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Thread: Help with cleaner pump line

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    Help with cleaner pump line

    I'm a new pool owner and am trying to get our Polaris up and running after a replaster (we started the replaster right after we bought the house about a month ago). I fired the booster pump up today and, along with water, there is a steady stream of small air bubbles coming out of the cleaner return fitting on the pool wall.

    Is this normal? Is this a problem? Can/should I run my Polaris like this?

    For reference, I've got a 3/4HP Pentair booster pump and a 2HP Whisperflo filter pump. Only water and no air bubbles come out of the cleaner return fitting when only the filter pump is running. I've got a new Polaris 280 I'm trying to get set up and running.

    Thanks for any help!
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    Has the filter pressure changed any since the plaster work, with or without the booster?

    Is there any air in the main pump basket with or without the booster turned on?

    Whenever a pool is re-plastered, there is a chance that something got clogged up with plaster.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Has the filter pressure changed any since the plaster work, with or without the booster?

    Is there any air in the main pump basket with or without the booster turned on?

    Whenever a pool is re-plastered, there is a chance that something got clogged up with plaster.
    I'm not 100% sure on the answers to these questions because we just bought the house and started the replaster the same day we closed, so I don't really have any experience with the pool equipment prior to the replaster. With that said, I don't know if the filter pressure has changed since the replaster (but it's been operating at about 14 psi right after doing a couple of backwashes). I do remember the air bubbles in the booster line (and only the booster line) when we had the house and pool inspected, though, so I don't think it's started since the replaster.

    There's typically not any air in the filter basket, although every couple of days I'll notice a single small air bubble that seems to stay in there (maybe about the size of a nickel) - but again, it will typically get worked out of the system and I won't see it again. I'm not sure if it gets worse when the booster pump runs - I'll double check that today.

    Also, this sound totally obvious now, but the booster pump is leaking water (and has since we bought the house). I think it's leaking both from the main shaft seal as well as the fitting on the line that goes into the center of the volute. Would either of these leaks suck in air when the booster pump is running? I'm planning to change these seals and fittings this week.
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    14 PSI is pretty low pressure for a 2 HP Whisperflo. Might indicate a suction side blockage. What size plumbing do you have?

    But if the booster is leaking water when the main pump is on, then it might leak air when the pumps are off. This could collect in the filter and when you turn the pumps on again, but it will come out of both the returns and cleaner line. So do you get air bubbles out of both?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    Plumbing is 2". There are two skimmers and a floor drain (also a spa drain, but that's typically closed unless the spa is running). One of the skimmers does seem to have a bit weaker suction than the other, but I'm not sure if that's normal given different plumbing distances to the two skimmers.

    Nope, air bubbles only come out of the cleaner return, not out of any of the other returns.
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    So what is the filter pressure with the cleaner running vs not running?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    I'll double check when I get home. But just to be clear, you're asking for the following two pressures, correct?

    1. Pressure with main filter pump running and booster pump not running (this is 14psi right after backwash, currently it's at about 15 psi).
    2. Pressure with both main filter pump and booster pump running

    And in both cases, I don't actually have my Polaris hooked up. I assume I should not do that until I get the air bubbles eliminated, correct?
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    Yes, that is correct.

    But you should try connecting the cleaner. What may be happening is the booster is sucking air when the cleaner is not attached because the pressure is lower at the pump inlet. Any leak there, could cause air to get sucked in.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Yes, that is correct.

    But you should try connecting the cleaner. What may be happening is the booster is sucking air when the cleaner is not attached because the pressure is lower at the pump inlet. Any leak there, could cause air to get sucked in.
    Ah ok, makes sense. I'll give that a try when I get home this evening.

    And I assume that means that hooking up the cleaner with some air in that line won't do any damage to the cleaner, correct? Will it just make it a little less powerful/efficient?
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    No the extra air shouldn't hurt the cleaner.

    Is the booster suction line connected to the plumbing right after the filter or further down the plumbing chain?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    No the extra air shouldn't hurt the cleaner.

    Is the booster suction line connected to the plumbing right after the filter or further down the plumbing chain?
    Somewhere further down line. Both lines to/from the booster pump are routed right into/out of the ground with the other plumbing, so the suction isn't made above ground by the filter.
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    so the suction isn't made above ground by the filter.
    That could be part of the problem. Normally, you want the cleaner to be plumbed in right after the filter where the pressure is the highest.

    But if you fix the leak on the pump, then it might go away.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    That could be part of the problem. Normally, you want the cleaner to be plumbed in right after the filter where the pressure is the highest.

    But if you fix the leak on the pump, then it might go away.
    I see. I'll fix the seals this week and see if that stops the air bubbles. If we can't find the source of the air bubbles (or if they're caused by something in the piping that's underground and buried), would there be any adverse effects by just running the Polaris (280) is it is now?
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    I don't think there would be any adverse effects.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    Ok, I didn't get a chance to run the booster pump with the cleaner attached (turns out the old one has developed a huge crack in the hose and I didn't have time to set up and cut the hose lengths for the new one tonight - I'll do that tomorrow). But I did run the booster pump without the cleaner. Filter pressure drops by 1 psi (from 15 to 14) when the booster pump comes on. Is that what you would expect?
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    Yes but because of the location of the booster suction and the booster leak, I think it is sucking in air.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Yes but because of the location of the booster suction and the booster leak, I think it is sucking in air.
    So sorry if I'm slow to catch on, but where do you think it's sucking in air from right now? The leak in the booster pump seal/fitting?
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    Does the booster leak while it is running and/or off?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Help with cleaner pump line

    From what I could tell this morning, it looks like the booster doesn't leak when it is running (and the filter pump is also running, obviously). It seems like it only leaks when the filter pump is running and the booster is not running.

    I also got the Polaris set up and running this morning. It's hard to tell exactly, but it doesn't seem like air is coming out of the Polaris when it's attached and running. Any idea what to make of that?
    9,000 gallon IG pool with spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, 2HP Whisperflo pump, 0.75HP Letro booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, EasyTouch controller (originally a Compool LX100 that was upgraded via Pentair's upgrade kit), TF-100 kit

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