Troubleshooting a Skimmer Diverter Valve

What You'll Need
Wet and dry vacuum
Replacement rubber seal
Replacement skimmer valve (optional)

Hot tubs have a skimmer diverter valve which is designed to direct the water either down the drain or through the skimmer valves depending on the setting of the valve. If there are problems with the skimmer diverter then it can sometimes appear like the pipes are clogged as it will create a similar problem.

Step 1 - Understanding How Skimmer Diverter Valves Work

Skimmer diverter valves direct the flow of water into the right location depending on a number of preferences. This valve works by using a hydraulic valve which will redirect the flow of water. This hydraulic valve will affect the amount of water which is pushed through the skimmers and through the main drain.

There are 3 ports within skimmer diverter valves, these will control where the water is sent. When one of the ports is closed the water will be sent down the other ports. There are many different sizes of diverter valves and the right one for the size of the piping in your home will be required.

It's also possible to use these diverter valves with faucets to control which faucets are connected and which have water.

The main reason for skimmer diverter valves is when a pool also doubles as a spa. The skimmer diverter valves can be changed to alter the type of pool that you want. These valves make it really simple to switch the water flow between pool and spa. There are many different brands of skimmer diverter valves, one of the most popular is Ortega, some websites and people refer to the valves only by this name.

Step 2 - Troubleshooting a Skimmer Diverter Valve that Can't Move

Sometimes the skimmer diverter valve will seize up. This can happen with any valve. Over time the valve might stop being able to move properly. This will make it impossible to use the valve to direct the water to the right place. In this case the valve will probably need to be replaced.

Step 3 - Leaky Skimmer Diverter Valve

The rubber used in any valve can perish over time, this can make the valve become leaky. Instead of the valve sealing properly the leaky rubber seal will result in the valve continuously dripping. To repair a leaky skimmer valve you will need to replace the washer, or in extreme situations you may need to replace the entire valve.

Step 4 - Troubleshooting Clogged Valves

The diverter valve in your hot-tub can become clogged with hair and grease. If this is the case then it can stop you from being able to divert the water properly by changing the valve. Cleaning out a clogged valve will be a little tricky, however it is possible. Start by emptying out your pool or spa and then take the face plate of the valve. You should then be able to remove any blockages.

Sometimes you will also be able to use a wet and dry vacuum to remove blockages and clean up the valve. This should make your pool much more reliable.

Regular maintenance will keep your whole spa pool in good working order. You should perform this maintenance once a year before the winter so that your pool will last for many years to come.