What does this pipe do?

SteelBlue

Well-known member
Jul 4, 2019
81
Scottsdale, AZ
On the system leading to my Caretaker cleaning system there is a side pipe coming off that has a Jandy valve. It has been in the closed position for as long as I have owned the pool. If I open it so there is flow to both the side pipe and the Caretaker, the cleaning pop up heads are weaker and don't come up all the way, yet I see nothing else happening. The flow port in the pool wall shoots out water whether that side pipe is open or closed. And if I close the side pipe, the heads come up all the way and the jets are stronger. Does anyone know what that pipe does?
 

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jimmythegreek

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In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,657
Morris Cnty NJ
Need a pic from further away of the whole pad. Even then it could be a drain or a bypass. Water is going somewhere if heads are weaker with it open. Maybe just not noticed if it's a deep return
 

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
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Chandler Arizona
Yeah, we need some more pictures to help you figure it out. It could be a deep end return like Jimmy suggests, or it could be a return to a couple of wall jets at a bench. :cheers:
 

SteelBlue

Well-known member
Jul 4, 2019
81
Scottsdale, AZ
There are two wall jets. With the valve closed to the mystery pipe there is average flow through jet #1 and just a little on jet #2. With the mystery pipe opened to flow there very strong flow through jet #1 and average to strong flow through jet #2. With the pipe open, the floor cleaning heads are a little weak. I cranked my Pentair pump up to its max 3450 from the setting the installers had at 3000. The floor heads improved somewhat. When I closed the pipe again, the floor heads became strong. So I guess that's where I'll leave it. When the pump installer put the pump in, I asked him why he only set it at 3000 and not higher, and he said he didn't want to "blow out my filter." Well, even at 3450 rpms, the filter pressure gauge reads only 14, so I'm guessing that's safe? I still don't know why there is some wall jet flow when the valve is closed, but I think it's best to leave it closed since the floor cleaning would be more important than the two wall jets.
 
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jimmythegreek

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In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
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Morris Cnty NJ
Those are probably bypasses. Often used with IFC systems to not dead head the pump and allow fine tuning. The valves shown are 3 way valves. They are either open to port 1 or port 2 or somewhere in between. If you are sure the handles are on properly and are closing a port fully off the water has to be going somewhere. Do you have a distribution system for the IFC system somewhere
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
17,353
The Caretaker distribution head is visible in one picture.

Before the Caretaker distribution head, there is a 3-way valve and a 30 psi bypass check valve.

The 3-way Jandy is a bypass that allows you to adjust the flow to the Caretaker distribution head. This is usually needed with a large single speed pump, but not with a variable speed pump.

The Caretaker bypass check valve opens automatically at 30 psi to prevent excessive pressure going through the Caretaker distribution head. Even below 30 psi, some water will flow through the check valve bypass.

The other valve in question with a clear lid is a regular Jandy check valve going to the negative edge return . It prevents the pool from draining back into the catch basin.

The negative edge pump pulls from the catch basin and returns to the pool. Without the check valve, the pool would drain into the catch basin.

There is also a different check valve with a clear lid that goes to the spa returns so that the spa doesn't drain into the pool.

The line marked as "incoming from filter" is return to Pool.

The line marked as "spa jets" is "incoming from filter ".
 
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Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
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Chandler Arizona
There are two wall jets.
Are those 2 wall jets near a bench? Here in the valley, some pool builders install “spa jets” at a bench located in the pool. (There’s a technical term for it, but I can’t remember the name) When you rotate the valve it activates those jets.

I cranked my Pentair pump up to its max 3450 from the setting the installers had at 3000.
There is no need to set your pump at 3450. Set it back to 3000 (that’s what I have mine maxed out at) and save yourself some money on electricity.
I run my pump at 1700 & 2400rpm depending on cleaning cycle, and 3000 during “prime” at startup. :cheers:
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
17,353
You can verify the operation of the check valve by looking in the clear window when the pump starts.

When water begins flowing through the check valve, the flapper will move from closed to open.

You should buy at least one new check valve to have as a spare.

At some point, one of the check valves will fail and you should have a new one ready to replace it.

Just remove the screws and lift out the entire lid with the flapper attached and replace it.
 

SteelBlue

Well-known member
Jul 4, 2019
81
Scottsdale, AZ
JamesW:

I ordered two flappers. One thing is still puzzling me. The check valve that you thought was related to the negative edge may not be that. I say this because the negative edge plumbing involves a completely different system on the other side of my pool (not shown). Its plumbing is completely separate from the system shown in the photos. It has its own check valve to prevent the basin from overfilling.
 

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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
17,353
You can verify which check valve goes to what by looking in the clear top to see if the flapper moves when the pump is on or off.