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Thread: Help identifying pipes and valves

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    Help identifying pipes and valves

    Hello all. This is a first post, but I have been learning and applying the BBB method from this site for about a month with good results. I moved into a house with a pool, my first pool, about 1 month ago, also.

    So, first water bill comes in... $260 for 30 days. That is at least 3x more than at my previous home with about the same amount of lawn. So, off I go to see where I am wasting all my water.

    I would like to confirm my understanding of the plumbing setup of my pool so if I discover some leaking water I can identify the source. I've attached a picture with some labeling to see if my understanding is correct. Please let me know if I have something wrong.
    Pool facts:
    - In ground, chlorine
    - 9 ft. deepest, 3-4 ft. shallow. Estimated at 21,000
    - Fairly large spa, elevated about 2-3 feet above the pool water line
    - Pool has 1 drain, spa seems to have 2
    - 2 skimmers, 1 vacuum
    - the pool seems to have 1 main return jet that has a very high flow rate and several other returns that are limited in power
    - Spa has about 5-6 jets with an air blower
    - Located in Dallas, Texas... and it's still very hot

    1. Skimmer 1 input?
    2. Skimmer 2 input?
    3. Pool drain input?
    4. Valve for 1 and 2 input
    5. Value for 3 input
    6. Spa drain 1 input?
    7. Spa drain 2 input?
    8. Valve for 6. and 7. and also previous inputs
    9. Pump output
    10. Cartridge filter input (operating at 18psi, BTW)
    11. Cartridge filter output
    12. Heater Input (Gas heater)
    13. Heater Output
    14. Output value
    15. Main pool return jet?
    16. Spa return jet?
    17. Spa return jet 2?
    18. Booster output for vacuum
    19. Control panel
    20. Fresh water faucet connected to a pipe that goes underground. Not sure where this one goes.

    So, I shut off the faucet at location 20. and put a bucket in the pool matching the water line to see what the difference is tonight.
    Question: How is the faucet at location 20. used? Does the pool place fresh water in at timed intervals? Does it have a sensor?

    Here is another angle, just in case you need a different perspective.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Help identifying pipes and valves

    Hmm... Images did not show up on my computer. Trying this again.

    Here is the main image:

    For additional views:

  3. Back To Top    #3
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: Help identifying pipes and valves

    Looks like you have everything identified pretty well except for the return. The spa vs pool lines should be easily identifiable by the valve location when in pool or spa mode. The valves appear to be partially on for 15 & 6/7 so I am guessing those are for the spa. 16/17 must be for the pool. What do the valves look like in spa mode?

    The fill line could be going to an autofill. Do you have one near the pool?
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Help identifying pipes and valves

    I did not realize the arms of the valve move when switch on, even though it seems obvious now. I will check it out.

    I don't have an autofill in the pool that I can find, meaning I do not see any machine hanging over the pool with an outlet to supply fresh water. If the fresh water is entering the pool it is happening through a jet under the waterline.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Help identifying pipes and valves

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Only thing I see "off" is that likely 15 is the spa return, like Mark mentioned.

    Auto-fills are generally underwater. Many have a float valve in a bucket that has a lid that looks like the skimmer lid in the deck. Turning off 20 and the bucket test should tell you if the pool is the water culprit.
    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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  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Help identifying pipes and valves

    Many thanks for the replies. I will check it out this afternoon and report back with results.

    Edit with the results.

    Inconclusive. The difference from the bucket and the pool water line was fairly small ~0.25 inch, and that is probably in the measurement error range of my methods. I may try a more accurate measurement in the next few days, but this is probably not the cause of my extra water loss.

    I estimate 4-5k gallons lost per month due to evaporation, but I'm looking for more like 20,000 lost. On to check the sprinklers.

    An interesting note. My CYA levels were 90-100 when I started and now they are down to 40-50, but I never drained the pool. Assuming CYA doesn't leave the pool through evaporation I could have the case of an over zealous autofill system. But I see no evidence of that in the form of water draining to the alley. I find it interesting that the CYA level can change so drastically in a 20k+ gallon pool.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Southeast Louisiana

    Re: Help identifying pipes and valves

    Was that .25 of loss from 24 hours, or a shorter period of time?

    Slidell, Louisiana (near New Orleans) 11,000gal kidney shaped Trilogy fiberglass pool Intelliflo VS Triton TR100 filter Easytouch 4 w/IC20 SWCG Polaris 280

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Help identifying pipes and valves

    Quote Originally Posted by mcaswell
    Was that .25 of loss from 24 hours, or a shorter period of time?

    That was about 15 hours or so, but my measurement system was flawed. I'm setting up a new one this weekend that will be much more accurate.

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