Skimmers vs main drain?

TexasBR

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2020
63
Houston, TX
Greetings,
The pool that came with our newly purchased house has two skimmers. One skimmer is at the shallow end of the pool, and the other is at the deep end of the pool. The pool also has a pair of main drains at the deep end.

I have a Hayward pool vac (cleaner) connected to the skimmer that is on the deep end of the pool. The cleaner runs about 8 hours per day.

Currently, the pool water is sucked up by the cleaner, run through the filter, and returned to the pool via a waterfall and a spa return port.

The main drain and the skimmers are not being used for circulation at all.

Is this arrangement okay? If not, should I be circulating water differently, for example, figuring out how to deploy the skimmers and main drains with some valve adjustments?

Thank you.
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,639
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Are you saying your skimmers and drains are not operational, the only thing feeding the pump is the cleaner... and it is only returned via a waterfall and spa port. That certainly does not seem like a good setup. Is there no water coming out of your returns and your skimmers never work?

Do us a favor and can you post a picture of your pool and a few of your equipment pad.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,169
Bedford, TX
BR,

Show us a pic of your equipment pad showing the input pipes to the main pump.

I am not a fan of suction side cleaners and doubly so when you have to connect them to a skimmer.

Having working skimmers is what keeps the stuff that falls into your pool off the floor of the pool.

Assuming that you have valves at your equipment pad to select between skimmers and the main drain, I would only open the main drain about 5 or 10% and the open the two skimmers wide open.. This should allow both your cleaner and one skimmer to operate at the same time.

If you decide to move from 1960 into this Century, you always get a Robot cleaner, like this one.. :mrgreen:


Thanks,

Jim R.
 

TexasBR

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2020
63
Houston, TX
Gentlemen,

Thank you for responding so quickly and helpfully. I have attached some photographs, and also a diagram that I constructed - this is my feeble attempt at mapping my system and trying to understand it, so pardon any errors. I hope I have included the right pictures - if not, I can take more pictures.

I am also curious about the return side - should I also be using the return ports on the side of the pool?

Thank you again!
TexasBR
 

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TexasBR

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2020
63
Houston, TX
So your pool has no returns below the water line? Or is that what are you are calling "pool side spouts."
They probably exist, but I haven't figured them out yet. There is a pair of main drains for sure. Pardon me, I believe I should I used the phrase "pool return jets" instead of spouts. There is also a Hayward vacuum lock safety wall fitting next to the waterfall.
 

Chasarms

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2020
347
Dardenne Prairie, MO
You probably aren't getting ideal circulation if you aren't returning at least part of the water through the returns.

The prior owner may have been returning the water through the waterfall all of the time in an attempt to aerate to help fight pH drop associated with using trichlor all the time.

Have you checked the cya levels (and other chem levels) in the pool?
 

TexasBR

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2020
63
Houston, TX
You probably aren't getting ideal circulation if you aren't returning at least part of the water through the returns.

The prior owner may have been returning the water through the waterfall all of the time in an attempt to aerate to help fight pH drop associated with using trichlor all the time.

Have you checked the cya levels (and other chem levels) in the pool?
Yes, I have. I got some conflicting numbers from the two different Leslie's stores nearby. It is in the neighborhood of 70ppm, quite high as I am reading on TFP. I have ordered a Taylor 2005C and I hope to get an accurate CYA measurement soon. Meanwhile, I have switched to liquid chlorine.
 

scdaren

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
May 20, 2018
390
Clovis, CA
Yes, I have. I got some conflicting numbers from the two different Leslie's stores nearby. It is in the neighborhood of 70ppm, quite high as I am reading on TFP. I have ordered a Taylor 2005C and I hope to get an accurate CYA measurement soon. Meanwhile, I have switched to liquid chlorine.
You'll want to switch it to a Taylor K2006C or a TF-100 if you still can.
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,639
Prosper, TX (DFW)
On the suction side, it looks like only the "Deep skimmer" is turned on. I would turn both of those valves handle pointing towards the ground (6:00) to turn on both skimmers and the drain.

On the valve after the chlorinator I would turn on the returns (handle facing 3:00) or both the returns and the waterfall (handle facing 9:00).

BTW, nice backyard. What part of Houston?
 

Chasarms

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2020
347
Dardenne Prairie, MO
Yes, I have. I got some conflicting numbers from the two different Leslie's stores nearby.
really? I'm shocked!!! :)

. . . Meanwhile, I have switched to liquid chlorine.
If you have switched to LC, I would not suggest returning all of your water through the waterfall, especially until you can test the pool yourself. It can drive your pH up.
 

TexasBR

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2020
63
Houston, TX
Thank you so very much, Gentlemen. I gave these suggested valve adjustments a try, but the pump promptly lost prime. I will add water to the pump and try again. Hope it comes to life soon.
 

TexasBR

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2020
63
Houston, TX
Gentlemen,

It all works beautifully now! Thank you so very much for the advice. The pump is running much more quietly now and is loaded with water. I also saw a lovely surprise. There is now a little fountain in the pool now. It is probably meant to provide aeration, but at a lower level compared to the waterfall. I am looking forward to trying out the Taylor 2006C next week and figuring out the best maintenance routines going forward.

By the way, I wish to say that TFP is a terrific forum, and y'all are so kind and helpful.

As a newbie, if I may offer a minor suggestion, it would be great to enhance the visual encyclopedia part of this website. I am happy to contribute any way that I can. I find that everything has a very specific name. Not knowing it can make it a lot harder to communicate and search for parts on Amazon.

Again, super thanks.
 

Attachments

TexasBR

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2020
63
Houston, TX
BR,

Show us a pic of your equipment pad showing the input pipes to the main pump.

I am not a fan of suction side cleaners and doubly so when you have to connect them to a skimmer.

Having working skimmers is what keeps the stuff that falls into your pool off the floor of the pool.

Assuming that you have valves at your equipment pad to select between skimmers and the main drain, I would only open the main drain about 5 or 10% and the open the two skimmers wide open.. This should allow both your cleaner and one skimmer to operate at the same time.

If you decide to move from 1960 into this Century, you always get a Robot cleaner, like this one.. :mrgreen:


Thanks,

Jim R.
This robot looks fancy and futuristic compared to my Hayward pool vac. Hope to buy it in the future.
Having said that, I have kind of grown fond of the Hayward pool vac. I have learned to take it apart and fix it. I seem to know every part of it now. :)
BR
 

Desert Dog

Well-known member
Apr 4, 2020
261
Alpine, Ca
Hayward vacuum lock safety wall fitting next to the waterfall.

If I read your post correctly, You are using your vacuum via the skimmer? If you wish to keep it and not upgrade, that is what the vacuum safety lock is for. You might have a valve to adjust the suction to it. You must turn off the pump before you can open the safety lock. Plug vacuum in and start pump back up. You can also operate it by running your pump at a higher speed part of the day (Vacuum running around) and lower speeds the rest of the day (Vacuum sitting are moving slow). Just an option as you fine tune your set up.
 

TexasBR

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2020
63
Houston, TX
Hayward vacuum lock safety wall fitting next to the waterfall.

If I read your post correctly, You are using your vacuum via the skimmer? If you wish to keep it and not upgrade, that is what the vacuum safety lock is for. You might have a valve to adjust the suction to it. You must turn off the pump before you can open the safety lock. Plug vacuum in and start pump back up. You can also operate it by running your pump at a higher speed part of the day (Vacuum running around) and lower speeds the rest of the day (Vacuum sitting are moving slow). Just an option as you fine tune your set up.
Thank you. I will give this a try. If I have understood you correctly, I would plug the cleaner into the vacuum lock safety wall fitting next to the waterfall, thereby freeing up a second skimmer to collect leaves. Is that correct?