Bladder valve?


New member
Jul 9, 2010
Hello to All.
I recently purchased a house with an inground pool. The previous owner did not take care of the pool very well, so I am in the process of rebuilding it.

The pool has an automated roof solar water heating system using a three port thermostatic valve riveted to a black plastic cover on the roof that looks like a ported vacuum switch that used to be on older 70s-80s cars. There are also little brass nipples installed in the pvc tubing before and after the pool pump which seem to supply suction and pressure to operate the system. There is also a black rubber 'coupling' with a brass nipple which is secured with hose clamps on the output of the pump leading to the solar collectors.

When I removed the 'coupling' it turned out to be a type of valve that when pressure is applied to the nipple, it inflates three little bladders inside of it to stop the water flow through it. There is also a wall-mounted three port vacuum switch that had about 6 vacuum hoses coming out of it leading to the thermostatic switch on the roof and to the pressure and suction nipples on the PVC and to the bladder valve.

Unfortunately, all of the hoses were disconnected and the thermostatic switch is bad. Is anyone familiar with this type of system? Are there schematic diagrams available that show the hose routing? Are replacement parts available? I cannot find a manufacturer's name on any of the parts except for the solar collectors, which are Fafco. I tried to search for the valve online, but all I found were the regular Jandy valves, I could not find any info about this type of bladder valve.

Currently I have the the system connected in such a way that I am able to use the manual wall valve to apply either suction or pressure to the bladder valve to make the system operate, but I would like to restore the system to its original automated operation.

Any help would be appreciated.


TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
South Central NJ
We definitely need pix. If you don't have one already, set up a account. Create an album and upload the pix. Each picture there has 4 optional codes you can copy and paste for forum type use such as here. If I remember correctly, pasting a copy of the 4th option, one per line, will allow the picture to be viewed in your post.