Plumbing and Valve Question

SnowB0und

Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2018
15
East Bay CA
Hello,

Totally new to having a pool. We just bought a house with a relatively new pool ~2015. I noticed that the pump was coming on and going off quite often during the day, and the Salt Cell was randomly flashing low flow. Did some searching on here and youtube and found out someone had messed with the schedules. I think there was 8 for just the pool, most of which were duplicates. I have a hunch that the 3 way valve and salt cell are not installed in ideal locations. Hard to see in the picture, heres what I've gathered so far. Water gets drawn out of pool into pump > Filter > 3 way valve. Out of the 3 way valve it can go up to the solar or to the salt cell, both of which have separate outlets that go back to the pool. I'm looking for some guidance on getting the Salt Cell setup to not have low flow. I assume I would need to set the 3 way valve to remain part way open on the Salt Cell side? Some other info about the setup is its a Easy Touch 4P, Pool is a rectangle and ~14000 gallons according to the calculator on this site.

IMG_1177.jpg
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
6,784
Northern NJ
Hello,

Totally new to having a pool. We just bought a house with a relatively new pool ~2015. I noticed that the pump was coming on and going off quite often during the day, and the Salt Cell was randomly flashing low flow. Did some searching on here and youtube and found out someone had messed with the schedules. I think there was 8 for just the pool, most of which were duplicates. I have a hunch that the 3 way valve and salt cell are not installed in ideal locations. Hard to see in the picture, heres what I've gathered so far. Water gets drawn out of pool into pump > Filter > 3 way valve. Out of the 3 way valve it can go up to the solar or to the salt cell, both of which have separate outlets that go back to the pool. I'm looking for some guidance on getting the Salt Cell setup to not have low flow. I assume I would need to set the 3 way valve to remain part way open on the Salt Cell side? Some other info about the setup is its a Easy Touch 4P, Pool is a rectangle and ~14000 gallons according to the calculator on this site.

View attachment 88763
Welcome to TFP.

Please Read This BEFORE You Post and put the details of your pool in your signature.

We need a better pic of the area around your 3 way valve to the solar. The heated water from your solar heater should then run through your SWG and not bypass it.

Salt cell probably has a LOW FLOW due to the wrong valve position. We need to see better pics of the pipes and valves and see how things run.
 

SnowB0und

Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2018
15
East Bay CA
Here are some close up pictures of the valve area. The T right after the valve before it goes off to the right just has a cap on the bottom, presumably to deal with the weight of the pipes going up for the solar. The return from the solar comes out next to the booster pump in the right side of the second picture and heads back to the pool.

IMG_1178.jpgIMG_1179.jpg
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
6,784
Northern NJ
The way your pool is setup you can heat the water with solar or chlorinate the water but you can't do both at the same time.

Confirm that the LOW FLOW on the IC only comes on when you have the solar heat on? The IC should get adequate flow when the solar is off.

Then we can discuss the implications of what you have.
 

SnowB0und

Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2018
15
East Bay CA
Its as you say, the SWG works great when the solar is off. I feel like this isn't ideal for during the summer, because you would have to run the main pump 24/7 to get enough time on the SWG and heat the pool.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
6,784
Northern NJ
Its as you say, the SWG works great when the solar is off. I feel like this isn't ideal for during the summer, because you would have to run the main pump 24/7 to get enough time on the SWG and heat the pool.
I agree. You should add another automated valve that moves along with the one you have on the solar input to switch the solar output into the SWG input line.

The other issue you have is you should not rely on the flow switch in the IC to turn it off when your solar is running. Your automation should power down the IC when the solar is running. The flow switch in these units are failure prone. If the flow switch fails on and the cell runs without water flow, hydrogen gas can accumulate in the cell and it can explode.

One way or another you should make some changes in what you bought.
 

kadavis

TFP Guide
In The Industry
Apr 5, 2015
1,538
tucson, arizona
Does the solar valve completely turn off the line to the SWG when activated? If so then you have another problem with the feed to the Booster pump. If the valve can be adjusted to give the SWG enough flow and still go to solar that might work. Problem there is you would need to run the pump at a higher RPM
 

SnowB0und

Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2018
15
East Bay CA
So I flipped the switch between ON1 and ON2 and as far as I can see it completely shuts off flow to the salt cell when it sends water to the solar. I'm just surprised that the pool water looks so great, knowing the system has been acting so wonky. You think adjusting the valve is a loser or worth trying? I would need to figure out how many RPM to set the VS pump to to close the valve on the solar panels? Can I set it to spin up to close the valve, and then lower the RPM after? Since there are 2 pipes returning water to the pool, I can't think how to keep the cell in the water flow no matter what. Is the Easy touch smart enough to turn the booster pump off when requesting the solar valve open?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
6,784
Northern NJ
So I flipped the switch between ON1 and ON2 and as far as I can see it completely shuts off flow to the salt cell when it sends water to the solar. I'm just surprised that the pool water looks so great, knowing the system has been acting so wonky. You think adjusting the valve is a loser or worth trying? I would need to figure out how many RPM to set the VS pump to to close the valve on the solar panels? Can I set it to spin up to close the valve, and then lower the RPM after? Since there are 2 pipes returning water to the pool, I can't think how to keep the cell in the water flow no matter what. Is the Easy touch smart enough to turn the booster pump off when requesting the solar valve open?
The manual for your valve is here --> https://pentairpool.com/~/media/websites/pool/downloads/automation/manuals/valve_acutator_installation_instructions_english.pdf

You have to open up the actuator and adjust the cam so that the diverter does not completely close when it is in the solar on positions. It takes some trial and error to see what will work.
 

SnowB0und

Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2018
15
East Bay CA
How do I know if I have enough flow through the SWCG other than the low flow light going off. I believe the manual for it says it wants at least 30 GPM unless I'm mistaken. What is a good way to determine the RPM's required on the VS pump for the solar, and with out the solar. Lastly, I've been poking around the menus, I can't seem to find where I would tell the cleaning pump to shut off when the solar is active. Is that something I should just have run early in the morning so it would never interfere with the solar?
 

kadavis

TFP Guide
In The Industry
Apr 5, 2015
1,538
tucson, arizona
There's a check valve leaving the outlet of the filter that could be retrofitted with Flow Vis flowmeter internal. But that would give you only the overall flow rate. Since your Solar and SWG lines are returning to Pool on separate lines you may have to install another Flow Vis on SWG line to insure proper flow to Solar and SWG line. You could use the toggle switch to adjust valve before you open it .
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
6,784
Northern NJ
How do I know if I have enough flow through the SWCG other than the low flow light going off. I believe the manual for it says it wants at least 30 GPM unless I'm mistaken.
Whatever pump RPM it takes to turn off the SWG flow light + 100 to 200 rpm will me sufficient. As long as the FLOW light is off the SWG is happy.


What is a good way to determine the RPM's required on the VS pump for the solar, and with out the solar.
I'm not a solar guy and can't help you with that. Without the solar on whatever RPMS make the SWG flow happy + 100 will be sufficient.


Lastly, I've been poking around the menus, I can't seem to find where I would tell the cleaning pump to shut off when the solar is active. Is that something I should just have run early in the morning so it would never interfere with the solar?
Your cleaner picks off water after the SWG. As long as you have the SWG flow on you can have the cleaner running. You may want to increase the main pump RPM when the cleaner is running to provide more flow.
 

SnowB0und

Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2018
15
East Bay CA
I like that idea. Where would be the best place to buy the flow vis? That seems like the best way to dial it in specifically. I can take overall, subtract how much it drops when it goes to the solar and know how much speed I need to add to keep the SWG happy.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
6,784
Northern NJ
Thanks for the links and help! I was hoping I could buy just the flow indicator but it looks like they come in a set.
You can buy just the flow indicator that installs in a Jandy valve housing. But then you lose the function of the valve.
 

SnowB0und

Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2018
15
East Bay CA
I’m going to try to get this re plumbed, how would you set it up with the 2nd 3 way valve? It looks like the solar return goes to 3 floor returns and the one with the SWCG goes to the side returns.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
6,784
Northern NJ
I’m going to try to get this re plumbed, how would you set it up with the 2nd 3 way valve? It looks like the solar return goes to 3 floor returns and the one with the SWCG goes to the side returns.
I would tie all the returns together in a manifold with the SWG feeding the manifold input.

Filter output goes to 3way valve that sends water up to solar or SWG. Solar output goes to a check valve and T after 3way valve and before SWG.