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Thread: Trying to figure out how my system works

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    Trying to figure out how my system works

    New pool owner here. Working on slamming it now, but that's another thread. In the mean time I am trying to get the basics of my system down. I had to replace the motor on the pump and that is up an humming along now. (Mind you the pool company quoted me over $800 for a new pump since they said they couldn't get a motor for this old pump. Somehow I managed to find one on ebay within 5 minutes for $150 and it even turned out to be local so I just drive up and got it immediately)

    My system has 3 shutoff valves that you can see in the pic. The one on the far right seems to be for the main return jets to the pool. Just left of that turns on some seat jets, I have been keeping those off for now as I'm not sure they do anything but make bubbles for the seats. The one I cant figure out is the farthest to the left. When I open that one I immediately lose prime on my pump so it must suck air from somehwere? Is it maybe connected to the pipe in the middle sticking up in a T shape?




    I have a cartridge filter lurking in the background and am a little disappointed I cant vacuum to waste. I am thinking about plumbing a diverter valve in between the pump and the filter to give myself that option. Any thoughts on if this is a good or bad idea? Thanks!
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    13,000 gallons, IG (in ground), Fiberglass
    Pinnacle Pump, Pentair clean and clear 100 cartridge filter
    Pentair 320 Automatic In Line Feeder
    Pentair MiniMax CH 300M Heater
    Pool filled from city water

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure out how my system works

    The Tee of pipes is likely an air intake where air is drawn in for the bench jets.

    It is odd to not have valves (or a 3-way) on both suction lines. Usually where there are 2 it is for a skimmer and the floor drain. OR the valved one could be for a dedicated suction line for a cleaner.

    Have you IDed all the jets in the pool? Any extra holes?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Trying to figure out how my system works

    I think so, I have one jet at the far end of the pool opposite the skimmer and then another jet on one side of the pool. Other than that there are two jets in each seat. I'll have to do another visual and try to see if there are any I am missing.
    13,000 gallons, IG (in ground), Fiberglass
    Pinnacle Pump, Pentair clean and clear 100 cartridge filter
    Pentair 320 Automatic In Line Feeder
    Pentair MiniMax CH 300M Heater
    Pool filled from city water

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    Re: Trying to figure out how my system works

    I'm thinking the T is for the venturi jets in the spa which should be on the return side... I can't imaging the suction side being plumbed into that... but I've been wrong before...

    I'm wondering it's it's drawing in air from that union just above the valve.
    14,000 Gal IG Pool/500 Gal Attached Spa
    Pentair Whisperflow 1hp Single Speed Pump
    Sta-Rite Posi-Flo PTM-135 Cartridge Filter
    Hayward H400 Natural Gas Heater

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    Re: Trying to figure out how my system works

    Is your water level above the skimmer? My system is plumbed so that I can turn my skimmer off (for draining I guess)
    If your water is not in the skimmer, then that would be where the air is coming from when you turn that valve.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Trying to figure out how my system works

    Water is definitely above the skimmer and gets sucked into skimmer when that valve is closed so that leads me to believe the skimmer is coming in thru the side with no valve. Maybe when I plumb in my waste diverter I'll redo some of the plumbing for that valve.

    Would the main drain have a separate pipe from the skimmer? Any chance that it is for the main drain? If the main drain was clogged maybe that would cause it to lose prime when I open that valve?
    13,000 gallons, IG (in ground), Fiberglass
    Pinnacle Pump, Pentair clean and clear 100 cartridge filter
    Pentair 320 Automatic In Line Feeder
    Pentair MiniMax CH 300M Heater
    Pool filled from city water

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure out how my system works

    Certainly could be for the floor drain. Or sometimes the floor is plumbed to the bottom of the skimmer.
    How many pipes do you see open in the bottom of the skimmer.
    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
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    Re: Trying to figure out how my system works

    "If the main drain was clogged maybe that would cause it to lose prime when I open that valve?"
    I wouldn't think so. If it was clogged you would get no reaction from opening that valve. I would guess there is a hole somewhere that you can stick your vacuum hose into.
    Do you have pics of the whole area? Including around the pool?
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Trying to figure out how my system works

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Certainly could be for the floor drain. Or sometimes the floor is plumbed to the bottom of the skimmer.
    How many pipes do you see open in the bottom of the skimmer.
    Just the one
    13,000 gallons, IG (in ground), Fiberglass
    Pinnacle Pump, Pentair clean and clear 100 cartridge filter
    Pentair 320 Automatic In Line Feeder
    Pentair MiniMax CH 300M Heater
    Pool filled from city water

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure out how my system works

    Then it is likely for the floor. If it was plugged, that might allow air to be sucked in ... although with the skimmer still open, the water would be pulled from there.

    I might suspect that valve has a problem.
    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: Trying to figure out how my system works

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Then it is likely for the floor. If it was plugged, that might allow air to be sucked in ... although with the skimmer still open, the water would be pulled from there.

    I might suspect that valve has a problem.
    I think I've got it figured out. I just opened it without the pump losing prime for the first time ever. Before I was just whipping it open which I think was a mistake. This time I very slowly turned it and could feel the water flowing in from the other suction line. Then I continued turning a little at a time like this until it was fully opened. No loss of prime this time!

    Thanks for the help guys! It most likely is the main drain. I will probably get a lot better turn over on the water for the whole pool now.
    13,000 gallons, IG (in ground), Fiberglass
    Pinnacle Pump, Pentair clean and clear 100 cartridge filter
    Pentair 320 Automatic In Line Feeder
    Pentair MiniMax CH 300M Heater
    Pool filled from city water

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    Re: Trying to figure out how my system works

    one other thing you look at. my pool has a pipe coming from under the pool for suctioning off ground water, so liner won't float during high water tables. But I see you have a fiberglass pool so,... on second thought, maybe not
    Si -central Mo. 32' x 16' -- 3'4" to 6' deep Vinyl liner - 16,500 Gals : Triton II filter -Duraglass 2 hp pump - 1 speed : SI-30 salt generator
    TF-100 with speedstir

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure out how my system works

    I think I run about 80% from the skimmer and 20% from the floor (if that much).

    I would suggest replacing those valves with good pool valves (like the Neverlube). You could just put a 3-way on the suction side and a 3-way on the return side ... and the 3-way for your new waste.
    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
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Trying to figure out how my system works

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I think I run about 80% from the skimmer and 20% from the floor (if that much).

    I would suggest replacing those valves with good pool valves (like the Neverlube). You could just put a 3-way on the suction side and a 3-way on the return side ... and the 3-way for your new waste.
    Thanks, I'll put that on my list of things to do
    13,000 gallons, IG (in ground), Fiberglass
    Pinnacle Pump, Pentair clean and clear 100 cartridge filter
    Pentair 320 Automatic In Line Feeder
    Pentair MiniMax CH 300M Heater
    Pool filled from city water

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