I had an above ground pool many years ago. It was a really nice 18′ round setup. The pump/cleaning setup however wasn’t real ideal. In fact it was cumbersome and a lot of times when setting up to clean the pool got you wet in the process. The first thing you’ll notice is that I’m *not* a plumber…
I decided to hard plumb the pump and filter. The stock setup they give you is cheap flex hose that really isn’t all that flexible and tends to restrict the flow a bit.
The hard piping was done to with the following goals in mind:
- attach the vacuum hose without using the skimmer
- be able to direct the water output through the vacuum hose to clear out any air in it
- be able to hook all this up without turning off the pump (if you can turn two valves together so as not to block the water flow completely…)
What I came up with was 5 valves and a really cool solution.
Heres what they do:
Under the skimmer is a valve that turns off the skimmer.
After the pump is a valve to cut off water to the sand-filter from the pump (inconjunction with the skimmer valve this also prevents water from draining from the filter if you remove the pumps filter basket).
These valves together allow you to clean the in-line/in-pump filter without the water draining from the skimmer side or the sand filter side– essentially blocking all water to/from the pump.
The two valves to the right of the skimmer allow you to switch the cleaning hose (the pipe that goes to the right from the middle of the two valves) to either get water from the pool or put water in the pool from the sand-filter.
The valve at the top right of the picture cuts off the water flow to the water return (from the filter normally)
With this setup all of the original design goals were met. A year or so after this was done I added some unions (the grey things on the pipes) to allow the easy disconnection of the pump from the system for maintenance.
Other views are below:
UPDATE! 7-8-09 Thanks to the many readers who have asked very good questions! I have created the diagrams below to help clarify the plumbing/ water flow. Let me know if I can be of any help!