Sorry for the dumb question, how do I know if I have in floor cleaners?
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.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
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.If the screen is clogging, you might have debris bypassing the filter. Can you switch to regular returns and turn off the caretaker?
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.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.)
The previous owner did leave the plastic tool remover. How would I go about flushing these lines?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.)
Here you goIf 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?
We have the newer head.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.
The line is teed but there is no isolation valve of any kind.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.
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 upsIt'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.
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?Ok, you're making progress.
Switch the return valve actuator back to the original position to see what happens.
20 psi is probably about right for that pump.
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.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.
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.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.