Ran pool pump with return line closed for a day. What should I look out for?

Bobynut

New member
Apr 25, 2021
3
Northern virginia
Hi everyone,

I’m a new pool owner and I’ve been spending the past month figuring out how every thing works as I open the pool.

Yesterday, I closed the return valve on the pool and forgot to open it again before turning on the pump. It’s been running for the good part of a day until now (there were little periods it was off as I turned it off when I was backwashing the DE filter). When I realized it was closed, I turned off the pump, opened the valve, and turned it on again. There weren’t any warning signs while the valve was closed. The DE filter pressure stayed at the clean pressure, there weren’t any loud or strange noises from anything, and I didn’t see any leaks by the valves or pump or filter. I’m terrified of what damage this might have caused. What should I be on the lookout for? Is there a good chance I destroyed something here?

thank you so much for your help.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,745
Bedford, TX
Bob,

One thing that can happen if the pump can't pump water anywhere is that it will make the water hot enough to melt the pump basket.

Were all the returns lines shut off or just one of them??

If the pump still primes and pumps water, then I doubt you did any harm.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Bobynut

New member
Apr 25, 2021
3
Northern virginia
Hi Jim, thanks a lot for your reply!

I closed the only valve that seemed to be related to the pool return line. The pool is a 30,000 gallon In-ground pool with at least two jets that I remember. Is there usually more than one return line? Is it possible that the valve only controls one of the jets so the other jets were still working? It’s strange because on the intake side, the main drain and two skimmers all have separate valves as shown below
43C09F4C-6743-447C-8691-64B15E50ABC9.jpeg

The water that is going to be returned comes to this 3 way jandy valve where it splits between “pool” and “spa”. Here’s the other weird thing — I’m not sure why it seems to be returning to both as my spa is still closed with its winter plugs in (and there is no water going into the spa at any point) . The aqualink is set to service mode and in pool mode with the filter pump on. The intake handy valve automatically moves to close flow to the spa when I put the aqualink into pool mode (and Vice versa) but this return valve doesn’t move.
42190A12-FCCB-43CA-91DD-5E3711373BAA.jpeg
Here’s a closer look at the pool return valve. Am I correct in assuming that putting it in the center (between either of its two ends) means the valve is open?
9FCBB4C8-B19B-49C6-B162-DB120347F88D.jpeg
Thanks again 🙂
 

Bobynut

New member
Apr 25, 2021
3
Northern virginia
also just to clarify as it was hard to see in the above photo, the spa return line doesn’t have its own valve, only the pool return lines does. Not sure what that thing it has in place of a valve is.
F53D8432-CCBB-4F4F-B3E5-78E09D2B31F1.jpeg
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,745
Bedford, TX
Bob,

Not sure I can follow the overall flow in your pics as it is pretty hard to see the whole equipment pad at the same time..

I guess my point was that if the pump was damaged, it would be obvious.. If the pump still primes that I would not worry about it.

The valve body without a handle is a check valve.. Most likely to prevent the water in your spa from draining back into your pool when the pump is off.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
5,871
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
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SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
A 30k gallon pool should have more than 1 return line. Do you have any water features? You can just look in your pool and see how many returns are there. Starving a pump for water (suction side) is MUCH worse than blocking the pressure side. You can collapse the plumbing on the suction side. Pressure side could blow out a joint or valve. Like Jim said, if everything seems to be working, consider yourself lucky.