Caretaker Valves Popups

916

New member
Jun 26, 2018
3
citrus heights ca
A couple questions for you pool experts! 1. Does anyone know if I can take the guts out of my 5 port caretaker pod and have it flow freely through all ports at once as "returns" instead?? 2. Are there any type of replacements for the pop-ups that would be more like flush vents, or retrofits to allow more/free flow into the pool?
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
641
Silicon Valley, CA
1. Yes, you can take out the manifold guts and run water to all the pop-up locations at once.
2. I'm not aware of any type of replacement flush vent from Caretaker, but maybe others here have some ideas. (bump)

If you have a variable speed or 2-speed pump and leave the original pop-ups in place, you can run on lower speeds without the manifold and all the pop-ups should stay in only a slightly elevated position. You'll get more uniform distribution of the water. This is beneficial when you are running a heater, though you get mostly the same result with the manifold guts still in place. Most likely, the pop-ups won't rotate at the lower pump speeds. And of course, they won't do much "cleaning" at the lower pressure.

If your goal is for chemical distribution, be careful that concentrated fluid coming out of the pop-ups to the same small area on the plaster may not be a good idea over time.
 

916

New member
Jun 26, 2018
3
citrus heights ca
Thanks! I have a 2 speed pump and my issue is my pressure (shown on filter gauge) is too high (around 30 psi). I blew out my filter housing last summer and went through numerous Polaris 360 hoses. The caretaker is ineffective and I figure less parts, less potential problems and better flow for the pressure issue. A few of my popup heads are broken from trying to remove with the removal tool, which did not work. I'd rather not replace with more popups, if possible, but need something in those 9 holes.
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
641
Silicon Valley, CA
I'm not sure you need to replace pop-ups if you're going to abandon the expectation of wanting them to clean the floor. There should be no harm if some don't visually pop up, especially if you leave the manifold guts out. Pressure will send the water through the least resistant returns, i.e. those pop-ups that will move a little. Just check your filter pressure with manifold guts out to make sure it is a manageable level.

BTW, if your pop-ups are pre-1991 threaded style, they have reverse threads. So unscrew the opposite way (CW), otherwise you will damage the plastic removal tool and the pop-ups will stick.
 

jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
423
Gilbert, AZ
916 and Dodger...the one caveat (if energy use is a concern) that should at least be considered: returning water through the popups on my system results in 1/3 the energy efficiency than returning through the wall returns (Energy Factor of ~4 vs approximately 12, it takes 3 times the energy to move the same amount of water via the popups vs the wall returns due to the restrictive path through the popups/manifold). Your plan of simultaneously returning the water through ALL the popups/zones, by taking out the guts of the manifold, SHOULD alleviate (maybe eliminate) that issue but you might not know for sure without checking. If your wall returns are “wired into” one of the cleaning zones, as is the case for some IFCSs, then problem solved...you wouldn’t have to even consider this.

I’ve been thinking about this issue some because I am playing around with the idea of installing solar heating and would have to make the decision of popup return vs wall return for the heated water...
 
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