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Thread: air pockets forming

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    LaurCay's Avatar
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    air pockets forming

    Fairly new to pool maintenance and have been educating myself on this site. I am in a SLAM. I am having a problem. Pressure on my filter is raising to the red line today, just four hours after cleaning the cartridges. My pump basket is getting air bubbles. I briefly checked valves and pvc elbows and o ring on the pump basket cover by running a hose over top to see if the basket would fill from a leak spot....read that somewhere on here.... . It was actually an air pocket that spanned the whole window. When I shut the system off, emptied the pump basket, depressurized the filter and then turned the system back on, it was worse. When this happened to a lesser degree yesterday, after cleaning the cartridges, there were no bubbles except for the allowable champagne bubbles for a SWG system.

    I can't run the pump 24/7 for my SLAM if I think the pump will run partially dry overnight. Any suggestions?
    Laura
    2011 19,000 gal IG, Spa with spill over, Rock waterfall, Hayward SwimClear C4030 4 Cartridge Filter, AquaRite SCG (3400 ideal), Pentair Mastertemp 250 Heater, Jandy FloPro 2.0 hp Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD and K-1766, Well water CH 150 TA 325.

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    Re: air pockets forming

    Pressure on my filter is raising to the red line today, just four hours after cleaning the cartridges. My pump basket is getting air bubbles.
    These two issues are not related. rapidly increasing psi indicates your cartridges are collecting dirt and junk from your pool quite quickly. Air in the pump basket is a suction side leak.

    Is your pressure continuing to increase rapidly?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    LaurCay's Avatar
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    Re: air pockets forming

    I left the system off overnight. The pressure increase was most dramatic yesterday, before that I was taking cartridges out to clean every other day. I acid washed them a week ago, if you'd like more background on my situation I have a thread going in the algae topic. My pool is looking clearer and I have taken all the solids out, leaves, etc and brush daily and vacuum with a hose driven attachment daily. I dont' understand the pressure problem. But every time I haul them out to clean, they are heavy with algae. The only other thing I've done differently is replaced the top manifold which was severly cracked. That was replaced a week or so ago.

    The suction side leak issue can wait until I am done with my SLAM if I keep an eye on the air pocket and reduce it? Thank you so much for the advice.
    Laura
    2011 19,000 gal IG, Spa with spill over, Rock waterfall, Hayward SwimClear C4030 4 Cartridge Filter, AquaRite SCG (3400 ideal), Pentair Mastertemp 250 Heater, Jandy FloPro 2.0 hp Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD and K-1766, Well water CH 150 TA 325.

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    Re: air pockets forming

    Air bubbles can be very frustrating. Just to make sure, have you already exhausted everything listed here at Pool School - Suction Side Air Leaks Since air enters on the suction side, everything happening after the pump should have no bearing on the air bubbles. Give extra attention to the water level in the skimmer and weir opening, and make sure that O-ring has a fresh amount of lube to help it seal nicely under that pump basket lid. Your pool is not that old so I would hope your plumbing and connections from the skimmer to the pump are in good shape.

    I too have a single Hayward cartridge filter. Before I learned TFP, my filter was coated with green everyday. Sometimes I would rinse it twice a day thinking it was helping. Now we know better. Two things will block that filter up fairly quickly: #1) - Algae and/or dead algae ... and #2) - A bad filter. By that I mean clogged, possibly from the acid wash. I don't know all the history on your filter, but if it wasn't cleaned properly with something like TSP or automatic dishwashing detergent "before" applying the acid, it could've damaged the filter by solidifying the grease and junk onto the paper element. It will like white and pretty, but its porous properties are reduced. Just something to keep in mind for later.

    So give that suction side page a good review and keep an eye on that filter. Certainly maintain the FC level as that is your primary agent during the SLAM. Keep rinsing the filter everyday to remove the dead algae, and if your pressure continues to seem awkwardly high, make sure no valves after the filter are partially closed, no chance of something plugging the outlet lines, or consider replacing the filter if its old or may have been damaged. Last but not least, don't rule-out that the gauge may be going bad. TFtestkits (TF-100 link below) has a great glycerin-filled test gauge that you may wish to try later if you suspect a bad gauge.

    Hope this all helps. Good luck!
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: air pockets forming

    if you'd like more background on my situation I have a thread going in the algae topic.
    You should keep your info under one topic. Those of us that make multiple posts daily get confused when you split your issues like that. Keep all future stuff right here and let the other one die out, if you can.

    From your description, it sounds to me also that the suction side leak can wait. Constant clogging of the filters always means you have a lot of junk in your pool.

    As you SLAM, the junk will get less and less as your water clears up. I am concerned by your words that your FC is not high enough and you are not keeping your cartridges clean often enough.

    Can you post a set of current test results for us?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: air pockets forming

    Thank you Texas Splash and duraleigh.

    My numbers yesterday were:
    CH - 160
    TA - 170
    CYA - 50
    Salt - 2000
    FC - unknown, ran out of reagent being delivered Thursday. Have kept it up above target of 24, the unknown started yesterday. Plan to throw in one jug per day until I can test.

    CH and TA have come down from 225 range for both, lots of rain here, but I've not added anything to the pool except chlorine bleach 8.25% since beginning SLAM one week ago.
    Laura
    2011 19,000 gal IG, Spa with spill over, Rock waterfall, Hayward SwimClear C4030 4 Cartridge Filter, AquaRite SCG (3400 ideal), Pentair Mastertemp 250 Heater, Jandy FloPro 2.0 hp Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD and K-1766, Well water CH 150 TA 325.

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    Re: air pockets forming

    Thank you for the readings. Normally I would recommend that you provide the pH reading as well, but for now with your FC well over 10 the pH would be inaccurate (high) anyways. You have a good plan with the bleach for now until your reagents come in, so just stick with that. I would suggest watching the poomath numbers close for your plaster. If your pH was at about 7.4 at the start of the SLAM, your CSI (saturation index) reading is currently at about -0.31. Anything past -0.6 and it can have negative effects on your plaster. So at some point you might want to enter all of your readings into the calculator and watch the "CSI" row near the bottom of the table as you try changing either the pH, TA, and or CH readings. You'll see that CSI number go up or down as you change the other numbers. Just experiment with it. You want it close to neutral (zero). That's how you can control the CSI to protect your plaster. Oh, and with a CYA of 50, your SLAM/Shock level is actually FC 20, so just stick with that and all the other prerequisites from the SLAM page and you'll do fine.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: air pockets forming

    Quote Originally Posted by LaurCay View Post

    But every time I haul them out to clean, they are heavy with algae
    Green (assuming you have green algae) or dead?

    Matt

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    Re: air pockets forming

    MSL - I have green algae, pic attached.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Laura
    2011 19,000 gal IG, Spa with spill over, Rock waterfall, Hayward SwimClear C4030 4 Cartridge Filter, AquaRite SCG (3400 ideal), Pentair Mastertemp 250 Heater, Jandy FloPro 2.0 hp Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD and K-1766, Well water CH 150 TA 325.

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    Re: air pockets forming

    And the filter is green when you clean it?

    I think everything you are seeing is normal for the amount of living algae in your pool (and filter). When I run my variable speed pump on a very low speed, I eventually get an air bubble/pocket in the pump basket. That's normal. You are seeing the same slow flow because the filter is full of algae.

    Are you sure your CYA reading is correct? How much bleach were you having to add daily to keep your FC at slam level?

    I would clean the filter every day.
    20k Gunite/Fiberglass
    Hayward SP2302VSP
    Pentair LA-MS05 BoostRite
    Pentair Quad D.E. 100 sq ft

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    Re: air pockets forming

    Yes, green algae in filter when I clean it. I was cleaning it every other day, now once or twice a day. 5 jugs to keep FC at 24 when my CYA was 55, but I miscalculated at first with the strength of bleach in pool math and added 7. The FC reading fluctuated between 38 and 28, so my calculations were off somewhere. Putting one gal in today and tomorrow until I can test FC and CC on Thursday. The water is looking clearer today, and I can see further down into the water. I just cleaned the catrtidges this morning and the pump basket refilled no problem, no air pockets yet. Not sure why yesterday afternoon the pocket got so large and last night after cleaning the cartridges the basket wouldn't fill up completely at all, I'd say a third unfilled. That's why I shut system off last night.

    But all looks good so far this morning. There is a raspy sound coming from inside the heater pvc lines like air/water is sputtering there. Also, I inspected my salt cell a couple days ago, yes for the very first time ever, and when I put it back - after ridding it of a little scale build up, nothing much - I placed it right side up with label/directions facing up although I found it the reverse when I detached it. Is this wrong? Here is a pic:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Laura
    2011 19,000 gal IG, Spa with spill over, Rock waterfall, Hayward SwimClear C4030 4 Cartridge Filter, AquaRite SCG (3400 ideal), Pentair Mastertemp 250 Heater, Jandy FloPro 2.0 hp Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD and K-1766, Well water CH 150 TA 325.

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    Re: air pockets forming

    I can't help you with the salt cell. That seems like something a quick call to the manufacturer could answer though.

    The next time you add bleach, I would slowly pour a little bit directly in to the skimmer.

    How long have you been in the SLAM? I would take pictures once or twice a day as it's much easier to see the progress when you can line them up in order.

    -Matt
    20k Gunite/Fiberglass
    Hayward SP2302VSP
    Pentair LA-MS05 BoostRite
    Pentair Quad D.E. 100 sq ft

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    LaurCay's Avatar
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    Re: air pockets forming

    MSL,

    I have been in SLAM for 6 days. More frequent cleanings of filter and with a pressure tip instead of the comb seems to work well, the air pockets and the rise in pressure are improving a little. The pressure release valve has become really hard to close though.

    I can now see the trim tile on the second step into the shallow end, so yay some progress. But the upkeep - testing, getting educated, researching products and prices, record keeping, brushing, vacuuming, skimming, checking baskets, checking pressure, cleaning 4 heavy cartridges a shot, getting the lid on and off the filter - is a little brutal compared to the zilch I was doing before on my pool!
    Laura
    2011 19,000 gal IG, Spa with spill over, Rock waterfall, Hayward SwimClear C4030 4 Cartridge Filter, AquaRite SCG (3400 ideal), Pentair Mastertemp 250 Heater, Jandy FloPro 2.0 hp Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD and K-1766, Well water CH 150 TA 325.

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    Re: air pockets forming

    There may be a connection with the clogging of the filter and air bubbles in a pump, at least in my experience.

    I thought the replacement pump was bad - but that did not seem likely. It was leaking severly and drawing very little water.

    Then I removed the (single) cart in the filter - and the pump was good.

    My guess is that, as the pressure builds, the pump is going to start looking for 'stuff' to pump - maybe even air.

    Before freaking out over a small leak (I live with mine), check the pressure. If getting the pressure down solves the leak, well, you now know that the suction side has a limit around 40 psi.

    Just don't go to 40 psi, and you won't have a leak.

    YMMV
    Dave
    Sacramento
    1980's 15,000 Gal IG Plaster; 1 1/2 hp Hayward Northstar; Hayward Swimclear C3025 Cartridge Filter (325 sq ft, nom.); Pentair Legend; Polaris PB4-60; Equipment 40' from pool. p.s.: it's an aye-aye.

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    Re: air pockets forming

    When looking for a suction side air leak two valuable items are shaving cream (the foam kind) and plastic wrap. You can smear shaving cream on a suspected leak and watch to see if it's sucked in and the foam appears in the pump basket. Plastic wrap can be wrapped around an area to provide a temporary seal that will confirm the leak.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: air pockets forming

    Fabulous information! Thanks for the link.

    Laurie - Houston, TX 12,000 gallons, Rectangular Saltwater IG Pool, Pebble, Hayward pump installed by unknown 2011, ProLogic Automation and Chlorination/Aqua Logic Wireless Remote, Hayward Tiger Shark, Taylor K-2006 (on its way) DE filter Hayward.

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    Re: air pockets forming

    Quote Originally Posted by MSL View Post
    .......The next time you add bleach, I would slowly pour a little bit directly in to the skimmer........
    What would be the reason for this? If the SLAM FC level is maintained the water in the filter will have enough chlorine in it already.

    Dom
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: air pockets forming

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    What would be the reason for this? If the SLAM FC level is maintained the water in the filter will have enough chlorine in it already.

    Dom
    Just because we don't know the circulation characteristics of her pool and she continues to clean live algae from her filter.... I'm actually a proponent of adding all bleach, slowly, through the skimmer, but I know a lot of people worry about damage to the equipment with that method.

    -Matt
    20k Gunite/Fiberglass
    Hayward SP2302VSP
    Pentair LA-MS05 BoostRite
    Pentair Quad D.E. 100 sq ft

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    Re: air pockets forming

    Quote Originally Posted by MSL View Post
    Just because we don't know the circulation characteristics of her pool and she continues to clean live algae from her filter.... I'm actually a proponent of adding all bleach, slowly, through the skimmer, but I know a lot of people worry about damage to the equipment with that method.

    -Matt
    The reason that there is live algae in her filter is because there is live algae in the pool. I don't see how adding highly concentrated chlorine into the skimmer is going to help this situation.

    At TFP we try not to base our actions on "just because".

    Dom
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: air pockets forming

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    The reason that there is live algae in her filter is because there is live algae in the pool. I don't see how adding highly concentrated chlorine into the skimmer is going to help this situation.

    At TFP we try not to base our actions on "just because".

    Dom
    May I ask a dumb question? What does live algae look like vs algae at the bottom of a pool? Ty

    Laurie - Houston, TX 12,000 gallons, Rectangular Saltwater IG Pool, Pebble, Hayward pump installed by unknown 2011, ProLogic Automation and Chlorination/Aqua Logic Wireless Remote, Hayward Tiger Shark, Taylor K-2006 (on its way) DE filter Hayward.

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