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Thread: Help! Leaves getting sucked out of pump when turned off

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    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Sacramento, CA
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    Help! Leaves getting sucked out of pump when turned off

    For the last few weeks, I keep thinking that the strainer basket in the pump is full while looking at it (new pump). When I turn off the pump and open it up, however, there's very little in the basket. I finally watched it closely enough to realize that the pile of stuff is getting sucked back into the suction line when the pump goes off. It doesn't seem to matter whether I open the filter relief or not. The debris never makes it back to the skimmer; I suspect it just sits in the pipe. This is an IntelliFlo VS, newly installed by me, though I suspect it isn't really pump specific. I'll post some pictures of my plumbing later.

    I'm concerned that I'll never be able to clean out the mass of stuff, and it will just decay in the pump or in the line. Does anyone else have this problem and what have you done about it? All I can think of is installing a check valve between the pump and filter (or maybe before the filter, but I don't have much room to do that), but I didn't think they were commonly put there?
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
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    Re: Help! Leaves getting sucked out of pump when turned off

    I empty my basket with the pump running on low speed, usually 1100 rpm.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Help! Leaves getting sucked out of pump when turned off

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    I empty my basket with the pump running on low speed, usually 1100 rpm.
    Thank you, thank you! That worked; I put it at 1000 rpm and opened it up, and was able to get all of the junk out. The pump started sucking air pretty quickly, so I shut it off as soon as I had the basket out, and restarted it as I normally do (basket back in, cover on, open relief valve, turn on pump, wait for water to come out and close relief valve). I assume yours doesn't maintain suction from the pool with the cover off (hard to imagine how any pump higher than the water surface could)? I guess losing prime for a few seconds won't burn out the pump.

    I wouldn't want to do this at any higher speed though; another benefit of the VS pump I'm sure if I read the manual it would strongly frown on opening the lid with the pump on, but if it works I'll do it carefully.

    This is totally why I hang out here; nobody in the house had an idea (well, the dog thought I should forget about the leaves and play fetch, but that's his solution to everything)
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Leaves getting sucked out of pump when turned off

    My pump is at or slightly below water level so it does OK with maintaining flow. Turn the rpm down to 750 next time and see how it does. I've been doing it for 3 years. Love my VS pump. Smart dog! Dogs are much smarter than people!
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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