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Thread: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

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    Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    I'm new to the forum and initially started this in reply to a user questioning why the "multiport valve hate." However, after registering the site requested that I start a new topic so the first part below is in response to the users OP and my question is at the end.

    I don't know why the contractors dislike the multiport valves, but I can tell you why I dislike my Hayward SP715XR50 multiport valve. The spider gasket has to be replaced every year or two. While I'll admit it's not that expensive to replace if you can do it yourself (and I do), but I can imagine this could be quite expensive for someone who has to hire someone to replace it every year. For a valve that retails for around $200, it sure is an unreliable, poorly designed piece of junk IMHO--and the spider gasket isn't all that I've had go wrong with this valve.

    Having said that, I do like having the ability to vacuum to waste and using a multiport valve does simplify the plumbing. However, after more than a dozen years of trying to keep this valve in working order I've decided to scrap it and use something else. I've never had a push-pull type valve so I'm curious as to why so many seem to dislike this type of valve--aside from it not providing a rinse or vacuum to waste capability. I'm looking for a reliable valve that doesn't require replacing gaskets every year or two.

    I was considering using a push-pull valve in conjunction with some Jandy valves to provide the ability to still rinse after backwash and vacuum to waste when desired. In the 15-20 years I've had the Jandy valve that controls the skimmer/drain input to the pump, I've never had any problems with it. However, I don't like the complexity of the plumbing (and switching) that would be required using Jandy valves. I figured it would take 5 Jandy valves to do the job.

    Any advice or recommendations for a good, reliable valve or plumbing system that provides filter, backwash, rinse and vacuum to waste capability would be greatly appreciated.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pool Size: 20,000 gallons
    Pool Type: IG Vinyl liner
    Filter: Hayward 48 sq. ft DE filter
    Pump: Pentair Whisperflo 2 HP single speed
    Pool Built: 1979

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    Re: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    I have found that, in most cases, short gasket life is due to a tab feeder. How do you chlorinate?

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    Re: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    I have a tube chlorinator on the return line side. No chlorine is passing through the multiport valve other than what's in the pool water.

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    Re: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    When the pump is off, chlorine from the feeder can migrate through the system and damage system components. I think that is the most likely reason for the short gasket life. How long is the pump off each day?

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    Re: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    When the pump is off, chlorine from the feeder can migrate through the system and damage system components. I think that is the most likely reason for the short gasket life. How long is the pump off each day?
    Thank you for you feedback James. However, I don't think it's a chlorine problem because when I open the valve to replace the gasket, the gasket is always pulled out of its seat and chewed up. Further, the gasket always goes bad immediately after a backwash or vacuum to waste. I can generally get a few backwashs/vacuums done before this happens, but after about the 4th or 5th time, the gasket comes out and water then gets flushed down the waste line in filter mode. So that tells me that rotating the handle is what is causing the seal to come out of its seat (and I always rotate it in a clockwise direction).

    I did replace the spring and seals for the handle a few years ago, but the spider gasket issue has been an ongoing problem long before that. BTW: The spring needed replacing because it was corroded by the chlorine, probably because, at that time, I was dumping shock directly into the skimmer rather than mixing it in a bucket of water and dumping it into the pool directly (which is what I do now). I run the pump about 8-10 hours a day so the pump is off 14-16 hours a day.

    When installing a new spider gasket I was told (by multiple pool store service personnel) to use silicone sealant to seat the gasket and not glue it because when you glue the gasket down it makes removing the old gasket very difficult. I recall that the gasket was glued down at least once because it took me quite awhile to get it all out and cleaned up for a new gasket, but I don't recall if I had glued it down once or if that's the way it came when I bought the Hayward multiport valve. Perhaps I should try gluing it down to see if it will stay seated longer.

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    Re: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    If you have an online feeder, and the pump is off for any significant amount of time per day, the chlorine will migrate out of the feeder and damage the gasket. The gasket will look "chewed up" due to chlorine damage.

    Adding a check valve between the feeder and the multiport can help, but the check valve internals will be attacked and they will need to be replaced on a regular basis.

    When the handle is depressed, the diverter should not be making contact with the gasket.

    Another issue is that the pump is oversized for your pool and will cause excessive wear and tear on your entire system. In most cases, a 1/2 HP Whisperflo is more than enough pump for a residential pool.

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    Re: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    The multiport handle should be turned in one direction only. (clockwise or counterclockwise) It also should never be turned with the pump running....pump off only.

    That wear you are experiencing is excessive and, if it's not due to chlorine, may be due to incorrect operation.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    ceetee9, I agree with your sentiment that spider gasket reliability is poorer than it should be. I've accidentally moved my handle when the pump was running or failed to "lift" the valve completely (by fully pressing down the handle) and caused a day's worth of chasing down a part and replacing it.

    The valves are designed for low cost manufacture. I suspect most of the gaskets are die cut from sheet rubber and therefor don't have any stepped features which would hold them in place. The housing molding would be much more complex and expensive if it had to have retention features built in.

    Although it would require a lot of cleaning, I'm tempted to glue my gasket down with some contact adhesive or apply a pressure sensitive transfer adhesive to the bottom side of the gasket next time I have to replace it.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    The multiport handle should be turned in one direction only. (clockwise or counterclockwise) It also should never be turned with the pump running....pump off only.

    That wear you are experiencing is excessive and, if it's not due to chlorine, may be due to incorrect operation.
    Thank you duraleigh. I do only rotate the handle in one direction and I never attempt to turn it while the pump is running.

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    Re: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    Quote Originally Posted by gtemkin View Post
    ceetee9, I agree with your sentiment that spider gasket reliability is poorer than it should be. I've accidentally moved my handle when the pump was running or failed to "lift" the valve completely (by fully pressing down the handle) and caused a day's worth of chasing down a part and replacing it.

    The valves are designed for low cost manufacture. I suspect most of the gaskets are die cut from sheet rubber and therefor don't have any stepped features which would hold them in place. The housing molding would be much more complex and expensive if it had to have retention features built in.

    Although it would require a lot of cleaning, I'm tempted to glue my gasket down with some contact adhesive or apply a pressure sensitive transfer adhesive to the bottom side of the gasket next time I have to replace it.
    I may try one last spider gasket and glue it down to see if it will last longer. And I think that over the years the quality of these products has gone down. The MTBF is much less then it used to be--at least for these valve gaskets. I used to only have to replace the spider gasket every 4-5 years or so.

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    Re: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    I've had good luck. The original gasket is still in place and functioning fine..........10-11years in service.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    I've had good luck. The original gasket is still in place and functioning fine..........10-11years in service.
    What's your brand and model? Sounds like one to recommend.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    What's your brand and model?
    I don't have access to it right now but will post model # shortly. It's a Pentair.

    EDIT: It's a Pentair SM-20-3. Not sure if it's made anymore but it is for a Triton II Sand Filter
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    Wonder if the durability that Dave has experienced is a result of having a glued down spider gasket.

    I looked up the manuals for several randomly selected multi-port valves and in all cases they call out that spider gaskets are to be glued down.

    In the case of a Sta-Rite model it says:


    1. NOTICE: Once this step is started, continue throughStep 10 without interruption.
      Using LoctiteŽ 401 or 416, apply glue sparingly (a beadabout 1/16” wide) to the bottom only (not the sides) ofthe spider groove in the valve body. The glue linesmust be continuous and intersect at the intersections ofthe grooves.

    ...and for a Pentair model...

    NOTE
    When replacing gasket P/N 27-2409, secure it to valve bottom with an instant cyanoacrylate adhesive suitable for bonding rubber to plastic such as Permabond #102 or a similar product available from an industrial supply retailer.

    ...and a Praher model...

    6. NOTICE: Once this step is started, continue through Step 10 without interruption. Using LoctiteŽ 401, 403 and 416 apply glue sparingly (a bead about 1/16" wide) to the bottom only (not the sides) of the spider groove in the valve body. The glue lines must be continuous and intersect at the intersections of the grooves.

    [I'm guessing Praher supplied to Sta-Rite because their instruction wording is almost identical]

    Something tells me the spider gasket should be glued, despite recommendations from some ("multiple pool store service personnel") to the contrary. Possibly another example of pool stores giving self-serving mis-information, or more likely just short cutting that has become common place.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    gluing the gasket in has been debated here on the forum before.

    I remember the majority of really experienced opinion was that they not be glued but, other than problems with removal, I am not sure why.

    I did not glue mine in. I have no real "secret" to longevity other than I knew they were troublesome so I have babied mine from the beginning.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Looking for advice for a reliable filter valve

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    The multiport handle should be turned in one direction only. (clockwise or counterclockwise) It also should never be turned with the pump running....pump off only.

    That wear you are experiencing is excessive and, if it's not due to chlorine, may be due to incorrect operation.
    +2 and also I recommend pushing the handle all the way down and do not release it until it is all the way in the position you want to be in next. Otherwise you will be dragging it on the gasket itself which will wear it prematurely and possibly pull it out of it's seat. If you follow this procedure I don't think it's necessary to glue it in place either.

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