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Thread: Waterfall

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Waterfall

    Hello,

    We have an in-ground pool that has a waterfall with a 1.5 HP pump. Recently, we noticed that when the waterfall is turned on, the regular pool pump is not sucking in water through the main drain and skimmers. But when we turn off the valve to the waterfall, the main drain and skimmers work great. Does anyone know what would cause the main drain and skimmers to not function correctly when the waterfall is on? I suppose an easy option would be to turn off the main pump while the waterfall is on so it doesn't burn up the pump, but I'd prefer to figure out why it's doing what it's doing.

    Thanks!
    Waterfall

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Waterfall

    Welcome to TFP! . So to be clear ... based on what you are saying .. if the waterfall is on, you get NO suction which means their is probably no prime (water) to your pump - no water flowing back through the suction side? Is that correct?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Might also help the readers to know all the other pieces of equipment you have on your pool to give you the best advice. Be as specific as possible please.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Waterfall

    Thank you! This looks to be a very helpful site and as a new pool owner, I'm looking forward to using it as a good resource!

    That's correct, when the waterfall is on, the main pump is not pulling water in from the pool. We have 4 pipes total coming from the pool into the pump area - 1 for the waterfall, 1 for the main drain, and 2 skimmers. The pipe for the waterfall ties into the pipe for the main drain right by the pumps so my hunch (although I am by no means an expert) is when the waterfall is on, perhaps that is reducing the vacuum effect that the main pump would otherwise produce and therefore the main pump does not have enough juice to suck the water through the pipes to the pump and through the filter. But that's just a guess.
    Waterfall

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Waterfall

    See, that's different from mine, and personally has me stumped, so others will answer as well I'm sure. In my pool, the waterfall comes from the pressure (return) side after the filter - just like the jets. So I have a 3-way valve to adjust whether I want 1) All waterfall, 2) all return jets, or 3) combination. But in your case you are describing the waterfall pulling water "before" it gets to the pump which seems odd to me. I will be curious to monitor this thread as well to see what other ideas our TFP'ers may have.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Waterfall

    I'll take any help I can get! And just to further clarify, we have two separate pumps. There is a dedicated pump just for waterfall and another (older) pump where the main drain and skimmers tie in to and that main pump goes to the sand filter, etc., etc. I'm not for sure on the older pump, but I'm pretty sure it's a 1.5 HP as well (they're both about the same size). Something else I was wondering is if it would work to disconnect that line from the waterfall pipe to the main drain pipe, in essence making the waterfall on its own loop?
    Waterfall

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Waterfall

    I'm sure some of our plumbing experts will have an idea or two. Personally I'm stumped, so I'm very curious to see what comments you get. Sorry I personally could not help in this case, but welcome again to TFP. I think overall you'll be pleased at the wealth of knowledge you find here.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Waterfall

    We haven't forgotten about you. Check back periodically because someone will have an idea or two for your waterfall/pump water flow issue.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Waterfall

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    I am a little unclear about your plumbing setup so adding a drawing or some pictures might help.

    From what I understand of your description, there is no reason that the main pump should not be moving water when the waterfall is on.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Waterfall

    You're problem is you have two pumps drawing on the same pipe. The waterfall pump is essentially hooked up to the main drain and the pool pump is hooked up to the MD as well.

    Whoever did the plumbing job wasn't thinking straight or should have added a valve so that the MD feeds only one pump at a time. Otherwise the pump with more HP and lower head loss on the suction side will win.

    Can you post a picture? I'm really having a hard time believing the plumber was that dumb.

    FYI - I have a waterfall with totally separate plumbing (waterfall pump, wall drain and two returns) to avoid causing any problems with the pool pump.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Waterfall

    Thanks everyone for chiming in. I was at a loss on that one as well. Wish I could use some x-ray vision to see how those pipes are routed.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Waterfall

    I have attached a couple pictures. On the one close-up picture with the pipes, from left to right, they are the waterfall (currently closed), main drain, and both skimmers. So you can see that they're all kind of tied in together. And then the pump on the top left is for the waterfall and the older pump on the top right is for the main drain and skimmers. Hope this helps and I appreciate all the input!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Waterfall

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Waterfall

    Your waterfall pump and pool pump look to be the same size, are they?

    You should not have both the waterfall valve and the pool pump main drain valve open at the same time. If one is open, then the other should be closed. Basically, two water pumps really should not draw from the same supply pipe.

    What you're seeing is that, when both valves are open, the waterfall pump is basically siphoning all the water away from the suction side of the pool pump. That is why there is little water coming out of the pool returns.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Waterfall

    Awesome - thank you all very much for the input! I'll just plan to only keep one pump running at a time - that's a pretty easy option.
    Waterfall

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    Re: Waterfall

    from the picture it looks like you can run both at the same time but you would have to:

    Close the valve from the main drain to your filter pump
    open valve from main drain to your waterfall

    You waterfall will pull from the main drain and you filter pump will pull from your skimmers, you could leave it this way all the time unless you wanted to pull water from the main drain to waste. I would say 60 to 70% of pools today do not have main drain's and they work just fine
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Waterfall

    Cowboycasey has it exactly right. I would just leave the main drain closed for the pool pump.
    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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