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Thread: Analyze my pump plumbing mess

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    Analyze my pump plumbing mess

    Had this home/pool for 3 years, maintaining chemistry has been easy but that's pretty much all I have done.

    I took a serious look at the equipment as I am learning more about it... and realized some things are a mess. Pool was built in 1998.






    Our big pain point is that the pressure side pool cleaner in-wall screen gets clogged constantly, as in every day. When we bought the house, the pressure cleaner was completely disconnected. We had a pool guy come out and he hooked it up AFTER the filter, he said this would be better because the pool filter would take care of any debris and we wouldn't need to mess with cleaning out an energy bowl. That has been a big mistake. I have to pressurize the entire system up to 25 PSI to get the cleaner to work, and there are cracks in the filter cartridge manifold that is letting lots of debris pass into the cleaner line.

    Another odd thing - is I only have a single pipe return coming back to the equipment. Most of the time I see a line for the floor drains (I have two) and a line for the skimmer. I appear to only have a single line which means both my floor drains are connected together, and then this runs to my skimmer? Therefore I am not pulling any suction from my floor drains ever, unless the debris basket is clogged or the skimmer float valve is actuated? Is that correct?

    I also noticed I don't appear to have a check valve on the return line just before the pump. How important is this? I thought this was necessary to make it easier on the pump to prime back up after it has been off?


    My thought process is:

    1. Add a check valve to single return line (if necessary)

    2. Place a jandy 3way valve off the pump pressure side with one output going to filter, and the other going to pressure side pool cleaner, with an inline energy bowl filter. My assumption is with an energy bowl filter, we'd only have to clean that like once a week for the pressure side cleaner instead of daily like we do with the in-hose screen?



    Any additional recommendations or holes in this plan?

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    Re: Analyze my pump plubming mess

    It seems that instead of fixing the filer issues the pool tech decided to put the pressure cleaner line after the filter?! The correct way is to install a Jandy 3 way valve before the filter and use a energy bowl filter, as you stated. It doesn't appear as if a check valve is necessary. Also your drains are tied together and should be activated by a skimmer float valve. So basically everything you said is correct.

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Analyze my pump plubming mess

    What kind of pressure side cleaner do you have that is driven off the main pump? I thought most/all of them had to have a dedicated pump for them. I have a Polaris 280 and the booster pump for it is fed after the filter. I've never had anything in the inline filter.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Analyze my pump plubming mess

    That mess looks better than what I have. But since it works flawlessly, I haven't touched a thing.

    Look beneath the skimmer basket. Do you see a diverter valve and/or two open holes in the very bottom? The main drains have to be teed together to prevent entrapment, and then they are probably plumbed into the base of the skimmer.

    If the diverter looks like this

    The little flap underneath regulates the flow between skimmer and drains. Shut the opening off all the way, all the suction goes to the main drain. Open it wide or remove the whole diverter, it's 100% skimmer. Somewhere in between mixes the two. That diverter has a second purpose. There's a float inside. If ever the water level drops too low in the skimmer well, it closes and all the suction goes to the main drain so you don't smoke the pump.

    Pressure side problems with pool cleaners are beyond my knowledge. I'm a luddite who still uses a manual vacuum and a hose.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Analyze my pump plubming mess

    Quote Originally Posted by n240sxguy View Post
    What kind of pressure side cleaner do you have that is driven off the main pump? I thought most/all of them had to have a dedicated pump for them. I have a Polaris 280 and the booster pump for it is fed after the filter. I've never had anything in the inline filter.
    There are many models of low-pressure side cleaners out there that don't use a booster pump. We have a letro legend II, it took a little tweaking to get set up and likes higher PSI, but it does a fantastic job.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    That mess looks better than what I have. But since it works flawlessly, I haven't touched a thing.

    Look beneath the skimmer basket. Do you see a diverter valve and/or two open holes in the very bottom? The main drains have to be teed together to prevent entrapment, and then they are probably plumbed into the base of the skimmer.

    If the diverter looks like this

    The little flap underneath regulates the flow between skimmer and drains. Shut the opening off all the way, all the suction goes to the main drain. Open it wide or remove the whole diverter, it's 100% skimmer. Somewhere in between mixes the two. That diverter has a second purpose. There's a float inside. If ever the water level drops too low in the skimmer well, it closes and all the suction goes to the main drain so you don't smoke the pump.

    Pressure side problems with pool cleaners are beyond my knowledge. I'm a luddite who still uses a manual vacuum and a hose.
    We have a standard Hayward SP1070 skimmer, which SHOULD have that float valve. However, mine is missing the weir/flapper door, the float valve, and the O-ring for the float valve. I ordered all those parts today.

    I didn't realize the flap underneath the float valve could be partially closed.... that makes sense. I thought it was open or shut. My skimmer does have two pipes plumbed to the base, so I assume one of them goes to both main floor drains. Once I get the float valve I can test that theory.
    16,000 gallon (so I have been told) Blue Haven in-ground gunite pool.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Analyze my pump plubming mess

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinholman View Post
    There are many models of low-pressure side cleaners out there that don't use a booster pump. We have a letro legend II, it took a little tweaking to get set up and likes higher PSI, but it does a fantastic job.

    - - - Updated - - -



    We have a standard Hayward SP1070 skimmer, which SHOULD have that float valve. However, mine is missing the weir/flapper door, the float valve, and the O-ring for the float valve. I ordered all those parts today.

    I didn't realize the flap underneath the float valve could be partially closed.... that makes sense. I thought it was open or shut. My skimmer does have two pipes plumbed to the base, so I assume one of them goes to both main floor drains. Once I get the float valve I can test that theory.
    You can test it right now. Stick a garden hose down the pipe that doesn't have suction and see if a bunch of crud comes shooting up from the main drain. Or find an unbreakable bowl or plate that fits inside the skimmer and set it upside down over the two holes. If the pump doesn't starve, the second pipe is open somewhere. You probably won't be able to see or feel much suction at the drain covers the way they're designed.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Analyze my pump plubming mess

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    You can test it right now. Stick a garden hose down the pipe that doesn't have suction and see if a bunch of crud comes shooting up from the main drain.
    Great idea. I'll do that tomorrow!
    16,000 gallon (so I have been told) Blue Haven in-ground gunite pool.

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