Hayward filter - 39 PSI

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,787
If the screen is clogging, you might have debris bypassing the filter. Can you switch to regular returns and turn off the caretaker?
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
642
Silicon Valley, CA
Sorry for the dumb question, how do I know if I have in floor cleaners?
Theyre somewhere between a Blue and Grey. I’d love to post a photo, but I can’t figure out how to remove the previous ones from my file manager and I’m at the 250kB max
Those are your pop-up heads. I can't see your Caretaker valve well enough in the last picture, but typically, it would rotate to pop these heads up in stages. They should drop flat when/if their station is no longer activated. Mine is a 5-port valve that rotates to 4 stations in the pool, and then the 5th station is the spa. It spends about 90 seconds at each station and then repeats.

Let us know if yours are popping up, either in some sequence, or at all.

I'm not sure if the screen you are cleaning is the Strainer Cup in the Caretaker valve. If yes, please note that it should be installed "dome up" (like an upside down cup.)
 

Dilbydog

Silver Supporter
Jan 14, 2018
59
Las Vegas, NV
If the screen is clogging, you might have debris bypassing the filter. Can you switch to regular returns and turn off the caretaker?
I like to try, but I don’t know how to bypass the caretaker. It located away from the primary equipment area so I can’t follow plumbing.

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Those are your pop-up heads. I can't see your Caretaker valve well enough in the last picture, but typically, it would rotate to pop these heads up in stages. They should drop flat when/if their station is no longer activated. Mine is a 5-port valve that rotates to 4 stations in the pool, and then the 5th station is the spa. It spends about 90 seconds at each station and then repeats.

Let us know if yours are popping up, either in some sequence, or at all.

I'm not sure if the screen you are cleaning is the Strainer Cup in the Caretaker valve. If yes, please note that it should be installed "dome up" (like an upside down cup.)
Yes, it’s the strainer cup, and it’s installed in the manner you describe. To date, I’ve yet to see a caretaker pop up or move.
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
642
Silicon Valley, CA

Dilbydog

Silver Supporter
Jan 14, 2018
59
Las Vegas, NV
Did the previous owner leave you have a pop-up head remover tool? It might be a simple plastic one like this:

Caretaker Cleaning Head Removal Tool (Plastic)

or the more robust metal one like this:

Caretaker In-Floor Installation Tool- Metal Cleaning head Removal Tool Vinyl Installation Tool w/ Pole Adapter


edited to add: After my replaster last summer, I had to remove heads one at a time and use the return pressure to push out clogged plaster bits (PB obviously didn't protect them enough.)
The previous owner did leave the plastic tool remover. How would I go about flushing these lines?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,787
If the heads are not popping up, there's a problem. Maybe a valve problem. Maybe clogged popups. You're probably going to need to remove the popups. They're usually reverse thread.

Do you have a picture of the Caretaker valve?
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
642
Silicon Valley, CA
To remove a head, it depends on whether or not you have the old, threaded style, or the newer, post-1992 bayonet style head. The threaded heads are opposite of normal to unscrew. The newer heads only take a quarter turn in the normal direction.
 

Dilbydog

Silver Supporter
Jan 14, 2018
59
Las Vegas, NV
If the heads are not popping up, there's a problem. Maybe a valve problem. Maybe clogged popups. You're probably going to need to remove the popups. They're usually reverse thread.

Do you have a picture of the Caretaker valve?
Here you go
View attachment 72097

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To remove a head, it depends on whether or not you have the old, threaded style, or the newer, post-1992 bayonet style head. The threaded heads are opposite of normal to unscrew. The newer heads only take a quarter turn in the normal direction.
We have the newer head.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,787
The pressure on the gauge looks high. What is the pressure there?

It looks like you have a line Teed off before the valve?

Does that go to regular returns?

Is there a valve?

Do you have any regular returns in the pool?

Open the Caretaker and remove the insides so that all lines are getting pressure at the same time. The timing mechanism might be stuck between zones.

If that doesn't work, remove the popups and run the system to clear the lines. Check popups for clogs.
 

Dilbydog

Silver Supporter
Jan 14, 2018
59
Las Vegas, NV
The pressure on the gauge looks high. What is the pressure there?

It looks like you have a line Teed off before the valve?

Does that go to regular returns?

Is there a valve?

Do you have any regular returns in the pool?

Open the Caretaker and remove the insides so that all lines are getting pressure at the same time. The timing mechanism might be stuck between zones.

If that doesn't work, remove the popups and run the system to clear the lines. Check popups for clogs.
The line is teed but there is no isolation valve of any kind.

It it looks like there is a single return in the pool.

It would also appear the gauge at the caretaker is shot, as its sitting at 15 psi if the system is on or off.

Going to take the caretaker apart.
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
642
Silicon Valley, CA
The Caretaker valve may need to be rebuilt; there are rebuild kits available, plus videos online to help. Pressure on that valve gauge should be ~15-20psi for optimal pop-up use.

If you end up removing pop-up heads, I recommend you do so systematically. Take out and replace one at a time to maximize pressure and purge that single pop-up line only. If at some point it makes sense to remove more than one at a time, keep track of which one came from which collar in the floor. There are several different nozzle sizes designed for different parts of the pool/spa. Each pop-up head may have a different nozzle insert. Little nozzles on steps and benches, big nozzles for large floor areas. There are considerations within each zone too, so that the total pressure in that zone is not over-used.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,787
It's odd that there is only one return. Is it getting flow when the pump is on?

Usually, you will have a full set of returns (wall or floor) in addition to the in-floor cleaners so that you can bypass the cleaners or at least bleed off pressure so that the infloor popups don't get too much flow.

Are you getting spa action now that the actuator valve is set to allow flow to the spa and pool?

You should get a new gauge for the Caretaker.
 

Dilbydog

Silver Supporter
Jan 14, 2018
59
Las Vegas, NV
It's odd that there is only one return. Is it getting flow when the pump is on?

Usually, you will have a full set of returns (wall or floor) in addition to the in-floor cleaners so that you can bypass the cleaners or at least bleed off pressure so that the infloor popups don't get too much flow.

Are you getting spa action now that the actuator valve is set to allow flow to the spa and pool?

You should get a new gauge for the Caretaker.
Gutted the caretaker and fired the system back up. The pop ups are definitely trying to work. The ones accessible from the edges have been removed and there’s a significant flow. Pressure at the filter dropped another 10psi to 20 overall. Going to order a rebuild kit and R&R the remaining pop ups
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,787
Ok, you're making progress. :goodjob:

Switch the return valve actuator back to the original position to see what happens.

20 psi is probably about right for that pump.
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
642
Silicon Valley, CA
One more thing when you take out pop-ups.... Manually actuate each one in your hands. I ended up finding broken teeth on some of them, which prevents them from rotating to the next 1/18th position (the heads should rotate 20 degrees each cycle.) I found others that were impeded by scale build-up, which makes it harder to pop all the way up or all the way back down when at rest. I assume my pop-ups could have been as many as 25-30 years old, so none of that was surprising. I have replaced more than half of them in my pool and spa just to get it all updated.
 

Dilbydog

Silver Supporter
Jan 14, 2018
59
Las Vegas, NV
Ok, you're making progress. :goodjob:

Switch the return valve actuator back to the original position to see what happens.

20 psi is probably about right for that pump.
Definately progress... all but three pop ups have been removed. Have to go in for the 3 in the center. Pressure is down to 12 psi. I’ve ordered the rebuild kit, and am wondering if it’s ok to leave the system running as is without the caretaker guts installed?

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One more thing when you take out pop-ups.... Manually actuate each one in your hands. I ended up finding broken teeth on some of them, which prevents them from rotating to the next 1/18th position (the heads should rotate 20 degrees each cycle.) I found others that were impeded by scale build-up, which makes it harder to pop all the way up or all the way back down when at rest. I assume my pop-ups could have been as many as 25-30 years old, so none of that was surprising. I have replaced more than half of them in my pool and spa just to get it all updated.
thanks for the heads up. Found one with broken teeth and two with stones lodged in the head, after removing the stones it appears hat the spring is tired, so looks like I’ll need two replacements so far.
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
642
Silicon Valley, CA
thanks for the heads up. Found one with broken teeth and two with stones lodged in the head, after removing the stones it appears hat the spring is tired, so looks like I’ll need two replacements so far.
Once you get the valve rebuilt, then you can figure out which zone is comprised of which heads. And then you can tinker with nozzle types. If you are ordering new heads, you need to order nozzles too. Except I think there is a max flow nozzle that comes pre-installed in the head. I don't have any of those because I don't have any zone that can support that max nozzle's gpm requirement without making all the other heads in that zone virtually useless.

FYI that the nozzles are removable, but cannot be reused. Luckily they are only a few bucks each. But in case you try one out and don't like it's range or gpm usage, you can pull it out of the head and install another nozzle size.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,787
You can let it run without the guts in. It will just allow all zones to get flow at the same time.

Try to make sure that nothing gets in the open holes where the pop ups are missing.

I would keep an eye on the cup screen to see if it's continuing to clog. Maybe just leave it out for now.

I would switch the actuator switch back like it was.