Can't Figure Out These 3-Way Valves!


Jun 8, 2016
Leesburg, VA

After maintaining my GF's hot tub over the last year, I volunteered to maintain the in-ground pool this year (other than opening and closing it). I understand the multi-port valve on the DE filter, but there are two 3-way valves that I can't figure out. One of the 3-ways is right before the filter pump, so that controls water coming out of the pool and the other 3-way is after the filter and multi-port valve, so that controls water returning to the pool. That is as far as I got.

Please look at this image of the equipment pad: pool-equipment - Google Drive

The 3-way valves in question are the two black valves on the bottom of the image shown in their current position. These are Jandy Never Lube valves. Are these valves set correctly for normal operation? There is no marks on the tubes coming out of the pad and going into the valves to indicate what they come from. I assume the pair on the left are the two skimmers and one drain. I assume the pair on the right are the two return jets. (I think the pool has two return jets...we just opened today, so the water is a bit too murky to see the jets.)

I did visit the Jandy website and found an exploded diagram of their 3-way valves: It looks like the portion of the diverter that closes a port is directly under the straight part of the handle that you grab with your hand. Based on that, it looks like the valve on the left is completely open and the valve on the right has the right side of the valve closed. Unless there is a reason for this, I think the handle on the right valve should be positioned like the one on the left. Can anyone help me out with this?




TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
You'll just have to experiment to see which valve goes where and take a magic marker to the pipes.

As you surmised, the one on the left is the suction. As shown in the picture, the left leg is wide open and the right is partially closed. My guess is skimmer/drain. Shut the skimmer side off and see if both skimmers stop. If they do, and the pump is still working and flowing, then you know water is coming from the drain. If only one skimmer stops, then one skimmer is tied to the drain. Post back tomorrow and we'll walk you through figuring that if such is the case.

On the right, the left side is fully closed and the right side is wide open. See where water flows now, then move the valve the other way and see where the water is coming out. Then you'll know which pipe goes where.

Kill the pump when you move the valves.