Fountain check valve question

Alwayshad1

Active member
Oct 11, 2020
38
North central Florida
We just had our pool remodeled. Part of the job involved updating our plumbing by the filter, pump, heater, etc. The pool and the fountain on same system. The fountain drain seemed to not be drawing in much water at all when main drain, skimmer, vacuum were shut off. I asked the contractor and he said debri might have gotten in the line and would need to be blown out. Also, the fountain drained down to pool level after pump shut off. He said that was probably bad check valve. Anyhow, he came out today and removed the old check valve and put straight piece of pvc in its place. He adjusted the fountain Jandy valve so it either shuts off all suction from fountain or only allows a quarter of a turn open on either side. Do I need the check valve in the line or is he just taking a short cut by making it so that the Jandy valve should always be in off which I’m guessing would stop the fountain from draining back into the pool. And also, by eliminating the possibility to open fountain full suction, you really can’t tell if there was any blockage or not. Pictures below...vertical pipe to the right is fountain suction where he removed the old valve. The fountain bypass allows pool water to flow out of fountain returns.
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
31,427
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
It's a little tough to tell from the pics without being there and seeing the entire pad and elevation of the equipment pad compared to the pool/fountain area, but it sounds to me as if your equipment pad sits-up just a little bit higher than the fountain area. That would explain why the original set-up had the check valve installed to help prevent water from settling back to the pool or waterline level once turned off. What that means is that when the pump is started back up, it has to "re-prime" that part of the line where water drained out. Make sense? Now I will also say that some pool systems have a very good air-tight seal meaning that even with an elevation change, when the pump turns off, the water doesn't move much at all. But sometimes there is a very tiny air leak letting air into the plumbing which then allows the water to equalize and move around. So you might check all connections at the pad to ensure there is no chance of an air leak. It may not leak water out, but let air IN. They can be tricky. Check all valves, fittings, the filter and it's pressure gouge, and listen for hissing or water spurts when the system is turned off.

I don't understand the idea of restricting valve rotation to only a quarter turn. I don't see what benefit that gives you, but you can always change that later. As for the original problem which seems to be lack of suction from the fountain drain, it is possible it has a partial blockage. With the work your contractor did, was there any attempt to clean-out that line? There are bladder pressure devices you can purchase like a Drain King or the one shown below that allow you to push water from either direction to help dislodge something that might be stuck. Now if you find later there is no blockage, that would seem to indicate there may be an air suction leak - air seeping IN from the fountain drain back to the pump which inhibits good suction.

full
 

Alwayshad1

Active member
Oct 11, 2020
38
North central Florida
It's a little tough to tell from the pics without being there and seeing the entire pad and elevation of the equipment pad compared to the pool/fountain area, but it sounds to me as if your equipment pad sits-up just a little bit higher than the fountain area. That would explain why the original set-up had the check valve installed to help prevent water from settling back to the pool or waterline level once turned off. What that means is that when the pump is started back up, it has to "re-prime" that part of the line where water drained out. Make sense? Now I will also say that some pool systems have a very good air-tight seal meaning that even with an elevation change, when the pump turns off, the water doesn't move much at all. But sometimes there is a very tiny air leak letting air into the plumbing which then allows the water to equalize and move around. So you might check all connections at the pad to ensure there is no chance of an air leak. It may not leak water out, but let air IN. They can be tricky. Check all valves, fittings, the filter and it's pressure gouge, and listen for hissing or water spurts when the system is turned off.

I don't understand the idea of restricting valve rotation to only a quarter turn. I don't see what benefit that gives you, but you can always change that later. As for the original problem which seems to be lack of suction from the fountain drain, it is possible it has a partial blockage. With the work your contractor did, was there any attempt to clean-out that line? There are bladder pressure devices you can purchase like a Drain King or the one shown below that allow you to push water from either direction to help dislodge something that might be stuck. Now if you find later there is no blockage, that would seem to indicate there may be an air suction leak - air seeping IN from the fountain drain back to the pump which inhibits good suction.

full
Thank you. I don’t know if they attempted to do a clean out or not, I would suspect no. Overall I am to the point that I just want them to do what I can not physically do myself and be done with them . Not happy with their business ethics at all. Because one pump operates vac, main drain, skimmer, and fountain and we also had a heater put in, the contractor kept stressing that we should not have very little if any suction from the fountain, which is small app. 200 gallons. He kept spouting out about water flow, return, etc. Don’t quite understand. The way it looks now is I can run the fountain suction during the day while pump is running, but then need to close the valve off to the pump before it shuts off. I did this last night and fountain did not seem down.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
31,427
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Not happy with their business ethics at all.
I've seen that statement a couple times already this year. Disappointing for sure. As for the fountain, keep in mind it probably doesn't need to operate all day anyways. Just like a spill-over spa, you may want to just move water through it once or twice a day to move chlorinated water though it is all. Maybe that will help with your scheduling.