New pool owner - What are the most common things people do that will damage their equipment?

bertschb

Bronze Supporter
Dec 11, 2021
200
Phoenix, Arizona
Pool Size
13600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
We're buying a house that has a new pool that was installed this summer. I've never owned a pool before so I've spent the last two weeks reading and viewing everything I can find on pool equipment, maintenance and water chemistry. I plan to have somebody from the company that built the pool come out and show me how the plumbing and equipment works next month.

The first thing I plan to do when we move into the house at the end of this month is shut the pump off and clean the basket at the pump and also the skimmer basket. I will also clean the cartridge filter and check the SWG. I'm also going to clean up all the equipment that has dirt on it and add some pavers around the pad.

My question is - is there anything I can do when the pump is shut off that will hurt anything as far as opening/closing valves or cleaning filters, etc? Yeah, I'm that ignorant at this point. Sorry.

I took some pictures of the equipment while we looked at the house prior to making our purchase offer and have some additional questions:
1- I've read that an aerator is something like a misting system but I didn't see any evidence of a misting system although I didn't look that close. What types of aerators are there and it is normal for this valve to be closed?
2- The "Quickskim" valve is partially closed. What does that do?
3- The "Skimmer" valve shown below is closed, right? I expected it to be at least partially open so water was moving through both the "Main Drain" (labeled in the photo) and the skimmer. Is the valve position correct? Shouldn't water always be moving through the skimmer?
4- At the bottom right there is a "Leaf Vac" cover. Is this something I clean out just like the cover on the pump?
5- Correct me if I'm wrong- the suction side has (in order of water flow) the skimmer basket at the edge of the pool, the "Leaf vac" basket, the basket at the pump, the MultiCyclone 50 then the 600sf cartridge filter. Is that correct?

Sorry I didn't take more pictures but I hope there is enough here to guess what's going on.
Pool gear close up.jpg

Pool gear 2.jpg
 

TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
653
Tampa, FL
Any pictures of the pool by chance? I'm guessing not. If I had an aerator, I would only run it in the summer when I needed to feel cooler water as I'm swimming so they probably keep it closed until they want to use it. Did you notice if there were returns on the walls? Since you have an infloor cleaner, there might only be returns on the floor. You can adjust the valve between skimmer and main drain. They probably have it only open on the main drain b/c that's where the water for the infloor cleaner is being pushed to. They may have found that having that 100% open gives the best results but you can play around with it. I'm confused about the skimmer/main drain...can't tell where the water goes after it goes thru the leaf filter. Hopefully someone much more knowledgeable can answer! I'm not sure about the rest.
 

Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
1,216
NE Oklahoma
Pool Size
14500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
That is a nice looking pool. I like the little seating/table area.

The "Quickskim" valve is partially closed. What does that do?
This is part of your venturi skimmer. Immediately below your skimmer opening, you should have a 'return' port. This Quickskim line is a return plumbed to the skimmer. It flows through a venturi installed in the bottom of the skimmer, creating a 'suction' at the bottom thus pulling water in at the top.


This is also the manufacturer of your in floor cleaning system (IFCS).

The "Skimmer" valve shown below is closed, right? I expected it to be at least partially open so water was moving through both the "Main Drain" (labeled in the photo) and the skimmer. Is the valve position correct? Shouldn't water always be moving through the skimmer?
The venturi action of the skimmer theoretically skims the surface of the pool. I have 2 quickskim skimmers, only one is plumbed back to the pad with a suction. I keep that one about 1/3 open. I don't notice any better skimming action through that skimmer than the one that does not have a suction line on it. I would keep this at least partially open just to keep a small amount of water flowing through the line to keep it clean.

At the bottom right there is a "Leaf Vac" cover. Is this something I clean out just like the cover on the pump?
Correct. Clean it out just like you would the pump basket. Not much seems to get through my leaf vac into the pump. Occasionally a small leaf or worm or something, but on average, I clean out the leaf vac and never have to open the pump basket. The outlet of the leaf vac comes out the bottom, and is then piped over to where it comes out of the ground and enters the pump inlet.

Correct me if I'm wrong- the suction side has (in order of water flow) the skimmer basket at the edge of the pool, the "Leaf vac" basket, the basket at the pump, the MultiCyclone 50 then the 600sf cartridge filter. Is that correct?
Suction side essentially stops at the bottom of the pump basket, where the water enters the volute/impeller. You are correct, it goes from the pool skimmer/main drain, through the leaf vac, through the pump basket and into the impeller. At that point it becomes pressurized and then enters the multicyclone, and then the cartridge filter.


With the pump turned off, you can't hurt anything by turning valves. Just make sure that you have the flow path from the pump open to the pool, before turning it back on. Having the returns to the pool closed, is what is referred to as 'dead head' and can cause damage to the equipment/piping.

Sounds like you have a solid plan. It is a pretty simple setup. The only valve I see that you really have to worry about causing a dead head situation is the heat pump bypass valve. It is the valve that is directly next to the cyclone filter.

Looks like your pool only returns through the in floor system. There may be some wall returns that are part of the IFCS zones, but it does not appear that you can bypass the in floor system.

The aerator valve, there is likely a small return port somewhere near the top edge of the water, that will spray the water up. The intention of this is most likely to help cool the pool via evaporative cooling. It can also be used to raise your pH levels, when you need to.

--Jeff
 
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Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
1,216
NE Oklahoma
Pool Size
14500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The only valve I see that you really have to worry about causing a dead head situation is the heat pump bypass valve. It is the valve that is directly next to the cyclone filter.
I want to clarify something. It appears that all of the other Pentair valves have the valve stops set. I would bet that the stops are also set on this bypass valve to prevent being able to place the handle in a dead head configuration. At least without some major hassle.

--Jeff
 

bertschb

Bronze Supporter
Dec 11, 2021
200
Phoenix, Arizona
Pool Size
13600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks for the reply Jeff. Your feedback is super helpful. Yes, we like the seating area as well. I just wish the pool was about twice as big and deeper. But, the small size will make it easier to take care of.
 
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