AA Mfg Pop-up Cleaners Not Rotating

Dec 30, 2018
18
0
Phx AZ
#1
I have a six station A&A Manufacturing pop-up cleaning system and some of the pop-up heads are not rotating. The filter has been flushed and the water pressure is good in the system. I replaced all the T-valves in the actuator and rebuild / replaced the gears. Some of the heads on the same circuit rotate and others do not. I took out the heads that weren't rotating and allowed the system to flush out any debris in the lines. I then cleaned the heads and lubed the orings of each head and tested the spring mechanism by pushing on the bottom. They all rotate manually when I push up on the spring. I reinstalled them and they still don't rotate. I even put them in a different location and they still don't rotate. Is there any other type of maintenance or repair for these heads that I'm missing?
 
Dec 30, 2018
18
0
Phx AZ
#3
Are you the original owner of the pool, if so the heads should be warrantied for life. Even when they rotate manually your heads could be bad
Unfortunately I'm not the original owner. I'm curious to know what can go bad on the heads and if it can be corrected. Ratchet mechanism appears to be functional and not worn when depressed manually. Spring could wear over time and loose it's tensile strength thus not snapping down. Has anyone ever replaced springs and would this correct the problem of not rotating?
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
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Jun 23, 2009
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#4
You say "water pressure is good in the system", can you tell us what the filter pressure is?
Can you tell us what the pressure gauge on the distributor is?

Do both pressure gauges go to zero when the system is off?
Does the pressure at the distributor fluctuate when it's running as it changes zones?
 
Dec 30, 2018
18
0
Phx AZ
#5
You say "water pressure is good in the system", can you tell us what the filter pressure is?
Can you tell us what the pressure gauge on the distributor is?

Do both pressure gauges go to zero when the system is off?
Does the pressure at the distributor fluctuate when it's running as it changes zones?
The pressure on the filter operates between 10-14 psi. There is no gauge on the distributor. The filter pressure fluctuates slightly when changing zones. When the system is shut off the pressure drops to zero.
 

kadavis

In The Industry
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Apr 5, 2015
1,426
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tucson, arizona
#6
That seems like low pressure for a infloor cleaning system. Since you didn't fill out your signature with your equipment list I'm not sure what pump you have or if there is any valves that are bypassing the cleaning actuator. Usually the springs get worn and don't push the head up all the way, if the head doesn't come up all the way it won't rotate. Usually the pressure on the A&A system is between 22-28 lbs.
 
Dec 30, 2018
18
0
Phx AZ
#7
That seems like low pressure for a infloor cleaning system. Since you didn't fill out your signature with your equipment list I'm not sure what pump you have or if there is any valves that are bypassing the cleaning actuator. Usually the springs get worn and don't push the head up all the way, if the head doesn't come up all the way it won't rotate. Usually the pressure on the A&A system is between 22-28 lbs.
I replaced a pump which operated close to 26-30 psi filter pressure and it still had the problem with the pop ups. The pump I have now is a 2HP and operates at 3450 RPM with a flow rate of 97 GPM. There is no by-pass valve to the cleaning actuator. I would think the spring becomes weaker over time and the system can push it up but it may not snap down. If the springs could be the issue can they be replaced? The heads I have replaced so far are operating fine which points to the old heads being an issue.
 

jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
204
0
Gilbert, AZ
#8
I replaced a pump which operated close to 26-30 psi filter pressure and it still had the problem with the pop ups. The pump I have now is a 2HP and operates at 3450 RPM with a flow rate of 97 GPM. There is no by-pass valve to the cleaning actuator. I would think the spring becomes weaker over time and the system can push it up but it may not snap down. If the springs could be the issue can they be replaced? The heads I have replaced so far are operating fine which points to the old heads being an issue.
When shasta owned their own pool stores (since sold to Leslie’s), they had techs in their store who used to rebuild cleaning heads under warranty rather than replace them. That was for A&A type 1 heads which I still have. I don’t know if they ever did that for subsequent cleaning head designs. However, I don’t ever remember them replacing the spring (it could have happened but I don’t remember it), it was the plastic parts that wore and were replaced.

If a a spring is not returning a head, I believe you should visibly see that when you look at the popups. I’m thinking more like Kadavis, that the pressure isn’t sufficient to raise them far enough to ratchet. My system is currently operating well at 12psi, but from what I have seen on the boards, that low psi seems to be an exception. Getting max filter 14psi with your pump running at 3450 sounds extremely low. Have the popups ever work correctly since you acquired the property? Are you positive there is no other possible “bypass” of the cleaning manifold which could be partially open?
 

chiefwej

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TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,219
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Tucson
#9
If they aren’t rotating, it is usually a matter of them not popping up enough. In could be just not enough pressure on the system. Are the heads the type with adjustable openings? If so reduce the opening you are using on the offending heads.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
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Jun 23, 2009
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#10
As stated above 10 to 14 psi isn't enough pressure for the AA system to operate properly. The 26 to 30 psi of the old pump is about right.

Have you switched some heads that work with some that aren't working to make sure it's not the location?
 
Dec 30, 2018
18
0
Phx AZ
#11
Replaced heads with new ones and they work so I don't think its related to pressure. Here's a picture of the system. There's a diverter valve for the drain/skimmer but none for the cleaner.

pool system.jpg
 

jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
204
0
Gilbert, AZ
#12
Joe, I am not an expert in pool systems but I know my In-Floor-Cleaning-System (IFCS) system extremely well. So, bear with me...the photo shows a T after your chlorination device. From the photo I cannot see where that other side goes (is it capped off?). I assume one side goes to your cleaning manifold via underground and the other side goes? (nowhere if capped). Was there ever a valve at that juncture to your knowledge?

Do do you have ANY wall return fixtures? If you do, how are they fed? My understanding is that in some IFCS systems, the wall returns are fed by one of the ports out of the cleaning manifold. Apparently some IFCSs have no wall returns. Which is the case for your system?

Your popups apparently work after replacement but there is a reason that all of us with IFCSs keep asking about pressure...it is one of the key components to the proper operation of the popups. Based on your numbers (and understanding mine), I still think your system has an issue that did not exist when you had your previous pump installed...something has changed...it’s also possible your psi readings have an issue as Bama Rambler hinted when he asked about your gauges readings when stopped.

IF your system really does require your pump to run at full speed to get the pressures you are stating...then it is a very poorly designed IFCS and would be a poster child for why IFCSs have a poor reputation on these boards. I received a lot of help from the experts and other users on these boards when I started an ongoing process of experimenting with my IFCS. If your previous pump showed a PSI of close to close to 30, your current pump should be able to get close unless, as I stated before, something else has changed. I suspect your new popups are just baaarrrely working...and you will have future problems if you don’t find the real culprit for your IFCS problems.

I don’t think your IFCS is a poster child based on the fact that you told us your previous pump gave pressures close to 30psi at the filter. So keep working with us if us if you think something is still not right.

A final couple questions...from the photo I am not positive what size your piping is...is it 1.5” or 2”...including the 6 zone pipes exiting the bottom of your valve manifold? Were the T-valves you replaced the 2” or 1.5” versions.
 
Dec 30, 2018
18
0
Phx AZ
#13
joe, i am not an expert in pool systems but i know my in-floor-cleaning-system (ifcs) system extremely well. So, bear with me...the photo shows a t after your chlorination device. From the photo i cannot see where that other side goes (is it capped off?). I assume one side goes to your cleaning manifold via underground and the other side goes? (nowhere if capped). Was there ever a valve at that juncture to your knowledge?
Jk: One side of the t goes to the cleaning system and the other goes to the aerator. There is a valve to turn off/on the aerator.

Do do you have any wall return fixtures? If you do, how are they fed? My understanding is that in some ifcs systems, the wall returns are fed by one of the ports out of the cleaning manifold. Apparently some ifcss have no wall returns. Which is the case for your system?
Jk: There are two wall returns in the ifcs.

Your popups apparently work after replacement but there is a reason that all of us with ifcss keep asking about pressure...it is one of the key components to the proper operation of the popups. Based on your numbers (and understanding mine), i still think your system has an issue that did not exist when you had your previous pump installed...something has changed...it’s also possible your psi readings have an issue as bama rambler hinted when he asked about your gauges readings when stopped.
If your system really does require your pump to run at full speed to get the pressures you are stating...then it is a very poorly designed ifcs and would be a poster child for why ifcss have a poor reputation on these boards. I received a lot of help from the experts and other users on these boards when i started an ongoing process of experimenting with my ifcs. If your previous pump showed a psi of close to close to 30, your current pump should be able to get close unless, as i stated before, something else has changed. I suspect your new popups are just baaarrrely working...and you will have future problems if you don’t find the real culprit for your ifcs problems.
Jk: Not sure why the psi dropped so much after i replaced the pump. I believe they both have similar specifications (2hp, 3450 rpm). Gpm on the new is 97 but not sure what the old one was.

I don’t think your ifcs is a poster child based on the fact that you told us your previous pump gave pressures close to 30psi at the filter. So keep working with us if us if you think something is still not right.

A final couple questions...from the photo i am not positive what size your piping is...is it 1.5” or 2”...including the 6 zone pipes exiting the bottom of your valve manifold? Were the t-valves you replaced the 2” or 1.5” versions.
Jk: Piping is 2", not sure what the size is from the cleaning manifold as they are not visible. I agree the pressure is marginal. Any advice on how to increase the pressure is appreciated.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
293
0
Palm Desert, CA
#14
I have a similar system, though Joe I’m not clear in what heads you’re using?

As for pressure, many A&A IFCS valve locations don’t have a pressure gauge on them (like Caretaker system), but with a clean filter my filter pressure is 12psi at 2800rpm (approx 52gpm) and I get plenty of pressure to Pop open heads and rotate (QC1 heads). My filter pressure can be 12-18psi and that is more than sufficient for IFCS.

When I throttle back to 1800rpm (6-8psi, 33gpm) heads barely pop up half way and do not rotate.

My heads are almost 4 years old and I took one apart to see how they operate. If/when I get your issue I’m just going to replace the heads as I’ve yet to find user replaceable parts for them. I don’t think the spring is the culprit. The plastic bottom piece comes off easily and then the centering of the spring and plastic rotater gets out of balance.

You’re pushing a lot of pressure with your pump, so I doubt pressure will be an issue—as you’ve found. I have a VS pump so finding the most efficient speed took a bit of work and swimming to just feel the water pressure pumping out at each head.
 

jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
204
0
Gilbert, AZ
#15
KD, you are right…Joe’s system could be very similar to ours. Our A&A systems operate effectively at lower pressures (12-18psi). The problem is that in Joe’s system, currently he CANNOT attain higher pressures. If you and I raise our variable speed pump RPMs to 3450, we will see pressures of 25-30+ psi at our filter…the PSI at the filter will roughly correspond to the PSI at the cleaning manifold as long as there are no open valves that bypass (or partially bypass) the cleaning manifold. Joe’s replies indicate that there are no open valves in his system that bypass the manifold.

Joe’s system previously COULD attain the higher pressures when running the pump at high RPM, so as I have said couple times…something has changed. Joe it would help if you could you post your system’s parameters in your signature: what type of pump do you have (model, variable/single speed), what kind of A&A popups? Look through this catalog to determine:

http://aamfg.com/brochures/AAMFG.2016.pdf page 26 for head types

I replaced a pump which operated close to 26-30 psi filter pressure and it still had the problem with the pop ups. The pump I have now is a 2HP and operates at 3450 RPM with a flow rate of 97 GPM. There is no by-pass valve to the cleaning actuator. I would think the spring becomes weaker over time and the system can push it up but it may not snap down. If the springs could be the issue can they be replaced? The heads I have replaced so far are operating fine which points to the old heads being an issue.
Joe, your numbers (10-14 psi, 3450 RPM, especially the 97 GPM number) correspond roughly to a system that has NO popups between the pump and the pool…it is as if the water is running unrestricted through your cleaning system. But popups SHOULD restrict the flow and DO require a minimum pressure to rotate (10-16 psi, yours is barely meeting this). The (generally) higher PSI requirements are what achieve the “throw” necessary to reach all corners of the pool. The PSI is the force behind which the water “blasts out” of the popups. Lower PSI corresponds to less force and therefore less reach. Depending on the actual design of your IFCS, you may or may not see problems with the reach of your popups at 12-14psi. I suspect you will, and that there will be deadspots in your pool that popups won’t reach. It will be very noticeable when we get one of our Arizona dust monsoons.

Joe, since we have ruled out an open valve bypassing the cleaning manifold, the most likely culprit of the low PSI is that you have replaced your cleaning heads with ones that have a larger orifice size, or that possibly you have not properly adjusted your orifice for those heads that have an adjustable orifice (as Chiefwej pointed out). That depends on what type of A&A cleaning head you have. This would ONLY affect those zones which SHOULD have popups which include a smaller orifice (zones that have some steps, shelves, etc). If you have replaced those “smaller orifice” popups (or not properly adjusted the orifice), with larger orifice popups, you will see lower pressure and higher GPMs for ONLY THOSE particular zones. NOTE: the zone that “IS” the pool wall returns will almost certainly have lower pressure and higher GPMs than the other zones unless your wall return fixtures are very restrictive (have small holes).

EDIT: I suggest that you map out your heads/zones by watching your IFCS go through one cycle. Keep track of the number of heads and locations of the popups for each zone. Also record the PSIs/gpm for each of those zones (they will have min & max values for each). This would immediately resolve whether or not popup orifices are the issue.

IF the popup orifices are not the culprit, there are some other (less likely) possibilities since you replaced the internals of the manifold. Here are the ones I can think of:


  1. One of the T-valves you replaced is not properly positioned and/or possibly defective, resulting that it is always partially open and allowing water flow through it. This is a similar case to the “open” valve that we were initially searching for that would bypass your cleaning system manifold.
  2. Could you have mistakenly put a 5-port cam into your 6-port manifold? This would result in adjacent zones (to the active one) being “slightly” open all the time, reducing pressure and increasing gpm through the cleaning system. http://aamfg.com/brochures/AAMFG.2016.pdf page 38 bottom
  3. This one is a reach, extremely unlikely, and maybe not even possible…could 1.5” T-Valves have been put into the manifold replacing 2” T-Valves? This would result in bypass leakage through all the zones, again the result would be decreased pressure and increased GPM.



Those are the possibilities that I can think of…I can’t think of others right off the bat. Joe, let us know if any of these might apply to your situation.
 
Dec 30, 2018
18
0
Phx AZ
#16
The sequence of repairs occurred as follows:
The gears were getting worn in the cleaning system so I replaced them and the paddle. No change to the system PSI. A month later the pump shorted out during a rain storm causing me to replace it with one of similar specifications. The PSI dropped from about 28 to 12 at this time with the new pump. A few weeks later I noticed a worn out T-valve in the cleaning system that was sticking open so I replaced it and the other T-valves.

The new motor is what is causing the drop in PSI. Either the specifications are misstated or I may have miswired it. The owners manual states max rate at 2HP and full rate is 1 1/2 HP. I never seen a motor spec'd this way so maybe someone can clue me in what this means. I will check the motor wiring again to ensure its not operating on 110V versus 220V.

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12K gallon/Pebbletec/2004/25x15 kidney playpool/A&A in-floor cleaning, Style II popups
Whisperflo 2HP 3450 RPM single speed pump for waterfall, Extreme Power 2HP 3450 RPM single speed pump for pool
30" Jandy sand filter, Jandy slide valve, 2" piping, Nature Soft chlorinating system.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
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Jun 23, 2009
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#17
It's common especially for pool pump motors to be uprated to make the numbers look good. Motors have two numbers that need to be taken into consideration when figuring HP. Rated horsepower (HP) and service factor (SF). If you have a motor rated at 2 hp and has a SF of 1 that's a max rated motor. However you can have the same motor with a HP of 1½ and a SF of 1.34 you have a full rated 1½ hp motor but it's the same motor as the 2 hp max-rated motor. Yeah, it's confusing!

That sheds some light on the subject. What was the mfg. and model of the pump you replaced?
I bet it was a larger hp pump and that may be contributing to the popup problem.
 
Dec 30, 2018
18
0
Phx AZ
#18
It's common especially for pool pump motors to be uprated to make the numbers look good. Motors have two numbers that need to be taken into consideration when figuring HP. Rated horsepower (HP) and service factor (SF). If you have a motor rated at 2 hp and has a SF of 1 that's a max rated motor. However you can have the same motor with a HP of 1½ and a SF of 1.34 you have a full rated 1½ hp motor but it's the same motor as the 2 hp max-rated motor. Yeah, it's confusing!

That sheds some light on the subject. What was the mfg. and model of the pump you replaced?
I bet it was a larger hp pump and that may be contributing to the popup problem.
Thanks for the explanation Dave. The SF on the old motor was 1.1 whereas the new is 1.0. The old motor was actually a little on the high pressure side so if I get the new one figured out than it should be a good range. Specifications of my pool system are below.

motor specs.jpg
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12K gallon/Pebbletec/2004/25x15 kidney playpool/A&A in-floor cleaning, Style II popups
Whisperflo 2HP 3450 RPM SF 1.1 single speed pump for waterfall, Extreme Power 2HP 3450 RPM SF 1.0 single speed pump for pool
30" Jandy sand filter, Jandy slide valve, 2" piping, Nature Soft chlorinating system.