Help identify valves please


New member
May 23, 2019
Bought a house in Dec 18, it has a 20x40 in ground. Lurked TFP, got the app, opened pool last weekend been using BBB method and been going okay so far. I’m just confused as heck as to what my valves control. I just turn them until I have good suction at both skimmers, pretty sure the return suction at the bottom of the pool is off. When I open all the valves hoping to have suction at everything the suction is so weak on the skimmers. My pump was loud today after vacuuming and pressure was up to 15ish, it’s usually at 8-10 so I backwashed. Like I said I’m a noob. Didn’t do anything to the valves so when I went back to filter mode a bunch of diarrhea looking Crud shot out of both supply jets. The pool is like 30 years old and the labels are long worn off the valve plumbing. I hate not knowing what the valves do it’s killing me, I’m a cheap Rear I’m not calling a pool company to explain the valves to me. This seems a pretty basic setup if anyone would kindly inform me what is what I’d greatly appreciate it. 102803


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

Ok, You have three valves and they are all on the suction side (input to the pump)... Since you have two skimmer, then most likely two of the valves are for the skimmers.. Sometimes skimmers are connected together, but let us assume that is not the case for now..

If this were my pool, I would take out the skimmer baskets and reach down inside and feel the suction at the pipe in the bottom.. Then turn off one valve at a time, while feeling the suction at one of the skimmers... When the suction goes away, then that valve is for that skimmer.. Do the same thing with the other skimmer..

The third valve, could be a couple of different things.. Most likely, it will be for the main drain... It could also be for a suction side vacuum port in the side wall of your pool..

Even I can figure out your "Return" plumbing as it goes right into the ground with no valves... :mrgreen:

Try that and tell us what you find...


Jim R.