New to Old Pool - what is this and how do I fix it?

Apr 14, 2017
Richardson, TX
Hello all,
I'm new here. Live in the Dallas, TX area and moved into a an older home (circa 1978) that has an in ground pool. All the equipment was working, for the most part, last year. Now as I am getting the pool ready for the coming season, I have a problem with the pool return valve(?). I have a kidney shaped pool that has 5 pairs of returns on the bottom of the pool. They have what appear to be rotating caps to help 'sweep' the dirt on the bottom of the pool so teh filtration equipment would keep the pool water clean and clear.

However, the 5 pairs of returns work in tandem and rotate their operation from one pair to another. Unfortunately, the valve that controls the 5 pairs does not work as efficiently as it did last year. The pool guys that have come to do some work on my pool (replaced the heater and the DE Filter) looked at it briefly, without opening it, and said they never saw anything like that and to try to find a manufacturer name on the darn thing. I've checked everywhere I know to look at it and cannot find any names, part numbers or anything. I'm stuck.

Then I found you guys! I'm hoping you can help me identify it, suggest a possible solution (lubrication?) to keep everything working, or possibly point me toward a replacement. :(

Here is the side view. GQ8A4711.jpg Then when I open the unit, I have... GQ8A4708.jpg In the center is a 'floating' cap that helps keep everything in check. Take that off and I have ... GQ8A4709.jpg

And two photos of the bottom returns....
GQ8A4715.jpg GQ8A4717.jpg

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Best regards,



Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 17, 2010
East Texas
I don't see even a little dab of white grease on ANY of that gearing system. That would be the first thing I'd do. Welcome to the forum.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
Midland TX
Welcome to TFP John!

I don't have the answer you're looking for, but I would suggest considering a good robot if you get tired of fooling with this system. Very efficient, and very, very effective they are. We don't have many service people that post, but perhaps one will catch this and offer some advice on what you have. Chances may be obsolete, and have no parts available. Which, I'm sure you've thought already, but hopefully I'm wrong. Best of luck on it, and sorry I can't help more.
Apr 14, 2017
Richardson, TX
When I rotate the parts by moving the blades, everything turns very easily, in a clockwise motion, there is no part that I can feel during the rotation that would imply a friction location. As the unit rotates the gears, the unit fees the return water to the next pair of returns. I've not taken it apart beyond what these photos show.


LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
Chandler AZ
I can't speak to the infloor cleaning heads, as I've not seen any like that before. But the water distribution valve looks exactly like my A&A infloor water distribution valve. Maybe it's one of their older style systems. Or maybe someone replaced the water distribution valve at some point.

You may wish to contact them directly and possibly send them pics of your system to help identify what you actually have. Contact Us | A and A Manufacturing | Pool Cleaning Products

Oh, and no white grease needed. The water flowing through the water valve acts as the lubricant. :swim:

Head on over to the Pool Cleaner forum - lots of posts there about robots... here's a link to just one of them: First Robotic Cleaner, Doheny's Discovery