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Thread: Newbie - Pump and pool return question

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    Newbie - Pump and pool return question

    Hello members,

    This is my first post to this forum. We just had a new pool built. The pool was turned on 4 weeks ago and all seemed well. Last week the contractor turned on the salt cell and now I see bubbles coming out of two out of four returns. The bubbles are coming out of the two returns closest to the pump. My pool contractor says this is normal due to the salt and the cell. It never did this before the salt was put into the pool. Does this sound normal to you? Leslie's pool supply says I have an air leak and need to hire a company to come and look for the leak. Kind of concerns me.

    Also the first time I went to clean the basket in my Pentair 2 VST pump I put the garden hose in the pump basket and tried filling it with water before putting the cover back on. For the life of me it will not fill up. I left it going for nearly 10 minutes and it will get close to the top of the basket but when I turn off the water the basket is empty. I am so confused as to where the water is going. I would have thought the pipe would have filled with water and would overflow until I put the lid on.

    If I open the relief valve on the filter it will flow back to the pump.

    So my question is when filling the pump basket with water do I open the relief valve at the filter to fill up the basket or do I just use the hose and if I only use the hose why wont it fill up?

    All the pipes were filled with water and under pressure for nearly 3 month before the pool equipment was installed.

    My pool contractor said over the phone that everything is normal. I just want to some advise from people with experience before I go back and tell him they need to come back out to make sure everything is okay.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Pump and pool return question

    Welcome to TFP!

    If the pump is fairly close to the pool, it can be normal for the SWG to create bubbles that reach the pool. Mine does this. If you turn the SWG off, see of the bubbles stop. If so, nothing to worry about.

    Since the pump is above the pool, you can never fill out with a hose, the water will just flow backward into the pool. Just put the lid on and fire it up. Then pop open the air relief valve on the filter to let the air out until water shoots out.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Newbie - Pump and pool return question

    jblizzle thank you for the reply.

    The pump is about 10' away from the spa. Our contractor said it is always better to have the equipment as close to the pool as possible so the pump works more efficient. The bubbles do not always show up but they do at times and sometimes they are small and other times they are big. Kind of inconsistent.

    Your suggestion about putting the cover back on at the pump and opening the relief valve is what I have been doing. The part that worried me is all these YouTube videos I have watched that show the pump basket filling with water and I do not see it going back to the pool. They also say not to start your pump dry. It confuses me where the water is going as I put my hand over the hole in the skimmer and it does not seem to be going there so if anything I imagine it is coming into the drain but not sure how it could. This is just weird.

    Here is a picture of our new pool before the final touches were done. The pool equipment is behind the spa and the pergola, this shows the closeness of the equipment. The bubbles when they do happen are only at the two returns near the spa and the two at the shallow end do not experience bubbles.


    DSC_0005.jpg


    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Welcome to TFP!

    If the pump is fairly close to the pool, it can be normal for the SWG to create bubbles that reach the pool. Mine does this. If you turn the SWG off, see of the bubbles stop. If so, nothing to worry about.

    Since the pump is above the pool, you can never fill out with a hose, the water will just flow backward into the pool. Just put the lid on and fire it up. Then pop open the air relief valve on the filter to let the air out until water shoots out.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Pump and pool return question

    Does your pump run at multiple speeds? My bubbles are small on high speed and larger on low speed, but again only when the SWG is generating.

    The water will always drain out of the pump back to the pool. And yes it will go to the floor drain. The pump is not dry, it is over half full of water.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Pump and pool return question

    Is the pump basket full of water while the pump is running and remain full several hours after the pump has been turned off? If so, then you probably don't have an air leak.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
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    Re: Newbie - Pump and pool return question

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Does your pump run at multiple speeds? My bubbles are small on high speed and larger on low speed, but again only when the SWG is generating.

    The water will always drain out of the pump back to the pool. And yes it will go to the floor drain. The pump is not dry, it is over half full of water.
    jblizzle - I have never paid attention to the bubbles coming out at different speeds. I have a Pentair 2 VST pump.

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Is the pump basket full of water while the pump is running and remain full several hours after the pump has been turned off? If so, then you probably don't have an air leak.
    mas985 - thanks for jumping in on this. My basket does not seem to lose water at all. I have gone out the next morning before the pump was to turn on and it appeared to still have water. The bubbles just freaked me out as they were not present the two weeks prior to turning on the SWG.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Pump and pool return question

    If the bubbles are small champagne type bubbles, then they are likely from the SWG. Just turn it off and see if they 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: Newbie - Pump and pool return question

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    If the bubbles are small champagne type bubbles, then they are likely from the SWG. Just turn it off and see if they go away.
    Here is a small clip from the day I originally saw it. I am not 100% certain it only happens with the SWG on. I will pay closer attention to this. The bubbles in this clip are much bigger than it normally is. Some times it blows bubbles and other times it does not. There is inconsistency on the bubbles and it does not always appear.

    Pool bubbles - YouTube

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Pump and pool return question

    Quote Originally Posted by eostrike View Post
    Here is a small clip from the day I originally saw it. I am not 100% certain it only happens with the SWG on. I will pay closer attention to this. The bubbles in this clip are much bigger than it normally is. Some times it blows bubbles and other times it does not. There is inconsistency on the bubbles and it does not always appear.

    Pool bubbles - YouTube
    Remember, if the SWG is set to 50%, half the time it's on it's actually not running. Like the microwave on half power, it cycles on and off. If you never see bubbles without the SWG on, and they resume as soon as it's turned on, it's likely just normal bubbling. Here's what's going on inside.
    H20 + NaCl = H2 + NaOCl
    Water + Salt = Hydrogen gas + Sodium Hypochlorite Bleach
    You're just seeing the Hydrogen bubble out is all.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Pump and pool return question

    A little detective work on your part (following what we have suggested) will answer your question.

    SWG generating or not?
    Pump speed low or high?

    Both of those can influence the presence and size of the bubbles.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Pump and pool return question

    That was on low speed correct? It looks like SWG bubbles.

    Some times it blows bubbles and other times it does not.
    SWGs turn on and off during the pump run time cycle so that does not mean it isn't the SWG causing the problem. Again, force the unit off and see if the bubbles 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: Newbie - Pump and pool return question

    So we had a Pentair repair technician out last week as my pressure valve on the filter was leaking intermittently and he also said the bubbles in the returns are due to the SWG. So I think everything is good as far as that concern. Thanks for the comments!
    30,000 Gallon Pool IG (Pool 18' X 38' / Spa 7' X 7') - Pentair IC40 SWG - (1) Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST Pump - Pentair DE FNS-Plus 60 Filter - Pentair Mastertemp 400 Heater - Pentair Easytouch 8 - Pentair Electronic valves - Pentair 5G Color LED Pool/Spa Lights - Pebble Sheen Mini Tahoe Blue - Auto Fill/Over Flow - Taylor K-2006C - Completion 3/2016.

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