Permanently Closed Return?

tbkurtz

Active member
Mar 27, 2017
36
Syracuse, New York
#1
Opened my pool for the first time with the help of TFPC - so far so good.

I have a bit of a mystery I hope people could help me solve/investigate.

There is a return (maybe) that I can't open by hand, and I'm wondering if perhaps it's permanently closed. There doesn't seem to be a return pipe from the pump/filter.

Here's the return - can't open by hand.
View attachment 59386

Here's the equipment - two intakes, one return. What's the second return connected to?
View attachment 59387
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#2
Sorry, I'm not clear at all on this one. Do you mean the red ball valve is the one you cant open? Those types do get old and stuck open or closed quite commonly. I have no idea what that leg is there for, but that would be a very easy valve to replace if need be.
 

tbkurtz

Active member
Mar 27, 2017
36
Syracuse, New York
#3
Sorry, I'm not clear at all on this one. Do you mean the red ball valve is the one you cant open? Those types do get old and stuck open or closed quite commonly. I have no idea what that leg is there for, but that would be a very easy valve to replace if need be.
Sorry, I should have been more clear.

The first picture is in the pool - I can't take out the plug by hand. I was afraid I would hurt it if I really cranked on it. But I got wondering, what feeds that return? If you look at the pool equipment, there are two intake pipes (with a valve) but only one leading away from the filter (presumably to the return in the pool that is working.).

That small line (with the red ball valve) feeds the water slide, it leads off like that because it appears to be a repair job - I assume the under ground feed for the slide broke, and they didn't want to dig it up to repair.
 

tbkurtz

Active member
Mar 27, 2017
36
Syracuse, New York
#5
Ok, I saw that too, and sorry to say I just dont know. Hopefully someone will before too long.
My fear is that perhaps the return broke, and rather then dig it up then just eliminated it.

What could happen if I grab a wrench and get that plug off the return? Could anything bad happen besides some leaky pipes under ground? Is there any special process for permanently closing a return line that I might undo?

I'd like to get that cap off, turn on the pump, and see what happens.

-Tom
 

ship of fools

Well-known member
Nov 9, 2011
544
Albany, NY
#6
My fear is that perhaps the return broke, and rather then dig it up then just eliminated it.

What could happen if I grab a wrench and get that plug off the return? Could anything bad happen besides some leaky pipes under ground? Is there any special process for permanently closing a return line that I might undo?

I'd like to get that cap off, turn on the pump, and see what happens.

-Tom
Just use a screwdriver to get it off. I can't imagine it would do any permanent damage and you could just plug it back up. If the pipe leading to it is leaking / broken it will have been isolated between the pump and the return already or you would be losing water. You may very well find it is piped into the other return and works!
 

ssgumby

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 17, 2012
400
Maryland
#7
Just use a screwdriver to get it off. I can't imagine it would do any permanent damage and you could just plug it back up. If the pipe leading to it is leaking / broken it will have been isolated between the pump and the return already or you would be losing water. You may very well find it is piped into the other return and works!
Totally agree ... stick a screwdriver in long ways and twist, should come open.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#8
I would suggest Channel Lock pliers instead. IF I was somewhat confident it was threaded in. It probably is...I just don't know, but if it does, I'd do that instead of a screwdriver...especially with a vinyl liner you could slip and poke a hole in.
 

ship of fools

Well-known member
Nov 9, 2011
544
Albany, NY
#9
I would suggest Channel Lock pliers instead. IF I was somewhat confident it was threaded in. It probably is...I just don't know, but if it does, I'd do that instead of a screwdriver...especially with a vinyl liner you could slip and poke a hole in.
As Gumby said if you use a screwdriver do it long ways but i see your point (no pun intended!)
 

tbkurtz

Active member
Mar 27, 2017
36
Syracuse, New York
#10
Thanks guy. I just used the side of a screwdriver to get the leverage to open it, and it bubbled out and water started flowing from the pump. I guess it just splits underground somewhere.

Just in case, any pointers on what to watch for as far as leaks go?
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#11
Awesome, I am glad it worked for you. We just err on the side of caution here a lot. I could see it would accept the length of the SD shaft, but I was just imagining one of those DOH! moments. :p
 

ssgumby

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 17, 2012
400
Maryland
#12
Thanks guy. I just used the side of a screwdriver to get the leverage to open it, and it bubbled out and water started flowing from the pump. I guess it just splits underground somewhere.

Just in case, any pointers on what to watch for as far as leaks go?
For future use, get a hayward inlet seat removal tool. They are very cheap, like $5 or so, and work great without fear of yanking a hole in the liner. I too used screwdriver but was always worried, this little tool makes it easy without worry.

As for leaks, i'd say watch water level for a bit.
 

ship of fools

Well-known member
Nov 9, 2011
544
Albany, NY
#13
The removal of that plug shouldn't change anything if the water is flowing from it now. That means it was connected to your pump / other return all along and water would have leaked out of the pipe to the return. The fact that it was plugged where it enters the pool wouldn't stop any leaks from the pump side.

It is common to have multiple returns fed off one pipe from the pump. Mine has 3 returns fed off one pipe and and the 2 returns in the stairs are fed off another. I can shut either off.

Better safe than sorry but my guess is you will be fine.
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
24,993
DFW, TX
#14
Agreed, that should not leak. If anything there is less pressure on the plumbing behind the fitting now.