Labeling Valves

Miranda

Well-known member
Jan 20, 2008
161
Northeast Florida
My new setup has three 3-way valves. What is the traditional/or best way to label them to avoid confusion. They aren't in a line, they are at different angles and orientations so no matter how I try to label them it seems confusing. Do you label the pipe the handle tail points to as ON? Or the pipe the "off" tab points to as OFF? What about in between (balancing) positions

For example, on the suction side, the valve looks like this --| The skimmer pipe is to the left, the pump pipe is down and the vac pipe is up. When the skimmer is selected the handle points down. When the vac is selected the handle tail points to the the right where there is no pipe to label.

On the return side, I have two valves in series, and that is where it gets very confusing. How do you do yours?
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,420
Pleasanton, CA
I prefer to label the pipes that the valve is attached to. You can also put a small arrow on the valve pointer (opposite the handle) to avoid the handle confusion.
 

Tiger85

Member
Jun 2, 2010
16
Orlando
Here are some pictures of how I've labeled my valves. Sharpie used by builder wore off quick and so I bought some sheets of letters from the hardware store and they're worked great for about 8 years. Hope this helps. :-D
 

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Miranda

Well-known member
Jan 20, 2008
161
Northeast Florida
Ah, I think it is the semantics that is getting me. I like to think of the valves in terms of which features I want to turn ON. The valves seem to be set up for you to think of them in terms of what you want to turn OFF, and assume that feature is ON in the other two positions. Don't know why I can't get my head around that.....maybe I need to go brunette.

Thanks for the pics
 

Tiger85

Member
Jun 2, 2010
16
Orlando
It was a little tricky for me too at first. In the upper picture the spa jets are off and the spa return has only a small amount of water going to it (close to off), which sends most of the return water to the waterfall and pool returns, with the pool returns getting slightly more water than the waterfall. In the lower picture the main drain is completely off so that the water going to the pump is split between the pool cleaner and the skimmer, with the skimmer pulling slightly more water than the pool cleaner.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,796
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
I just wrote on the pipes with a magic marker. I only have two three-way valves. One is in, one is out. The sides are spa and pool. The handle points to whichever one I want to use. I blend them, and after some experimentation, I put yellow paint marks where I want each valve to be. One on the handle, one on the valve body. So when I use the spa, I turn both valves to spa, then start the heater. When I'm done, shut off the heater and put the valves back to the usual position. The yellow paint makes it easy to do in the dark.[attachment=0:3rce1jei]Dsc00780.jpg[/attachment:3rce1jei]
 

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cheddar85

Well-known member
Feb 18, 2010
271
Houston, TX
Miranda, I see pics like these on here and my head spins too. The only valves I ever use are on/off, so I've always said to myself 'I hope all these people have those things labeled!'
 

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