How to set the valves in normal pool operation mode.

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Pool valves can be pretty confusing to most swimming pool owners. We have put together a series of articles that illustrate how to set the valves on the typical backward pool/spa combo.

Every pool is different and these articles are designed as a general guide. As always, if you are not sure of what you are doing, get a pool professional involved who can answer any questions you have and give you professional onsite advice.

We offer on-site pool school for a very reasonable price.


In normal mode, on the intake side, the spa drain is closed and the pool drain and skimmers are open.

If the spa drain is open, then you risk draining the spa. This is especially true if the spa is elevated because when the pumps turn off, it will gravity drain into the pool.

On the return side, the spa jets are closed and the pool returns and water feature are open.

  • If you do not have a “common return” line that automatically takes some of the pool return water into the spa, then you will need to leave the spa jet valve partly open to allow water into the spa. Otherwise the spa will have no circulation and may turn green.
  • You may choose to not operate your water features. If so, you will leave that valve closed.

IMPORTANT: You cannot operate the pool if all the valves on the intake side or all the valves on the return side are closed. You run the risk of equipment damage and human injury if you do.

NEED HELP? Having problems with your valves or plumbing? Contact Pool Stop today! Give us a call at 972-772-4545 to ask questions or set up an appointment OR hit the “Request Service Quote” button and fill out a service request form so we can schedule your service call. Our team of experienced, licensed professionals is available to help you with expert advice, repairs, and installation.

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