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Thread: fewer and fewer return jets working?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    redwood city, ca
    Posts
    6

    Question fewer and fewer return jets working?

    Hi,

    I am new to managing a pool, and have learned a ton from these forums - so to start things off a huge thank you to all who share their knowledge here. Also, I searched on this question and didn't see anything that I think applies to my situation, so here goes:

    I have an 19k gallon inground pool, about 30-40 yrs old. It's running with a pentair intelliflow pump, and I have a polaris 280 running on it's own pump. The pool has 5 return jets, and a few days ago I noticed that only 3 were working ... and now today only 2 are working. I am much less familiar with hardware than with water chemistry at this point - so if I leave out relevant information please let me know. Also, please forgive the narrative - as I get more savvy my posts will be more brief with relevant bullet points only.

    When we bought the house last winter the pool was not closed (Northern CA), so I maintained the water and kept the pump and polaris running as the prior owner had it set up. Since we weren't using the pool I'm not sure if all the jets were working -- but i think there were. Here's why: I usually add chlorine and any other chemicals by adding to the water at the return nearest the pump. Up unti about two weeks ago, that seemed to work fine. Then suddenly I no matter how much chlorine I added, daily, I was almost always at zero chlorine. This, desipite the fact that the pool is covered except an hour or two of use a day. At first I thought this was because we'd started using the pool daily -- but once I noticed the issue with the return jets, I switched to adding chlorine to one that was working and viola - I have much more logical chlorine readings and the water holds chlorine consistenly.

    At the start of the season, I removed the filter and washed it with a hose. It was pretty dirty and though I now realize I didn't do the best job after reading a bit more about how to clean it, I did get it much, much cleaner. I have no idea how old it is, but the rings and other parts are in good shape.

    Once we started using the pool, I increased the amount of time both the pump and the pool cleaner ran, to 10hrs a day at 1900 for the pump and 4 hrs a day for the cleaner during that time. Despite this increase, the pool floor and steps are much dirtier, and the skimmer rarely has much of anything in it -- and there will a few be leaves, etc. floating in the pool when I open it. I have one of those stocking/sock things over the skimmer basket, and that gets vey dirty very quickly. The polaris does run (I've checked multiple times), and it clearly picks up dirt, but there is dirt left in the corners, etc. where there wasn't before, and dirt on the walls after a couple of days where there wasn't before. I do make sure the hose isn't tangled so that it can reach the corners.

    I clean the skimmer and skim the pool by hand daily, brush down the walls once a week, and remove all the polaris filters and bag and wash them out weekly. Also, the returns do not have anything on them - to direct the water flow - they are just "holes" in the sides of the pool.

    As of this afternoon I'm down to two working jets and one has flow but is also showing some bubbles. Also, the pressure on the filter is up 4-5 degrees.

    My suspicions are that there is not enough water pressure, either because something is wrong with the pump, the filter is clogged up, or another reason I don't know about -- but before I start messing around I am hoping to get some perspective from more experienced pool owners.

    Thanks in advance for your help!


    _____________________
    16x32 19k gallon inground pool, gunnite (I think!) pentair intelliflow pump, cartridge filter, currently using BBB method.

  2. Back To Top    #2


    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Bakersfield, CA
    Posts
    155

    Re: fewer and fewer return jets working?

    Your pressure guage reads in psi not degrees To start things off; do you remember what the guage read when all the jets were working, and what does it read now?

    At what speed is the pump running?

    Also what test kit are you using, and could you post a complete set of test results?
    Cheers, Peter
    20,000 gal, 52'x17' kidney shaped IG, Pebble Tec, IntelliPro P6E6VS4H-209L pump. Intellichlor IC40 SWG.
    300 sf Sta-Rite System 3 cartridge filter. Poolvergnuegen 4-wheel suction pool cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    redwood city, ca
    Posts
    6

    Re: fewer and fewer return jets working?

    Thanks. See that, I'm learning already.

    It was a steady 10 for a long time, now it fluctuates a bit between 12-15, staying closer to 15.

    The pump is running at 1900 rpm (it may have been different prior to my adjustments, I accidentally wiped out the original settings before writing them down.)

    I'm using a Taylor K-2006 kit. Here are test results from tonight:

    FC: 3.4
    pH: 7.4
    TA: 130
    CH: 250
    CYA: 100 (probably a bit higher, my test kit starts at 100, and I lost the black dot a bit before that)

    Thanks in advance for taking a look!

  4. Back To Top    #4


    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Bakersfield, CA
    Posts
    155

    Re: fewer and fewer return jets working?

    Sorry for late resonse, I was out of town. I assume you've checked to make sure all your valves are in the correct position and a valve that feeds some of the returns isn't shut?

    The flowrate of your variable speed pump will increase as its speed increases. To determine you don't have some other kind of plumbing issue maybe you could try turning up the rpm by 200 rpm at a time and make a note of the guage pressure and how many returns have flow. If it looks like your flow is increasing with rpm and at 3400 rpm you have flow out of all the jets then its likely you have a clogged up filter.

    Your pool chemistry is far from ideal given that your FC is much too low for a pool with a CYA of 100+, it's possible you are fighting an algae bloom, and the dead algae is clogging up your filter. (note the use of the highly technical term "clogging up") I'm going to suggest you start reading thru Pool School so you can get a good idea of the best way to keep your chemistry in control. It's possible you may need to SLAM but getting your CYA down to a reasonable level may need to come first.

    Also reading some of the threads in the "Just Getting Started" and "The TFPC Method" forums will help you get thru the learning curve. Once we get you pool chemistry and pump rate sorted out we can help you figure out how to put eyeballs in your returns so your skimmer will work better. But first things first as they say.
    Cheers, Peter
    20,000 gal, 52'x17' kidney shaped IG, Pebble Tec, IntelliPro P6E6VS4H-209L pump. Intellichlor IC40 SWG.
    300 sf Sta-Rite System 3 cartridge filter. Poolvergnuegen 4-wheel suction pool cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    340

    Re: fewer and fewer return jets working?

    Sounds like a filter issue. Have you tried removing the cartridge and running the can empty or just cleaning it again?
    25K aggregate IG, Intellipro, FNS48, Polaris 360, PG2000 fiber optic light source

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    redwood city, ca
    Posts
    6

    Re: fewer and fewer return jets working?

    Thanks to both of you - and sorry for the delay in my reply. I have been thoroughly through the majority of the articles in pool school and I see a lot of areas where I can shore things up! I've started getting the water in better shape (thanks, prs), and will be washing the filter again tomorrow (assuming I can get the brass nozzle today, the one that is recommended in the filter care article). As thepoolman suggests, I really suspect the filter - I assume either I didn't wash it well enough (going to try the full cleaning method, the one that ends with muratic acid, not just a hose down) or it's got algae issues, or both.

    I'll let you know whether the jets are back to normal operation after I get the filter and water as clean/balanced as possible.

    Many thanks for taking the time to reply!

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