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Thread: Pumps below water level?

  1. Back To Top    #1
    ateam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    San Antonio, TX

    Pumps below water level?

    Moved to a new house with an existing pool.

    I got a little surprise when I opened the top of the main pump to get some leaves out of the basket. Itís apparently below the water level and water started gushing out of the pump. The pressure was too great for me to get the lid back on so I had to close the valves for the skimmers and the main drain to stop the water flow. Disaster averted.

    The problem I am facing is I have a few pumps for water walls that also have leaves in the baskets, but Iím afraid to open them. The donít have cutoff valves on the suction side, only the exit side. Seems like those valves wouldnít do anything to stop the flow.

    I posted a pic so you can see what I mean.

    How am I supposed to clean out the leaves without draining the whole pool?


    in-ground pool/spa with spill over, plaster/pebble, multiple waterfalls
    4x Pentair pumps, Pentair DE filter, Pentair Heater, Auto-fill
    Completed 2011, TF-100 test kit w/ Speedstir

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio

    Re: Pumps below water level?

    Wow, that's a lot of pumps. Are you pushing water to Six Flags? Okay, how about this...... Since you don't have shut-off valves for each pump, can you plug the suction at the skimmer(s)? Maybe a tennis ball or rubber plug that fits specifically into your skimmer(s)? Then you'd only lose a little bit of water from the line. Much like above ground pool owners have to do. Some may even use a skimmer faceplate for that purpose.
    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
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Bedford, TX

    Re: Pumps below water level?


    Where do the extra pumps get their water???

    In my mind, they would not get it from your main pump skimmers..

    Do you have separate skimmers for them or do you have some special wall or floor ports???

    If you can find them, then stopping them up, as Pat has suggested, would be what I would try to do..


    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    TFP Guide
    PoolGate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Damascus, MD

    Re: Pumps below water level?

    Wow! Your electric bill must be enormous when these are all running! I have a single pump for 2 water features and all the returns.
    29k Gallon Free Form Gunite Pool, 3 floor returns, 2 wall returns, 1 vacuum pressure port, 2 skimmers, Main drain, Jandy 2.7HP VSP, Jandy JXI400N Gas Heater, Jandy CV340 Cartridge Filter, FusionSoft 1400 SWG, 2 Watercolors LED, iAqualink with PDA, Sheer Waterfall, Rock Waterfall, 9' Deep End w/Diving Board, SunDeck, Polaris 9650iQ, TF-100 - Pool Build - 2017 - Google Photos

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    JodieM's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
    Brownsburg, IN
    Pool Built June 2018,
    16x32, 20K, IG vinyl,
    2 speed Jandy Pro Plus Pump, Jandy JS Sand Filter, Jandy Tru-Clear SWG,
    JANDY JXI POOL HEATER/260K BTU, Polaris 280 + Booster, TF 100 Test Kit

  6. Back To Top    #6

    TFP Guide

    bmoreswim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Central MD

    Re: Pumps below water level?

    I agree those are the most practical solutions for the current situation. If a PB had been on the ball, would they have installed check valves to keep the reverse flow from happening?
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking | Merlin SmartMesh winter safety cover
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Pumps below water level?

    Are you sure that the pumps are below the water level?

    Maybe the main pump suction was on Spa, which is higher and would cause the problem.

    The waterfall discharge would probably backflow some because the waterfalls are probably higher than the pump, but you can close the discharge valve to stop the backflow .
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