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Thread: Pump Problem

  1. Back To Top    #1
    KING-OLE's Avatar
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    Pump Problem

    My main pump is a Pentair 2 HP (Challenger).

    It has begun being noisy with a high pitch sound, and my SWG cell is telling me that the flow is bad even with my booster on.

    Are you familiar with this symptom, and do you think it is this a sign that the pump is dying, or is there something I can do to fix this pump?

    My pool is turning green quickly, and I'd like to fix this asap.

    Thanks,

    Ole
    Specs: IG plaster (≈35K Gallons) SWG (Pentair IntelliChlor)
    Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE filter, Pentair 2HP Main Pump + Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump
    Please forgive me if above question is stupid, but my (current) knowledge about chemistry is about the same as my ability to fly!

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Problem

    It sounds like the motor bearing is in the process of going out, is there pump motor getting very hot? The pool turning green is more likely due to chemical imbalance and the warm weather we are having. (it was 78 here in SW Louisiana 150 miles from Houston yesterday)

    Ike

    p.s. you may wish to add some (about half a gallon) regular bleach per day to the water to get some chlorine in the pool as a place holder until you can address this problem and do proper testing.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    KING-OLE's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Problem

    Thanks for your reply Isaac-1.

    Well, I am confused now.

    I felt the pump, and after 3 seconds I had to remove my hand as it was hot.

    I then compared it with the booster, and that too I had to remove my hand after 3 seconds.

    The odd thing is that I could hear a small amount of grinding, or like there were tiny rocks inside the pump, but when I turned off the booster pump, the grinding sound ended, and the cell now says good flow.

    The main pump still sounds a bit noisier than it used to, I just don't understand how the main pump can produce an acceptable flow (according to the SWG cell) but adding the booster changes it to "no-flow".

    I am confused.

    Thanks,

    Ole
    Specs: IG plaster (≈35K Gallons) SWG (Pentair IntelliChlor)
    Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE filter, Pentair 2HP Main Pump + Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump
    Please forgive me if above question is stupid, but my (current) knowledge about chemistry is about the same as my ability to fly!

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Problem

    Ole,

    As Ike says, you have two different issues. The noisy pump may be aggravating, but it is not the cause of your low flow or water turning green. I suspect you have an algae bloom and your DE filter is full of green gunk causing your flow of water through the filter and into your SWG to decrease enough so that the SWG's flow switch is not being turned on. This switch has some tolerance, so if the flow is right at the hairy edge of good or bad, then it will often work one time and not work the next.

    1. What is your filter's normal "clean" pressure?
    2. What is your filter's current pressure?
    3. What are your chemical readings?

    FC
    CC
    PH
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    4. What test kit are you using to get these reading?

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    KING-OLE's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Problem

    Thanks Jim.

    I have not read my "numbers" yet, as the pump has only been on for an hour since I got home (had a trip to Fort Worth yesterday).

    I believe I have to have the pump running for at least 4 hours before reading the numbers, unless that doesn't make a big difference.

    I will take my filter apart and clean it, and see what my numbers are.

    And yes, the warm weather returning probably have something to do with this as well.

    I'll let you know what I find, but please let me know if I can get reasonable reliable numbers without having to wait 4 hours.

    PS. My wife added 4 bags of shock last night and left the pump running until this morning. I also added 2 gallons of liquid chlorine an hour ago.

    Thanks,

    Ole
    Specs: IG plaster (≈35K Gallons) SWG (Pentair IntelliChlor)
    Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE filter, Pentair 2HP Main Pump + Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump
    Please forgive me if above question is stupid, but my (current) knowledge about chemistry is about the same as my ability to fly!

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    Re: Pump Problem

    I tend to agree, the noise you hear when the booster is on is likely cavitation caused by some type of plumbing obstruction like the filter being clogged. The classic description of the sound of cavitation is like the pump has rocks in it, in reality it is voids forming and collapsing due to vacuum on the suction side of the pump, in the long term these can cause damage to the pump impeller.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Problem

    Ole,

    I'd clean the filter first, and then see what the numbers say. I have not heard of the 4" hour" rule... I usually wait 30 minutes or so before taking a reading. Make sure you get the clean pressure reading right after you add the fresh DE and before the filter has a chance to get dirty again. If your water is green, it won't take long.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    KING-OLE's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Problem

    Thanks - I will let you know my findings.
    Specs: IG plaster (≈35K Gallons) SWG (Pentair IntelliChlor)
    Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE filter, Pentair 2HP Main Pump + Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump
    Please forgive me if above question is stupid, but my (current) knowledge about chemistry is about the same as my ability to fly!

  9. Back To Top    #9
    KING-OLE's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    3. What are your chemical readings?

    FC
    CC
    PH
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    4. What test kit are you using to get these reading?
    Hi Jim.

    Opened up the main filter, and it looked pretty bad, so I believe I found the issue.

    After cleaning it and adding new DE, the pumps has been running better, and this morning, my pool looks a lot better.

    My readings are:

    FC = 15.5
    CC = < 1
    CYA = 65
    TA = 150
    pH = 8.3
    CH = 250
    Salt = 3,200


    Based on this, I will:

    1) lower my SWG cell, which I currently have at 100%
    2) add m. acid to lower TA & pH
    3) add conditioner to raise CYA

    Thanks again for all replies to this,

    Ole
    Specs: IG plaster (≈35K Gallons) SWG (Pentair IntelliChlor)
    Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE filter, Pentair 2HP Main Pump + Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump
    Please forgive me if above question is stupid, but my (current) knowledge about chemistry is about the same as my ability to fly!

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    Re: Pump Problem

    Ole,

    Suggest you read pool school about how to SLAM a pool first.

    If me, I'd leave the SWG setting at 100% for a few days to kill as much algae as possible. You may even need to add some chlorine (Bleach) to keep the FC above the SLAM level.

    Keep in mind that high FC will cause the pH to read higher than it actually is.

    A CYA of 65 is a little low but not something that is a major issue now. Actually better for this to be a little low when SLAMing.

    Again.. I believe that you need to SLAM the pool using the instructions in the Pool School tab at the top of this page.

    I hope you recorded the "clean" pressure on your filter gage. When the pressure increases by about 25%, over the clean reading, then you will need to backwash or clean your filter again. The whole point here is to remove the algae faster than it can replicate. It is a constant process, with the pump running 24/7 until you pass the three SLAM requirements.

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: Pump Problem

    Ole, I would tend to agree with Jim about doing a Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain. Make sure you follow those instructions to the letter - don't skip anything. A couple other things I would mention:
    - pH will read high when FC is over 10 (which yours is). So if you want a true pH BEFORE you add more acid, let the FC come down to 9-10 then check. Otherwise just leave alone for the SLAM.
    - Generally when you perform a SLAM, we recommend to turn your SWG off to save on cell service life. Just hit that water with regular bleach (generic from HEB or Wal-Mart is fine) and don't' look back. Once you pass the 3 SLAM criteria, you can crank-up the old SWG and adjust as necessary.
    - As Jim stated, leave CYA as is for now (less bleach), until after the SLAM then increase to your 70-80 range.

    Jim has you on-track. 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
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    Re: Pump Problem

    Based on your numbers, your cell might be scaled. You should check to make sure that it's clean.

    If the booster pump pulls water from the system before the cell, then there will be less water going through the cell when the booster is on.

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    Re: Pump Problem

    Thank you for your replies.

    What I did not mention is that after I cleaned the filter yesterday, I put the valve in "waste" mode and vacuumed all the stuff at the bottom out the drain.

    My SWG cell had the red "no flow" light on this morning, so I did a 2 minute backwash which helped.

    My biggest problem with my DE filter is that I am not sure how much DE I should add (1) after a complete filter clean, and (2) after a backwash.

    There seems to be disagreement about how much to add, but what I usually do is to add about 10 small coffee cans of DE after a clean, and 2 after a backwash.

    Please let me know if you recommend other quantities - my filter is: Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE filter.

    I will try the SLAM recommendation.

    Thanks!
    Specs: IG plaster (≈35K Gallons) SWG (Pentair IntelliChlor)
    Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE filter, Pentair 2HP Main Pump + Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump
    Please forgive me if above question is stupid, but my (current) knowledge about chemistry is about the same as my ability to fly!

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Pump Problem

    I would use 7.5 lbs after a full clean and 6 lbs after a triple backwash.

    1 lb of de is about 48 oz volume.

    Also, I would recommend checking the cell to make sure that it is clean. Two unions make it easy to remove. Do it after a good triple backwash, or de will go back into the pool via the skimmers and main drain when you open the unions.

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    KING-OLE's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Problem

    Thanks James.

    Not familiar with "triple backwash".

    I usually do a (single) backwash when needed, and a clean about twice a year (or if needed).

    Thanks,

    Ole
    Specs: IG plaster (≈35K Gallons) SWG (Pentair IntelliChlor)
    Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE filter, Pentair 2HP Main Pump + Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump
    Please forgive me if above question is stupid, but my (current) knowledge about chemistry is about the same as my ability to fly!

  16. Back To Top    #16
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    Re: Pump Problem

    Ole,

    Backwashing removes about 80% of the gunk and DE from your filter. So if 10 cans works to fill it up, then I'd add 8 cans after a backwash.

    As you have already found out, you have a great filter. This is why you had a low flow light this morning. It is was, once again, full of algae. This will continue until all the algae is dead.

    Vacuuming to waste was a good idea and makes sense to me.

    Tell me how you are adding DE to your filter after cleaning or backwashing..

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Pump Problem

    Backwash gets most of the de off in the first few seconds of flow. Do backwash 30 seconds, rinse 5 seconds, backwash 30 seconds, rinse 5 seconds, backwash 20 seconds, rinse 30 seconds and then back to filter.

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    KING-OLE's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Problem

    Thanks Jim & James.

    Very useful information.

    @Jim, I add DE through the skimmer, one can at a time, waiting until skimmer is clear between cans.
    Specs: IG plaster (≈35K Gallons) SWG (Pentair IntelliChlor)
    Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE filter, Pentair 2HP Main Pump + Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump
    Please forgive me if above question is stupid, but my (current) knowledge about chemistry is about the same as my ability to fly!

  19. Back To Top    #19
    KING-OLE's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    Also, I would recommend checking the cell to make sure that it is clean. Two unions make it easy to remove. Do it after a good triple backwash, or de will go back into the pool via the skimmers and main drain when you open the unions.
    Forgot to reply to this one...

    I do clean the cell every 2-3 months with m. acid, but didn't know about DE flowing back into the pool if I don't 3 X backwash filter before removing cell.

    Thinking about this, I would assume I could also put valve in "waste" mode before removing cell, as anything running back out the filter would then drain instead of ending up in my pool. Is that correct?

    Thanks,

    Ole
    Specs: IG plaster (≈35K Gallons) SWG (Pentair IntelliChlor)
    Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE filter, Pentair 2HP Main Pump + Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump
    Please forgive me if above question is stupid, but my (current) knowledge about chemistry is about the same as my ability to fly!

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Problem

    Ole,

    "I add DE through the skimmer, one can at a time, waiting until skimmer is clear between cans."

    That is what I used to do and found it to be a slow PIA. Read here to take an empty 5 gal bucket and add half of the amount of DE you plan to use. Then fill with water. I am amazed that the bucket still holds about 5 gal of water. Stir up the water and DE and then slowly pour the mixture into the skimmer with the pump running. I find it is much easier and I believe it does a better job of coating the grids.

    edit.. Obviously, you add the remaining DE the same way..

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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