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Thread: Caretaker In-Floor Cleaning System Plumbing

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    Caretaker In-Floor Cleaning System Plumbing

    Hello all:

    I've got a question relating to the plumbing of an older Caretaker 99/Jandy, 5 port in floor cleaning system. So if there is anyone who has installed these on pools being built over the years I'd truly love your feedback.

    Needless to say its a 5 zone system, and though I agree that when these systems are used, its arguable whether or not there would ever need to be a wall return incorporated into the design. That being said, the pool in question does have a single wall return, which is a standard 360 degree type eyeball return jet.

    The issue is that there is no water flow (that I have observed so far) coming from this jet.

    Please be advised that the install of this pool was well before my time, and most every bit of the plumbing is concreted in. There is very little of the plumbing exposed, or could be exposed without tearing up a good bit of concrete. Additionally, the pump and filter have been changed out at minimum one time, if not more; so I have no clue as to the original design of the system.

    Now its clear that the caretaker valve was part of the original install, however, I absolutely see no provisions for any other return line prior to the caretaker valve that would feed that wall return jet. Furthermore, I absolutely see no additional lines, or even evidence of a line, that would have fed that wall return jet at some time in the past.

    MY QUESTION: Id like to know whether or not during these installs it has ever been common practice to plumb the wall return jet into one of the floor cleaning zones. Don't get me wrong, I realize how counterintuitive that might sound, but its almost the only possible scenario that makes sense based on current observation.

    **This part is irrelevant, however, for anyone who is curious as to my concern; the pool has a slow leak. It appears that leak is through the wall return jet port, and I'm attempting to decide the best way to fix this thing and/or abandon that line. With time permitting, my next step will likely be to thrown some dye into that wall return line, blast it on down, and see if it makes it into any of the 5 zones confirming my working theory. That said, if there are some experts out there who have installed these in the past, it would be good to know how often wall returns are incorporated into the design of the system, and if they generally are, if they are ever tied into a zone, or always pulled off the main return line prior to the caretaker distribution valve.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Caretaker In-Floor Cleaning System Plumbing

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Where is this single wall port located? It may not actually be a return jet as there are a few things it could be ... like a port for an auto-fill or an equalizer line for a skimmer.

    FYI, when I see people wanting to build a pool with an in-floor system, I highly recommend a completely separate set of wall returns plumbed back to the pump. This is so you can keep circulating water when the in-floor system fails.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Caretaker In-Floor Cleaning System Plumbing

    Thanks for the reply. The return jet is located near the shallow end on the same wall as the skimmer, but about 10-15 feet away from it. (Single skimmer in an about 10x20 pool) To clarify, its most certainly not a skimmer equalizer line as its no where near the skimmer, and only one skimmer port is in use. An auto fill is an interesting idea, I see no provisions left over from that type of system, but that's an interesting thought that I hadn't considered. That said, the port in question is a threaded port, with a standard type 360 degree eyeball jet, so I always assumed it to be a return line to help with the top side circulation.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Caretaker In-Floor Cleaning System Plumbing

    It is not uncommon for extra ports (like for an autofill) to just be plumbed to look just like a normal return jet ... the guys putting in the fittings may not even realize it is different.

    Does there happen to be a lid like for a skimmer on the deck near the hole? ... I am guessing not as you probably would have explored it.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Caretaker In-Floor Cleaning System Plumbing

    To answer your last question, no, nothing on the deck near that port. It truly resembles a factory installed wall return jet.

    I'm going to sound nuts for posting this. This home was originally built by members of the plumbing industry, and has some rather exotic former exterior plumbing. There is a rainspout about 4 foot from the pool, which originally seemed to dump into a plumbed 4 inch drain. But what is interesting, concreted into the ground at that spot are 3 smaller pvc lines (all capped) that appear that at one point they were linked to the roof drains. (Yea, I know it sounds nuts) I always assumed that there was some type of cistern, or rain water retention system there at some point in the past, and though the rainspout and 3 lines are no where at all near the pool pump and related plumbing, your suggestion of an auto fill has really got me thinking now.

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