Circulation, suction, skimmer and main drain

smokyjoe

Member
Dec 12, 2017
5
Australia
Hey all, I inherited an older pool with a house I bought a few years ago (in Australia). I'll post some pics here but don't judge me on the cleanliness of my pool :) I've just had the SWG and the robot cleaner die at the same time. Switched to a new cell for the SWG yesterday, and testing a suction cleaner today, hence the basis for this post.
The setup of this pool is far from excellent. In the pic below, you'll notice a return jet on the right hand side. That's the only one, and it's down the end with the skimmer and main drain, so circulation is not ideal.

20210302_090834.jpg
I'm trying a suction cleaner as an alternative to a robot (for various reasons) but can't get the thing to move. I have what looks like a Filtrite vacuum plate. There are 2 pipes/ports inside the skimmer, as you can see in this pic:
20210302_090901.jpg
But neither of them seem to be in use. It doesn't matter which orientation the skimmer plate is in, and without the plate, I can't feel any suction from either side when putting my hand in.
I don't seem to have any 3 way valves, and there's one pipe in, one pipe out to the pump/filter:
20210302_091025.jpg
I'm not getting enough suction to my cleaner, which is part of my question, but I'm wondering what these 2 ports are in my skimmer, and whether I've somehow got something configured wrong which means that the main drain isn't in use. It's too cold to go and check now, but previously I've stood on the main drain with the pump in use and not felt any suction.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,691
Bedford, TX
Joe,

I have never seen those types of valves, but they appear to be in the off, or no flow, position.. I suspect that is not the case, but wanted to check..

Your skimmer appears to have just one pipe in the bottom.. Are there pipes on the side??? Anyway, if your pump is running it should be trying to suck your hand off...

Does your pool have a main drain? If so, then with only one pipe into your pump, you main drain is somehow plumbed into your skimmer. It could be that you pump is pulling water in from the main drain rather than the skimmer..

Let's see if we can get some of your mates to chime in...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

smokyjoe

Member
Dec 12, 2017
5
Australia
Thanks for your reply Jim. The valves are definitely in the ON position. I've been running it like this for a long time, and I shut off the valves when emptying the pump basket. The markings indicate this is the correct orientation, so it's by design. I agree it seems strange.

Here's another pic showing the skimmer a bit clearer, with the 2 side ports and the bottom port:
20210302_173631.jpg
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,691
Bedford, TX
Joe,

Are you saying that when the pump is running that you have no suction at any of the three openings at the skimmer?

I have never seen a skimmer like yours.. Not sure if its a down-under device or just an old device.

Do you have an above ground pool, where you can get to the skimmer, or is this an Inground pool where the skimmer plumbing can't be seen??

Let's see if @JamesW has an idea how your skimmer works.

Do you have a main drain at the bottom of your pool?

Thanks,,

Jim R.
 

smokyjoe

Member
Dec 12, 2017
5
Australia
No, I have some suction via the bottom opening. It's enough to pull some of the leaves in, but not all. And it's not really enough to suck them down into the basket. They float around the top within the skimmer until they're waterlogged enough to sink.
This is an inground pool, and I can't get to any of the plumbing.

I believe I have a main drain. In the picture of the pool in the first post, you can see what looks like a main drain on the bottom of the pool, right in front of the skimmer. As mentioned before, I've never felt any suction through this when standing in the pool (not sure if I should).
There's also what looks like a disused pipe down near the pump. I've highlighted it with a green square here. Not sure if this is an old pipe no longer in use, or whether that is the plumbing for the main drain that has since been capped somewhere.
20210302_091025.jpg
 
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