being clear, I could also see what looked like sand/small gravel in the clear viewer glass. The pool water is fine, just dirt on the steps (the problem return is over the steps) and the dirt/sand settling on the bottom. I also opened the filter and cleaned off the grids (well the top half, I did not take the grids all the way out)

    Is a crack in the pipe likely or should I be looking at anything else? If it is a crack, is digging the only possible fix? Would the whole area from the filter to the pool need to be dug up just to find where the crack is? I don't see any type of leaks above the ground around the filter, pump or any of the pipes.

    Any input would be appreciated! Thank you!

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    Re: cap off return?

    Hi,
    Perhaps I can give you a bump and get you back on track of diagnosis.

    You have 'dirt' coming from your returns. A little more info on your symptoms would help.

    So here goes:
    What's the age of your filter and when was it thoroughly cleaned prior to this latest visit by the pool tech?
    How old is your multiport valve and when was it last serviced if it is old? Do you turn off the pump prior to changing settings?
    What does the dirt look like? Small stuff that could make it through your skimmer and pump baskets then into your filter when vacuuming?
    What is your water level doing? Pressure side leaks will force water out. For 'dirt' to enter that loop you would have to have something more than a little crack and lose lots of water. Do you have a previously unknown wet spot in your yard?
    What does your water look like? A little cloudy if you stir up the water? Possible DE returning to pool.


    Potential causes in order of my humble opinion:
    1. If the filter is more than a few years old I call filter problem, torn grids or hole in the manifold! Unless your pool tech opened the filter, washed it thoroughly to get rid of all the DE, let it drip dry, disassembled the whole thing and inspected each grid they didn't really do you any favors. Did your wife see them do this?

    2. - 11. A few possible issues - missing/cracked upper elbow o-ring comes to mind. Bad multiport spider gasket.

    12. Pressure side leak.
    Pool: IG 22k- 16x32 clipped corners- vinyl liner, w/ a great board. Built in 3/99, new to me 2/2011.
    Equip: Hayward 3600 DE filter, Hayward CL-200 Chlorinator (empty since 7/5/2013).
    K-2006 Test kit with Speedstir
    Located in Cincinnati, OH. TFP lurker since 9/2011, BBB interested since 5/2012 and converted 7/2013.

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    Re: cap off return?

    Quote Originally Posted by jtaves85mcss View Post
    Hi,
    Perhaps I can give you a bump and get you back on track of diagnosis.

    You have 'dirt' coming from your returns. A little more info on your symptoms would help.

    So here goes:
    What's the age of your filter and when was it thoroughly cleaned prior to this latest visit by the pool tech?
    How old is your multiport valve and when was it last serviced if it is old? Do you turn off the pump prior to changing settings?
    What does the dirt look like? Small stuff that could make it through your skimmer and pump baskets then into your filter when vacuuming?
    What is your water level doing? Pressure side leaks will force water out. For 'dirt' to enter that loop you would have to have something more than a little crack and lose lots of water. Do you have a previously unknown wet spot in your yard?
    What does your water look like? A little cloudy if you stir up the water? Possible DE returning to pool.


    Potential causes in order of my humble opinion:
    1. If the filter is more than a few years old I call filter problem, torn grids or hole in the manifold! Unless your pool tech opened the filter, washed it thoroughly to get rid of all the DE, let it drip dry, disassembled the whole thing and inspected each grid they didn't really do you any favors. Did your wife see them do this?

    2. - 11. A few possible issues - missing/cracked upper elbow o-ring comes to mind. Bad multiport spider gasket.

    12. Pressure side leak.

    Thanks for your help. Unfortunately I don't know too much of the history/age of parts because I bought this house in the fall and don't have that info. Filter doesn't appear to be real old but probably a few years at least and the previous owners appear to have taken decent car of everything. I do turn pump off prior to changing settings. I will have to check with my pool guys to find out exactly what they did and I am waiting for a call back from them. I doubt they did everything you said though but I will confirm.
    -Water level seems to be pretty steady
    -No wet spots in yard
    -The dirt is definitely small stuff that would go through any skimmer/pump baskets.
    -My water is very clear when filter is running and when not running bur I can try to stir it up and see if that changes anything. A couple times I noticed cloudy water in front of the returns when the filter first turned on but it would then clear up almost right away. I am usually not home when my filter first turns on but I will look tomorrow to see if that still happens.

    The dirt does seem to be coming out of one return more than any others but it is possible I am just noticing it more because it is over the steps - I will have to look into that a little more also.

    Thank you for your help - a pressure side leak doesn't sound that likely based on what you are saying so maybe it is the filter.

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    jtaves85mcss's Avatar
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    Re: cap off return?

    Okay, thanks for the update. Stay with us for a couple of days here, because this may take a little time.

    The initial responses, no wet spot, water level good, small debris, and possible cloudy only on start are indicative of filter issues.

    To see if you can determine age of equip, see if your county has has a website that allows you to see permits issued on the property - online. Search the auditor's office for improvement type 'notes'. Or perhaps check your electric circuit panel to see if there are two stickers inside the lid, initial build and pool build. That may give you an idea of age.

    I'll check back on you later or in the AM.

    In the meantime review the sticky on cleaning DE filters http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...aning-Tutorial, my learning experience http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...E-filter-grids and perhaps some on you tube.
    Pool: IG 22k- 16x32 clipped corners- vinyl liner, w/ a great board. Built in 3/99, new to me 2/2011.
    Equip: Hayward 3600 DE filter, Hayward CL-200 Chlorinator (empty since 7/5/2013).
    K-2006 Test kit with Speedstir
    Located in Cincinnati, OH. TFP lurker since 9/2011, BBB interested since 5/2012 and converted 7/2013.

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    Re: cap off return?

    Quote Originally Posted by jtaves85mcss View Post
    Okay, thanks for the update. Stay with us for a couple of days here, because this may take a little time.

    The initial responses, no wet spot, water level good, small debris, and possible cloudy only on start are indicative of filter issues.

    To see if you can determine age of equip, see if your county has has a website that allows you to see permits issued on the property - online. Search the auditor's office for improvement type 'notes'. Or perhaps check your electric circuit panel to see if there are two stickers inside the lid, initial build and pool build. That may give you an idea of age.

    I'll check back on you later or in the AM.

    In the meantime review the sticky on cleaning DE filters http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...aning-Tutorial, my learning experience http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...E-filter-grids and perhaps some on you tube.
    I was told the pool guy did check the filter - how thoroughly I am not sure but I have not been able to talk directly to him yet and was talking to someone else at the store. I was also told his best guess would be a problem with the return jet - would this be a possibility that there is something wrong with the actual jet? They still want me to do a pressure test. I believe the pool may be close to 20 years old - not sure if any of the equipment has been replaced before or not. I am going to try to talk to the guy that actually looked at it and see what he says, going through another person at the store is not helping anything.

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    jtaves85mcss's Avatar
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    Re: cap off return?

    Your response on age of the equipment at 20 years is good enough. At this point your filter grids could possibly be that old but like have been replaced once. I mainly wanted to get a likely idea that they aren't just 2-3 years old.

    The task of breaking the filter down, spraying off the grid assembly, disassembling the grids, thoroughly spraying them off to remove all DE then inspecting them thoroughly - then reassembly took me just over two hours. Then another 30 mins to get it back in the filter body and bolted together, lubing the band ring, replacing the elbow o-ring. Then I had to recharge with DE. My first time doing this, so assume a pool tech could do it faster at an hour perhaps, if they worked quickly.

    Unless they were on site at your house an hour for this and additional time for inspecting other things, I doubt they thoroughly inspected it. Unless they personally viewed all sides and areas of the grids they really have no idea if there are holes at the bottom of the tubes, or tears at each of the manifold mount and support points, which cant be seen while the unit is assembled. If you are going to pursue it with them, ask about those details.

    With a medium level of handiness and the appropriate wrenches, you could break it down yourself, really clean it and perhaps find your issue.

    They want to sell you a $250 pressure check that I would not have done until I was certain the filter is in good shape.
    Pool: IG 22k- 16x32 clipped corners- vinyl liner, w/ a great board. Built in 3/99, new to me 2/2011.
    Equip: Hayward 3600 DE filter, Hayward CL-200 Chlorinator (empty since 7/5/2013).
    K-2006 Test kit with Speedstir
    Located in Cincinnati, OH. TFP lurker since 9/2011, BBB interested since 5/2012 and converted 7/2013.

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