Help with labeling plumbing?

crackers8199

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2014
132
Lake Elsinore, CA
Hoping someone can help me with this (see pic)...trying to find out what to label each valve.

The ones I do know are the two that are one right above the other (pool/spa suction, pool/spa return). One thing I'm confused on though is that even when they are both set to spa off, i still have water coming from some of the spa jets.

The other valve I'm guessing is skimmer vs main drain, but I'm having some issues with it...mainly unsure what I'm turning off when the off valve is pointing up (i.e. not pointing at any pipe) or if I have it halfway between up and to the right. If I turn it to off down, the skimmer turns off. If I turn it to off right, I lose most suction from the pool vac.

Thoughts?

 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
The red handled valve on the upper left is the spa makeup water valve. When open, as in the photo, it sends water to the spa all of the time regardless of the main pool/spa return valve.

The valve lower down near the pool/spa suction valve could be a couple of things, but most likely is main drain vs skimmer(s). If you don't have a main drain it might instead be one skimmer vs another skimmer.
 

crackers8199

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2014
132
Lake Elsinore, CA
The red handled valve on the upper left is the spa makeup water valve. When open, as in the photo, it sends water to the spa all of the time regardless of the main pool/spa return valve.

The valve lower down near the pool/spa suction valve could be a couple of things, but most likely is main drain vs skimmer(s). If you don't have a main drain it might instead be one skimmer vs another skimmer.
thanks - that answers the first question (why i have water from the spa jets even when spa return is off) :)

i do have a main drain...but i'm still unsure what i'm turning off when i have the valve in various positions. i would imagine that the middle pipe is the skimmer, since if i turn the valve to be facing down-off i lose suction from the skimmer. i'm not sure though what i'd be turning off if i have it up-off, or why i seem to lose suction for the pool vac if i turn it to the right-off....
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
Well, if you have a dedicated suction line, then that is what the right pipe is for. If the OFF on the valve is down, then you have all suction from the skimmer cleaner. If the OFF on the valve is to the right, then the cleaner would be turned off with all suction from the skimmer.

Sounds like your floor drain is likely plumbed to the bottom of the skimmer and you may should have a float diverter under the skimmer basket to force suction from the floor if so desired.
 

crackers8199

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2014
132
Lake Elsinore, CA
Well, if you have a dedicated suction line, then that is what the right pipe is for. If the OFF on the valve is down, then you have all suction from the skimmer. If the OFF on the valve is to the right, then the cleaner would be turned off.

Sounds like your floor drain is likely plumbed to the bottom of the skimmer and you may should have a float diverter under the skimmer basket to force suction from the floor if so desired.
you mean if i have the off facing down, skimmer is off (and all suction to vac), right?

does that mean that when i turn it so that off faces up (or facing no pipes), they're both on?
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
Sorry, yes, with OFF down the skimmer is off and all from the vac.

If OFF is up, then they are both open, same with in your picture, they are both open (although each is partially restricted)
 

crackers8199

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2014
132
Lake Elsinore, CA
cool, thanks! is there any disadvantage to leaving it with both open? i've never been able to figure out definitively which is the best way to have it set...

or perhaps a better question - is it better to have them both open as i do in the picture (partially restricted), or just have them both open all the way?
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
If you are running the vac, then you would would adjust the valve to close off the skimmer enough so that you have the right amount of flow through the cleaner. If you are not running the vac, then I would close that line off to have better skimming.