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Thread: Understanding New Pool

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    Understanding New Pool

    Hello,

    Purchased a new home back in January and now getting to learn some pool basics. The house has a ~15000 Gal pool built in the 70's with some recent update work by the old owners. Other than that, I know nothing other than what I can troubleshoot/decipher.

    1. The skimmer has two holes that were winter plugged. Only one of the holes drew suction from the pump (furthest away). The pool also has a port (plugged) about 3ft away from the skimmer in the pool wall, maybe 12-18" down. If I remove this plug, suction is strong from this port. What is the purpose of this port, vacuum cleaner attachment point? Should I leave plugged or unplugged? Pic:

    Attachment 60294

    2. The pump only draws strong suction for about 10-15 minutes before it goes down to a trickle. It is several feet below the pool so it fills (primes) easily. I hear alot of racket (cavitation?) from the top of the sand filter unit. I've tried venting the port at the top of the filter but to now effect. If I turn off the pump and back on, it runs strong again for 10-15minutes before going back down to a trickle of flow.

    The only pressure gage is downline from the filter (useless?) and never reads more than ~1psi. I would think this will always be minimal unless there becomes some kind of blockage at the return.

    Attachment 60295
    Port at top of sand filter I keep trying to vent

    Attachment 60296
    Pressure gage location on return
    -----
    15,000GAL Inground / Maryland
    Hayward 1HP SuperPump

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    Re: Understanding New Pool

    Attachment 60297

    Also wondering if someone could help me decipher this plumbing. The pipe with the broken valve comes from the skimmer. I have no idea what that other pipe is with no valve.

    I was planning to replace that broken-handled valve with a union, would that be smart?
    -----
    15,000GAL Inground / Maryland
    Hayward 1HP SuperPump

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Understanding New Pool

    Hello and welcome to TFP! I'll try to help get you going on some of your questions:
    - The 2 holes in the skimmer - one may be permanently plugged or never connected (i.e. to main drain). No worries. As long as one has good pull you're okay.
    - The hole about 3' away sounds like a suction cleaner port. It should have a flap cover for when not being used. Or perhaps a valve to adjust pull from the skimmer and/or that suction line? You might need to look at 3-way valves before the pump to confirm.
    - Losing pump prime - typically a suction side air leak. But you have several things going on right now (dirty filter, algae, etc).

    I would check the pump basket clear lid O-ring to ensure it's lubed really well and in good condition. That's a prime area for air leaks. Make sure the water level is high enough - midway up the skimmer opening. Because the filter is an unknown condition, you may need to do a deep clean of that as well Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter.

    Most important of all ... proper water testing. We here recommend either the TF-100 (XL Option) or Taylor K-2006C. I would also get the "speedstir" if you can swing it. It's a must for mixing. Next, start reading the "SLAM" page (link below). That's what we use to clean a dirty pool. If there are any tabs in the pool, remove them and stick just to regular bleach. For now, about 1 gallon per day in hope of keeping the water from getting much worse. Once you get one of the proper test kits, post a full set of results and we'll walk you through the steps.

    If you have anymore questions about your pool or equipment, let us know. Nice to have you with us.

    - - - Updated - - -

    That broken valve looks like a way to adjust water flow (suction) from either the skimmer, main drain (if you have one), or that vacuum port about 3' away from the skimmer.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Understanding New Pool

    Thanks for the quick response.

    - The pump basket O-Ring looks good, but I will go ahead and add some lube to ensure seal. I will also check all the drain ports, they were left in place over winter. I didn't really check them since they were already in place.
    - I am pretty confident the broken handle valve comes from the skimmer. To clean out the pump basket and not have tons of water dumping out (pump is below pool), I have to close that valve with a pipe wrench. So I don't really understand where that other line goes. There is no water being pulled out that line since when I close the valve line, flow stops. Maybe it goes to that closed wall port...if not that, then I am thoroughly confused.

    Another question:

    Should I buy a pressure gage/relief combo to put on the top of the sand filter (in the side port shown)?
    -----
    15,000GAL Inground / Maryland
    Hayward 1HP SuperPump

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Understanding New Pool

    It would certainly be a good idea to have a reliable, functional pressure gauge. You'll rely on it during the "SLAM". While you can find basic ones locally, there are some gauges as seen on THIS PAGE that are very well made, glycerin filled, and at a good price. If you're not sure which one to get, just ask them.

    For that other suction line, you might need to have a helper stay at each location (skimmer and wall port) to see what (if anything) changes when adjusting that valve. The only other thing might be a main drain, but you probably can't see that with the dark water ... if you even have a MD. My bet is on the side port though. I'm a gambling man. ha.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Understanding New Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jkterp View Post
    Thanks for the quick response.

    I have to close that valve with a pipe wrench. So I don't really understand where that other line goes. There is no water being pulled out that line since when I close the valve line, flow stops. Maybe it goes to that closed wall port...if not that, then I am thoroughly confused.

    Another question:

    Should I buy a pressure gage/relief combo to put on the top of the sand filter (in the side port shown)?
    That is what is happening, if you close the broken valve that comes from the skimmer, then the other line is where water should come from the plugged port. For now you can leave the port plug in and open the broken valve. This way the skimmer is working. Make sure your skimmer basket is clean and the water level is halfway into the skimmer. You can also try to to backwash your filter it might be dirty. If you dont want to clean it just yet then turn the handle on top of the filter to bypass, at least you will get the water flowing.

    I believe the pressure gauge is not in the right place but will let other chime in!

    Felipe
    7,500 gal Rectangular, Easytouch 8, Air+water temp sensors, Screenlogic2, IC40, intellibright5g color12v, Intelli pH, SD 70 filter w/Zeolit, Magicstream Laminars, waterfall. Raised Monolithic concrete lined with glass beads.

    In Sunny Monterrey,Mx!

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    Re: Understanding New Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Tivo View Post
    That is what is happening, if you close the broken valve that comes from the skimmer, then the other line is where water should come from the plugged port. For now you can leave the port plug in and open the broken valve. This way the skimmer is working. Make sure your skimmer basket is clean and the water level is halfway into the skimmer. You can also try to to backwash your filter it might be dirty. If you dont want to clean it just yet then turn the handle on top of the filter to bypass, at least you will get the water flowing.

    I believe the pressure gauge is not in the right place but will let other chime in!

    Felipe
    Turning it to RECIRC turned out to be a good idea last night. At least I have water circulating now. No drop in flow overnight. So either the sand filter is slowing things down or air is being trapped in the filter?

    I also added a pressure gage to the top of the sand filter (replacing that knob in the pic) and it is reading steady at about 20psi when I have it in normal operation. Stays at 20psi at the start when water is flowing and is still at 20psi even when the flow has dropped down to almost nothing.
    -----
    15,000GAL Inground / Maryland
    Hayward 1HP SuperPump

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    Re: Understanding New Pool

    It turns out the side wall port is in fact the second line shown with no valve. Thanks for helping me troubleshoot that.
    -----
    15,000GAL Inground / Maryland
    Hayward 1HP SuperPump

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