Swimming Pool Blog
by Mark Garcia March 11, 2014
Replacing Swimming Pool Valves
On most inground swimming pools, there are two sets of valves, a suction manifold and a return manifold. The suction side is the valves that control skimmers, main drain, and possibly a pool cleaner line. The return manifold may have just one pipe that goes into the ground, or it may have a valve (or two) on the return side, to send water to a spa, fountain or water feature.
In our picture here, we have a pool plumbing diagram of a pool/spa combo, with two skimmers, a main drain and spa drain on the suction side (colored blue), and a pool return and spa return on the return side manifold (colored red).
The suction side utilizes three 3-way valves, and the return side is using two 3-way valves and two check valves. The grey boxes over two of the valves are valve actuators, or motorized valve turners, for use with controller systems.
5 Reasons for Re-Valving your suction and return side valves
- Valves are old ball valves and are hard to turn.
- Valves are even older gate valves that are leak air and water.
- Adding another suction line, or another return line to your system.
- Replacing all of the other pool equipment, and want to rearrange.
- Upgrading to Never Lube 3-way valves.
Replacing 2-way ball valves or gate valves with 3-way valves makes a much simpler design, and for simple pools, you may need only one 3-way valve, installed in front of the pump, to replace two old 2-way valves.
5 Tips on Pool Valve Replacement
- Use primer and heavy duty PVC glue or ABS glue to make new plumbing connections.
- Keep a rag handy to wipe up any glue drips or runs.
- In very tight spaces, picture hanging wire can be used to cut PVC.
- Measure twice - and then add 1/2" before cutting pipe lengths
- Be careful not to glue the valve diverter shut when gluing pipe on the inside!*
* Jandy type valves can be installed with either 1.5" pipe, glued inside of the port, or 2" pipe, glued into a 2" coupling which is glued outside the port, as shown here in this image.
Thanks for Reading!