Not sure if my bottom drain is working!


Aug 19, 2016
I had my first pool installed recently and I'm unsure if my bottom drain is working properly.

I think that I can feel water flowing in the pipe coming from under the pool, but I feel like the drain cover was installed incorrectly.
It's very much like this one (Hayward). The difference is, the way mine is installed, the holes and not aligned the same way. I can only see plastic, there isn't any space.

I do have some dirt in the bottom of the pool.



TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
FL panhandle
Welcome to TFP!

I don't know about the cover. What does the PB say? You should not feel much, if any, flow through your bottom drain. It is designed that way to prevent entrapment. Is there a valve at the equipment pad to isolate suction between drain and skimmers?


Aug 19, 2016
I do have a 4 way switch. I triple checked that and the water is flowing 50/50.

Is the bottom drain more for water circulation than for debris?

When I used my vacuum, the suction was weak. Should I switch all the suction to the skimmer before using it?

Could I use the red product to test the PH in order to see the water flow?


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

A picture of your equipment pad would help..

If you have a valve in front of your pump that allows you to switch between the Skimmer and the Main Drain, simply move the valve so that you are only using the main drain. If the pump continues to pull water ok then your Main Drain is working fine.

When you vacuum you should turn off the main drain and use only the skimmer. (I "assume" you are connecting your vacuum to the Skimmer and not some other port..)

Jim R.


Well-known member
Jun 9, 2014
Rocky Mount/Virginia
I wouldn't go full skimmer when vacuuming. That can generate too much pressure and bust a line. I keep mine at about 1:30 to 2:00 on my valve handle, 3:00 being full skimmer, 9: being full floor drain. Anything above that, the pool vac will grab the bottom of the pool and stick, and I can really hear the pump labor from the pressure. It's not worth having to dig up your lines if in-ground.