Testing a flow switch

#1
Hello all - first post from me. I saw other posts similar to this but wanted to ask a specific question about testing a flow switch. I recently replaced my pump motor (just bought the house and motor had a bad bearing and was extremely loud). New pump working great, no leaks. However, since I replaced it, every once in a while my system says "Chlorinator Off - No Flow" or "No Flow Filter Pump". My suspicion is that I stepped on something or kicked something replacing the pump and broke the flow switch. At any rate I did the following as tests:

Unplugged the switch from the panel - same issue (obviously - no way for the loop to close)
Turned the flow switch the opposite direction (to make sure I did not wire pump backwards and reverse the flow) - same issue

The switch connects to the panel with an RJ-11 telephone jack. So I took a spare telephone cord, spliced it into a loop (to complete the circuit) and plugged it into the panel where the flow switch would normally plug in. Since I did that it's been running like a champ - pump and chlorinator. I have good flow, my water fall feature is working and the filter pressure is good. Is this proof that the switch is bad or should I do more testing? I ask because the switches are pretty expensive ($100 +) so I don't want to buy one if it is not my problem.

Appreciate this forum very much - I have learned so much already!!!
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#2
:wave: Welcome to TFP!!!

That proves the the flow switch is not closing the circuit as it should. So either you really do not have enough flow, or more likely something is wrong.

Check the full length of the wire to make sure it is not cut, chewed, etc. You can unscrew the sensor out and replace it if required.

To go a step further, you could unscrew the sensor, plug the hole, run the pump and push the sensor closed and that will definitively tell you that something is wrong with the sensor.
 
Jul 4, 2013
1
#5
I had to replace my flow switch this spring after the pool's fourth season. Check on Amazon.com. Their prices should be cheaper than the local pool store.
 
#6
OK so it turns out the switch was not my problem - thanks so much for the recommendation. I plugged the switch back in, plugged the hole and held the switch closed as you recommended. It ran perfectly - so the switch works. So I began working on a flow issue. I noticed my filter pressure was 25 with the pump running - which I have heard is a little high. The pressure returned to 0 with the pump off. I removed the cartridge and closed the filter assembly, and started the pump with no cartridge in place. Holy cow! Water came over my waterfall feature like Niagara Falls!! I thought it was running right before but apparently not. Pressure in the filter housing without the filter was 8. The bands on the filter are not broken so I will work on cleaning it - but I will probably buy a new one anyway. As I stated before the house was vacant for 8 months so there is no telling what happened during that time - a new filter would give me a fresh start. Thanks so much!!!!!!
 
#7
Jbizzle - on your slam comment - we had that done. The pool was green green green two days before we closed on the house - so we told the owner it had to be fixed before closing. They did shock it (not sure how) and the chemicals are in good shape. We have had the house and pool for two weeks and it has stayed relatively balanced - hopefully the flow fix will help keep it that way long term. Thanks again!!!!
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#8
Just because the water is clear, dues not necessarily mean they eradicated everything. I would suggest at least doing the OCLT test part of the SLAM process to ensure there is nothing in the water.

Glad I was able to help sort out the switch issue.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
12,681
#9
dking1995 said:
So I took a spare telephone cord, spliced it into a loop (to complete the circuit) and plugged it into the panel where the flow switch would normally plug in. Since I did that it's been running like a champ - pump and chlorinator.
Safety controls, such as a flow switch, can sometimes be jumped briefly for diagnosis, but they should never be left jumped.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
12,681
#13
I was addressing the fact that the system had been left running for a period of time with a jumped flow switch. If it was a brief, supervised period, then that's fine.
 
#14
Hi JamesW - yes it was a brief period (about 60 minutes). With the flow issue the panel was reporting no flow or no flow pump consistently within 15 - 20 minutes of turning on the pump. Clean filter - all good now.