Pressure gauge reads 0? Help!

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jessica, they are correct. You have only one pipe coming up into the pump from the pool. Look in the bottom of your skimmer. Do you see a diverter disc at the bottom - looks like a UFO thingy?

At the filter, you have the plunger valve. The small pipe going straight down is waste from backwash. The other pipe goes to the 3-way valve to let water go back to the pool in two pipes - return jets and something else? You'll have to look around closely. Maybe a pressure cleaner option? Is there a small port (covered) around the side wall of the pool somewhere? Besides the return jets, anything else that may use water (bubbler, spillway, fountain, etc)?
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
485
NY
They could be tied in together without a diverter valve. Turn the handle all the way left and see if one of the returns stop flowing. Then do the same to the right to prove it is what it looks like.
 

jeffnhispool

Silver Supporter
Jan 28, 2019
51
Tampa, FL
I suspect that if you remove your skimmer basket you might see 2 ports. If so, one goes to the inlet of your pump and the other goes to the main drain. To draw from the main drain you would have a hose that connects the 2 ports in your skimmer.

Thats how mine is plumbed but my main drain is plugged and never gets used.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
964
Arizona
There are no water features or aerators. So if I understand (and I'm getting way out of my league here) you are saying the pipe on the right side of the pump basket is the only thing bringing water FROM the pool (the skimmer) through the pump into the filter. And the horizontal pipe coming from the backwash handle is taking water AWAY from the filter through that handle thing and down the two pipes going into the ground and presumably out the return jets.
So what is the drain or whatever it is at the bottom of the pool for???
jessindfw
Sorry about not answering your question until now. But IMOH, I completely concur with Texas Splash & Newdude comments. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words :). This is how I view how your system is plumbed.
110797

The only question is how the water is returned to your pool when you turn the valve to the right or left (or anywhere in between). You will have to do some experimentation I think, like Texas Splash & Newdude is saying .
r.
 
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jessindfw

Member
Oct 2, 2018
17
Arlington, TX
Okay - mystery of the valve handle solved.... they go to the return jets. One side to the two jets on the sides of the pool and one side to the jets near the steps. Doesn't solve my problem but good to know! LOL.

I suspect that if you remove your skimmer basket you might see 2 ports. If so, one goes to the inlet of your pump and the other goes to the main drain. To draw from the main drain you would have a hose that connects the 2 ports in your skimmer.

Thats how mine is plumbed but my main drain is plugged and never gets used.
You hit the nail on the head here. There are two holes in the bottom of the skimmer. One has suction and the other does not and I always wondered what the other was for... so if I ever did need to drain from the bottom of the pool then I could connect those two holes with a hose. Also good to know!

You guys are so smart!
 

jessindfw

Member
Oct 2, 2018
17
Arlington, TX
jessindfw
Sorry about not answering your question until now. But IMOH, I completely concur with Texas Splash & Newdude comments. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words :). This is how I view how your system is plumbed.
View attachment 110797

The only question is how the water is returned to your pool when you turn the valve to the right or left (or anywhere in between). You will have to do some experimentation I think, like Texas Splash & Newdude is saying .
r.
Thank you. This is amazing. I'm saving this picture on my computer and if I ever sell this house, I'm going to leave it for the next owner so they don't have to figure all this stuff out the hard way.
 
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jessindfw

Member
Oct 2, 2018
17
Arlington, TX
Jessica,

Are you able to spin the pressure gauge off of the filter ? Sometimes they are siezed and wont budge but other times they come right off. Turn everything off and give it a shot. If it comes off, turn the pump back on and if water comes out the hole like niagra falls through a coffe straw, your pressure is fine and its a bad gauge / housing/ turn-y screw things. (Bonus points for anybody who gets the Niagra Falls references)
I don't really see how to take off just the pressure gauge. It looks like the gauge and valve release and all are one piece... am I missing something?
110856110861
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
One has suction and the other does not and I always wondered what the other was for... so if I ever did need to drain from the bottom of the pool then I could connect those two holes with a hose. Also good to know!
Actually, some builders install a 2-hole skimmer regardless of a drain or not. It was all they had on-hand, so they just plug the un-used hole. In other cases, the main drain leaked or got plugged and the owner decided to simply close it off, thereby rendering the 2nd hole useless. That's fine since pools do just fine with a poolside skimmer only.

And now that you know which jets that valve operates, you can get back to the original problem of finding out why suction seemed to be low. My guess is there is still something between the pool and pump in that one line. If it was in the filter, you would have high pressure ..... UNLESS the gauge itself is bad. But if suction at the skimmer is physically less, then it's not the gauge.
 
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jeffnhispool

Silver Supporter
Jan 28, 2019
51
Tampa, FL
I'm getting my skimmer replaced and will have them plumb the main drain to a diverter valve by the pump. The advantages as I see it are a) if you ever have to lower the water level below the skimmer b) in deeper pools (ours is 8ft) when the surface water gets a bit warm you can draw partially from the main drain to pull cooler water c) it can help mix chemicals. I wouldn't go out of my way to do this since clearly the main drain is not a must.