In Ground Pool Cleaners

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,466
Chandler AZ
I agree. Seems as if most of the pop ups are coming up except for a couple in the floor. I don't believe they are turning however, but maybe I'm wrong about that. I have two robots. A Hayward Navigator I inherited from the seller of the house the hardly wants to move at all and my Mamba that does move but doesn't get to the whole pool. Also have a manual vac head I just bought.
A Hayward Navigator is a suction side cleaner, not a robot - and I have no idea what a Mamba is. When we mention robot, we're referring to something like this: So this just happened.... . Not cheap, but neither is fixing some infloor systems. And a robot doesn't require your pump to be running at all while the robot is cleaning. Robots use 12 or 24 volts (not sure which) and are attached via a low voltage cord that plugs into a 120 volt GFCI outlet.

It looks like you have solar heating - is that correct? If so, bypass the solar and run the infloor again. Without the solar in the loop, you should have better flow to the infloor system. Also, shut off any other returns, water features, etc. You want all flow going to the infloor only when testing it and when using it to clean.
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
603
Silicon Valley, CA
Thanks for the photos. I can't quite tell which one of those red ball valves goes to your in-floor control valve, but I'll assume even the third one that's not in the picture is also open, as you said.

One other thing to think of as you remove each pop-up for inspection is to use that opportunity to purge each line. Best way to do this is to remove only 1 pop-up head in the zone, so that maximum pressure goes to the open line. After my replaster a couple of years ago, I collected about 10 ounces of small plaster pieces this way. The workers had removed the pop-ups and covered the lines during the replaster, but clearly not well enough. :rolleyes:

You can also consider swapping pop-up heads to isolate if it's the head or the line that is the problem. But you probably want to be careful to keep track of which pop-up came from which original location.
 

Dave2590

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2014
113
Homosassa, Florida
A Hayward Navigator is a suction side cleaner, not a robot - and I have no idea what a Mamba is. When we mention robot, we're referring to something like this: So this just happened.... . Not cheap, but neither is fixing some infloor systems. And a robot doesn't require your pump to be running at all while the robot is cleaning. Robots use 12 or 24 volts (not sure which) and are attached via a low voltage cord that plugs into a 120 volt GFCI outlet.

It looks like you have solar heating - is that correct? If so, bypass the solar and run the infloor again. Without the solar in the loop, you should have better flow to the infloor system. Also, shut off any other returns, water features, etc. You want all flow going to the infloor only when testing it and when using it to clean.
Gotcha, I stand corrected. The Mamba is a suction cleaner too and not expensive but does a reasonably good job. I do have solar heating-came with the house. I had bought the Hayward propane heater for a 18X33 above ground pool at my last house. I couldn't sell the heater or 500 gallon tank for a decent price so had them moved here. Figured the propane heater would be nice in the winter. Solar does everything I want from April to October maybe longer. I will try shutting everything else down to check the infloor heads. Many thanks.
 

Dave2590

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2014
113
Homosassa, Florida
Thanks for the photos. I can't quite tell which one of those red ball valves goes to your in-floor control valve, but I'll assume even the third one that's not in the picture is also open, as you said.

One other thing to think of as you remove each pop-up for inspection is to use that opportunity to purge each line. Best way to do this is to remove only 1 pop-up head in the zone, so that maximum pressure goes to the open line. After my replaster a couple of years ago, I collected about 10 ounces of small plaster pieces this way. The workers had removed the pop-ups and covered the lines during the replaster, but clearly not well enough. :rolleyes:

You can also consider swapping pop-up heads to isolate if it's the head or the line that is the problem. But you probably want to be careful to keep track of which pop-up came from which original location.
Pop up valve is middle one. Fountain is on the left and open. Return on right and closed. I want to make sure I get the correct pop up removal tool. Where can I find one? Does Paramount make one? Thank you.
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
603
Silicon Valley, CA
I don’t have personal experience with a Paramount removal tool, but saw one for Pool Valets on their website. Just not sure if they have more than a “hand” version. You’d really prefer one that attaches to a pole. Perhaps you can call them to confirm the correct one.

Other good suppliers in this realm are poolinfloor and infloorpoolparts. Both with dot com.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
481
Palm Desert, CA
Just to put in my $0.02, it appears they offer lots of retrofit kits for the Pool Valet heads through Paramount.
Here on PoolInFloor.com and would appear their removal tool for their PV3 would be worth a shot and is able to attach to a pole for removal of your heads.
Dodge is right, gunk can pile up behind the heads and removal of heads can perhaps better evaluate if the head is dunzo, or just gunked up. I’d be prepared to replace the heads with the retrofit kit, but it’s going to rival cost of a robot cleaner.
Just sold my home with an IFCS and spent $$ replacing my Turboclean heads with an A&A retrofit kit and rebuilt the valve/gear assembly and never regretted it. In floor systems IFCS offer a good additional cleaning option and make for excellent heat distribution using your solar system. I miss my IFCS, though I never had many leaves in my old pool, it did excellent job of keeping it tidy.
 

Dave2590

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2014
113
Homosassa, Florida
Thanks guys and Kattie. I like the idea of an in floor system too. I forgot to mention that I have a pool cage but I think you can see it in one of the pictures I posted. I mention this only to point out I have no problem with leaves. I do have two oak trees that overhang the cage at the back corners of the pool and drop "dirt". So its just the fine particles I'm after. I got a set of pool labels so my equipment is a little easier to identify. Pop ups seem to be working AND rotating even without shutting everything else off. Whoa !
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
603
Silicon Valley, CA
I did close it and the returns for awhile once. Not sure if that kick started it or what. I have not removed the heads yet or done anything further, just haven't had time.
Based on that, I would conclude that there was some sand or small debris around the perimeter of the head, inside of the collar that it recesses into when the zone is off. Sufficient pressure from underneath would unstick heads from collars and elevate them high enough to rotate. It may also help the head(s) that stayed up to go back down.

Also, as Gene said in post #21, you should close off that fountain valve whenever you truly want the in-floors to clean.
 

Dave2590

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2014
113
Homosassa, Florida
I would agree with that Dodger. I think its a matter of valve positioning. Not sure I mentioned that I discovered that the main drain had been shut off and the skimmer was fully open since I moved in a year ago . Never thought to check because I had no problems with the pool and my pool guy kept it clean etc. Appears also that at least one of the returns is plumbed to the in-floor system because it comes on intermittently even though the returns valve is shut off. Its been fun figuring out this pool. I plan to take over from the pool guy soon. Just got fresh chemicals from TF Test kits, tested everything and discovered he had the chlorine level at 12. Hes lobbying me to rebuild an old Hayward Navigator left here by the home seller. Its 12 years old. Also he wants me to replace the pool filter with a Clean and Clear because mine is "ancient". In my opinion as long as a filters innards are in good shape it doesn't matter how old the tank is. But I may be wrong. What do you think?

Based on that, I would conclude that there was some sand or small debris around the perimeter of the head, inside of the collar that it recesses into when the zone is off. Sufficient pressure from underneath would unstick heads from collars and elevate them high enough to rotate. It may also help the head(s) that stayed up to go back down.

Also, as Gene said in post #21, you should close off that fountain valve whenever you truly want the in-floors to clean.
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
603
Silicon Valley, CA
Also he wants me to replace the pool filter with a Clean and Clear because mine is "ancient". In my opinion as long as a filters innards are in good shape it doesn't matter how old the tank is. But I may be wrong. What do you think?
Sorry, I don't know enough to comment on your current filter vs a new one. Maybe Gene @proavia can weigh in on that.
Or, if you make that a new post question with proper header, you'll get a lot of filter experts' eyes on it and some great input.
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,466
Chandler AZ
I'm with Dodger on the filter. Post a new thread with a descriptive title and or filter experts will help you out. Don't forget pics of your current filter and overall equipment pad setup.

Good to hear you got the infloor sorted.