Pump speeds to use new suction side cleaner.

goofiness

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 3, 2011
80
Stockton, CA
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
This is complicated, but I'll try to be simple. Have used Polaris 380 since day one, 40 yrs. ago. Recently noticed dirt was not going out through main drain in bottom, and found that main drain is plugged somewhere between pool bottom and gate valve near pump inlet. Also, the gate valve is frozen in open position. There are two skimmers with dedicated plumbing back to pump inlet. When I shut off the two skimmers, the pump motor ran, but no water moved, so I conclude that the main drain is blocked somewhere.

My pool consultant has both pool construction license, and plumbing. He has done work for me before, and I think he is excellent. His proposed solution was to try to flush through the main drain to clear it, but found the gate valve frozen and not serviceable. Now, his recommendations: 1. get a Zodiac MX8 suction side cleaner, and run it through one of the skimmers, 2. completely close the main drain at the bottom of the pool, plugging the pipe, and the surface opening with epoxy, permanently abandoning the main drain.

My questions: 1. Is it OK to abandon the main drain? 2. With an MX8, can I run it few hours a day (like the old pool sweep)? 3. What pump speed will I likely need to get the MX8 to work? 4. If I'm just running the pump to circulate the water, will I need higher pump speeds to overcome the resistance from the long hose from the skimmer to MX8?

Thanks for insights/advice, etc.
 
Last edited:

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,133
Spring Valley, NY
Not sure what your asking. You say the main drain doesn't work after shutting off the skimmers.
a) If it's so then the MD essentially blocked off then why bother sealing it off now.
b)what does the suction side cleaner have to do with the MD ? Has the 380 working the last 40 years? Assuming there's a dedicated wall port what's stopping u from do that now?
 

goofiness

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 3, 2011
80
Stockton, CA
Pool Size
21000
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Plaster
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Liquid Chlorine
Wireform,
Thanks for your reply. What I did not mention is the other elephant in the pool: it is leaking around 1/4" per day, whether pump is on or off. Testing so far has not been diagnostic. I didn't really want to get into this aspect of the problem(s). In answer to your queries:
a) the main drain seems to be clogged; it is not clear where in it's course back to the pump the blockage resides; the pool man wants to seal the pipe, as well as the opening in the pool bottom, in case that is where the leak is
b) we have lots of dirt and dust out here; if the main drain is plugged, clogged or whatever, none of the dirt that is swept to the bottom of the pool gets back to the filter; a suction side cleaner is to suck up the dirt from the bottom, and send it to the filter via the skimmer line

I see that your main drain is permanently closed; I do not see mention a cleaner, suction or pressure side? Do you vacuum regularly or ?
 

Diggy77

In The Industry
Sep 3, 2021
46
Glen Carbon IL
Pool Size
11000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Before going thru completely abandoning the main drain, I'd inspect the main drain gate valve further, may even just replace it... See what happens

Polaris 380 is a pressure side cleaner that is designed to work in conjunction with a booster pump. If the pool has proper flow coming into the pump thru skimmers, the faulty main drain isn't the issue with the cleaner.
 

duckcmmndr

Bronze Supporter
May 7, 2014
346
Arkansas
Pool Size
29980
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I don't even have main drains and all I use and a Polaris and it will get the dirt in the deep end. You don't need main drains to get that dirt if your Polaris is working correctly.

You have a lot of things going on...here are some recommendations:

- I would stay away from a suction side cleaner...if you want to upgrade from the Polaris, get a robot instead.
- If it has been hot and windy...1/4" of water per day could very easily be from evaporation. Mark water level on skimmer face after the sun goes down and check it the following morning (use tape).
- Replace the faulty valve and while you have access to the main drain line at the pad try to run water from a garden hose through the main drain line from the pad and see if you can clear the clog if you have one.

In this situation try not to do more than one thing at a time so you can isolate and figure out what's going on.
 
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BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
648
"Old" Katy, TX
Pool Size
15000
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Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I agree with everyone here except your pool guy. I moved to a robot from a pressure side cleaner and wow! What a difference. Check believable reviews, though, before you buy, as there are good ones and better ones. 1/4" a day loss? I'm not sure I could detect that unless it was really 1" every four days. Have you tried a bucket test? Like a five gallon bucket of pool water standing next to the pool or on a top step so the water temp is the same. See how much water in the bucket drops compared to the pool. If the same, it's clearly just evaporation (assuming you don't have a big dog drinking out of that bucket.)
 
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