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Thread: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

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    Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    I just recently got the ultraflex In-ground system working.
    Now I can figure out how to get my skimmer to work with it.
    Whenever I switch the jandy valve to the position for the skimmer the pool pump stops pumping. Pressure goes to 0 on the filter and the in-ground cleaning system stops working.
    The valve on the left controls between the floor and skimmer suction I think.
    The valve on the right I am not sure. I think it controls flow either to the spa overflow or the waterfall.

    I also have a blow hole at the top center of the pool which I am not sure the purpose of.

    The pump on the right is the pool pump. The pump on the left is the spa pump.


    Iím at a loss.. I need help.

    Here are some pictures of my setup.



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    Re: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    It may just be an illusion but it appears the water level is at the very bottom of your skimmer. If the level is in fact that low it could cause the pump to pull partial air from the skimmer. Does the pump basket dry up or show bubbles when running and the valve set to the skimmer??
    24,000 gal In Ground vinyl w attached 1000 gal fiberglass spillover spa; Pureline Prime VS 2.7 HP pump; Hayward S244T sand filter;
    Rheem M8320 heat pump; water sourced from city water; TF100 test kit

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    Alex,

    Well, I gave it my best shot and I'm pretty sure the guy who plumbed it can't tell you how it works...

    See if you can get some pics showing the back side of the filters from both directions.. and, the hardest part, telling us where the output of the filter on the right goes.. The pic shows it going into the ground.. It has to come up somewhere.. I suspect it went to the heater at one time or maybe still does???? Does the heater heat the Pool and Spa or just the spa?

    Maybe turn the flash on... Everything is too dark..

    Thanks,

    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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    Re: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hootz View Post
    It may just be an illusion but it appears the water level is at the very bottom of your skimmer. If the level is in fact that low it could cause the pump to pull partial air from the skimmer. Does the pump basket dry up or show bubbles when running and the valve set to the skimmer??
    Itís silly but you are absolutely right!!
    I filled it up more and it works good.
    I like to have it set half way skimmer and bottom suction.
    I think because I recently changed the skimmer cup to one of those super suction cups it started getting too much air and killed the prime on the pump.
    Thanks is for pointing me in the right direction.

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    I think I almost got the equipment all figured out.
    One thing Iím confused about is there is a cleaner valve button on the control board and remote control.
    It says pool only, spa, and overflow.
    I donít see any valve that turns for this. And Iím not sure if this does anything.

    The valve all the way on the right looks to change flow from regular pool inlet to waterfall.
    The valve on the left is the skimmer/ground suction. Now it works that the pool is full. Iím leaving it in the center so both will have suction.

    I have a couple more manual valves. One is next to the salt cell and ultraflex. It seems to change inlet to the pool flow from the ultraflex in ground cleaner heads to a couple sprayers in the pool. It kind of makes it shower over the pool. At least I think thatís what itís for.
    Would like to somehow know for sure what this valve is for. And what the shower things do for the pool.

    The other manual valve is a cut off for the heater. And another valve is a cutoff for another heater which is no longer there.



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    Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    Alex,

    Well, I gave it my best shot and I'm pretty sure the guy who plumbed it can't tell you how it works...

    See if you can get some pics showing the back side of the filters from both directions.. and, the hardest part, telling us where the output of the filter on the right goes.. The pic shows it going into the ground.. It has to come up somewhere.. I suspect it went to the heater at one time or maybe still does???? Does the heater heat the Pool and Spa or just the spa?

    Maybe turn the flash on... Everything is too dark..

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    I will take some more pics tomorrow for sure.

    The heater heats mainly the spa. Or it can heat both if the main pool pump is also on, from the spa overflow.

    The spa pump/filter goes to the heater. The pool pump/filter does not.

    Unfortunately I have no idea who plumbed it. I bought the house with the pool already built. Itís about 10 years old now.
    When I got the house/pool the heater wasnít working and the in ground cleaning system (ultraflex 2 - 8 port) was not working.
    I replaced the heater (sta-rite 400k btu) and fixed the ultraflex by replacing the motor, sensor and pressure gauge as well as all the seals because it was leaking inside the motor housing.
    Iíve replaced the pool pump motor. I have remanned both pumps with new seals/impeller.
    The pool pump is a Hayward super ii with a 1.5hp motor. The spa pump is a hayward nothstar with a 2hp motor.

    What fun...

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    Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    Here is a picture of the pool pump/filter.
    It clearly goes into the ground. Not sure from there where it goes.

    Behind the filter is the salt cell. And you can see the air blower for the spa.
    Iíll take a picture of the back tomorrow morning.

    Thanks!!


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    Re: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    Just want to throw out my idea for the right hand valve only. My apologies if you already knew this, but it wasn't clear to me from your posts above.

    I'm not sure where the pipe coming out of its left side into the ground goes, but the right side of this valve is very likely supplying water to your in-floor system.

    After the actuated valve, the Ultra Flex is supposed to have a tee for clearing out the lines for start-up or winterization. Check. (The one with the big screw-on cap.)

    Then it should have a pressure gauge/switch. Check. (The white guy sticking up.)

    Then it should go into the ground and come up in the middle of your Ultra Flex 8-port valve. We can't see it do that, but this is the likely line because of the previous 2 pieces above.

    If this is correct and you close that right valve all the way, or rather open it to the left side return only, your floor pop-ups should stop popping up. And something may show new activity, like a waterfall or sprayer, which would tell you what that left pipe into the ground goes to.

    Suggestion: LABEL all these when you figure it out, so the next owner gets it!!


    Added: The cleaner valve button could be connected to this same right side actuator, but will only work if the actuator is in one of the "ON" positions. If it is toggled into the middle/neutral position, the valve will not move when the automation tells it to.
    Last edited by Dodger; 03-10-2018 at 11:05 PM. Reason: added comment about cleaner valve button
    18Kgal play pool+spillover spa, Tahoe Blue Quartzscape refurb June 2017, ~40'x15'
    1.5HP VS JeP, CCP420 cartridge filter, Sta-Rite 400HD, 1.0HP VS JeP for sheer descents
    Caretaker 5-port in-floor system, AP1400 SWCG, Aqualink: RS-8 Combo, iQ20, One-Touch
    K-1005, K-1515 FAS-DPD, K-1766, Taylor 9056 comparator, SpeedStir!

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    Re: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
    Just want to throw out my idea for the right hand valve only. My apologies if you already knew this, but it wasn't clear to me from your posts above.

    I'm not sure where the pipe coming out of its left side into the ground goes, but the right side of this valve is very likely supplying water to your in-floor system.

    After the actuated valve, the Ultra Flex is supposed to have a tee for clearing out the lines for start-up or winterization. Check. (The one with the big screw-on cap.)

    Then it should have a pressure gauge/switch. Check. (The white guy sticking up.)

    Then it should go into the ground and come up in the middle of your Ultra Flex 8-port valve. We can't see it do that, but this is the likely line because of the previous 2 pieces above.

    If this is correct and you close that right valve all the way, or rather open it to the left side return only, your floor pop-ups should stop popping up. And something may show new activity, like a waterfall or sprayer, which would tell you what that left pipe into the ground goes to.

    Suggestion: LABEL all these when you figure it out, so the next owner gets it!!


    Added: The cleaner valve button could be connected to this same right side actuator, but will only work if the actuator is in one of the "ON" positions. If it is toggled into the middle/neutral position, the valve will not move when the automation tells it to.
    Thanks that really makes a lot of sense.
    That valve when turned to the other side it makes the water flow to the waterfall.
    I am documenting the system as it gets figured out. Itís my first pool, and itís kind of complex for me.


    If you notice there is a manual valve behind it. Iím not sure what that one is for exactly.
    When itís turned down the sprayers turn on and when itís turned up Iím not sure what it does.

    Iíll take more pictures tomorrow.

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    Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    Here are some pictures of the back of the pool equipment.
    It may still be a bit dark, I used flash.
    The pipes being painted black donít help the brightness.


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    Re: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    In your 4th picture, from the pump output to the bottom of the filter, is a metal clamp which is holding a temp sensor inserted in a hole in the pipe. This wire goes back to your automation reporting the temperature of your pool water. You probably have another sensor on the spa side plumbing to measure spa temp.

    Back to the Ultraflex cleaner, the pic perspective is still not as good as I'd like, but it appears that you have a bypass plumbed. From one of the 8 ports going into the ground, around 1 o'clock in the top couple of pictures, there is an offshoot that appears to go under the line from the salt cell to the automated "right valve" we were talking about last night. This bypass underneath then connects to the back of the manual valve which had a position you couldn't identify. The reason I think this is a bypass is that there may be a pressure relief valve on the lower part, before it elbows up toward the manual valve. If you can get a better photo of that piece of pipe run, we can probably verify it.

    As I understand this kind of bypass, it helps with back-pressure from the in-floor system.

    For that manual valve, can you confirm the 2 positions? In the position in the pictures, is it correct that the sprayers are on? Or is this the sprayer-off position? And can you take a picture of the other position? I am asking in order to further clarify the cleaner function and apparent bypass.
    18Kgal play pool+spillover spa, Tahoe Blue Quartzscape refurb June 2017, ~40'x15'
    1.5HP VS JeP, CCP420 cartridge filter, Sta-Rite 400HD, 1.0HP VS JeP for sheer descents
    Caretaker 5-port in-floor system, AP1400 SWCG, Aqualink: RS-8 Combo, iQ20, One-Touch
    K-1005, K-1515 FAS-DPD, K-1766, Taylor 9056 comparator, SpeedStir!

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    Re: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    One thing I noticed is that the salt cell seems to be in the loop that went to the pool heater that is now capped and the heater removed. It looks like the valve for that loop is closed and not permitting any output from the salt cell to the pool returns. I have stared at these pictures for a long time and am still not sure where the output from the pool filter comes back out of the ground. With automation and the addition of several features, this pool plumbing is very complex.
    24,000 gal In Ground vinyl w attached 1000 gal fiberglass spillover spa; Pureline Prime VS 2.7 HP pump; Hayward S244T sand filter;
    Rheem M8320 heat pump; water sourced from city water; TF100 test kit

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    Alex,

    Not sure where you are with all this, but as Dodger says the automated valve on the far right side of your equipment pad is the on/off valve to control your in-floor cleaning system.

    In all your pics, that valve is open.. it should only be open when you schedule the in-floor to be working.

    I suggest you shut the in-floor valve off, and then see what all the other valves do... None of your other water features, or returns, will work right with the in-floor system on and hogging all the water.. flow.

    You said above that this valve either select the in-floor or waterfall... That is how it may work, but the normal operation would most likely be In-Floor or Returns??? So just checking..

    BTW.. I now sure that the output of the filter on the right that goes into the ground, goes over to the valve next to the heater that is no longer there, and then back to the flow switch side of the salt cell..

    Do you actually have a waterfall and a spa spillover or are these the same thing?

    Thanks,

    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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    Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    This is the manual valve for the heater that no longer exists. I think itís open.
    I believe it used to be a electric pool heater.



    Here are some more pictures of the valve thatís still a question mark.

    When the valve is in the down position it turns on the sprayers and looks like the in ground cleaning system is off. When itís in the up position Iím not sure but it looks like itís just pumping water back into the pool and the in ground cleaner is working normally. I really canít make sense of it.


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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    Alex...

    You don't leave the in-floor system on all the time... You should be able to push a button on your panel and turn it on/off..

    If you would shut if off you would have a much better chance figuring out what the other valves do...

    Your X-Heater valve is open and just fine..

    Thanks,

    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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    Re: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    Alex...

    You don't leave the in-floor system on all the time... You should be able to push a button on your panel and turn it on/off..

    If you would shut if off you would have a much better chance figuring out what the other valves do...

    Your X-Heater valve is open and just fine..

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    I donít have a button on on the panel for the in floor cleaning system that I know of. Unless itís something with the pool/spa/spillover button.
    The cleaning system does have a pause setting on its own panel though. I can choose 60/45/30/15 or pause.

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    Re: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    Regarding the Ultraflex plumbing, the top-down picture shows me 2 things:

    1) That is almost surely a pressure relief valve in the line that connects one of the 8 Ultraflex ports (around 10 or 11 o'clock in the top-down picture) to the house-side of that manual valve. I couldn't find a picture online, but below is the pressure relief valve I have in my in-floor cleaner bypass line. There is a Flow arrow on it, so you could find that arrow to verify the direction of flow. (In my case, it goes left to right, or large side to tapered down side.)

    Attachment 73557



    2) Continuing to help you understand your equipment, I thought I'd identify another item in your Ultraflex assembly for you.... In the top-down photo, the port at the 9 o'clock position has a check valve (for example https://www.jandy.com/en/products/valves/check - may not be this exact one.)

    It is almost buried in the ground. That most likely indicates that that 9 o'clock port is connected to the pop-ups in your spa, assuming your spa is elevated. When the check valve is functioning properly, it prevents water from draining from the spa back into your plumbing when the pump is off.

    Hope that helps.
    18Kgal play pool+spillover spa, Tahoe Blue Quartzscape refurb June 2017, ~40'x15'
    1.5HP VS JeP, CCP420 cartridge filter, Sta-Rite 400HD, 1.0HP VS JeP for sheer descents
    Caretaker 5-port in-floor system, AP1400 SWCG, Aqualink: RS-8 Combo, iQ20, One-Touch
    K-1005, K-1515 FAS-DPD, K-1766, Taylor 9056 comparator, SpeedStir!

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    Re: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    That helps a ton!
    It can explain why the water from the hot tub sometimes drains back into the pool.
    The hot tub is elevated.



  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexr54 View Post
    I don’t have a button on on the panel for the in floor cleaning system that I know of. Unless it’s something with the pool/spa/spillover button.
    The cleaning system does have a pause setting on its own panel though. I can choose 60/45/30/15 or pause.
    From my reading of the Ultraflex manual, these are timer settings in seconds, allowing you to control how long the valve stays at each station or zone.
    18Kgal play pool+spillover spa, Tahoe Blue Quartzscape refurb June 2017, ~40'x15'
    1.5HP VS JeP, CCP420 cartridge filter, Sta-Rite 400HD, 1.0HP VS JeP for sheer descents
    Caretaker 5-port in-floor system, AP1400 SWCG, Aqualink: RS-8 Combo, iQ20, One-Touch
    K-1005, K-1515 FAS-DPD, K-1766, Taylor 9056 comparator, SpeedStir!

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone help me understand my pool equipment?

    Alex,

    You should be able to turn the automated valve on the far right of your equipment pad, by pushing a button on your panel.. That is why it is there..

    Just as a test, you can reach behind or on the side of your actuator and find a little switch.. It is an "ON - OFF - ON" toggle switch... Note where the switch is, (it should be one side or the other) and then move it to the opposite side. If the actuator is good and connected to your panel, it will move 180 degrees... Try it and tell us what happens...

    Thanks,

    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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