No surface return jets?

Rusane

New member
Mar 5, 2017
4
Monroe, CT
#1
Hey all, sorry for the long first post, but I have a bit of a story and some questions...

I'm at a hotel and went down to the pool and found the water surface stagnant with visible debris and the weir walls on the skimmer not moving. Then I noticed the, presumably, return jets under the (two) skimmers were plugged. I was a bit skived out and let the front desk know something was wrong with the pool. They called the owner, who it turns out maintains the pool himself, who came in and insisted everything was fine, before he realized he had left the skimmer intake valve shut. He opened the valve, the weir walls deployed, and the skimmers are now obviously working. He made a bit of a show of manually skimming the surface and checking the pH and chlorine before saying it might just take a bit for all the debris to be cleared.

Now, I'm no expert, but I used to work as a pool boy in high school, and I did the basic maintenance on my parents pool and then later my own, and I have never seen a pool without surface returns. I told him it looked like someone had been doing maintenance and plugged the returns and forgot to unplug them, but he insists all the returns are on the floor. Given the pump hasn't overheated and there is now circulation, obviously there are deep water returns. Is it possible the equipment set-up doesn't need surface returns?

He humoured me and let me try to uncap the lines under the skimmer, but they are on really tight and the tools he had on hand didn't fit properly, so I couldn't get them off. He did show me the equipment room, where he has three filters set up, but is in the middle of working on two of them, so they aren't in the loop. All the equipment is new and the girls at the front desk told me after he left that they had drained the pool only a month ago to acid wash the walls. So I'm liking my theory that someone capped the lines and forgot to uncap them, but is it possible that the lines are abandoned in place and the new equipment doesn't need them?

The chemistry looked OK, while the surface looks stagnant to the eye, the skimmers and weir walls are actually doing a pretty good job clearing the debris, but I don't see how the circulation could be working properly, I would think it's full of dead spots?
 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,087
Evans, Georgia
#2
Hello Rusane, welcome. That motel pool does sound pretty ghastly to me too, but the issue of the returns not being on the surface isn't one of my concerns.

My own pool's returns are below the water line also. That seems desirable in the sense that water coming back in to the pool at surface level would probably cause a lot of ph rise? We can adapt the returns as desired with fountains or point them upward to do this when desired.

So it may just be the age of the pool and how things change over time? A lot of pools nowadays aren't even using main drains anymore which is unheard of for older pools, eh?

Yippee :flower:
 

Rusane

New member
Mar 5, 2017
4
Monroe, CT
#3
Thanks for the reply yippee. To be clear, the only returns that are working are on the floor. The lines I found capped are about a foot or so below the skimmer. I suppose it's possible they are suction lines for vacuum attachments or something. I just think it's real strange there is very little visible surface movement, just tiny ripples near the skimmers. Maybe the floor returns are circulating the surface and just not causing large ripples?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,087
Evans, Georgia
#4
Is this an indoor pool or outdoor? My skimmer is at one end of the pool and the prevalent wind blows right to it, hence my surface stays pretty good.

Although my returns are inches below water line, I can see the water movement easily which carries surface schmutz down the pool length.

Yippee :flower:
 

Rusane

New member
Mar 5, 2017
4
Monroe, CT
#5
Yeah, it's indoor. About 18x30' rectangle, 3 to 5' deep. No frills.
I tried to upload a photo, but the wifi sucks too haha. Interestingly, I found a photo online where the water looks still too, so maybe it is by design.