Basic explanation of pool system

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Old 08-08-19, 07:31 PM
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Basic explanation of pool system

As a first time homeowner / poolowner can someone please take a look at the pictures below and answer some very basic questions about what all the levers and pipes are doing? I have been trying to watch vides and self educated but am getting stuck at some very basic concepts

I have a swimming pool and spa. PIC 1 is view of the system. The only thing I know for a fact is that the big cylinder is the filter while the cube is the heater.

PIC 2 is a close up of the filter. The green arrow goes to the drain. PIC 3 shows a vertical handle connected to the outlet of the filter.

My first question is "How do I use a swimming pool vaccum with this system". I am having an algae problem and want to vaccum as much of it off as I can. My understanding is that I can buy a vaccum head, attach it to a hose that then goes into my skimmer basket and run the pump. But I need to do something so that algae and water go into drain and not the filter. right? I am suspecting that the vertical handle marked in pic 3 has something to do with it but for the life of me I cannot move it in any direction. Any ideas?

Also, my wife had someone come from craigslist and look at the system. He left with a simple "everything is working fine" comment but since he left when I start the system, I don't get any water in pump. In PIC 4, there is this glass window type thing that used to have water come in but when I start the pump now, it is all empty. I don't think he broke anything I must be making a simple mistake but I cannot figure out what am I doing wrong.

Also, I have 2 valves as shown in PIC 5 that I cannot move. PIC 6 and PIC7 are closeups. Am I suppose to be able to move these or should I just leave them alone? There are 2 valves that I CAN move, one is shown in PIC 9 while the other is shown in Pic 8. The one is Pic 8 is also marked in PIC 4 has moveable.

I am assuming that the one in PIC 8 is for water coming in from pool. My question is what is on and off. Is the position in PIC 8 allowing water into pump or blocking it? What is the purpose of the valve in PIC 9? Actually, what is the purpose the pump in PIC 9 ?

PIC10 is just the control panel in case it is important.

Thanks folks, sorry for the barrage of questions but as you can see I am truly out of my league here. In case you think that I am missing something please feel free to add it.
 
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Old 08-09-19, 06:14 AM
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Lots to cover here, but I'll hit a couple.

The pump has likely lost it's prime (assuming all valves are otherwise in correct positions). Remove the little window and fill the cavity with water. Reinstall and try pump. Not familiar with one that looks like yours. On mine there are just a couple of knobs that you loosen and move aside and then take cover off. Yours looks as though you have to rotate it to unlock and then lift off.

The vertical valve is used for changing direction of flow. On mine when I pull it up I get a backwash of the filter (reverse flow to clean it out) through an open outlet. To pull it up you probably have to rotate it 90 degrees and then pull up. If it hasn't been actuated for awhile could be stuck a bit.

Posting this and then going back to read more.
 
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Old 08-09-19, 06:26 AM
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The bottom of the vertical valve appears to have a pipe that is open above maybe a drain? That would be like mine for backwashing. I don't think I would vacuum to a discharge, I just vac mine as you described into the filter. That's a nice DE filter you have. They are VERY good as filtering. Since you are getting acquainted, I think I would open it up and have a look inside. This is done by draining it first - should be a plug near the bottom. You then loosen the nuts on the clamp and remove it and the lid will come off. Inside you will see the filter grids. For best cleaning you can lift this grid assembly out, but it's a bit of a PITA. Alternatively you can just hose them off and out the open drain at bottom. Reassemble. Get some water-based lubricant to go on the big gasket to make lid go on easier. Make sure nuts on clamp are as tight as when you started.
Easier cleaning method is to put that vertical valve in the up position and run pump. It will back wash all the dirty DE material out of the bottom. Need to be sure you have sufficient water ion the pool as the water comes out like a firehose.

As to all the other valves, one of our pool pros will probably be more helpful, but at least some of them control where the inlet side of the pump gets its supply. You can probably move one or more so that all the suction is from the bottom pool drain or only from the skimmer (good position for vacuuming) or both.

Hope this helps some.
 
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Old 08-09-19, 06:37 AM
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Just noticed second pump. I can see where that makes it look complicated as the two systems both use the DE filtering plumbing. Other than that, each probably has valve setup to control where the incoming water comes from and where the outgoing goes to.

Also noticed what I think is a salt-water chlorine generator. Can't give you much help on that myself, mine uses a regular chlorine tab feeder.

 
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Old 08-09-19, 06:44 AM
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All of the manual valves SHOULD move, but if they haven't been actuated in some time they might be stuck pretty good. The ones with electrical hookups are controlled by power from the control panel to turn on/off the waterfall and other optional flow outlets. Think I would leave them alone until you get flow going and try to figure out what goes where. The valve in pic 9 seems to be a simple shutoff or a means to regulate the amount of flow on that pressure loop.
 
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Old 08-09-19, 01:35 PM
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Thanks for taking the time to respond, appreiate it. You are right about the actuated valves, they are controlled by power. All other valve I can move.

What does it mean when you say it is a salt water chlorine generator? I have been putting chlorine tabs in a floating thingie in the pool.

I read about priming the pump and it makes sense. I am going to try to do that after work.

The vertical bar is still stuck. It refuses to budge. I have tried going as hard on it as I can but no go. Could the fact that the pump has to be primed has something to do with it?
 

Last edited by JZ1969; 08-09-19 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 08-09-19, 07:49 PM
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You have a fairly complicated setup there.
Didn't the seller give you any type of instruction on operating the system ?

Not a real big fan of those push-pull valves. It should only be moved when the pump is not running.
I doubt it would move if the pump was running.

Pentair push-pull valve overview
Pentair push-pull instructional video
 
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Old 08-10-19, 04:19 PM
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"Fairly complicated".

You can say that again, Pete! I'll never complain about my pool plumbing again!

Basically 2 ways to chlorinate a pool, with chlorine tabs/liquid or with a salt water chlorine generator. I'm by no means an expert on the salt systems (I use a Hayward in-line auto-feeder). The salt system uses a trace amount of salt that you put in the pool water to "make" chlorine [this is a stretch for me to talk about] by converting the chloride in the salt [NaCl - sodium chloride] into chlorine.

Here's better info:

https://pinchapenny.com/pool-life/ho...enerators-work

As you can see, the pic in the article looks very much like the item in pic #4 in your post. I understand people who have them swear by them, but they are pricey. I haven't found one that looks like the pic, so could be something else, but it LOOKS like a generator. If it has some part/model numbers on it you should be able to find a manual.
 

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 08-10-19 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 08-10-19, 04:38 PM
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On your push-pull valve [vertical one], can you rotate the handle? It needs to turn 90 degrees to "unlock" before pulling up (or at least mine works that way).

I'll have to agree to disagree with Pete on these. I used to have a rotary valve and I had more trouble with the internal seals on it over the years than the push-pull I have now. I have yet to have a leak on it and I swapped it out probably 8+ years ago.

Here's a link for your filter manual, think it's the right one:

http://www.wightwaterpools.com/siteb...es/fnsplus.pdf

This should be the slider valve manual:

https://www.c-m-p.com/cmp/.../25831-...structions.pdf
 
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Old 08-12-19, 01:04 PM
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Thanks folks I was able to rotate the handle and get the backwash going.

Although I wasn't prepared for the amount of water that came gushing out. You can see the pipe in PIC 4 that is positioned above a drain? Well the black pipe is not welded or held in place in any way, it is just *placed* above the drain. The water jet below it 4,5 feet away and flooded the whole area. I was afraid of getting electrocuted.

I have now bought a backwash hose and am heading back to Lowe's for something that will allow me to connect the 2" hose to the 2.5" opening.

As a first time homeowner, I am beginning to think that I should buy some stocks in Lowe's and/or Home Depot
 
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