How a Multiport Valve Operates


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There are three major types of pool filtering system: cartridge, sand, and diatomaceous earth (DE). Sand and DE filters use a multiport valve primarily to help clean or backflush the filter media. Cartridge filters do not have multiport valves. These filters are cleaned by removing the cartridge and spraying it with a garden hose. A typical multiport valve has 7 settings: filter, backwash, rinse, waste, closed, recirculate, and winter. This guide explains the function of these setting and shows how they circulate water in a typical sand filter. The operation of a DE multiport valve is very similar.

Click Here to View All Multiport Valve Parts Listings

Click Here to View All Multiport Valves 


Step by Step


Step 1

There are five ports into and out of a typical multiport valve. Three are shown in this picture. The top left port, labeled "PUMP", brings unfiltered water in from the pump. The middle left port, labeled "RETURN", sends filtered water back to the pool. The middle right port, labeled "WASTE", sends water to an external drain hose.

Click Here to View Sta-Rite / Swimquip Multiport Valve Parts

Click Here to View Pentair / Praher Multiport Valve Parts

Click Here to View Pentair / Pac-Fab Multiport Valve Parts

Click Here to View Hayward Multiport Valve Parts

Click Here to View All Multiport Valve Parts Listings (including Jacuzzi, Waterway, Jandy & More) 

Step 2

The other two ports control flow though the filter. This picture shows the valve as it is connected to the inside piping of the filter. At the bottom of the valve, a pipe port connects to the collection tubes (laterals) on the bottom of the filter. The area around the pipe on the bottom side of the valve directs water to the top of the filter. This picture shows water flow for a "FILTER" setting. Water will flow in the opposite direction with a "BACKWASH" setting. The next series of steps explains how each of the valve setting directs water though these ports. CAUTION. When selecting a valve setting, make sure that the pump has been TURNED OFF and always depress the handle before turning.

Step 3

FILTER. This is the normal setting for filtering your pool water and for regular vacuuming. Water from the pool is pumped into the "PUMP" port to the top of the filter. Contaminates are removed as the water makes it way to the bottom to be pushed back up through a central pipe to the "RETURN" port and back to the pool.

Step 4

BACKWASH. After a period of time, the contaminates start to clog the sand to the point where water flow is significantly diminished and the pressure gauge rises 8 to 10 psi above normal operation readings. To clean out the contaminates, you have to backwash the sand. In the backwash setting water flow is reversed though the filter. Water comes from the "PUMP" port down the filter through the central pipe, then back up through the sand to flow out the top exit of the filter and out the "WASTE" port to an external drain. As the water flows up though the sand, the sand is lifted about 7 inches above its normal height releasing the trapped contaminates to be purged out in the waste water.

Step 5

RINSE. After backwashing, the sand is loose and needs to be reset. Also any dirty water from backwashing has to be rinsed out of the filter to waste to prevent it from returning to the pool. With the valve in rinse mode, water is directed from the "PUMP" port to the top of the tank to compress the sand. As in the filter setting, the water flows down though the sand and back up though the central pipe but instead of going out the "RETURN" port to the pool, the water is diverted out the "WASTE" port.

Click Here to View All Multiport Valve Parts Listings (including Jacuzzi, Waterway, Jandy & More) 

Step 6

WASTE. This setting is used to bypass the filter when you want to vacuum the pool after an algae treatment or to lower the pool level. The water enters the valve though the "PUMP" port and exits though the "WASTE" port.

Step 7

CLOSED. This setting is used for shutting off all flow to the filter and pool. Water flow is stopped at the "PUMP" port.

Step 8

RECIRCULATE. This setting is used to bypass the filter during certain pool cleanups and chemical treatments when you don't want the water contaminating the sand. Water enters the valve through the "PUMP" port and exits back to the pool through the "RETURN" port.

Step 9

WINTER. Use this setting when you are closing down the pool for the winter. This will allow water to drain from the valve.

Click Here to View All Multiport Valve Parts Listings

Click Here to View All Multiport Valves


(321 to 336 of 336)

 Posted: 12/19/2011 

To get the best jet pressure in my spa, would it be a good idea to set the multiport valve to recirc when using the spa? This seems like a good idea to me but it's not something I've seem discussed in pool forums before.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 9/17/2011 

I was told to sit in a chair with the valve on the floor and put both feet on the top of the valve to compress the spring evenly. I tried this on one of our spare valves and it seemed to work.


 Posted: 9/17/2011 

i am trying to change a hayward vari-flo valve handle i have the top portion out and there is a spring in between the assembly .does this have to be depressed it is hard to get the pin back is a hayward 715xr50 model valve

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 9/13/2011 

Andy, It sounds like whatever you have in your cloudy water is clogging your filter repeatedly. Trying to get that out though a regular filtering process is difficult and takes repeated backwash and filter steps. We sell a product for clearing cloudy water called Floc & Vac. Pour it in and it will precipitate the particles to the bottom. Vacuum that up and send it out on the "waste" setting bypassing your filter.

 Posted: 9/9/2011 

Nice site! My pool is a 23 years old in ground 30"x15"(15,500 gal) concrete with a 275 gal Jacuzzi on the side. I have a Hayward s240 sand filter that's over 12 years old. At one time the bottom had to be replaced due to a hairline crack in it. Recently the variflo multiport valve, the sand and the vent tube inside of it were replaced along with all the "O" rings. Since then my water is always cloudy and I can't see the bottom of my pool anymore. We just completely drained it and refilled with fresh tap water and conditioner was added.5 different tech's guy's have come to check it and changed all the plumbing, the 5 valves, the pump case(1.5"),the impeller and recently the pump motor (2hp). I looked at the multiflow valve and the part num is SP710XR50 this valve is for a D.E filter not for a sand filter like my S240. The store sales rep said that it will work on my filter and only the ports change positions and the gauge must be relocated. The skimmer input has very! Very! Powerful suction after we backwash but 2hrs later it drops to less than half. A vacuum leak check was done on the skimmer; main drain and Jacuzzi drain and showed no leaks. Could the problem be related to the multiport valve? Any help greatly appreciated.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/18/2011 

I just checked with the manufacturer again and he confirms that the multiport valve can be turned in either direction. The main issue is to make sure the handle is fully depressed and the pump is off before turning the valve.

 Posted: 8/17/2011 

I've been told to alway turn handle on multiport vave in a clockwise direction & never turn it back in a counter clockwise direction. Is this a true fact or can the handle be turned in either direction?

Anonymous  Posted: 7/12/2011 

I need a multiport valve sticker {backwash,filter,winterize,whirlpool,ect]cant read sun has destroyed sticker can anyone tell me where to order one for a fol pro ss160 sand filter made by jacuzzi they sold out and I cant find out who the sold too

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/11/2011 

With most multiports valves, you can rotate the handle either counter clockwise or clockwise when moving from one position to another.

 Posted: 6/15/2011 

This site is the best. I finally understand all modes of operation. Many thanks.

 Posted: 5/30/2011 

Which way should a multiport valve turn to put from filter to either backwash or rinse. Is it counter clockwise or clockwise.

Anonymous  Posted: 5/30/2011 

Just purchased a new Hayward multivalve sand filter. The instructions were a joke. Thankfully my son-in-law has an appliance store and does his own service work so he knew what to do.

Anonymous  Posted: 2/28/2011 

Hi el paso,
Here's a link to a list of our more common pool filter valves and links to their parts. Please select the filter valve to search for your part.


 Posted: 2/28/2011 

Need parts for the valve do not need valve by itself. cover

 Posted: 9/11/2010 

ex-pat Brit in Spain
Thanks for this info-great site! Very helpful. Open a branch in Spain!


Anonymous  Posted: 5/28/2010 

These instructions on using the multiport valve. We just bought a brand new one for our "new" used pool and we had no idea what all the settings were for and no instructions came in the box. Thanks.