First, I would like to say thank you to all contributors to this site. I have been reading threads here for a long time and find the material both informative and entertaining. This is my first post, so please bear with me if I screw anything up. I would also like to thank you, in advance for providing your opinions and help.
A few years back I worked for a pool company where I opened/closed/maintained customer's pools. I have a good understanding of the systems, pool construction, etc. I am not, however, an expert.
Last fall (2014) my sister purchased a home that has an in-ground pool. I would estimate that the pool/filter/pump/heater is around 10 years old. I told her I would open it for her and I started this process 3 days ago.
Pump = Hayward "Self Priming" Super Pump - C48K2N143B1
Filter = Sta-Rite - T-240BP-1
Heater = Hayward Comfort Zone
Pool and System Info:
I believe the size is 16' x 32' (but could be wrong). After removing the safety and winter covers I was happy to see that the water looked pretty good. It was not clear enough to see the main drain in the bottom. As I began removing plugs, I only found one return jet, surprisingly. The skimmer box has a suction outlet (where the vac hose would attach) and another hole that is plugged with an 1 - 1/2" Square Head threaded plug. I tried to remove this plug and it will not budge.
As you will see from the photos the way they set up the plumbing is pretty crazy. There are NO in-line shut-off valves for the main drain, waste, or return (strange). The heater lines are cut and the water flow is bypassed. The previous owner said the heat stopped working so the did away with it. The PVC connections are not in great shape but I did not notice any severe damage or leaks.
1. Skimmer Box Plug - I am not 100% sure on whether or not the square head 1 - 1/2" threaded plug in the skimmer box is supposed to be removed or not. Some pools have a Combo Box where the main drain line is tied into the front hole and the second hole goes back to the pump. Other pools have a permanent plug in the second hole because their main drain is not tied into the skimmer box. I have read that some people struggle to remove this plug and require a Basin Wrench to unscrew it. How do I know if this plug is supposed to be permanent or just frozen on and it needs to be removed (the main drain does tie into the skimmer box)?
2. There are two PVC pipes coming out of the ground in front of the filter. One has a rubber coupler and is capped off and the other is more parallel with the ground and open. I assume one is waste. The waste line outlet off the back of the filter head is a flex line that goes down into the ground. What are these two lines coming out from the ground and why is one capped and the other open? Shouldn't there be valves on these PVC lines to open and close the flow?
3. I tried for an hour to prime the pump and start the system and it would not prime. Yes, I checked the housing seal and it is in decent shape, the impeller is fine, the plugs are tight, ect. Could the plugged hole in the skimmer box be causing the pump not to prime? I do understand that there could be an air leak in one of the connections or lines. I also understand that there could be a blockage in the suction line from the pool. I used my hose to force water through the suction in the skimmer box, also used the hose in attempting to prime the pump. Am I missing something?
Any help, suggestions and opinions would be greatly appreciated. Once again, thank you all very much!
P.S. If you have any trouble viewing the pictures please let me know.