Power Outage Drains Pool

Jan 17, 2011
10
San Antonio TX
#1
Newbie needs help. Our pool contractor is having financial problems and is offering little help so I'm turning to TroubleFreePools for some help. We live in the Texas Hill country and power outages are frequently associated with thunderstorms. We've had several pools with homes that we rented, so we are not rookies as far as maintaining a pool. Retiring from the Air Force and purchased our forever home. We were talked into building our new pool with an infinity edge. Having a hard time wrapping myself around the contractors solution to our problem.

The pool drains whenever there is a power outage. Contractor has told us that the main pool will drain into the infinity edge catch basin when the pump is turned off. Once the catch basin over fills it drains out of the overfill pipe. This has already happened twice. Pool has been filled for less than two months. We've lived in Hawaii with a pool and had days where the electric was OFF for hours and hours and the pool didn't drain. Is this because we have an infinity edge? I can't keep filling the pool every time we have a power outage.

The in floor cleaning system was ON last night when we went to bed. Don't know if this has anything to do with it draining. As you can see from the pictures, I'm filling the pool up again this morning. Please any help would be greatly appreciated.

- - - Updated - - -

Sorry I'm not sure why my pictures turned.
 

Attachments

1380ken

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2012
347
MA
#4
So you need to keep your pump running constantly or the pool drains? That doesn't sound normal. I can't tell anything from the pictures.
 
Jan 17, 2011
10
San Antonio TX
#5
Hi 1380ken, thanks for the reply. I guess that would be the case. Pool contractor is saying if the pool Intelliflo is turned off the pool will drain. Pool is on steep hill, catch basin at bottom. All I really know is that we had a power surge last night and the electric clicked off and then on again....however the Intelliflo variable pump didn't come back on. The Pentair Easy Touch 8 panel was still on....control panel was working displaying AUTO, Spa, Air, and the date and time....however the Filter pump light "F" was not lite. I pushed button and then power to the Intelliflo variable speed pump came on.
Pool contractor did call this morning in reply to my panic text message and told me to turn off the in-floor cleaning which stopped the catch basin from draining more. Ok, quick fix, but it doesn't explain why when the intelliflo pump is turned off the pool drains.

I'm really praying someone will see this and help us out. I can call out another pool company....but who wants to work on someone else's mess. You would think spending this amount of money and you would have a working pool. So depressed. :(
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#6
Can you label all the pipes in your picture? We have no idea how it is plumbed. Might be as simple as adding a check valve.
 

jagger2005

LifeTime Supporter
Oct 5, 2014
450
San Antonio, TX
#7
You said the grade is pretty steep. Could your pump station be sitting on ground lower than the bottom of the pool? If so, it would seem that you would need a double check valve on the return pipe from the catch basin back to the pool. By no means a pool expert, yet, but I could see gravity sucking everyone ounce of water out of that pool without something stopping the water from going backwards.
 
Last edited:
Jan 17, 2011
10
San Antonio TX
#8
jblizzle, let me go look. I think DH has put labels on everything. I'll take a picture. jagger2005, you might be right about the level because it's only a 5ft deep pool. Didn't really want a deep pool.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
#9
To help you we need a diagram of how your plumbing is set up.

From what I can see you have two pumps and a catch basin but no surge tank -- is that correct?

Normally you set up a infinity edge pool so you can run it both with and without the edge - both with and without the catch basin. Can you operate the pool without the edge?

I think your pump is suctioning from both the pool and the catch basin. You need a check valve on the catch basin suction so the water cannot drain through the pool drains through the catch basin drain to the catch basin and out of the system. That's just an educated guess.

I would call around and find a pool guy who understands infinity edges and have him come look.
 

uncfan1573

In The Industry
Mar 14, 2010
122
#10
You need to add a check valve on the suction side of the infinity edge. Sounds like the water from the pool is going back through the main drains on Infinity.
 

racket

In The Industry
Mar 8, 2011
441
#11
definitely you will need a check valve. On that set up I would put one both on the suction and the return of the pump.
I usually don't say this, but your pool builder is being a bone-head. This is infinity edge 101 stuff.
 
Jan 17, 2011
10
San Antonio TX
#13
@racket....yep, I'd call him something else but it would be deleted! I'm not sure where to start looking for someone to correct the problem. We will look at it in the day light tomorrow and see if we can figure things out. DH is not convinced the pool is draining because of the power. Going to turn everything off again tomorrow and see if it starts draining.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
#14
In your picture you can see where depending on how the valves are set when the pool pump is off the pool will drain from the main drain right into the catch basin through that drain.
 
Jan 17, 2011
10
San Antonio TX
#15
Ok, racket said this was 101 infinity edge stuff. Should the pool HAVE NOT be plumbed this way. I know everyone has different ways of doing it, but I'm asking if the pool builder should have know this was a problem. All he is telling me, that infinity edges must be running 24/7. Stupid me, I'm just the homeowner. :(
 

woodyp

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 17, 2010
10,206
East Texas
#16
That's right up there with having to leave your car running 24/7 or it would refuse to crank and all the oil drain out the bottom.
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
#18
It sounds to me like the problem is the lack of a $20-$50 check valve to prevent backflow through the pump when it is not running. Although without seeing details of how the plumbing runs it is hard to say for sure.
 

Mike_W

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 24, 2011
142
Orange County, California
#19
I'm with Isaac. Without a schematic it is hard to know the precise issue, but a check valve inline with the pump will stop water from flowing "backwards" when the pump is off. If you are comfortable with cutting and glueing PVC you can fix it yourself. Jandy makes the kind of check valve that is typically used in this application. Make sure it is installed so that water flows through it when the pump is running. Here is a little more information on Jandy check valves.
http://www.zodiacpoolsystems.com/~/media/Zodiac/Global/Downloads/SL/SL5250.ashx
Mike
 

n240sxguy

Well-known member
May 17, 2014
1,802
Benton, KY
#20
Sounds like you need a check valve on the suction line from the catch basin. Everything else should make a loop back to the pool, and not drain a level. Since the catch basin catches runoff from the infinity edge, it has to have a suction to pump back up to the pool. Without power, it will drain back out the suction line to the catch basin. If you're comfortable with pvc it is a piece of cake. If you're not, it's probably a $100 job including the check valve if you buy it yourself online.


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