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Thread: Couple of Questions

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    Couple of Questions

    Hello- just moved into a house back in October with a pool that was built in the 1970's. I maintained a pool growing up- but it has been a long time and I am getting back into the game. This pool has a sand filter (which I have no experience with). I recently replaced the booster pump as well.

    Couple of questions/observations that I could use some guidance on. Any help would be much appreciated:

    1. I am getting no suction in the strainer. My strainer basket floats in the strainer regardless of whether the pump is on or not.
    2. Leaves, leaves, leaves. I have several large red oaks that drop leaves like crazy. Do they make leaf covers? Should I just put a winter cover on it (which is what we did when I was younger- I am in central Texas).
    3. I cannot figure out where my sand filter backwashes too. There is a PVC pipe coming off the multi-port that has a large valve (in the off position) that turns into black rubber pipe and goes into the ground. I haven't backwashed since I moved in back in October- since I grew up with a cartridge type filter, I am out of my element on this sand filter stuff. Also- the pressure gauge is not registering any pressure. It may be broken or there is no pressure.
    4. I am not getting any water movement in any of the in-wall jets except for the one that the polaris is hooked into to and one in-wall jet right next to it which is sucking. The other two have no water movement at all.

    Thanks ahead for your ideas and help-
    sell wow gold sell wow gold

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    New2Me's Avatar
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    Re: Couple of Questions

    Hello, and welcome! Hate to answer questions with more, but...
    1. Valves control the flow to/from the pump(s) 1 picture is worth 1000 words! "Strainer basket" do you mean the pool wall skimmer, or the pump mounted strainer? If water is moving, then the pump mounted one must have flow through it. The wall skimmer is probably valved out, suction is from main drain only.
    2. Leaf nets are available.
    3. I have seen many backwash lines hooked into rain gutter drains, I wouldn't worry so much about it as the pressure reading. Sand filters are very easy to maintain, once you understand the basics.
    4. It reads like you have a booster pump for the polaris that has its own suction? Or you have a strange valve set-up.
    Pool School would probably be a good read for you, too, to re-fresh. More info on your equipment in your signature, and pictures, would also help. You'll find LOTS of help here!
    Good Luck!!!
    22 x 40 IG vinyl lined, 23,570 gal.
    1 hp. Pac-Fab Challenger pump 300# sand filter
    Intex 8110 SWG, Hayward CL220 offline feeder
    Hayward 250K Btu gas heater
    Aquabots

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Couple of Questions

    Welcome to TFP!

    Have you manually primed the main pump? It is possible that the pump started dry, and hasn't been able to draw any water. Open up the pump strainer basket and make sure it is full of water. If the pump basket is dry, fill it with water, close it up and try again.

    There might be valves that control water flow to various places. You should locate all of the valves and see if you can figure out what each one does. It is possible that the skimmers are controlled by valves that are turned off. The same thing could be happening to the returns other than the ones the polaris is using.

    If freezing isn't an issue, you might want to try a leaf net. It goes over the pool like a cover, but lets air and rain through. It will catch all the leaves and allow you to haul them out fairly easily.
    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: Couple of Questions

    Sorry, a little clarification. The strainer basket I am referring to is the one that is poolside (pool wall skimmer?). The basket just floats and no sucking- is there supposed to be any suction through the pool wall skimmer?. The strainer attached to my pump is fine and clear- I have emptied out the leaves from the pump strainer and the pump is pulling water through it (and it appears to be operating normally).

    Where would the valves typically be? I see that I have three lines with valves coming into one line that then feeds into the pump strainer (and then the pump). They are all in the "open" position. Would there be any other valves for returns?

    I know a picture is probably worth a thousand words- I will see if I can get one taken and posted.
    sell wow gold sell wow gold

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    New2Me's Avatar
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    Re: Couple of Questions

    When I close for the winter, I put on the winter cover, and then a leaf net to keep leaves from accumulating on the cover.
    The skimmer is attached to the pool, and typically has a debris basket in it(your strainer basket.) Reads like you have: maindrain(s), skimmer, and a wall inlet to your pump, each with a shut-off valve. On the outlet. or discharge side of the pump you should have your sand filter, which discharges to the pool(returns.) There is probably a valve(s) in this line to select whether water returns only to the Polaris hook-up pool return, or the "normal" wall returns, or both. Again, a picture is very helpful.
    To determine which valve/inlet line is which will require a little trial and error, operating the valves and watching what happens.
    With the pump running, slowly close one valve, if the pump starts making a dramatically different sound, re-open it. if not check to see if you now have suction from the skimmer and still from the wall inlet.
    Re-open the first valve and repeat the process for the other two valves. You should be able to determine what each valve/pipe is. If only one valve causes the pump to starve, then you may have plugged lines on the other two. Good Luck!
    22 x 40 IG vinyl lined, 23,570 gal.
    1 hp. Pac-Fab Challenger pump 300# sand filter
    Intex 8110 SWG, Hayward CL220 offline feeder
    Hayward 250K Btu gas heater
    Aquabots

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    Join Date
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    Re: Couple of Questions

    Welcome to TFP!!

    The others have you pointed in the right direction re. valves, leafnets, backwash line, read Pool School!, etc.

    2 things I want to mention:

    1) What is the water level vs. the skimmer opening? If it's too high the float inside may not get sucked down, defeating the purpose of the skimmer. Also high water may not show suction when there actually is some.

    2) The pressure gauge is probably broken, please get a new one installed. While it's possible to run a filter system without a working gauge, having a working one can tell you if you're about to damage the system when you're turning the valves - if you run the pump with no suction lines open you could burn out the pump or melt some of the parts, if you run with no returns open you could break something with the pressure backup! Please remember that valves can malfunction or have the handles put on wrong so you think the valve is open when it's really closed

    Again, welcome here, we'll be here to help you all we can (pics REALLY help towards that end ) Give Pool School a good read - there's an article there on filter maintenance which might help you with your sand filter. Keep posting and we'll keep answering
    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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