Are my valves set to the proper openings?

mprzybylski

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May 25, 2020
50
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
14432
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Hello,
I've attached two photos of what my startup guy set my valves to. I want to make sure that this is optimal because I honestly don't know. He said that with my setup, I'd basically never use my returns (which is why they're in the off position), but I feel like that may not be the best way to go. He advised to turn them on in case there is a storm rolling in (which I completely forgot until I just read my notes and have not done during the monsoon season here in AZ) so they've been off the whole time (pool opened on Aug 1). Additionally, I'm curious about the position of the Pool Drain valve and if that is the optimal position for it. I'm not sure what other information is needed to receive help on my optimal positioning so please let me know if I'm missing something.

NOTE: The "Waterfall" label is the pipe that goes to my scuppers (3) and bubblers (2).
 

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ajw22

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You have an IFCS. @proavia may have thoughts on how your return valves should be setup.

Your suction pipes are labeled POOL DRAIN and VACUUM. What inlets do you have in your pool? Main drain in the floor? Skimmers? Vacuum port in the wall?
 

proavia

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Since you mentioned "startup guy", I assume this is a newly surfaced pool. Is that correct?

As was suggested, we need to see a few more pics of the equipment pad from a few different angles and an overall view of the pad including all the equipment. Once we see those pics, we can offer better options.

Since you have a Quik-skim (venturi skimmer), we need to know when the return valv3 is for it and how it is set. This will help determine where to set the suction valve for skimmer/main drain.

I'd suggest only running the water features when you want to see them running or once/twice a week at least to circulate water thru them. Running them all the time will cause your pH to constantly rise.

Also, since you have both in wall returns and an infloor system - with an Intellivalve between them - you can control when water goes via your automation.

Jim @Jimrahbe can assist you in figuring out how your automation is presently set up - pump speeds, times, etc. And also provide an optimum schedule, once we see more pics of your equipment.

Also, Allen @ajw22 asked about suction pipes - main drain, vacuum, skimmer. Let us know about all return pipes too. Again, more pics will assist us in helping you. Post pics of the pool and any/all pipes in the pool.
 
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mprzybylski

Well-known member
May 25, 2020
50
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
14432
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Here is a picture dump (hopefully all of them upload). I've attached pictures of my equipment as well as the pool, let me know if there is any details you need to see. I've labeled the pool pictures with what's what. I have not attached the vacuum or ran the returns, so i'm unsure (labeled with name and question mark in one of the pics) which hole is which for that portion.

The pool is brand new, build was finished on 8/1 and started up on 8/4. We don't run the water features often, i run them when i add liquid chlorine just to help circulate it into the pool for about 30 mins and then we may run them here and there while swimming (although lately we haven't been just to avoid extra noise and relax a bit). I actually have two spare Intellivalves (actuators?) that the electrician left here that are not in use (just sitting in the boxes).

I am definitely struggling to also figure out what my pump speed and times/schedules should be, which is slightly complicated by the fact that I have solar which, during the summer, is on-peak between 2-8pm and during the "winter" is on peak between 5-9am and 5-9pm (both only on weekdays, weekends its off-peak at all times), so I try to avoid running the pump during those times as much as possible (though I do sometimes turn it on around 4-5pm because thats usually our peak swimming time after homework is done and we eat dinner, then swim, during the week, so it helps clean up the pool a bit before we hop in).
 

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mprzybylski

Well-known member
May 25, 2020
50
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
14432
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
one more pic that looks like didnt get uploaded (10 pic minimum per post i guess).
 

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Jimrahbe

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Ski,

Thanks for the pics.. they were perfect... :thumleft:

In my mind, you need to be able to operate your pool in a couple of different modes...

IFCS mode.. This is where the IntelliValve sends all the water to the IFCS and sucks all the water from the main/pool drain.. Basically, in this mode you are doing nothing but cleaning the pool floor.

Pool Mode.. In this mode, I would expect the IntelliValve to shut off the IFCS and send all the water to Pool Returns.. At this point none of the water features would be on.

Pool Mode with water features.. In this mode you would have to manually turn the "Waterfall/Pool Return" valve so that some water would go to the water features.. You would manually turn the blue ball valves to select which water features you wanted on or off.

Water Features mode.. In this mode you would have all the water going to the water features and nothing going to the Pool Returns.

Just some random ideas if this were my pool..

I'd add an IntelliValve actuator to the the existing "Intake" valve.. I would have that valve set so that when in the IFCS mode all the water would be sucked from the main drain and nothing from the skimmer. When not in the IFCS mode then all the water would be sucked from the skimmer and none from the main drain.

I'd have a schedule that turns on the IFCS when the pool was not in use and then switched back to the pool mode for normal operation.

As you have found out.. water features often look great, but can be a pain due to their noise.

You would need the pump running at a pretty good speed or flow when in the IFCS mode, and then fairly slowly when in the Pool mode. As a reference.. I run my IntelliFlo 24/7, mostly at 1200 RPM, and that costs me less than $20 bucks a month.. I do this because I like to make a little chlorine all the time and skim all the time.. Not a requirement, but just something I like to do.

I assume the vacuum port would be off unless you need to use it.. I have a vacuum port that has never been used since the pool was built over 7 years ago.. I have low voltage Robot cleaner... I love them.

I have no clue how a "QuickSkim" works other than it is supposed to use the Venturi principle to make the skimmer work better, but I have to assume you would need to run the pump faster for it to have any real effect.

Let's see what @proavia has say...

I'm sure you will have more questions, just fire away..

It appears that none of your pool returns have directional eyeballs.. Is that true??

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

proavia

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I agree mostly with what Jim @Jimrahbe is suggesting - except I really don't see a need for an Intellivalve on the Main Drain/Skimmer location (unless you have a spare with no better place to put it). I would set the main drain/skimmer manual valve to 50% main drain 50% skimmer. If that provides adequate floor system cleaning and adequate skimming, leave it there - otherwise, adjust slightly in either direction to get the cleaning/skimming action desired and then leave it set there. With a venturi skimmer, you really don't need a lot of suction as there is a return line to the lower internal part of the skimmer to provide the venturi effect, which provides better skimming action.

Like Jim, I run my pump 24/7. But I run 2 hours in the AM and 2 hours in the PM on higher speed (2900 rpm for me) so I get adequate infloor cleaning and the other 20 hours at 1100 rpm. Hopefully, when/if SWG prices come down some, I will add one. I may need to adjust my minimum rpm to allow the SWG to generate.

My neighbor has a venturi skimmer and infloor similar to yours. He has a Quik-Skim on/off valve he always leaves wide open and he gets adequate skimming even at lower RPM. Leaving the Quik-Skim valve always wide open allows max "available" flow to the Quik-Skim regardless of pump RPM.

One thing I noticed in your pics, your builder didn't do you any favors by using those ball valves with the blue handles. After a few years, they will start to seize up - maybe quicker in our AZ heat. On a plus note, you can replace the larger ones at that time with 2-way Jandy valves that will probably outlast your pool - and are easily rebuilt if ever needed.

I would place the 3-way Jandy that goes to water features and return to allow the returns to be fully on. Then you can see exactly which lines in the pool are the actual returns.

The vacuum line can be left off unless you need to use a manual vacuum to clean up the pool quicker after one of our monsoon storms by mauallyvacuuming the pool.

Salt (for the SWG) will probably be added after 30 days or so and you can then fire up the SWG to product your chlorine.

Jim @Jimrahbe can better help you understand and program your automation system to meet your needs while providing a cost affective solution.
 

mprzybylski

Well-known member
May 25, 2020
50
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
14432
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
@Jimrahbe Thank you for your input.

I'd add an IntelliValve actuator to the the existing "Intake" valve
I'm assuming this means the lower set of pipes where the jandy valve is currently between Pool Drain and Skimmer? I do have the two extra IntelliValves just sitting around so i could potentially put one there.

I have low voltage Robot cleaner... I love them.
Can you tell me more about this? I don't anticipate using the vacuum line a lot but we do get a lot of dirt in the pool after a monsoon so I'd probably opt to use one there to help expedite the cleanup.

It appears that none of your pool returns have directional eyeballs.. Is that true??
They do, i just have them set straight forward because i didn't know how i should set them and where they should be pointed (or if i'd even be using them). whats the best configuration for them?

@proavia thank you for your input as well. i just realized we're neighbors heh.
except I really don't see a need for an Intellivalve on the Main Drain/Skimmer location (unless you have a spare with no better place to put it). I would set the main drain/skimmer manual valve to 50% main drain 50% skimmer. If that provides adequate floor system cleaning and adequate skimming, leave it there - otherwise, adjust slightly in either direction to get the cleaning/skimming action desired and then leave it set there.
i do have two extra Intellivalves sitting around (electrician just left them here). Since this is my first pool, I really don't know what adequate floor system cleaning looks like. I don't have a baseline to go against so i dont know if my expectations for the IFCS or even the skimmer are realistic or not. How clean is clean from each? should there be nothing on the surface of the water and nothing on the floor? This is exacerbated by the fact that we often get a lot of dust in our pool from the open space behind our house (and now that there is construction stirring it up its even worse), but I do brush the pool floor often to get the dust moving around and into the drain.

One thing I noticed in your pics, your builder didn't do you any favors by using those ball valves with the blue handles. After a few years, they will start to seize up - maybe quicker in our AZ heat. On a plus note, you can replace the larger ones at that time with 2-way Jandy valves that will probably outlast your pool - and are easily rebuilt if ever needed.
Yeah, i don't have high hopes for those blue valves. Looks like the 2-way Jandy valves are the ones that are on other parts of the pipes, is that correct? Seems that they are about $40-$60 a pop depending on where you look, so not a HUGE expense but replacing them will probably not be super fun considering some of the locations (facing into the other pipes etc).

Salt (for the SWG) will probably be added after 30 days or so and you can then fire up the SWG to product your chlorine.
I really can't wait for this, i'm roughly 10 days away (labor day weekend I'll be installing it). It's a chore to keep pouring liquid chlorine into the pool on a daily basis :)

Looks like I have some experimenting to do. Like I mentioned, I don't have a good baseline since this is my first pool and the only settings i've had so far is what the startup guy set, but we'll see if I can get things dialed in.
 

Jimrahbe

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Matt,

Here is the Robot cleaner that I like and use...



I think it makes sense to use the 50/50 set up for the Main Drain/Skimmer, that Gene suggests above, and see how that works... The reason that I suggested adding the left-over actuator was that in normal pools, without an IFCS, we normally recommend running with full skimmer and no, or very little, main drain.. Adding the actuator would mean that when your IFCS was on it would be fully on, and when off, it would be fully off, rather than a 50/50 split. That said, if your pool works well with the 50/50 split, then it does not make sense to go to the extra work.

If the Pool Returns are always off, it makes no difference where they are set.. But, if you open the pool returns, like I suggested, then you would want them to try and push the water in a circular flow, like a really, really slowly flushing toilet bowl.. The whole point being that this helps move floating debris in front of your skimmer.

I have an EasyTouch and not the new IntelliCenter.. so not too familiar with your set-up screens.. But see if you can find a list of what your pump speeds for each of your "Circuits".. You can have different pump speed for each circuit or mode that your pool is running.. Below is my list from an EasyTouch.. You won't have the same page, but you should have something similar.. If you find it, please post it here. This will give us an idea how your system is set up..




Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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mprzybylski

Well-known member
May 25, 2020
50
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
14432
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
@Jimrahbe here is a picture of my setup:
 

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Jimrahbe

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Matt,

I'm used to seeing where idiots set things up, but in your case I don't see any real issues...

I assume that when your IFCS is running, the pump is running at "High Speed" or 2120 RPM which is much slower than I thought would be necessary for an IFCS...

Unless there are other speeds that I can't see, I would not change anything.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

mprzybylski

Well-known member
May 25, 2020
50
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
14432
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I assume that when your IFCS is running, the pump is running at "High Speed" or 2120 RPM which is much slower than I thought would be necessary for an IFCS...
Thats correct, the way its set up it actually runs both Pool and High Speed (i'm not sure why, thats how the startup guy set it up). Should i turn up the RPM? Maybe that would help clear the pool faster?
 

Jimrahbe

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it actually runs both Pool and High Speed (i'm not sure why,

Matt,

That is kind of how it works.. "Pool" is the base speed and then extra speeds get add to it. Plus, your SWCG will not work unless you are in the Pool or Spa mode... And, in my opinion, there is no sense running the pump, if you are not making chlorine...

You can't hurt anything by increasing the High Speed and seeing if it makes a difference.. If not, you can always adjust it back..

I am not an IFCS fan, so don't have any practical experience running one.

Gene, @proavia would have some better ideas about what increasing the speed would do, as far as how well the cleaner will work.. My "logic" says the faster it runs the more flow you will have and the better it would clean.. That said, I've been wrong about 100 times, just today... :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

proavia

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Jim @Jimrahbe is correct. The higher the pump RPM, the more flow you will have and the further the water stream from the popups will go. In theory, higher RPM will clean better.

This is how I determined the "best" RPM for my infloor: I started with a clean filter (backwashed my sand filter). I reduced RPM from max (3450) by 100 or so each test period until I noticed the infloor wasn't working so great. Then I increased up to the nearest hundred and added another hundred to the RPM. The added hundred helps insure the infloor still works good when the filter starts to get dirty. I am currently at 2900 rpm for two 2 hour periods a day. While the infloor doesn't clean perfectly, it cleans up most everything. When we have a good dust storm during monsoon, it can take several days to totally clean the settled dust up. If really bad, I use a manual vacuum or suction side cleaner to assist in a quicker cleanup. YMMV.

In my mind, it's all about having a good looking pool with crystal clear water while running the pump at the lowest RPM. This saves electricity and money. I estimate my 4 hours @ 2900 rpm and 20 hours @ 1100 rpm 24/7 costs me less than $20/month based on my electric rates.

My pool is almost 22 years old. If I was building a pool today, I would not have an IFCS - I would have a robot instead. Robots are just that much better at cleaning and cheaper to run.
 

Jimrahbe

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Gene,

I had wrongly assumed that to run an IFCS you'd have to run your pump at almost full speed.. That does not appear to be true, at least your case...

Thanks for your input..

Jim R.
 

proavia

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Jim

As you have said many times, every pool is different.

It takes a bit of time, effort and (to a degree) experimentation to dial a pool in - chemistry wise and equipment wise. And changes/requirements outside of "normal" may require a temporary adjustment.
 
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mprzybylski

Well-known member
May 25, 2020
50
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
14432
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks @Jimrahbe and @proavia for your input. I'll start playing around with my settings a bit more and see what I can come up with. I just kind of blindly trusted the start up but I think I can do better by learning more about how effective and in what ways my equipment can be.

We got an IFCS because of the aforementioned dust that is always in our back yard and so far, at least in my mind, I think it has been worth it (but I don't have anything to compare it to nor do I have a vacuum). The pool has stayed crystal clear, although after a recent (and pretty bad/dusty storm), it took a few days like Gene said to get it to that point.
 

proavia

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A robot would have cleaned up the settled dust off the bottom and side walls in one or two runs. And a robot doesn't even require the pump to be running.

Don't get me wrong, I like my IFCS for what it does. But a robot is just superior.

So, you are almost a month in. Almost time for salt and firing up the SWG. Don't forget to check the pool water salt level BEFORE adding any salt. After adding salt and it all dissolves, run the pump for 24 hours straight to full mix it in. Then you can turn the SWG on. After the SWG is running, bring your CYA up to 70-80. Once the CYA tests at your planned level, use the FC/CYA Chart and keep your FC in range based on the SWG section of the chart. Keep your FC at target or slightly above until you learn your SWG and how much FC you use daily (use liquid chlorine to get to your planned FC level initially).
 
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mprzybylski

Well-known member
May 25, 2020
50
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
14432
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
@proavia Pardon my ignorance here, but robots can go up walls too? and, are they not connected to a hose (as in, the vacuum line on my equipment wouldn't need to be opened and the pump running)? I've not looked at robots at all yet, but if it helps that much, especially after the storms here, I'll definitely buy one because the pool gets very messy with all the dust.

As for the SWG, I've not researched this yet either (I tend to forget things very fast so I research as soon as I'm ready for something so its fresh in my mind), I need to add salt before turning the SWG on? what kind of salt are we talking here? If I remember my reading correctly about salt addition, i could use the same Morton salt I use for my water softener, yes? I imagine that may take a long time to dissolve, though, as those things are pretty thick, so if there is a different salt I should be adding, please let me know.
 

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