Looking at the multiport valve for the first time, most new users may be confused trying to figure out how it operates. It is however not as difficult to use as it may seem. The Multiport Valve (MVP) is easy to operate once you get the hang of each setting.
First, a pool filtering system can be either sand, diatomaceous earth (DE) or cartridge. The Multiport Valve is found in the sand and DE types of filters to aid in cleaning and backwash.
The cartridge however does not have it and you are required to remove it and hose it down. Having a diatomaceous earth filter (D.E) will definitely be complemented by the MPV to improve maintenance and the filtration function.
Once you understand the settings, it will be easier to maintain any non-cartridge filter. This article will basically simplify all the functions of the MPV to make any pool owner find it easy to use and maintain.
There are 7 settings in the multiport valve; filter, rinse, waste, backwash, recirculate, closed, and winter. We will have an overview of each of these settings to simplify the use of your MPV.
Functions of the multiport valve
The system simplifies water flow from the pump to basically wherever you need it. Using the handle, you can easily direct the water via a port to cater to your needs. One thing to always remember is that the pump should be turned off before you move the valve handle.
Without doing so, the entire system will be at risk. The O-rings or other major parts of the valve may be destroyed damaging not only the machine but cause harm to anyone near it.
There are five ports in the MPV but the main ones are the; pump, return and waste. The pool pumps the unfiltered water in through the pump, the filtered water is then returned to the pool while the rest of the water is re-directed to an external drain by vacuuming or backwashing.
The two other ports are used for control of the water through the system. There is a pipe connected to the tubes at the bottom and the water is directed to the top. Water then flows in the other direction (the backwash setting). Please remember to turn off the pump when you are setting the valve and to lower the handle before you turn it. Let us go through these processes step by step.
This is a basic setting of the MPV unless it is being used for other purposes. Here, water is pumped from the pool into the filter system (the pump port). The contaminants are then eliminated as the water flows to the bottom where it is returned through the return port and back into the pool.
This process is however different in the sand and DE filters; water is pumped from the top in the sand filter while it is pumped from the bottom in the DE.
While using the device for vacuuming (filter setting during vacuuming saves water), users may leave the filter setting on if they are certain that the device can accommodate the size of waste. Otherwise, the waste setting works better in most situations specifically when the waste is too small or too big to be accommodated by the filter.
Water flows directly to the line bypassing the filter channel once this setting is done, specifically when vacuuming to treat algae or to reduce the water level in the pool. This port commonly comprises of a hose that can be rolled and unrolled whenever necessary. This particular device is able to facilitate the flow of water to areas that are less likely to accumulation and flooding.
As water enters the device via the pump port and out via the waste port. This setting also works better when you want to reduce the level of water without interfering with the filter. Similarly, it is convenient when vacuuming since it can handle contaminants that are too small or too big for the filter.
Be careful where the waste empties especially when the contaminants are of harmful materials. Do not empty it into an unauthorized water body and make sure that it does not flood your yard. Carefully check with the authorities in your area to ensure that you meet the guidelines of waste disposal.
This setting allows you to shut down the flow of water to the pool and the filter. It prevents water from going in or out. Though it is rarely used, it is useful during opening of the pool to blow air into the lines (a role well played by the filter setting).
This setting however facilitates a stagnated buildup of pressure hence it is not a good idea to run the filter or pump when it is on. Not only will this damage the device but also will cause harm to anyone near it.
Other settings can easily be employed to perform any job done by the closed setting. It is therefore advised not to completely shut the valve.
This setting allows the back flow of the water during backwashing to unclog contaminants that interfere with the normal flow of water such as sand. These impurities lower the flow of water and increase the pressure. This is where this setting comes in handy.
Backwashing improves the working of the filter (both the DE and sand filters) because down the line, impurities accumulate in the device hence slow down the flow of water. Backwashing eliminates most of this buildup of contaminants.
This operation ensures that water goes down the pump port to the filter via the central pipe through the top of the filter and finally out the waste port. The waste port thereby removes the buildup outside to a drain.
The water flows up through the impurities, lifts them up to around 7 inches and in this case, any other contaminants are flushed out as waste down the drain.
For more efficient cleaning, one can deploy the use of filter cleaners which eliminate more impurities that the water won’t handle on its own. You can also use a hose to drag the water far away hence preventing accumulation.
For this setting, water flows from the pump down to the return port right into the pool. Although this function can also be done by the filter it comes in handy when there is a problem with the filter itself such as break downs or leaks.
This continuous flow of water lowers the chances of accumulation of impurities. You can also deploy the use of alum or other chemicals to trap in tiny impurities before they are vacuumed. However, note that they may be compromised even before they serve their purpose of cleansing the water.
In case there still are tiny bits of dirt even after vacuuming or backwashing, the rinse setting is used. When the device is set on the filter, some bits of debris may still find their way back into the pool even after carefully trying to eliminate them. This is easily solved by the rinse setting.
It sends the water down the waste port and not into the pool enabling the device to assume its previous normal position. Given its vital role in eliminating even the microscopic dirt, this setting is mostly deployed even as often as the backwashing. This is an effective task that takes just a minute or so to complete.
This setting enables the device to operate even during the cold times of the year especially when the filter is not really in use to clean any water. It allows the water droplets that have been trapped in the device to freeze and expand hence prevent the water from going in or out of the device. This would otherwise cause cracking and damaging of vital components of the MPV.
For places that suffer severe cold climates, the winter setting is very important to mitigate any damages that will most definitely come up in the next season.
If you leave your device on the filter during the winter and it freezes up, you can wait for the water to melt first then check that the valve is not cracked and the o-ring has not been torn.
If your MPV does not have a winter setting already installed, set the handle in between two positions to allow a constant flow of water through the valve until the pool is up and running again.
We have discussed all the major components of the Multiport Valve and its basic operations. Hopefully, these tips will be of use in maintaining and caring for your device to curb damage as well as save you time and money.
You can also refer to your manual to get down to the particular settings of your device since not all the MPVs are identical. We certainly hope that you will have more conviction when operating your device. Remember to always learn the ins and outs of your device for better maintenance.