Properly maintaining your backwash valve can extend its life for years. You can do this yourself, or you can have our professional staff perform this maintenance for you as a part of your seasonal maintenance package. Backwash valves have rubber seals or gaskets. There are several bad things that can happen to these seals or gaskets:
- Degrading – over time, the rubber breaks down. You can tell this by the black marks on your hands after handling these gaskets. This means it is time to replace them.
- Sticking – if there is no lubricant present, the o-rings or gaskets will not slide properly and this can cause you to “roll” an o-ring or gasket.
- Dents/Scratch – sometimes an o-ring can get a dent/scratch in it which allows water to pass.
- Lubrication – it is important to keep lubricant on the seals and gaskets in your backwash valve. While you are doing a filter clean (every six months) take the time to disassemble the backwash valve and lubricate it. If you have Pool Stop clean your filter, we are happy to service the backwash valve at the same time for a small additional charge.
- Push-Pull Valves – remove the top cap and take out the plunger assembly and apply Magic-Lube liberally to the o-rings.
- Multiport Valves – remove the top key cover assembly and apply Magic Lube liberally to the top of the gasket and the bottom of the diverter. Be careful to note how it came apart so you don’t put it back together 180 degrees off!!
- Diverter Style Valves – these typically come with Never-Lube diverters, but it does not hurt to keep an eye on it and apply a little lube if it is starting to get hard to move.
- Kick Valves – as the old mafia saying goes “fuggetaboutit”. Taking a kick valve apart is a nightmare and you probably need a new filter anyway. Leave it alone.
REPLACING O-RINGS AND GASKETS
- Push pull valves – when you pull the valve internals out, just pop the large o-rings off the wafers and pop new ones on.
- Multiport valves – the best strategy is to keep the valve gasket lubricated on a regular basis so you do not ever need to replace the gasket. Replacing a multiport gasket is time consuming not always effective.If your multiport gasket is damaged, look at the age of the valve and consider replacing the valve with a push pull valve.
Make sure that your backwash line drains properly after backwashing the filter. If the line remains full of water during freezing weather, the expanding ice can break the pipe or even break the valve.
Backwash lines should have a drain valve built into them or have a hole drilled in them for drainage. Some backwash lines will naturally drain, but most will not.