No Return Pressure


New member
Jun 23, 2012
Hey guys - I have an in-ground 15,000 gallon pool that was just finished last week. Today my PB came out and hooked up the vacuum and showed me how to run the equipment.

So, this evening I tested the water and the TA was slightly low so I added some baking soda (per the BBB method) and just out of curiosity, I stuck my hand in to make sure the returns were on. So this brings me to my question, if the pump is on, and the spa spillover and the vacuum are doing their thing, do the returns need to be going in order to get proper circulation for the chemicals? I know before the PB hooked up the vacuum, the returns were blowing like crazy. I have a 4 speed pump and the PB turned the pump on a lower setting to save electricity (which is good) so do I need to adjust the speed to get the returns flowing like they were before? Or is it normal to get not much out of the returns if the spillover is on and the vacuum is on?


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
Pleasanton, CA
Usually, when the spillover is on the returns are off. The pool will still get circulated but not as much as the returns. If you have a controller that will support both, then you could cycle each for part of the run time.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Do you have manual valves or automatic valves? I have three-way valves that let me direct flow to/from pool/spa. When I want to aerate, I go full spa. When I vacuum, I shut the spa off so I can see what I'm doing without all the bubbles. But then the level goes down, so I usually increase the flow to fill it back up. Betcha your pool guy did the same.