What is a Multiport Valve
A Multiport Valve is responsible for directing the water flow and is attached to the Filter. The Multiport Valve can be side mounted or top mounted depending on the current set up you have. This can always be changed however, side mounted is the most popular. The Valve generally has 6 settings; Filtration, Backwash, Rinse, Recirculate, Waste and Closed. Most Multiport Valves have a sight glass attached that is part of the backwash port. This means that you can see the colour of the dirty water you are expelling and also acts as an indicator of when you have allowed it to run for long enough as you will see the water become fairly clear. A pressure gauge is also usually fitted, this allows you to monitor the pressure within the Filter itself and indicates when the Filter needs a Backwash.
Multiport Valves do wear out with the most common component being the Spider Gasket. The Spider Gasket is made from rubber and looks like a wheel with spokes. If the Multiport Valve doesn’t shut off properly or is leaking water through the backwash, then it’s likely it needs replacing. Don’t worry, it can be replaced however it is normally a sign of an old Multiport and is worth considering replacing the whole valve instead of repairing it.
How a Multiport Valve works
It is important to rotate the Valve handle in one direction only, either clockwise or anticlockwise when changing the settings. It doesn’t matter which way you choose just as long as you stick to it. This helps preserve the life of the Spider Gasket.
Whenever you alter the setting on the Valve, remember you must turn the system off first. The 6 settings are as follows;
Filtration – sends the water through the Filter Pump and back to the Pool. This is the normal setting for any Multiport Valve.
Backwash – this sends the water backwards through the Filter to flush out the dirt inside the Filter. It then redirects this water out of the backwash pipe or hose. This does mean your Pool water level will go down. As a rule of thumb, an outdoor Pool should be backwashed once a week (or more often with high usage) and once every two weeks for an indoor Pool.
Rinse – this setting cleans the pipes of any remaining dirty water and debris gathered from the backwash cycle. A rinse should always be done after a backwash to prevent the dirty water/debris being filtered back into the Pool.
Recirculate – this setting bypasses the Filter and sends the water directly back to the Pool. This is not advisable for long periods of time but can be useful when some chemicals are added that require that they do not go through the sand along with priming the Pump and getting air out of the system.
Closed – this does not allow water to flow in any direction through the backwash valve. Don’t try to run the Filter with the Valve in this position. This is normally used when undoing the Pump to empty out the basket.
Waste – this directs the water from the pump, directly to waste or backwash.