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Thread: Is it OK to not use a skimmer diverter?

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    MrBill3's Avatar
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    Question Is it OK to not use a skimmer diverter?

    My old pool was 24,000 gallons and I used a Polaris 380 vacuum which ran an hour a day. Since the Polaris kept the bottom spotless but there was always a little debris on the surface, after extensive testing I finally removed the diverter from the skimmer basket, which seemed to solve the problem. I've recently had the pool and surrounding area completely renovated and it is now a 7,100 gallon pool. Interestingly enough, I'm finding the same thing to be true - now running only 30 minutes a day the Polaris keeps the bottom spotless but there's light debris on the surface. Again I've removed the diverter valve which solved the problem. So my question is this: is it OK to run the pool's cleaning system with no diverter valve in the skimmer? If not, why not?

    BTW - if you'd like to see pics of the full renovation effort, check the link below in my signature.

    - Bill
    7,100 gallon IG kidney pool (desert water isn't cheap)!
    Pebble Tec, Hayward 60 sq ft DE filter, Pentair Intelliflo
    Polaris 380, Rainbow Lifegard #320 chlorine feeder
    MP Industries water level control
    2015 Pool Renovation

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    In the Industry

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    Re: Is it OK to not use a skimmer diverter?

    Yes. I have serviced pools which were skimmerless. The drawbacks are lots of debris on the surface, a scum line on the tile, and issues if you need to add any chemicals or such (DE) to the pool. Of course, at least keeping a correct water level isn't an issue.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Add on. Of course, you can turn on the skimmer to add stuff. The other issues apply if you have no suction at the skimmer. My bad!

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    Re: Is it OK to not use a skimmer diverter?

    Perhaps I'm misreading, but I think OP is actually asking about getting *more* water to come through the skimmer, and less from the main drain. The diverter, if present in the right position, would cause more water to come from the main drain, and perhaps even in the "skimmer" position it still diverts some of the suction.

    If that's the case, then I don't see any reason not to remove it -- main drains, as I understand it, don't serve a huge daily purpose in most pools, and the 380 when running provides some return style circulation across the bottom of the pool.
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Is it OK to not use a skimmer diverter?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrBill3 View Post
    My old pool was 24,000 gallons and I used a Polaris 380 vacuum which ran an hour a day. Since the Polaris kept the bottom spotless but there was always a little debris on the surface, after extensive testing I finally removed the diverter from the skimmer basket, which seemed to solve the problem. I've recently had the pool and surrounding area completely renovated and it is now a 7,100 gallon pool. Interestingly enough, I'm finding the same thing to be true - now running only 30 minutes a day the Polaris keeps the bottom spotless but there's light debris on the surface. Again I've removed the diverter valve which solved the problem. So my question is this: is it OK to run the pool's cleaning system with no diverter valve in the skimmer? If not, why not?

    BTW - if you'd like to see pics of the full renovation effort, check the link below in my signature.

    - Bill
    If I'm understanding you correctly then I would say you should not remove the float diverter.

    The float diverter in the skimmer is actually a "safety" feature. It is designed to shut closed in the event that the water line drops below the skimmer OR if your Weir door closes for some reason (like an obstruction) so that the pump can draw water from the main drain. If you remove the float diverter plate, then there is no way to "switch" the pump on to the main drains. This can cause loss of prime in the pump and potentially damage the pump. Some newer pumps (like the Pentair IntelliFlo) can sense loss of prime and shut down if needed. But many older pumps do not.

    It's up to you, but you have to ask yourself how confident you feel that the water will never drop below the skimmer?
    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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    MrBill3's Avatar
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    Re: Is it OK to not use a skimmer diverter?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Some newer pumps (like the Pentair IntelliFlo) can sense loss of prime and shut down if needed. But many older pumps do not.

    It's up to you, but you have to ask yourself how confident you feel that the water will never drop below the skimmer?
    Actually, I'm very confident. The fellow who did the pool renovation installed an IntelliFlo AND a device which automatically holds the water at a constant level. It sounds like removing the diverter should cause me no problem at all!
    7,100 gallon IG kidney pool (desert water isn't cheap)!
    Pebble Tec, Hayward 60 sq ft DE filter, Pentair Intelliflo
    Polaris 380, Rainbow Lifegard #320 chlorine feeder
    MP Industries water level control
    2015 Pool Renovation

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