Loose handle on Pentair multiport value model SM-20-3; Valve assembly model SM2-PP3

BWW

Member
Jul 11, 2021
5
Atlanta
I noticed at the beginning of this season that the handle was very difficult to turn on my multiport value key. It appeared the main problem was the plastic washer under the handle. I was originally told I could not buy this part and so I made one. That helped but did not solve the problem completely as I then noticed the waste line leaking some. I assumed this was because my washer made from a bucket lid was thicker than the old one probably was Later, I talked to someone else and managed to order the parts. I have now replaced that plastic washer under the handle, the O-rings on the stem, the spring and the plastic washer on top of it, and the spider gasket, and yet, the handle still has a lot of slack in it when it is in position to filter (or any other position) and the pump is running. It also seems that it is no longer filtering properly because my pool turned green even though I was running it about 12 hours a day and following normal chemical protocols.

1. Can anyone give me some possible reasons why the normal tension is no longer on the handle?
2. Is it simply time to replace the multiport value key and/or the entire multiport valve even though it was working fine all these years? Mine is quite old as it was here when I moved in 17 years ago!
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,066
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I noticed at the beginning of this season that the handle was very difficult to turn on my multiport value key. It appeared the main problem was the plastic washer under the handle. I was originally told I could not buy this part and so I made one. That helped but did not solve the problem completely as I then noticed the waste line leaking some. I assumed this was because my washer made from a bucket lid was thicker than the old one probably was Later, I talked to someone else and managed to order the parts. I have now replaced that plastic washer under the handle, the O-rings on the stem, the spring and the plastic washer on top of it, and the spider gasket, and yet, the handle still has a lot of slack in it when it is in position to filter (or any other position) and the pump is running.

Sounds like you know more about rebuilding an old MPV and keeping it working then any of us.

You can decide when it is time to start with a new MPV.

It also seems that it is no longer filtering properly because my pool turned green even though I was running it about 12 hours a day and following normal chemical protocols.

Filters do not prevent algae and a pool from turning green. That is done with chlorine. A filter will clear dead algae out of the water after the chlorine kills it.

What are your normal chemical protocols?

I suggest you read...



 

BWW

Member
Jul 11, 2021
5
Atlanta
Thanks for feedback Allen, and the links to articles. It seems this forum does not notify you when someone has responded, and/or I just expected to get an email when that happened. Actually, I am convinced the water is not being filtered after having done a round of Green to Clean protocol and subsequently a round of Black Algae use. I check the water at Leslie's near my house so that I can track the chlorine and other levels. In any case, the pump pressure is not changing anymore, at least not more than 2 psi and thus, I think the diverter plate is not pressing down on the spider gasket firmly enough, allowing water to leak past. The whole multiport valve is greater than 17 years old. I decided to cut my losses in time and parts and buy a new one. Leslie's sells Pentair and Praher (generic) models but there is almost $200 difference in price! Note the store offered to sell me the Pentair; however, a subsequent internet search using Google revealed the Praher!

I see you replastered your pool in 2017. I would love to get any advice from you that you are willing to share, here or via email. I need to also redo tile and coping as I suspect it may be original from the previous owner when it was put in back in the '70s or '80s. Is it worthwhile having a heater? I am in GA and thus, it would only be used to allow me to open earlier and close later.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,066
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Thanks for feedback Allen, and the links to articles. It seems this forum does not notify you when someone has responded, and/or I just expected to get an email when that happened.

Check your Preference settings for if you have email or alert notifications enabled.


I see you replastered your pool in 2017. I would love to get any advice from you that you are willing to share, here or via email. I need to also redo tile and coping as I suspect it may be original from the previous owner when it was put in back in the '70s or '80s.

Get a few bids for the same scope of work from local contractors.

Decide if you want a full chipout of your old plaster.


Is it worthwhile having a heater? I am in GA and thus, it would only be used to allow me to open earlier and close later.

What type of heater? Gas or Heat Pump?

You have Natural Gas at your house?

Raypak Gas Pool Heater Sizer​

Raypak has a Gas Pool Heater Sizer. It tells you the Temperature Rise/Hr and Natural Gas and Propane costs to heat a pool in your local area to selected temperature by month. Adjust the natural gas cost and propane cost in the lower left to your local gas prices for accurate costs.

Heat Pump Calculator​

Pentair has a Heat Pump Calculator to determine the appropriate size Heat Pump for your location. Pentair seems to do honest calculations based on the physics and efficiencies of each type of pump and energy source.

Raypak also has a Heat Pump Heater Sizing App.

To get the most accurate cost comparison you should change the default electric kwh, natural gas price, and propane price to actual prices in your area.
 
C

Chris Roush

I noticed at the beginning of this season that the handle was very difficult to turn on my multiport value key. It appeared the main problem was the plastic washer under the handle. I was originally told I could not buy this part and so I made one. That helped but did not solve the problem completely as I then noticed the waste line leaking some. I assumed this was because my washer made from a bucket lid was thicker than the old one probably was Later, I talked to someone else and managed to order the parts. I have now replaced that plastic washer under the handle, the O-rings on the stem, the spring and the plastic washer on top of it, and the spider gasket, and yet, the handle still has a lot of slack in it when it is in position to filter (or any other position) and the pump is running. It also seems that it is no longer filtering properly because my pool turned green even though I was running it about 12 hours a day and following normal chemical protocols.

1. Can anyone give me some possible reasons why the normal tension is no longer on the handle?
2. Is it simply time to replace the multiport value key and/or the entire multiport valve even though it was working fine all these years? Mine is quite old as it was here when I moved in 17 years ago!
I’m in the industry and thought I’d chime in here as I’ve seen this situation several times. An internet search will also return several hits on loose handle after replacing spider gasket.

Coincedentially, I was called to work on a top mount PAC•FAB TM-22 in 2”. That valve key is pretty much the same valve key you are working on. However, the spider gasket is local to the diverter valve.

What’s happening, I believe, is the replacement gasket is too tall/thick. The diverter has a very specific length of travel to lock out. The tolerance is held at the gasket. Speaking with Pentair, I was told that newer diverter valves have deeper gasket traces and, therefore, thicker gaskets (*ir that’s where the conversation led me). When we order a gasket for an older valve, we get a gasket made for a newer diverter valve body. I’m just wondering if older and newer gaskets are floating around together. Being curious, I ordered several gaskets that are said to be compatible with this valve and I can say that the dimensions vary. Some stretch to fit where some just flop right in and some sit higher than others.

Dunno what else to say about this…just posting my observations. I guess that 1/8th of an inch really does matter.
 

BWW

Member
Jul 11, 2021
5
Atlanta
Thanks for your message Chris. Unfortunately, I still don't get notified when something is posted despite checking my settings.

I thought I would also confirm that there appears to be a difference in spider gasket dimensions. I put one in at the beginning of the season that did not want to lay flush in the traces, as you called them, and it ultimately swelled. That may be due to lack of sufficient pressure from the diverter or lack of proper glue applied. To install it, I stretched it overnight and then it seemed to fit well. The next spider gasket I bought fit without any issues. However, I never checked the thickness (height) of the gaskets and they may have varied there too. Both were purchased at Leslie's

I bought and installed a completely new valve given the old one was 17+ years old. Given the pressure on the filter still is not increasing over time, despite plenty of dirty pool water with green algae, and the water does not appear to be clearing. So, I am now scratching my head as to what else could be wrong. It would seem the Triton II sand filter can only be the issue now. It is not more than 5 years old though. I don't know but I may have added to my headache when I was previously vacuuming to waste, I thought, given there was so much algae on the bottom of the pool; however, I mistakenly had it on backwash. This resulted in some sand going out the waste line but I never thought it was enough to prevent the filter from filtering properly...unless I messed something else up inside the filter.

It's no fun learning the hard way and making too many mistakes!
 
C

Chris Roush

Thanks for your message Chris. Unfortunately, I still don't get notified when something is posted despite checking my settings.

I thought I would also confirm that there appears to be a difference in spider gasket dimensions. I put one in at the beginning of the season that did not want to lay flush in the traces, as you called them, and it ultimately swelled. That may be due to lack of sufficient pressure from the diverter or lack of proper glue applied. To install it, I stretched it overnight and then it seemed to fit well. The next spider gasket I bought fit without any issues. However, I never checked the thickness (height) of the gaskets and they may have varied there too. Both were purchased at Leslie's

I bought and installed a completely new valve given the old one was 17+ years old. Given the pressure on the filter still is not increasing over time, despite plenty of dirty pool water with green algae, and the water does not appear to be clearing. So, I am now scratching my head as to what else could be wrong. It would seem the Triton II sand filter can only be the issue now. It is not more than 5 years old though. I don't know but I may have added to my headache when I was previously vacuuming to waste, I thought, given there was so much algae on the bottom of the pool; however, I mistakenly had it on backwash. This resulted in some sand going out the waste line but I never thought it was enough to prevent the filter from filtering properly...unless I messed something else up inside the filter.

It's no fun learning the hard way and making too many mistakes!
I hear ya! I have two jobs going right now where I feel the same way! We’ll get through it!

I’m making assumptions on the multiport gasket and dimensions. It’s definitely a mechanical issue. I have a new key assembly. Both the old key assembly and the new one will not lock out or fully extend the rotor with any of four different gaskets I ordered. That’s after thoroughly cleaning gasket traces and placing the replacement in w/o adhesive. The test fitment across gaskets show that there is a tolerance issue somewhere. The original gasket obviously worked and the problem is following new gaskets.

Edited by Mod - Not following TFPC.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

BWW

Member
Jul 11, 2021
5
Atlanta
Thanks for the note.. I don't know what flocc is but I will look it up. I assume you are saying that is something I can use to deep clean the sand. Of course, I also need to find out what the sand level should be and open the filter to see if it is low. I have not changed it or added any since it was installed new.

At least the chemical regimen seems to be affecting my pool based on color changes and maybe after I vacuum today, it will look even better.
Have you ever used flocc with this filter? You may need to deep clean the sand.
 

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zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
14,043
Houston, Texas
Please don’t use flocc. It will gumm up your filter. You deep clean the sand by gently running a water hose through the sand bed and flushing out deeply embedded dirt. After all the dirt is flushed out you close the filter and rinse the sand.
 
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