Waterfall vs Returns

Elaker

New member
Sep 13, 2020
4
Mesa, Arizona
I have a sheer descent waterfall that worked just fine last summer but this summer only half of it has been flowing. Most recently it is barely running at all. I have noticed that if The returns are on the waterfall barely works at all. Any advice? I’m brand new to owning a pool and google hasn’t been very helpful. Thanks!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,455
Bedford, TX
E,

The number one cause of that "failure" is a dirty filter..

What kind of filter do you have and when was it last cleaned..

The filter should have a pressure gauge on it.. What does it read now.. And if you know, what did it read when things were working?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Elaker

New member
Sep 13, 2020
4
Mesa, Arizona
We had a Pentair FNS Plus filter and Pentair 3.0 HP pump. I clean the filter once a month because we get a lot of sand blowing around. I last cleaned it two weeks ago and added fresh DE. The gauge reads 10-15 psi typically which hasn’t really changed since the problem started. If I turn the system up more of the waterfall works but then some parts shoot out really far.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,455
Bedford, TX
E,

We need to be able to compare apples to apples.. You can't really compare the amount of water returning to your pool if you don't use the same pump speed for both tests.

Is your water clear or cloudy?

I clean my filter once every 6 months, so once a month sounds pretty often to me.. Are you sure it is "sand" that you are seeing and not algae?

If this were my pool, I would backwash the filter, add new DE and see if it fixes the problem, if so, you will know it was the filter. If not you will know to look elsewhere.

Algae can clog a filter in less than a day..

When you say you clean your filter each month.. Do you mean you backwash it, or do you mean you actually open it and clean the grids?? When was the last time the filter was opened and cleaned??

If you have an actual shear waterfall, they can get clogged with small items and this will cause them to have little water in one spot and a lot more water in other spots.

Show us a couple of pics of your equipment pad and it might spark some better answers..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Elaker

New member
Sep 13, 2020
4
Mesa, Arizona
E3A9783A-2125-4FC2-9C19-BB1C457A133A.jpeg3A52A1C7-0BAD-4EC0-B421-F08D67F7DEE1.jpeg7F991F66-AF82-4F4E-8820-934BC994B6DF.jpegI I have been actually taking it apart and cleaning the grids. We have had quite a few dust storms that made a mess of the pool and it was definitely sand. I am in the process of SLAMing the pool right now due to algae buildup while we were out of town so the water is currently cloudy but is normally very well maintained and crystal clear. The waterfall has not worked any better anytime I’ve cleaned or backwashed though. The pump and filter are brand new and installed in February if that makes a difference. I have attached pictures of the equipment, the waterfall when it was working well, and what it is doing now in hopes that helps. I appreciate the responses!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,385
Northern NJ
What manufacturer and model is your waterfall? Some have a cleaning tool.

If you have gaps in the waterfall stream then debris has lodged in the opening of the waterfall or water flow is too low.

Use a credit card or similar object and gently position it inside the opening while the waterfall is on. Slide it along the opening to the point where the debris is located and gently pull the debris through the opening. Do not use a metal tool.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,455
Bedford, TX
E,

Thanks for the pics.. Nice looking pool...

Unfortunately, I was trying to see the valve the sends water to the shear or water to your pool returns... ☹

If you are currently SLAMing the pool, then that will cause a DE filter to clog in a day or so..

It is pretty obvious that the amount of water coming out of your shear now is not near what is was before..

"Assuming" that your pool returns are also weak, that points back to something that effects both of them which would be the pump speed and a dirty filter.

If the pool returns still have good flow, then I'd be looking at the line going to the shear. Sometime they actually put a small filter on that line to protect the shear and if you have one it could be clogged.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Elaker

New member
Sep 13, 2020
4
Mesa, Arizona
E,

Thanks for the pics.. Nice looking pool...

Unfortunately, I was trying to see the valve the sends water to the shear or water to your pool returns... ☹

If you are currently SLAMing the pool, then that will cause a DE filter to clog in a day or so..

It is pretty obvious that the amount of water coming out of your shear now is not near what is was before..

"Assuming" that your pool returns are also weak, that points back to something that effects both of them which would be the pump speed and a dirty filter.

If the pool returns still have good flow, then I'd be looking at the line going to the shear. Sometime they actually put a small filter on that line to protect the shear and if you have one it could be clogged.

Thanks,

Jim R.
This might be a silly question but would that filter be a part of the underground system to the shear? I don’t see any other filters. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about the feature itself or the installation since it came with the house and we didn’t think to ask about it in the handoff.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,455
Bedford, TX
E,

You most likely do not have a shear filter unless it is obvious.. Either right at the equipment pad or right beside the shear itself.

If there was any type of filter or screen it would be above ground and accessible.

What speed are you running the pump in your "good" pic and what was the speed in your "bad" pic???

Thanks,

Jim R.