Melt In The Sun wrote:
In reality, the heads won't pop up every time since there may be a tiny
gran of sand caught in it
That's EXACTLY what happened to the two pop-up heads at the deep end of
These are designed to permanently stay up and to always point toward the
center of the deep end where the main drain lies.
Mine were clogged with sand and grit such that they would not pop up at
Now that the pool is drained, and I have figured the technique to remove
them, I pulled mine out today and found they were jammed with sand!
Here they are after I cleaned the sand out of them.
I talked to Chris in technical support for Paramount Pools in Tempe AZ at
602-315-5646, who explained how the filtering/cleaning system works:
- Infloors clean from the main drain.
- The cleaner pump must work at the same time as the filter pump
(otherwise the dirt will just spin around).
- You can run the filter pump without the cleaner pump - but you won't
get any cleaning of debris - you'll just get filtering.
- The four fixed heads on the wall at the deep end are on the filter pump
and run continuously.
- Likewise, the two fixed (non-spinning) popups at the deep end are on
the filter pump and run continuously.
- The two skimmers each have two ports on the bottom, one of which is
connected to the cleaning system in each skimmer (which is not filtered).
- Often, one of the skimmers (the one furthest from the debris canister
near the deep end) has the other bottom port blocked off.
- Often the other skimmer near the debris canister at the deep end has
the second bottom port also connected to the filter system.
- You want that skimmer turned down (40%) so that most (60%) of the
suction is through the main drain.
- If you have both valves open all the way, the skimmer will pull 85% and
the main drain 15% which will not be efficient.
- The hole to the side of the debris canister is just an equalizer to
allow water to cover the lid to seal it
- The two drains on the wall are safety drains.
To test how the skimmers are plumbed:
Turn off filter pump & turn cleaner pump on --> one port in each skimmer
should be pulling
Turn off cleaner pump & turn filter pump on --> only one skimmer port
should be pulling
- The heads are in the pool: They have to go in the same body - but they
do not have to be in the same rotation position (they rotate 16 times to
- Modules and water valves are on top of the pool, and they 'must' go
back the way they came (they're each different).
- There are two different modules - 4 port has tubes connecting 3 of the
pistons on top - so they have to go back in EXACTLY the same way!
- One module has 6 ports all of which are used; the other has only 4
ports (because 3 of the pistons are tied together)
One test of the water valves is to look at the operating pressure on the
gauges on top of each water valve:
- He says the common failure mode is a stuck piston in the water valve
which will cause the heads in the pool to stay in the popped-up position.
- Each water valve on the pool deck has a psi gauge attached.
- The first valve feeds the second valve 1/2 the time so the second valve
will have zero pressure 50% of the time.
- The first one should be at 22psi to 25psi (in the green zone).
- The second one should be at about 19psi to 20psi (and at 0psi 1/2 the
- The heads last 5 years. You open the lid and buy new innards.
- The run/pause switch on top will lock it on one set of modules (put it
on pause - not very useful).
As for the mechanics of the debris canister, he said:
- The debris canister has five ports
- One of the two large horizontal ports (closest to the pool) is plugged
- The other ;large horizontal port (furthest from the pool) goes to the
- The one small horizontal port goes directly to the pool and is simply a
pipe to allow water to equalize pressure to seal the debris canister lid
- One of the two large horizonal ports aims toward the skimmer but is
actually plugged off.
- The second of the two large horizontal ports aims away from the skimmer
and is the water coming from the main drain.
- Optionally, the plugged horizontal port, if it's not a) plugged (as is
mine), it could go to the b) skimmer, or c) it could go to a vacuum line.
He said the vacuum procedure, if you want to do itl, is:
a) Turn filter pump off (critical step!)
b) Remove lid of the debris canister.
c) Remove the blue basket of the debris canister
d) Fill a vacuum hose with water (to prime it)
e) Hook the vacuum hose to the vertical port in the debris canister
furthest from the pool
f) Note: The vertical port in the debris canister closest to the pool is
g) Turn on the filter pump
h) You should be able to vacuum (as long as you don't lose prime in the
process of running back and forth)
Note: If you remove the debris canister lid without shutting the filter
pump, water will suck down into the bottom and it will suck air & the
pump will lose its prime.