Who can teach me about this pool equipment, specifically valves and which does what and why you would want to move them? There were other pics I wanted to post to show the individual valves and labeling, but evidently there is a qupta on posting pics.
To help you, it would be easier if you could take the photo, then label each valve by number, and then let us tell you.
Also, show us the label on the ones not legible here. We don't mind helping you with some of this, but your PB really should educate you on the operation of all your equipment. Post back with the labeled photo, and we will try to help you out.
He's done a good job with the label maker.
Follow the flow, through the valve, follow the handle.
For example your second picture: Maindrain/Skimmer: the valve is in the null position, your pump is sucking evenly from both of them. The blank off is on the opposite side of the handle.
Then when you follow it: It's drawing from the pool but not from the spa, and it goes into the pump. On the other side of the pump (where it exits), the water is under pressure. The hose bib is there if you'd like to drain out some water.
Then it goes to the filter (labeled "inlet"). The valve there is closed so it must go through the filter. Not sure where the pipe goes. But keep that valve closed if you want to filter the water.
Out of the filter (bottom pipe), to the heater, input on top, out the heater on the bottom, through a check valve, to the returns.
The return valve is set so all the water goes to the Pool, not the spa.
Then the water features look to be electically actuated. (Can't tell the settings), through your puck clorinator.
I only have one pump for my 14K gallon pool. The return line is split between the returns and the water features. If usually close off the returns if I want to use all water features simultaneously. Otherwise I can get away with using 1 or 2 water features while all returns are open.
A couple things I can think of to ask. What reason would I be changing valve positions? If I wanted to vacuum the pool with the skimmer suction, would I turn a valve to have more suction there vs the drain? I'm sure I have more but just don't know to ask them. So far I am only checking chlorine and alkalinity and have only added chlorine.
I am supposed to have pool school with the pb so I haven't messed with the pool chemicals too much. I doubt he'll show up to do pool school since he hasn't honored anything else he said he would do.
Correct. You want to play with the auction valves (Main and skimmer) to have water flow from there. Turn off main to use a vacuum.
You modulate the return valves (waterfall, spa, pool, ledge bubbler) to direct water that way. Note that running water in a way that airates it will increase your PH. Not bad but you need to use Muratic Acid to lower it.
The return valves can be half way and it won't hurt anything.
Make sure your pump is on and try messing with the valves. Just play with them till you understand how they work. You only have so much flow so running only the spa will have all the water go there vs. running spa and pool. Note that the water will flow to the path of least resistance therefore a valve at half way may not make half your flow go each direction.
I can't tell from the photos, is there a way to bypass your heater? Or does it look like all your flow goes through the heater?
Also you need to run a test for everything you can and post the results. We can help from there.
Read up on Pool School (tab on the top of every page) and then ask lots of questions.
The heater isn't hooked to gas yet but I was gonna ask about how to run it soon. I remember the pb saying it wasn't a heated pool but the heater was the largest available and it would heat the pool via the spa. So would just the overflow from the spa heat the pool or combination of valving the water differently to heat the pool?
Sounds like we have a similar setup. The heater via spa will heat the spa and then overflow via the spillway to heat the pool. I haven't tried it yet, and maybe some of the experts would have a more definitive answer, but I would assume heating via the spillway will take A LOT of time (and energy) to heat the pool...so not exactly an efficient way to heat the pool. Being in FL (I would assume TX has similar weather), I don't plan to heat the pool at all, but may look into solar in another year or so to heat during the winter months.
Looks like all your flow goes through the heater. Then that water can be directed to SPA or the other areas via the one 3-Way valve. You should be able to go from Heater to Pool by turning the first 3-Way to OFF on SPA and then all others except POOL off.
I don't see why the heater couldn't be used for the pool. Do you know the BTU of the heater? It might just take a long time to get the rise in temp you need. Plus it is probably expensive.
I don't have a heater (the wife didn't want one, but I bet I get one next fall) so I could be wrong on the above.