Why are large leaves coming out of returns?

Household6

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Sep 15, 2013
437
Fayetteville, NC
Replaced filter sand and replaced plumbing a few days ago. I now have seen (several times) leaves re-entering the pool via a return - large fully intact magnolia tree leaves.
WHY?

I’ve double checked the valve is positioned for “filter.” I’m pretty sure I put the valve back together properly, plus the backwash and rinse positions are working as they should. Basket is in properly.
 

RonsPlc

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When you put the valve back on the top of the filter, did you make sure that the center stand pipe seated into the middle of the valve properly?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
14,999
It's pretty unlikely. Sometimes, the stream of water coming out of the return will catch some debris near the wall and it just looks like the debris came out of the jet as it gets caught in the stream.
 

YippeeSkippy

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Jan 17, 2012
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Evans, Georgia
It'd be kinda hard to imagine.... that big magnolia leaf (which by the way is quite firm) would have to first bypass your skimmer basket...go thru the plumbing and somehow get around the pump basket... into the filter and miss all the sand then come back out the return? nawwww... I don't see it happening. I'm sorry. 🤷‍♂️

But as firm as magnolia leaves are I can imagine them caught under the coping or on waterline tile and falling in and getting caught up in the current of a return. Easily.

Maddie :flower:
 

Household6

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Sep 15, 2013
437
Fayetteville, NC
When you put the valve back on the top of the filter, did you make sure that the center stand pipe seated into the middle of the valve properly?
Rut-ro Shaggy.
When you put the valve back on the top of the filter, did you make sure that the center stand pipe seated into the middle of the valve properly?
Ruh-Roh, Shaggy . . . I bet this is the issue.

When I put it back on I thought “that slipped on easily. Better check . . . “ and then I got distracted.

The good news -when I redid the plumbing I did it to where I wouldn’t have to cut the pipes if I needed to get the head off for some reason.
The bad news - I borrowed the wrench to get the fightings tight from a neighbor. Who is now on vacation.

Not that they’re that expensive, but this be ok as-is for a couple weeks, or should I go buy a wrench?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
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In my opinion, it's not happening. Leaves are not getting through the system.

They would have to get through the skimmer basket, pump basket and impeller.

There's no way that a full big leaf is going through the impeller in one piece.

Get some filter fiber stuff and drop it in the skimmer. If there's any problem with the filter, you will see fiber shooting out of the returns.

If not, you're good.
 
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Household6

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 15, 2013
437
Fayetteville, NC
It'd be kinda hard to imagine.... that big magnolia leaf (which by the way is quite firm) would have to first bypass your skimmer basket...go thru the plumbing and somehow get around the pump basket... into the filter and miss all the sand then come back out the return? nawwww... I don't see it happening. I'm sorry. 🤷‍♂️

But as firm as magnolia leaves are I can imagine them caught under the coping or on waterline tile and falling in and getting caught up in the current of a return. Easily.

Maddie :flower:
It’s happening when I’m manually vacuuming.
I thought it was a coincidence too, but I’ve been standing nearly over it and no leaves in water in that area when it has happened, at least three times. We don’t have coping or any edge for something to get caught under.
 

JamesW

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Mar 2, 2011
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If you're manually vacuuming, you should be using a vac-plate over the skimmer basket so that debris gets caught in the skimmer basket and does not go directly into the plumbing.

Even with a vacplate, you should not vacuum up big leaves as they can clog the vacuum hose.
 

Household6

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Sep 15, 2013
437
Fayetteville, NC
If you're manually vacuuming, you should be using a vac-plate over the skimmer basket so that debris gets caught in the skimmer basket and does not go directly into the plumbing.

Even with a vacplate, you should not vacuum up big leaves as they can clog the vacuum hose.
Well DUH!
I do have a vac plate, but it never dawned on me to leave those baskets in while vacuuming. (Feeling a lil stupid here.)

The prior tenants installed a tall handle on the baskets (presumably so they didn’t have to bend down as far, or put their hand in a rarely nasty basket?) But even before that, I think I always took the baskets out to vacuum. (Gah! That was dumb!)

I’d not use the vacuum to get up a pile of leaves, but never had an issue with onesies or twosies.
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
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I'm kinda with everybody else here. Even with the skimmer basket out they'd still have to get by the pump strainer basket AND go through the impeller without getting chewed up. I guess it's possible, but it'd be pretty rare to have it happen. Especially more than once.
 

Household6

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Sep 15, 2013
437
Fayetteville, NC
I'm kinda with everybody else here. Even with the skimmer basket out they'd still have to get by the pump strainer basket AND go through the impeller without getting chewed up. I guess it's possible, but it'd be pretty rare to have it happen. Especially more than once.
Should water from the pool first go to the filter or the pump basket?
 

Bama Rambler

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Water from the pool goes to the skimmer > pump strainer basket > pump impeller > filter valve > filter media > filter valve > returns > back to pool.
 

Household6

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 15, 2013
437
Fayetteville, NC
Water from the pool goes to the skimmer > pump strainer basket > pump impeller > filter valve > filter media > filter valve > returns > back to pool.
That’s good news.
So I too have no idea how the leaves could be doing this. When I get a chance I’ll set up a camera to record (yes, I’m THAT convinced it’s really happening!)
This is going to drive me nuts!
Thanks to all for your input!
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
14,999
Put a knee-hi stocking over the return to catch anything that comes out of the return.

Do you have a picture of the pool and the equipment?

Is there an eyeball in the return?

If yes, what is the diameter of the orifice?