Super newbie here, starting by understanding pump and valves


New member
Apr 15, 2019
San Antonio
Hey all,
3rd day at new home with my first pool, and we want to give it a test run today. Previous owner left it in great swimming condition, so my first question is understanding how to setup my diverter valves and when to change their direction.
See attached pics. I have 2 main valves with 3 branches each.
One towards filter and pump with splits to SPA DRAIN and SKIMMER. owner left it with the OFF portion on SPA DRAIN side.
One coming from heater (I think) with 2 unmarked ports and one marked SPA JETS. owner left it with OFF portion half on SPA JETS and half on the side with no port.
Should I leave it like this during regular hours? Should I change it for swimming in the pool? Is the spa any different?
Thanks to whoever gets this far! I don't want to break anything lol



LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015

Welcome to TFP! This is a great place for new pool owners to learn everything needed. I need a little more information but I"ll make some assumptions to get you started. It would help a lot if you can take a photo of the entire equipment skid from the front and both sides. Most pools have water coming from the skimmer then through the pump then the filter then the heater then a check valve then the chlorinator then back to the spa jets. From there it overflows into the pool and goes to the skimmer. There are several other modes that we can get into after you send more photos and fill out your signature. Click on your screen name above and then click on the "Signature" which opens a type the info in. Pool size, equipment and model numbers are very helpful plus anything special about your pool. Click on Pool School to the left to learn how we balance pool water. If you need the Cliff Notes version click on the link at the end of my signature.

Again welcome to TFP we look forward to more posts as you get your arms around this pool!



New member
Apr 15, 2019
San Antonio
Thanks for the info. I've sort of discovered the flow theory, but too dark now to take pics. I (crudely) drew up pump system.
The heater is a Rheem Spa Pak Electric. The pump is the Waterway SMF-215, a 2 speed 1.5hp pump. The pool is a Viking Malibu 12ft x 26ft

I attempted to get the spa functioning with jets pumping and heat on and failed haha.
I can't get high flow through the pump. Not sure if there is a switch somewhere or its automatic.
I turned the heater on. No light. I diverted all water to spa jets, light clicks on then clicks off on the heater. Reading the heater manual leads me to believe there isn't enough flow.
I attempted this again with the skimmer closed and only spa drain supply with the same results. This also caused a little water drip from the chlorinator.

I'll continue digging and get as many details as possible.
Thank you again for your help.



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

If you have a two speed pump then somewhere you have the ability to switch between high speed and low speed..

There could be a manual switch on the back of the pump itself..

You could have a 2-speed timer..

You could have some type of automation that you did not list.

Show us a pic of the back of your pump, as well as where the electrical wires going to the pump come from..


Jim R.
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