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Thread: Bypassing skimmer during pumping.

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    Bypassing skimmer during pumping.

    Hi,

    Should the filter ever be run with the skimmer intake blocked (i.e. by a tennis ball)? The reason I ask is I have a problem keeping the water level above the skimmer. And with the California drought situation, we're trying to do our part to reduce excessive water use. I can not find the valve that shuts the skimmer off. If I do this, I know there will be more surface debris, but the water would filter more effectively. Otherwise, eventhough the pump is on automatically, it's just not doing an efficient enough job circulating water.

    Thx.
    -Rich
    20k Gallon IG, Hayward 1.15HP RS750 Pump, Purex Triton Nautilus FNS 48 DE Filter, Polaris 280 w/ PB4-60 Booster Pump.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Bypassing skimmer during pumping.

    Does your pool have a separate line for the drain to the pump? If so, the best thing is to add a valve to the skimmer line. A tennis ball wouldn't seal well enough and would allow the pump to suck air and lose prime. The skimmer opening is threaded, so you can put a standard PVC plug in there to shut it off and seal it. Depending on you pump and pool, it might or might not operate on drain only. If you don't have a separate line to the pump for the drain and the skimmer, you can't operate the pool with the water below the skimmer.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Bypassing skimmer during pumping.

    If the main drain ends up being plumbed through the skimmer you can make your own bypass by threading two male adapters into the two skimmer ports, and then connecting them with a 'horseshoe' (2 90's). It's on the suction side so dry fitting with a little teflon tape will do the trick and would be easy to remove when you turn it back on.

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    Re: Bypassing skimmer during pumping.

    Even the flimsiest cover will help reduce loss from evaporation, which hopefully is the main problem. That's why I got mine.

    Spishex, that is a cool idea for a skimmer hack. I'll have to remember that one.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Bypassing skimmer during pumping.

    Quote Originally Posted by spishex
    you can make your own bypass by threading two male adapters into the two skimmer ports, and then connecting them with a 'horseshoe' (2 90's).
    Good idea. I hadn't thought of that.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Bypassing skimmer during pumping.

    Thanks for all the ideas. I'll definetly give the horseshoe a try. I currently don't use a cover.
    20k Gallon IG, Hayward 1.15HP RS750 Pump, Purex Triton Nautilus FNS 48 DE Filter, Polaris 280 w/ PB4-60 Booster Pump.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Bypassing skimmer during pumping.

    Quote Originally Posted by dc_dick
    Hi,

    Should the filter ever be run with the skimmer intake blocked (i.e. by a tennis ball)? The reason I ask is I have a problem keeping the water level above the skimmer. And with the California drought situation, we're trying to do our part to reduce excessive water use. I can not find the valve that shuts the skimmer off. If I do this, I know there will be more surface debris, but the water would filter more effectively. Otherwise, eventhough the pump is on automatically, it's just not doing an efficient enough job circulating water.

    Thx.
    -Rich
    Blocking the skimmer flow will increase the plumbing head loss and the overall flow rate will decrease. This in turn will reduce the number of turnovers for a given run time reducing cleaning efficiency. Also, I don't think shutting off the skimmer will reduce evaporation rates by all that much unless you have a leak in the skimmer. However, your pump efficiency will decrease (i.e. lower gallons per watt-hour of energy use). To get the same turnover, you will have to run the pump longer.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

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    Re: Bypassing skimmer during pumping.

    Does anyone have information on "Optional float/by-pass valve provides a main-drain thru skimmer system", which is the description from Hayward's Auto-Skim Series Skimmers, which is what I believe I have. It mentions that it allows for a low water level mode. Would this be something that's in the skimmer itself? I haven't noticed any other valves to turn the skimmer off.
    20k Gallon IG, Hayward 1.15HP RS750 Pump, Purex Triton Nautilus FNS 48 DE Filter, Polaris 280 w/ PB4-60 Booster Pump.

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Bypassing skimmer during pumping.

    It would be under your skimmer basket and looks like this:


    When the water drops so does the float. IMO they're really only good for keeping your pump going in the event of unforeseen water loss. They tend not to seal very well, so if you know the water is going to be low the bypass I described will give you more consistent flow.

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    Re: Bypassing skimmer during pumping.

    Ah, that's what it is. Yeah, I have that and like you said, it doesn't seal very well even when the water level is low.. Thanks for the info. I'll definitely give your U-shape connector a shot.
    20k Gallon IG, Hayward 1.15HP RS750 Pump, Purex Triton Nautilus FNS 48 DE Filter, Polaris 280 w/ PB4-60 Booster Pump.

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