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Thread: Adding a Return.......Or Main Drain problem???

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    Adding a Return.......Or Main Drain problem???

    ***I changed the title of the post since it appears that the Main Drain may be part of the problem I'm having***

    Background:

    Our pool was built in 1994. It is a free form pool. (See pic below). There are currently three returns in the shallow end, and one in the middle "section" but currently there are no returns in the deep end of the pool (just has the main drain).



    1. Is it "normal" not to have a return in a section of the pool like that? The deep end gets NO circulation to speak of. We have a product called The Circulator in two of the returns, one in the shallow end and one in that single return in the middle section (if you look closely in the middle section, you can see a small white dot. That is the only return in the half of the pool) which does a great job of circulate the surrounding water, but that deep end really appears to get no circulation.

    2. Does it make sense to have a return put in the deep end? I know it would entail cutting up the current deck, which doesn't bother me because I want to resurface that deck anyway.

    Maybe we just need to keep brushing that deep end every day. That certainly would be cheaper, but is having a return to move that water around on a continual basis better?

    I'm just tossing ideas around in my head (and here). My knowledge of all this is 'nil so if it is a stupid idea, be gentle to me in your responses!
    Sharon

    ~12k gallons
    Hayward Filter (cartridge)
    IG plaster pool
    Sta-Rite Dura-Glas 1.5 HP pump
    Taylor Test Kit 2005 with 2006 Chlorine test

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Adding a Return.......

    Do you find that your water is dirty or cloudy at all? I'm no expert so I'll let the others chime in, but to me, if your water looks good, why mess with it? If ain't broke, don't fix it
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Adding a Return.......

    Is water flowing thru the bottom drain and back to the pump somehow? That would improve circulation and would be all you need... It may be that you just need to open a valve or adjust something? Perhaps they closed it off?
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Adding a Return.......

    Quote Originally Posted by NullQwerty
    Do you find that your water is dirty or cloudy at all? I'm no expert so I'll let the others chime in, but to me, if your water looks good, why mess with it? If ain't broke, don't fix it
    NQ...it often does not look as clear/clean as the the shallow section.
    Sharon

    ~12k gallons
    Hayward Filter (cartridge)
    IG plaster pool
    Sta-Rite Dura-Glas 1.5 HP pump
    Taylor Test Kit 2005 with 2006 Chlorine test

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Adding a Return.......

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Is water flowing thru the bottom drain and back to the pump somehow? That would improve circulation and would be all you need... It may be that you just need to open a valve or adjust something? Perhaps they closed it off?
    I have no idea and as I was saying in my earlier post today about this pool, we have absolutely NO information about it. We are really pool stupid.

    Here is another picture, showing the entire pump, filter and pipe setup.

    Sharon

    ~12k gallons
    Hayward Filter (cartridge)
    IG plaster pool
    Sta-Rite Dura-Glas 1.5 HP pump
    Taylor Test Kit 2005 with 2006 Chlorine test

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Adding a Return.......

    Can you post a close up pick of that round grey section that joins 3 pvc pipes together, and that Pvc pipe that goes straight up and over the pump and then up by the house, where does that go?
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Adding a Return.......

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Can you post a close up pick of that round grey section that joins 3 pvc pipes together, and that Pvc pipe that goes straight up and over the pump and then up by the house, where does that go?
    OK, be right back. There used to be solar panels to heat the pool. When the previous owner reshingled the roof, they didn't put panels back up so their are tubes running up the side of the house to the roof and another to return the water. That gray section, that joins two pipes with the pipe that returns water from the roof (which is supposed to be turned off now, at least according to the pool guy that came out and replaced our pool motor earlier this year).
    Sharon

    ~12k gallons
    Hayward Filter (cartridge)
    IG plaster pool
    Sta-Rite Dura-Glas 1.5 HP pump
    Taylor Test Kit 2005 with 2006 Chlorine test

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Adding a Return.......

    Egads.

    We need some real experts to help figure out this. That pipe is the return pipe from the no-longer there panels? And then it splits in two? That's confusing....All this plumbing stuff is way over my head.

    Ted....oh Ted....where are you????

    I know there is a way to determine if the bottom drain is closed off, I'm just not sure what that is...
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Adding a Return.......

    OK, here are a few pictures.

    I stepped back and took a wider view shot of the setup, showing the pipes going up the wall for the solar heating (which is not used)



    This is close up of the valve on the solar heating pipes (which now that I look at it up-close, I wonder if this is the right position for "OFF" I know the guy said if it was turned downward, the pipe leaked so he turned it to the side where it is now)



    and this one is the closeup of the gray valve you were asking about:

    Sharon

    ~12k gallons
    Hayward Filter (cartridge)
    IG plaster pool
    Sta-Rite Dura-Glas 1.5 HP pump
    Taylor Test Kit 2005 with 2006 Chlorine test

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Adding a Return.......

    I see one suction line and two returns. The gray three way valve selects between the two return pipes. There is also a small white stub that looks like a capped off pipe in the middle of where the other pipes go into the ground.

    In the skimmer, under the skimmer basket, is there one pipe or two?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Adding a Return.......

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    I see one suction line and two returns. The gray three way valve selects between the two return pipes. There is also a small white stub that looks like a capped off pipe in the middle of where the other pipes go into the ground.
    Why would there be two returns to the pool? Any idea? Yes, there is that small capped pipe...no idea what that is for.

    In the skimmer, under the skimmer basket, is there one pipe or two?
    There are two holes under the skimmer basket, one we use to vacuum the pool and one that we don't know what it is for.

    Also, I just remembered, there is a capped hole in the side of the pool, near the light you can see in the pool picture (blue circle on left middle of pool). We don't know what that is for. A pool guy thought it was another vacuum hole, but there is no suction, nor is there any water returning to the pool if you take the cover off.
    Sharon

    ~12k gallons
    Hayward Filter (cartridge)
    IG plaster pool
    Sta-Rite Dura-Glas 1.5 HP pump
    Taylor Test Kit 2005 with 2006 Chlorine test

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    In the Industry

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    Re: Adding a Return.......

    I believe that is for a pressure cleaner, the capped off pipe on the ground is for booster pump.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Adding a Return.......

    Quote Originally Posted by DBfan187
    I believe that is for a pressure cleaner, the capped off pipe on the ground is for booster pump.
    What is for a pressure cleaner? The extra hole under the skimmer or the other hole in the side of the pool with cap on it that doesn't vacuum or return water?
    Sharon

    ~12k gallons
    Hayward Filter (cartridge)
    IG plaster pool
    Sta-Rite Dura-Glas 1.5 HP pump
    Taylor Test Kit 2005 with 2006 Chlorine test

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    Re: Adding a Return.......

    Just my 2 cents here, but I don't think putting a return in the deep end is going to help. Water is being put into the pool on the far shallow end. Then the water migrates to the deep end, where it is being suctioned up and filtered. So in effect you have a flow of water from the shallow end down to the deep end. In fact putting a return on that end of the pool might actually might actually reduce overall water movement.

    As far as the water maybe not looking as clear on the deep end, it could be looking that way because you are looking through MORE water before you see the bottom. So if the water is ever so slightly cloudy, you will notice it on the deep end.
    18' X 36' X 4.5' vinyl oval in-ground 17K gallons, 250K BTU Pentair Master Temp NG heater, 1HP Hayward Super Pump, Hayward S200 sand filter, Hayward Pool Vac, Extreme mesh safety cover, TF-100 test kit.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Adding a Return.......

    I would agree with that statement IF the bottom drain is actually functioning. IT is not uncommon for bottom drains to have been capped off if there was a leak in the plumbing under the pool.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  16. Back To Top    #16
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    Re: Adding a Return.......

    Quote Originally Posted by girlgeekFL
    Quote Originally Posted by NullQwerty
    Do you find that your water is dirty or cloudy at all? I'm no expert so I'll let the others chime in, but to me, if your water looks good, why mess with it? If ain't broke, don't fix it
    NQ...it often does not look as clear/clean as the the shallow section.
    This seems to indicate a water clarity issue. The deep end has more depth of water to view, so therefore the less clean water shows up.

    I noticed you have a cartridge filter. I prefer the DE filters because they keep the water absolutely clear. Let the responses start. posting.php?mode=quote&f=5&p=106328#

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Adding a Return.......

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    I would agree with that statement IF the bottom drain is actually functioning. IT is not uncommon for bottom drains to have been capped off if there was a leak in the plumbing under the pool.
    This is what I don't know.....so how would I find out? How/where is the main drain capped?
    Sharon

    ~12k gallons
    Hayward Filter (cartridge)
    IG plaster pool
    Sta-Rite Dura-Glas 1.5 HP pump
    Taylor Test Kit 2005 with 2006 Chlorine test

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Adding a Return.......

    Quote Originally Posted by alben
    As far as the water maybe not looking as clear on the deep end, it could be looking that way because you are looking through MORE water before you see the bottom. So if the water is ever so slightly cloudy, you will notice it on the deep end.
    I don't know. The water in the deep end if just about 6ft. The water where the single return is is 5ft and it looks great. So I'm not sure that that one foot of water would make that much difference, would it?
    Sharon

    ~12k gallons
    Hayward Filter (cartridge)
    IG plaster pool
    Sta-Rite Dura-Glas 1.5 HP pump
    Taylor Test Kit 2005 with 2006 Chlorine test

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Adding a Return.......

    Here's what I would do:

    1) Wait until you're redoing the deck anyway before adding the return line.
    In the meantime...
    2) Buy a DE filter...Definitely makes water look awesome
    3) To get the water to circulate better (even in the deep end) buy a robot vacuum. That helps big time with circulation and at the same time it'll clean your pool. I have the dolphin and love it, but if you went this route do some research first on the best robot as nowadays there may be better ones.
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

  20. Back To Top    #20
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Adding a Return.......

    I have a cart filter and my water is crystal clear - buying a new DE filter is not necessarily the solution.

    If the deep end isn't getting adequate circulation, the type of filter media isn't going to fix that.

    A robot vacume is a good suggestion -

    The pool build experts will be along shortly to advise about the bottom drain. Hang in there....
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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