What is this?

Mamamartini

Active member
Sep 19, 2016
34
Wilmington, OH
Pool came with new house. Seller was an investor who never lived in the house and didn't maintain the pool (renters did), so I don't know the pool history. Is this a return that's been capped off? We only have 2 returns, so a 3rd could really be beneficial for circulation in this big pool. Is there any risk to taking the plug out? What are possible reasons they capped it? What else could it be besides a return?

Thank you!
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,867
Bedford, TX
Mama,

I would suspect an unused vacuum port. They normally have a flapper like cap, but it could have broken and was just replaced with a plug.

Could also be a unused return, but then the only reason to plug it would be due to a leak, and plugging just one end would not solve anything.

If you can add a picture of your equipment pad, showing the valves and surrounding equipment, you might get a better answer.

Jim R.
 

Mamamartini

Active member
Sep 19, 2016
34
Wilmington, OH
Mama,
If you can add a picture of your equipment pad, showing the valves and surrounding equipment, you might get a better answer.

Jim R.
Let me know if you need more pictures!

- - - Updated - - -

In my equipment pictures, can you see the electrical "station?" The switch under the outlet is for the pump, but we have no idea what the switch on the other side is for. Any ideas about that? We have two pool lights, but they don't work, so we aren't sure if that's what the switch is for.
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,867
Bedford, TX
Do you have two skimmers?

I see no reason not to take the plug out and see what happens. There should either be suction there, or pressure.. if nothing, I'd stick the plug back in.

Jim R.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,602
It's a step return. Typically, there is a separate line going to the step returns. Step returns are sometimes called step jets because some people install hydrotherapy jets there so that people can sit on the steps and get jet action like in a hot tub (That's the intent anyway. They rarely, if ever get used like that).

Don't know why it was plugged or why it doesn't have its own plumbing line.

The extra switch probably goes to the lights. You can open the lights junction boxes to see if power is getting to the lights.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,602
Did water start coming out as soon as you removed the plug?

If the line was getting return water pressure the whole time, then the pool would have been losing water if the line leaked.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,867
Bedford, TX
Mama,

I would not be too worried about a leak. Since this is a pressure pipe, plugging the end would not stop a leak, so there must have been another reason to close it off.

I'd add an eyeball and use it..

Jim R.
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
I agree with Jim. Water coming out immediately is good. That means the line was pressurized and full of water so if the pool wasn't leaking before then it isn't leaking now.
 

Serious1

Silver Supporter
Jul 13, 2016
110
NE
check the pressure in the other 2 returns, perhaps they capped it so that they could get more force on the other 2. We have 4 returns but only 3 really worked until we made the PB install eyelets and now they all shoot out water.