waterfall is a trickle when using returns

patplh

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2009
199
Massachusetts
Hi, I have a waterfall, that is only a trickle when we flow water out of the returns, but is full blast and beautiful when we use the infloor cleaners instead of the returns..
is this normal? I assume most people use returns to flow water back into the pool, so I'm wondering what, if anything, i can fix to make it work... I guess I could try to use half return/half infloor cleaner? Should I be concerned that there's a bigger problem.

Thanks!
Patty
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
Makes sense to me. The in-floor cleaners will have much more resistance to flow than the regular returns, thus forcing more water out the waterfall. I don't think anything is wrong, you'll just have to fiddle around with the valves to figure out how to get the effects you want.
 
G

Guest

I am assuming that this is a one pump system? And you have floor returns and wall returns (that is unusual)?
 

tim_pool_newbie

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 6, 2009
164
I have a similar issue. I have 2 wall returns, 2 water jets and a waterfall. In order to get the waterfall and 2 jets to produce a nice effect, I have to turn off my wall returns almost entirely (depending upon how noisy I want my waterfall!!). I'm also on a one-pump system. It's just a matter of fiddling with the valves and finding the combination that works best for you. Keep in mind though that either way you do it, you're still returning the same amount of water back into the pool, so there's really no issue with this.
 

patplh

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2009
199
Massachusetts
OK..now i feel much better..
yes, it's a single pump system.. with 4 returns along the wall and 2 infloor cleaner "things" in the deep end..

i don't think the previous owners ever used the in floor cleaner since they didn't even mention it.. but we ended up having to use them when our polaris booster pump connector burst. When that happened, we couldn't turn off the water flow to the booster pump without turning off all the returns and turning on the infloor cleaner.. thank goodness we had that option..

i love how much i'm learning about my pool from you guys.

thanks again!!
 
G

Guest

I am going to assume again ( :shock: ) that what you have in the floor are your main drains. They are technically a suction area of the pool, although they may be turned off or have very little suction to them. If that assumption is correct, then you have the 4 wall returns and your waterfall, all of which return water back to your pool. The "challenge" in this application is that if you want a lot of flow in the wall returns, you will suffer at the water feature, and vice versa. Not necessarily a bad thing, but just asking a little too much out of the pump to do both duties "properly".

You are on the right site for answers :goodjob:
 

patplh

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2009
199
Massachusetts
Actually, there are 3 "drains" at the bottom of the deep end..one main drain and 2 infloor cleaners.. there are three sets of valves for water flow.. one controls main drain/skimmer... one controls returns/infloor cleaner and one turns on the water feature on/off. then i have an electrical switch under the timer that turns the polaris on andoff.. Is this a strange design?
I was able to get a decent waterfall flow using a combination of the the infloor cleaners and the returns.

Thanks

simicrintz said:
I am going to assume again ( :shock: ) that what you have in the floor are your main drains. They are technically a suction area of the pool, although they may be turned off or have very little suction to them. If that assumption is correct, then you have the 4 wall returns and your waterfall, all of which return water back to your pool. The "challenge" in this application is that if you want a lot of flow in the wall returns, you will suffer at the water feature, and vice versa. Not necessarily a bad thing, but just asking a little too much out of the pump to do both duties "properly".

You are on the right site for answers :goodjob:
 
G

Guest

A "drain" would be a suction line, whereas the infloor cleaners would be a return source. Do the infloor heads pop up and rotate, or do they just allow for water to return back to the pool (like deep heat returns)?

There are many ways to plumb a pool, and that makes for some different set ups. I wouldn't call yours strange, but maybe a little different!
 

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