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First time opening pool. Not sure which valves to open.


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This is my first time opening my in ground pool myself.  I'm not sure which direction the valves should be turned to have the proper plumbing lines open.  I thought i took a picture last year before closing but can't seem to find it.  I have pictures with the lines labeled and could use an experts help.  Thank you in advance.

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Interesting setup. If I understand it correctly, the main drain can be used either as a drain (suction) or a return (pressure). Turn the main drain valve so the handle is toward the pump to utilize it and the skimmers as a suction. Leave it as is to just use the skimmers. It will be easier to catch a prime in the pump if you use one suction at a time, so use the skimmer valve to isolate first one, then the other, then open both (the way it is now).

The handle of the valve points away from the gate, so whatever is opposite the valve handle is closed. For example, in the pics your main drain is closed at the main drain valve and at the return valve. Your cleaner valve is open and turning it 90 degrees in either direction will close it.

@jimmythegreek, @Pool Clown, anything to add?

 

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14 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

Interesting setup. If I understand it correctly, the main drain can be used either as a drain (suction) or a return (pressure)

NO! The main drain is on the suction side of the pump, not the pressure side. It cant be used as a return!

The valve arrangement allows you to distribute the suction (water flow to the pump) between the main drain, 2 skimmers, and a dedicated suction cleaner port. I don't have the time right now to study the photos but I will and post what the valves do and where to set them in the next day or two.

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I can't make out the valve labels in the vicinity of your chlorinator/filter/ heater . Also, is your Smartpure system a salt or ozone system (Bluehaven make both and I can't really tell from the picture. These are their proprietary systems.)

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4 hours ago, waterbear said:

NO! The main drain is on the suction side of the pump, not the pressure side. It cant be used as a return!

I disagree. You can clearly see the two inch pipe running from the suction side valve (labeled main drain) to the pressure side valve (labeled main drain return) and tee into the ground. Labeled main drain on both the suction and return valve and if you opened both you would have a plumbing loop that never touches the pool. And the cleaner is a pressure cleaner, clearly plumbed in to the "pool returns" pipe.

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19 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

You can clearly see the two inch pipe running from the suction side valve (labeled main drain) to the pressure side valve (labeled main drain return) and tee into the ground.

As I said when I first looked at it I didn't have time to study all the photos but I have noticed that the pool has "floor returns" which could just be returns or part of an in floor cleaning system, which is pressure side). Also I saw the Pentair Rainbow trichlor feeder which makes me think that the Smartpure is ozone.

Without a full schematic of the plumbing (or maybe more pictures to get a better idea of all the valve and where they go, along with all the equipment plumbed in it's difficult to really say what needs to go where.

I will print out the pictures tonight or tomorrow and try to see what  goes to where as best I can but this is a more complex arrangement than even My pool! 😁 Best I can tell it's a pool/spa combo with shared filtration, trichlor feeder, ozone(?), blower for the spa, possible in floor cleaning system, and, as best I can tell, a shared heat pump   and a DE filter.

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Suction side valved btwn two skimmers, and a main drain.

The following is if you have an in-floor system.  You may, you may not...

Return side is split btwn pool return, floor return, and main drain.  I'm willing to bet that the "main drain return" is for the in-floor system that actually controls two popup heads that oppose the main drain and shoot return water towards the main drain as part of the in-floor cleaner.  The in-floor valve would divert a portion of return water to the in-floor water valve (not shown) that distributes water to the in-floor heads (scattered on the pool floor) for cleaning.  These valves need to be either set by an in-floor tech, or if you know the system, and are able to balance the flow, yourself. 

Note: you also have another tee with valve downstream from the pool return valve labeled "cleaner line" that looks like it could be for a pressure side cleaner or one that runs off the filter pump.  Cant see if the line goes to another pump, or just goes into the ground (back to the pool). The in-floor water valve as its called, could be located anywhere between the equipment and the pool.  In a planter, etc.  Usually described as a black mushroom looking thing about 8 or 10 inches in diameter. 

Why would you have two cleaning systems?  Couldn't tell you.  I see lots of "different" stuff out there though. 

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But I would swear that the main drain pipe that comes into the suction side valve also runs directly to the pressure side valve, with a tee at the ground level connection by the pump. I can't make sense of it as anything but a way to pressurize the main drain. Am I missing something, @Pool Clown? You see ALOT more pools than I do, but I'm pretty good at plumbing, and fairly sure what I am seeing.

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2 hours ago, Pool Clown said:

Wow, didn't see that.

Neither did I initially. The plumbing is a nightmare, IMHO. For a system that complicated you would think the builder would create manifolds instead of a spider's web of pipes and valves.

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Frankly, pool builders spend weeks or more doing totally unrelated work for every day they spend plumbing in equipment. I used to work for a pool builder, in the service department, and I couldn't believe some of the crap they did. I mentioned it to the owner and offered to teach the build crew a few things. He said "You think you can do better?". I said "I know I can". So he started sending me to plumb the pads. The build crew was VERY happy with that, as they spent most of their time driving excavators and such, and had little know-how and less interest in plumbing. Honestly, I kind of enjoyed it. It's like a jigsaw puzzle, as opposed to my usual day of crossword puzzles, if that makes sense to anybody but @Pool Clown .

 

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