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Thread: Internal air bleeder assembly - Do I need it?

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    Internal air bleeder assembly - Do I need it?

    I have a Pentair Sta-Rite PLM150 filter. It has an 'air bleeder assembly' which is internal to the filter housing. This is not the same component that is used to bleed air from the housing when turning the pump on, nor is the pressure gauge screwed into this assembly. The filtered water flows through this device after being filtered, as it goes into the return. The thing is, it clogs very easy due to being so small and results in very low return pressure. I am tempted to just remove it because I have to take the filter housing apart every couple of weeks to clean this thing and I just don't see what good its actually doing. Can somebody enlighten me as to the importance of it? If it is just to filter the return water, I can do without that. I don't mind a little of debris making its way back into the pool.

    Here is what the assembly looks like. It connects to a tube, which leads to the underside of the filter and into the return.

    313uz5Cj3GL._SY355_.jpg

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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Re: Internal air bleeder assembly - Do I need it?

    I'm sure they didn't go to the trouble of designing it if it wasn't needed. Perhaps you have other issues with your pool where this gets clogged so easily? You might put a call into Pentair/Sta-Rite and see what they say. My filter has this and it doesn't seem to get clogged so much. I honestly don't know what would happen if I just removed it.
    ----Chris----
    25k IG/Spa Figure 8, 18x36, Pebble Sheen Blue Granite, Sta-Rite S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 460805 400k BTU Heater & 011018 IntelliFlo VarSpd
    Liquidator, Fafco Solar Heat, Polaris PB460 Booster Pump w/280 cleaner, Katchaleaf Cover, TF100 Test Kit, FAKE MAIN DRAIN

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    Re: Internal air bleeder assembly - Do I need it?

    Yeah I emailed Pentair support and asked the question. I live in the country and its pretty dusty around here, so I imagine that is all it is. And we get a lot of leaf debris from the trees which I remove daily but all of that is bound to clog such a tiny, little component.

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    Re: Internal air bleeder assembly - Do I need it?

    I don't know the answer to this question, but I would ask, "What is this tiny little component protecting?"

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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Re: Internal air bleeder assembly - Do I need it?

    I'm not in the country although it is dry around here and I do have a very large, old oak tree in my yard and get plenty of tree debris in my pool.

    What is interesting is that you see an impact to your filtration pressure as a result of this little thing clogging up. Perhaps some kind of a pre-filter might help you? Are your cartridge filters all in good shape and clean? How often do you hose them down? In other words, is everything else to your knowledge in your filter in good working order? Are all the o-rings in good shape? Might they need replaced and/or lubed? Might they be letting debris by or something?
    ----Chris----
    25k IG/Spa Figure 8, 18x36, Pebble Sheen Blue Granite, Sta-Rite S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 460805 400k BTU Heater & 011018 IntelliFlo VarSpd
    Liquidator, Fafco Solar Heat, Polaris PB460 Booster Pump w/280 cleaner, Katchaleaf Cover, TF100 Test Kit, FAKE MAIN DRAIN

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    Re: Internal air bleeder assembly - Do I need it?

    The purpose is bleed excess air from the top of the inside of the filter. It should not have any effect on the return pressure. It's really not critical. If you remove it, you should plug the hole that is left so that debris can't bypass the filter. If it's a de filter, de will get in the pool. If it's a sand filter, then it's less of a problem unless you have something, like a Polaris or salt cell, that would be adversely affected by debris.

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    Re: Internal air bleeder assembly - Do I need it?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    The purpose is bleed excess air from the top of the inside of the filter. It should not have any effect on the return pressure. It's really not critical. If you remove it, you should plug the hole that is left so that debris can't bypass the filter. If it's a de filter, de will get in the pool. If it's a sand filter, then it's less of a problem unless you have something, like a Polaris or salt cell, that would be adversely affected by debris.
    Thank you. The filter is clean and new, as are the seals, and I spray it down every couple weeks when I clean this little bleeder assembly. The filter is never that dirty.

    The cartridge filter sits down onto a spring loaded cap type thing, which presses down when the filter is inserted and opens up access to the return tube. The air bleeder assembly sits at the top part of the filter, and it connects to a small opening which leads to this spring loaded entry way into the return, and the tube which leads to the return is solid plastic. This is what leads me to believe that water passes through it after being filtered as it enters the return. Water flows into the pump, then filter, and passes through this assembly prior to re-entering the pool.

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Internal air bleeder assembly - Do I need it?

    As JamesW pointed out, that little tiny, tiny filter and tubing is meant to pass excess air through the filter to prevent a situation under certain conditions, where large amounts of pressurized air could aggressively vent and damage equipment if allowed to stay trapped in your filter. When the water level inside your filter is above that tiny, tiny filter yes, it will form a tiny, tiny path for water to flow through but by far and away the major bulk of the water flow through your filter will always be through the cartridge filter element itself.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Internal air bleeder assembly - Do I need it?

    All of the water does not go through the air relief. Only a tiny amount goes through. It's purpose is to get the air out. Once the air is out, a small amount of water goes through the screen and into the return lines.

    Overall, it's best to keep the filter as designed. Air should be relieved from the filter.

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    Re: Internal air bleeder assembly - Do I need it?

    Thank you all for the responses. I greatly appreciate it!

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    Re: Internal air bleeder assembly - Do I need it?

    Quote Originally Posted by durtynacho View Post
    I have a Pentair Sta-Rite PLM150 filter. It has an 'air bleeder assembly' which is internal to the filter housing. This is not the same component that is used to bleed air from the housing when turning the pump on, nor is the pressure gauge screwed into this assembly. The filtered water flows through this device after being filtered, as it goes into the return. The thing is, it clogs very easy due to being so small and results in very low return pressure. I am tempted to just remove it because I have to take the filter housing apart every couple of weeks to clean this thing and I just don't see what good its actually doing. Can somebody enlighten me as to the importance of it? If it is just to filter the return water, I can do without that. I don't mind a little of debris making its way back into the pool.

    Here is what the assembly looks like. It connects to a tube, which leads to the underside of the filter and into the return.

    313uz5Cj3GL._SY355_.jpg
    The purpose of the internal airbleed assembly is quite important. As you bleed your filter, the obviouse result is water fills up the tank, as it does, excess water goes back into the pool. The filter/mesh at the end of the assembly keeps out the D.E., which prevents it from entering the pool when you bleed the filter. If you notice a sand type substance on the floor of your pool, and you do not have a sand filter, there's as 99% chance that your internal airbleed assembly needs replacement. I opened my filter and the mesh is completly gone. Ordered a new one and no more "sand" D.E. at the bottom of my pool. YOu will know if you have D.E. returning to your pool (if you haven't dropped fresh D.E. into your pool's filter suction if you turn on your pump after it has been off for several hours and notice a steady stream of greay clouds coming out of your return line into the pool. This will clear up after about 3-4 minutes and the water will eventually clear back up from the return line. Once the pump is off and the water stops moving around, you will see the D.E. "sand" settling on the bottom. Replace your internal bleed assembly and revaccum. Of course you will see D.E. coming out of the return line if you put too much into the pool at once after you do do a backwash or clean the filter. This is somewhat normal (if you tend to put more then the recommended amount of D.E. in the pool).

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    Re: Internal air bleeder assembly - Do I need it?

    My filter housing is clearly marked as a PAC-FAB (now under Pentair) NS-24 with 24 sq. feet of filter area. However, when I measure the filter elements, they are clearly the size of the NS-36 which has a filter area of 36 sq. feet. I called Pentair and they said that the NS-36 filter assembly would fit in the NS-24 housing, so a previous owner must have "upgraded" the filter area. A number of years ago I had to replace 2 grids and the upper manifold. The old manifold had no air relief strainer and the new one had a short stubby strainer that got slightly crushed by the somewhat smaller tank housing, but still had plenty of open mesh to continue to function. Well, I just bought an entire new 36 sq. foot filter grid assembly where the measurements matched exactly the sizes of my "old" assembly - EXCEPT for the extended pipe with the strainer at the end (much like durtynacho's picture above but with a smaller, dome shaped mesh strainer). That will surely never fit in the NS-24 tank.

    Since the air relief strainer is simply to prevent some debris from exiting the upper manifold when excess air is released into the "open" area with the filtering grids, what's the harm in leaving this piece off and allowing some debris to re-enter the filtration area, only to be captured by the filter elements? Or should I try to cut and splice the long tube to try and shorten it to fit?

    Thanks!

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