What Is a Spider Gasket?

To keep your swimming pool safe and usable, your pool is equipped with a filter system to remove unwanted materials. The most popular filter types for pools are sand filters and diatomaceous earth (DE) filters.

In simpler terms, sand filters utilize sand as the primary filter component. However, if your pool uses diatomaceous earth filters, then these operate by utilizing sedimentary rocks that are ideal for filtering out tiny materials, which makes a DE filter a popular choice when deciding on your pool’s filtering system.

But where do spider gaskets come into play? Let’s take a closer look at how this part of filters work.

What Is a Spider Gasket and What Is Its Purpose?

When it comes to maintaining both sand and DE filters’ functionalities, the pool’s multiport valve takes control of this.

The multiport valve controls the water movement, usually with the operations like normal filter mode, cleaning, backwash, winterize mode, and others. You control this by operating the pinwheel diverter, which allows you to determine the water’s direction. This is where the spider gasket comes into play.

The spider gasket acts as a seal on the multiport valve, which protects the water during transport to whichever direction it should be traveling to.

Here’s what they look like. You can pick up a replacement spider gasket at any pool supply store (I found this one at Leslie’s in my town).

In a way, we can liken the spider gasket to the gutter guards, or bumpers, that you have when bowling with the family on a Sunday afternoon. When you use the gutter guards, you ensure that your bowling ball stays on course in the direction that you want it to travel down, which is what the spider gasket does too!

Common Issues With Spider Gaskets

The purpose of a spider gasket is to seal between the base and the multiport valve’s pinwheel, reducing the potential risk of leakage. However, sometimes they can become damaged, usually through either poor maintenance or simply due to extensive use over time.

As the spider gasket acts as a seal, the main issue you may find is water leakage. This usually occurs when your spider gasket becomes enlarged or loose.

As the spider gasket is important for the water’s filtration within your pool, you need to replace this part immediately if you notice any leakage. You can diagnose leakage if the water is not released to the correct destination when operating the pinwheel diverter.

How Do I Maintain My Spider Gasket?

Maintaining your pool’s health, in general, is always important. Whether your pool is operating with sand filters or DE filters, maintenance is pretty much the same. You can read my full post on pool maintenance for all of my tips there. When you keep on top of routine care and look after your spider gasket, you will have beautiful clear water, making those swim sessions all that more relaxing.

I recommend that you clean your pool system at least every three or four times a year; sometimes, you can even leave it a little longer. However, we recommend checking for any leakage issues at least once every couple of months.

Although you may expect that cleaning more frequently would be a better option, it does not help. You may upset the filtration cycle if you clean too regularly, but you shouldn’t worry about testing your water very frequently, which I definitely recommend to make sure your pool chemistry is in check.

When it comes to the spider gasket, any crack or seam within the filtration system will allow water to leak, and this will be a huge issue with the operation of your pool. Luckily, an issue with your spider gasket can sometimes be an easy fix. We have prepared a list of steps below that you can take to ensure that your spider gasket is repaired or alert you that it needs to be replaced.

How Can I Repair My Spider Gasket?

You will need a Phillips screwdriver, needle nose pliers, O-ring lube, and Loctite glue. The most common types of Loctite glue are 401, 406, or 416.

  1. Please ensure that you have turned off all power to your pump. You may want to use an air release valve to relieve any pressure within the tank before removing the lid.
  2. Turn the pinwheel diverter to winterize mode if you have this function. If you do not have this setting, you can turn the pinwheel diverter between two settings.
  3. Remove the nuts and bolts, securing the valve with your screwdriver. We recommend that you have a cup or a safe place to place the nuts and bolts, so you do not misplace them. Once you have removed all the nuts and bolts, you should remove the valve’s facial cover.
  4. You should now remove the spider gasket, which may be secured by lube or sometimes glue. You may use your hands or needle-nose pliers but be careful when removing the old O-ring spider gasket.
  5. Clean the areas inside the valve to remove any unwanted materials. Please take care when completing this step.
  6. Depending on your gasket, you may now use the Loctite 401, 406, or 416 glue. We recommend that you only use small droplets of glue around the outside of where the spider gasket will sit when you replace the part.
  7. Put the new spider gasket firmly into place. Use the outline within the valve to ensure you have placed the new gasket correctly. You may feel around for any bumps or grooves that could cause a future potential issue when resealing the gasket.
  8. Once you are certain that your gasket is properly sealed and secure, gently apply lubricant around the gasket using your fingers or a soft touch brush. You should ensure that you apply plenty of lubricants but do not overdo them.

You may now reassemble the valve, secure the facial cover correctly using the indexation tabs to guide you to the correct placement for the cover, and then secure the nuts and bolts back into place using a Philips screwdriver.

Also remember to always turn off the pump before changing valve positions. Otherwise, you may break something or even injure yourself!

Need Some Maintenance Help?

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With summer fast approaching, ensure your pool is ready! Enjoy the clean and fresh water whilst discussing in-depth your newfound knowledge about spider gaskets and their importance within the operation of your swimming pool.

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