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Thread: Opening up "flow"handles - low pressure

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    Opening up "flow"handles - low pressure

    Hello:

    I have checked everything I possibly know to determine why the pressure on the jets has gone down. I am 99% sure its nothing to do with the filter because the pressure stays low even when bypassing the filter. Its a brand new pump working fine - no blockage there or in skimmer. The only thing I have not done is open up the "flow handle mechanisms (see photos attached) to see if there's a blockage in there. I'm reluctant to do that because I can just imagine some spring bouncing out of there or something - Is it ok to unscrew the tops of these units and look inside for bloackage?

    Thanks in Advance
    Tim
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    Researching pools - future pool owner! (hoping for inground, gunite/concrete, 18'-22' x 38'-42' approx, hot tub)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Opening up "flow"handles - low pressure

    Sure, you can open up the valves and check them if you need to. It takes a bit of work, but isn't all that difficult. That isn't the first place I would check, however. Make sure that the pump strainer basket is full of water. A lot of air in the pump strainer basket could cause that exact problem. Second, is there anything on the suction side of the pump that could be blocking the flow, any valves that let you pick between skimmer and drain that are off by accident, or anything like that? Another possibility at this time of year would be a winterizing plug left in the skimmer by accident.
    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

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    Re: Opening up "flow"handles - low pressure

    is there anything on the suction side of the pump that could be blocking the flow, any valves that let you pick between skimmer and drain that are off by accident, or anything like that?

    I don't think so, this problem occurred during vaccuming, so I'm wondering if I vacuumed up something that's clogging the flow somewhere... I had the pump filter basket in place but not the skimmer basket... That may have not been a good idea?
    Researching pools - future pool owner! (hoping for inground, gunite/concrete, 18'-22' x 38'-42' approx, hot tub)

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    Re: Opening up "flow"handles - low pressure

    A lot of air in the pump strainer basket could cause that exact problem.

    There is some air bubbles at the top, but not much, however I have noticed that when I prime the pump & open up the filter guage to let air out, it never seems to get all the air out... is that unusual or a problem?

    Thanks for your help by the way
    Researching pools - future pool owner! (hoping for inground, gunite/concrete, 18'-22' x 38'-42' approx, hot tub)

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    Re: Opening up "flow"handles - low pressure

    any valves that let you pick between skimmer and drain that are off by accident, or anything like that

    The only valve that lets me pick between skimmer and drain is the one attached and its in the middle now which I think is the right place to have both skimmer and bottom drain open... but I'll play with that and see if I'm wrong
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    Researching pools - future pool owner! (hoping for inground, gunite/concrete, 18'-22' x 38'-42' approx, hot tub)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Opening up "flow"handles - low pressure

    If the handle is installed correctly, that valve is open to all three pipes, which should mean draw from both drain and skimmer.

    If you were vacuuming, it is possible for debris to have gotten caught in several places. Take a look under the pump stainer basket and see if there is anything you can remove there.

    One way to clear out the pipes is to get something called a drain king (or make something similar by wrapping a rag around the end of a garden hose) and try flushing out the pipes from the inlet pipe inside the pump back towards the skimmer and drain. When doing this, you should turn the drain/skimmer valve to skimmer only.
    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

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    Re: Opening up "flow"handles - low pressure

    I tried the Drain King thing this AM... did not do the trick... Does anyone have any other suggestions b4 I reluctantly break down and call a pool service company
    Researching pools - future pool owner! (hoping for inground, gunite/concrete, 18'-22' x 38'-42' approx, hot tub)

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    Re: Opening up "flow"handles - low pressure

    You say this happened after vacuuming, what sort of debris was it? You may have been sucking up pine needles or those pollen chains which can, and will, bypass the skimmer and pump baskets and clog the impeller.

    If you need any help on checking the impeller, let us know, and please tell us what kind of pump it is
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Opening up "flow"handles - low pressure

    I would also open the air bleed on the filter. My system will push water out faster than it can suck it in when it's 100% to the vacuum. I usually have to let the air out when I'm done. Then pressures normalize and the pump sounds normal again.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Opening up "flow"handles - low pressure

    You say this happened after vacuuming, what sort of debris was it? You may have been sucking up pine needles or those pollen chains which can, and will, bypass the skimmer and pump baskets and clog the impeller.

    thanks for the suggestion - this is a bit of a unique situation.... We had an old pump that I used during the pool opening... During vaccuming for the opening, the pressure went down... that pump was the original (10 years old) and making all kinds of noise, so I bit the bullet and got a new Pentair Whisperflo, thinking that would correct the problem - so the clogging of the empellor would have impacted the old pump, not the new

    Well, the problem persists -
    Researching pools - future pool owner! (hoping for inground, gunite/concrete, 18'-22' x 38'-42' approx, hot tub)

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    Re: Opening up "flow"handles - low pressure

    I would also open the air bleed on the filter. My system will push water out faster than it can suck it in when it's 100% to the vacuum. I usually have to let the air out when I'm done. Then pressures normalize and the pump sounds normal again.

    Not sure I'm following you here, I open the air bleed when I prime the pump - but if I were to leave it open, water would just continue to gush out
    Researching pools - future pool owner! (hoping for inground, gunite/concrete, 18'-22' x 38'-42' approx, hot tub)

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Opening up "flow"handles - low pressure

    Quote Originally Posted by treebeard056
    I would also open the air bleed on the filter. My system will push water out faster than it can suck it in when it's 100% to the vacuum. I usually have to let the air out when I'm done. Then pressures normalize and the pump sounds normal again.

    Not sure I'm following you here, I open the air bleed when I prime the pump - but if I were to leave it open, water would just continue to gush out
    Same operation, just crack it a bit to be sure there's no air trapped inside.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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