Missing Float Valves

glo76

Bronze Supporter
Jun 3, 2015
94
Missouri City, TX
Realized while researching skimmer baskets that my pool doesn't have the float valves installed in the skimmers (Sta-Rite U3). I have two skimmers, one at the shallow end that appears to be connected to the suction line only (other port looks capped), and one at the deep end that's connected to the main drains as well as the suction line. Best I can tell the suction lines from both skimmers are connected somewhere underground before the pump.

I'm interested in the float valve as equipment protection in case of low water levels, as we've had that occur a couple of times when we've been out of town. It seems obvious to install one in the deep end for that purpose, but I'm curious about the implications of installing one in the shallow end skimmer? If I get low water levels and the float closes, there will be no water source to pull from for that skimmer. Curious if that's a bad situation i.e. worse than the current situation where it would suck air?
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
24,064
SouthWest Alabama
A lot of builders now plumb the main drain to the pad. If you're sure it's plumbed into one of the skimmers then what you propose is a good idea. However, if the skimmers are plumbed to the pad independently then you would have to make sure the one with the main drain plumbed to it can never be closed or you stand the chance of starving the pump.
 

glo76

Bronze Supporter
Jun 3, 2015
94
Missouri City, TX
chiefwej - only valve I have on the suction side is a diverter valve to switch between spa and pool, and there's only one suction line from the pool at the equipment pad.

Bama - I'm pretty certain the main drain is plumbed to the skimmer, just based on a picture I took during construction. I guess I can test it by running a hose down it. So no issue with putting the float valve in the second, non-drain skimmer?
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
24,064
SouthWest Alabama
If you put a float in the non-drain skimmer when the water gets too low it will shut the flow off from that skimmer, but if the other skimmer is open the pump will still get water from it (and/or main drain).