and plumbing confusing?
pool plumbing can take confusion to new heights. If your pool was
built before the mid eighties, it's probably time to modernize. The
Jandy Valve revolutionized pool plumbing with its three-way
valve. It allows for consolidation of several leaky, hard to turn
gate valves into one simple operation. This makes it possible to reduce
the number of valves and prevent pipes from going every which way. Eventually,
every pool needs to have the suction side (before pump) valves and
the pressure side (after the filter) valves replaced.
At least every 20 years.
Many of our visitors find our plumbing schematics page to be very useful in laying out new plumbing designs, or simply understanding their own layout.
you understand the flow of the water and name of each pipe above the ground, label
with permanent marker or fingernail polish. Names and arrows. Don't
be afraid to make other notes, on pump, filter, gauge, timeclock,
you live in the sunbelt,
particularly the Southwest, aboveground pipes are painted to protect
the PVC from the harsh sun. In the snowbelt,
pipes, valves and equipment are winterized to protect from ice expansion.
valves and Push-Pull Valves should be lubed every year. Use Teflon
based lube, like Magic
Lube, for Jandy Valves, and Silicone
based lube, like Magic
Lube II, on Push Pull Valve o-rings. These o-rings are lubricated
by removing the "plunger" from the valve body, sometimes
forcefully done, lubing heavily and re-inserting. Jandy Valves, "Grey," have
grease caps that can be filled with lube, or the 8 screws can be removed
(and must on early
"White" Jandy Valves), and the diverter face heavily lubed. "Black"
Jandy Valves are "never-Lube", but a little never hurt....
valves or push-pull valves have a port on them where backwash water
exits. These are used on sand and D.E. filters. If you have a leaking
push-pull valve (also called a slide valve), chances are you just
need to replace an o-ring on
the plunger. If your multiport (usually 6 position) valve is leaking
out the waste port (and possibly making a coiled blue snake of hose),
then you may have a need for spider
gasket replacement. First shut off the pump and try moving the
valve handle slightly which may reset the gasket or flush out debris.
Sometimes, you can kind of "reset" the valve by jiggling
the handle. Eventually, you'll need to replace the gasket, or the
entire valve (a much easier job). If you need valve parts, go to our valve
replacement parts page. If the multiport leaks not out the
waste line, but up and out, from around the valve handle, then this
indicates a need to replace the spring and/or Teflon washer.
getting into system?
Small leaks in
underground suction piping can result in a loss of pressure and air
being drawn in where water should flow. If your pool was built using "Black
Poly" piping or flexible PVC underground, it's especially likely
that you will experience some problems with this at some point. But
usually the air leak is found to be something simple and above-ground.
pump is meant to operate air free. After some time, you may notice
air in the basket, especially if you have a clear lid to observe such
things. This can reduce filtering efficiency, allow dangerous air
to build up in filter, and sometimes prevent your pump from catching
prime (being able to move water). The problem is usually located around
the pump, aboveground. Many times on the pump lid or the pump drain plugs. Occasionally, we have to look underground for
the source of the air. Sometimes air in the pump basket can be caused
by something as simple as the water level being too low in the pool.
You might also want to check the skimmer weir.
This is a plastic flap at the throat of the skimmer that keeps the
debris in the skimmer when the pump is off. If the skimmer weir is
stuck, it can cause the skimmer to drain and take in air. Also check
that the pump basket lid is on tight and the o-ring is lubricated.
Also check that all plugs are tight.
good trick in locating an air leak
is to shut off the motor when it's under full pumping head pressure,
and look for water to spray back; out of the void where the air
was entering. You have to be quick to catch this spray-back! This
void will always be before the impeller. After the impeller is
what we call "the pressure side." Any leak or
void here will leak water out. Any leak or void prior to the impeller
(in front of the pump impeller) will draw air in when the pump
is on. The pump will "pump" air if it can, it is the
path of least resistance. So, your system needs to be almost airtight
to run properly. When you find this void, patch with epoxy
putty or silicone, or replace the part if needed.
leaks can also be attributed to any of the valves on the suction plumbing.
Old brass gate
valves, in addition to being troublesome and time consuming, tend
to leak after many years of use. Air could also be entering through
any glue joint or threaded joint in the plumbing before the filter
putting the plumbing under pressure, we're able to locate the leak
and make appropriate repairs. You can do this too, by buying a Drain
King at your local hardware store, or from us just by
clicking on the link. This connects to a garden hose and puts the
line under pressure. Putting this in the skimmer, you can turn on
the hose and pressurize the line backwards (Also great for clearing clogged
pipes!). Remove the pump lid and use a plug at the pump entrance.
This will allow pressure to build up in the line and squirt out at
the leak. Many suction side leaks such as this are repaired with pool
putty, or a more permanent plumbing repair / pipe replacement
can be made.
your swimming pool loses water only when the pump is on, the leak is probably
on the pressure side. The leak
detection process pinpoints the area under suspicion,
where the appropriate repair can be made. If the pool loses water
only while the pump is off, we look towards the suction side. And
if it leaks all the time, well...it could be anywhere. It is important
to repair leaks to prevent erosion of earth that may be supporting
key areas of the pool and equipment. In addition, pool leaks can waste
several hundred gallons of your filtered, heated and chemically treated
water per day!
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