The Hayward Multiport Valve reviewed
In the swimming world, a multiport valve is one that backwashes a sand filter or DE pool filter. Just as the name implies, a multiport valve is comprised of several internal ports that enable pool owners to backwash filters by turning a valve handle as opposed to several. They are also used to rinse away residual dirt after the process of backwashing, drain waste, and lower water levels without backwashing. The recirculation process is utilized when you need to repair the filter – and if you are unable to filter water, the very least you can do is provide circulation for it.
A multiport valve can only fit on a few specific filters and cannot be interchanged between other filter types, brands, or models. DE multiport valves can only be mounted on their side or attached to the tank’s side, whereas sand filter multiport valves are mounted on top or mounted on the side. Both of these valve types are not subject to interchangeability because the in and out pipes are reversed – bottom-in are used for DE filters, and top-in are utilized for sand filters.
There are some multiport valves that are available in two sizes – 1.5 inches and 2 inches refer to pipe connection sizes. Those that are 1.5 inches are typically used for smaller filters, while 2-inch valves are for larger filters and pool that have 2-inch PVC plumbing, resulting in higher flow rates. Push-pull valves, also known as slide valves, are an alternative for DE or sand filters that produce flow rates that are higher and less restriction. However, they allow for only two functions – backwash or filter.
To backwash a Hayward DE filter or sand filter, Hayward multiport valves are used as they provide a multitude of functions that assist with pool maintenance duties. Because they are crafted with durable stainless steel spring, users will note that the Hayward valve movement is very secure and not as stiff as other brands. Also including a self-cleaning design that is automatic, this process helps to prevent clogging and gasket damage over time. Pool filters are able to do far more than simply clean pool water. Located on the side or top of the filter, a multiport valve comes with several settings that allow it to be used for a multitude of purposes that make the process that much smoother.
Multiport Valve Settings
If you require a filter cleaning, having a filter multiport valve on hand makes the process so simple. It is important to note that users should never turn a multiport valve handle while a pool filter is running as it can cause the ribber diverter gasket located inside a valve to loosen up and possibly break. This in turn could cause water leakage of parts you don’t want to be leaking while it is running. What are some of the features of a Hayward multiport valve that makes it desirable? They include:
- their state-of-the-art Cyclolac ABS plastic is weather resistant and extremely sturdy
- the spider gasket is made of Neoprene for more durability and increased longevity
- easy to use sight glass that is built into the component
- valve handle is simple to use and sturdy for gripping while turning
- their filter backwash valves are the original versions
- gauge, clamp, flange o-rings are included as the top mount styles
- bulkhead o-rings and union nuts are included on the side mount styles
Outlining the Duties and Functions of Multiport Valve
The primary function of a filter is to keep your pool clean and removed of dirt, debris, and small particles that can adversely affect the area. Filters also, depending on the filter type, can help in removing bacteria and those tiny microbes and contaminants that are invisible to the naked eye.
Instead of filtration media removal, backwashing is the preferred method for cleaning a DE filter or sand filter and is also the most effective. This is the setting that runs the pool water away from the pump, then through the actual filter down to the waste port, where it is then cleaned by the filtration media. Next, it is the DE filter or sand filter. In order to produce exceptionally clean media, invest in a special filter cleaner for optimal results. How will you know when it is time to backwash your pool filter? The answer is when the pressure rises to at least 10 pounds over the normal pressure rate.
If you want to loosen up debris and dirt, you will have to have the filter backwashed, which means you need to have instructions on what needs to be done before letting the water run through a filter and then back into the pool. Of course, you will have to rinse the filter before you go any further. Remember that you have to rinse after each backwashing process.
Using a filter can make things so much simpler when it comes time for vacuuming your pool as it can assist in pulling up leaves, removing dirt and excess debris out of the water. But, on the other hand, you don’t want any of these particles potentially clogging the filter. You also can’t have any dirty water possibly flowing back into the pool while you are in the process of vacuuming. When you are applying the Waste setting, water is able to enter into the filter and bypass through the filter media, then be directed out of your filtration system. Note than when the device is in the multiport valve setting, you will notice a drop in the pool’s water levels. Before you start vacuuming, place a hose into the pool that can replace the water that you will be removing. That, in essence, means you will be balancing the water afterward.
There are going to possibly be times that you must circulate pool water without filtration. An example of this is when using pool clarifiers, also known as flocculants. For pools that are murky or cloudy, a flocculant corrals particles that are in the water in a process that makes it easier to clear up the water. The filtration system must be running to circulate the flocculant, but it is also necessary that it remains in place in the water so that it can do what it is meant to do because you don’t want to filter that out. The Recirculate setting will allow water to move through filters without passing through a filter media. Note that the Waste setting can also be used if you would prefer to remove the murky water completely as opposed to recirculating it directly back into your pool. This is a better process in that it ensures all the dirt and debris that you want to be removed are actually cleared from the pool.
This is the setting that closes valves so water is unable to enter. This is the setting to use if the lines are blown out when you are opening your pool. Most users will never have to use this setting as the Filter setting functions better for this specific task. Note that you should never turn on a pool pump while your multiport valve is in the Closed setting as it could potentially blow out the pump, the filter, or even both.
In order to prepare your pool for the winter season, you will have to position the filter multiport valve to the Winter setting – it is typically located between the Closed and Waste settings.
Multiport Valve Troubleshooting
No matter how well you execute, there are bound to be problems. The following are common ones and how to address them for peak performance.
Leaking Out Waste Port
One of the most common problems regarding pool multivalves is the problem of water leaking out of waste ports. This issue can lead to water returning to a pool unfiltered and dirty. In order to repair leaky Vari-Flo valves, replace the key assembly, spider gasket, or the whole valve assembly.
Broken Valve Handle
You can change out the valve handles by tapping handle pins that remove the old handles. If you want to install new MPV handles, start by removing the key assembly from the valve body, then having someone help you push the lid down so that the valve spring is compressed. While they are pressing down, you are tapping the spin through the stem and the handle.
Leaking Near Valve Handle
This is a problem when Vari-Flo valves leak because of stem o-ring failure that causes water to leak near the handle and then spill out and over the edge. An option is for you to switch out the o-rings, replace the whole key assembly, or possibly the whole valve assembly.
Leaks Near the Pipe Ports
If you experience cracks that are caused by over-tightening of the pipe fittings into the valve or from excessive Teflon tape, the way to fix this situation is replacing the valve body or the whole valve assembly. These cracks are often the result of rotating the valves while the pump is actually running or because of hammering.
Leaks Near Valve Connections to Filter
If this poses an issue, tighten the flange clamps or bulkhead nuts that are loose as failing gaskets or o-rings could be the problem.
Using Hayward multiport valves give pool owners several alternatives to maintain and clean your pool, requiring only minimal effort from you. Never let all of the settings that come with the valve confuse you. Take your time learning each one – one at a time – and in no time you will be able to filter your pool like a professional.