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Thread: vacuum/suction issues

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    vacuum/suction issues

    Hi. I was hoping for some help.
    I have been having issues with my pool sweeper (side suction) working well. It always seemed to work better when I cleaned my filters. I recently purchased new pleatco filters and everything was working great. My pressure on the filter dropped from 20 to around 10 and the sweeper worked great. Today I threw it in the pool, got the air out and switched from Skimmer to cleaner and the pressure dropped to zero and all the water from the pump basket emptied out. I removed the sweeper hose and put my hand over the suction hole and there just about zero suction. I tried going from Skimmer back to cleaner again and same thing. The Skimmer is working great. Awesome water flow from the returns. It just seems like nothing works when I change the valve from Skimmer to cleaner. Anyone know what the issue may be?. Thanks in advance.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: vacuum/suction issues

    My guess is the cleaner suction pipe is clogged. You can try back flushing, with a garden hose wrapped in a rag, from the pump basket inlet towards the pool and see if anything comes out. The valves have to be set for 100% cleaner to work.
    Mark
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    Re: vacuum/suction issues

    Appreciate the reply. Can you explain the wrapping in a rag please? Appreciate it


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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: vacuum/suction issues

    The rag is used to help provide more of a water-tight seal around the end of the garden hose when you insert it at the pump basket end as you try to push water back towards the skimmer. Without it, water may try to just comes backwards at you.
    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: vacuum/suction issues

    Ok. I tried it. A few leaves came out of the side suction (maybe 5 or so) and lots of bubbles. Let it run for around 3-4 minutes. Tried again and Skimmer runs great. Suction no go. No suction at all. What else could it be?


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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: vacuum/suction issues

    So your dedicated suction line is still not cooperating? I'm assuming your suction cleaner and poolside skimmer plumbing join-up together close to the equipment pad and probably share the same 3-way valve. Is that true? Or does the cleaner line have it's own separate valve/line? Once you switch from skimmer to suction cleaner, and it causes the pump to lose prime, I'm thinking one of two things ... starving for water or sucking-in air. Either the few leaves you got out were just the tip of the iceberg, or perhaps air is getting in on that cleaner line somewhere/somehow (joint, valve, etc).
    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: vacuum/suction issues

    Yes they share a 3 way valve.


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    Re: vacuum/suction issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    So your dedicated suction line is still not cooperating? I'm assuming your suction cleaner and poolside skimmer plumbing join-up together close to the equipment pad and probably share the same 3-way valve. Is that true? Or does the cleaner line have it's own separate valve/line? Once you switch from skimmer to suction cleaner, and it causes the pump to lose prime, I'm thinking one of two things ... starving for water or sucking-in air. Either the few leaves you got out were just the tip of the iceberg, or perhaps air is getting in on that cleaner line somewhere/somehow (joint, valve, etc).



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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: vacuum/suction issues

    I would tend to think there may still be something in the cleaner pipe. But to rule-out the valve/line, you could hold a garden hose over it while set to "cleaner" and slowly let the water cover the valve while having someone check the suction pressure at the poolside cleaner hole. Just to see if they notice any difference at all. Check any other exposed part of the cleaner PVC line with the water test before it disappears in the ground. If that doesn't work, maybe you need something more aggressive to check the cleaner line itself - like a plumber's snake?

    I see the pic now. That line drops fast. Not much to check above ground. Hopefully it's still a simple (stubborn) clog.
    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: vacuum/suction issues

    Ok. So this is getting more frustrating. I went to try again and magically water started flowing when changed to cleaner and the vacuum worked! I have the mx80 and have a leaf cannister which was spinning inside rapidly. Success! 30 mins later I come back out and cleaner has stopped, cannister stopped spinning. I check pressue on filter down to zero. Pump basket has very little water. Change to Skimmer and everything starts right up again. Any ideas why it worked for around 20-30 mins and then stopped again?


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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: vacuum/suction issues

    Seems like something is still in a awkward spot of your cleaner's dedicated suction line. Maybe it dislodged or moved enough to let water through for a short period, then impeded water flow again. The fact that everything works fine and water flow is great while on skimmer alone isolates the problem to that cleaner line. There's nothing really to a 3-way valve, so I doubt there's anything wrong there. Any chance a part from your cleaner (gear, tab, something) may have came-off and be the culprit in that line?
    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: vacuum/suction issues

    Maybe. I did inspect the cleaner and all looks good. If something is in there how would I get it out? I read somewhere about a drain cleaner that attaches to a garden hose. I guess it inflates and shoot high pressure water. Is that a good idea?


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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: vacuum/suction issues

    Probably the "Drain King". It has a type of bladder at the end to provide a much better seal as opposed to a rag. It's used quite a bit by pool owners trying to clear a clog. Of course there's the old-school, manual "snake" method depending upon the distance from the pump to the cleaner hole.
    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: vacuum/suction issues

    Anyone know what size the pipes are generally? Buying drainking and want to be sure to buy right one.


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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: vacuum/suction issues

    Yours look to be 2" to me.
    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: vacuum/suction issues

    So update to this issue. Today I tried again and the leaf cannister started spinning for a few seconds and then stopped. No suction. I removed the leaf cannister and turned the valve back to cleaner again and the mx80 fired up and has been running. Could it be that the leaf cannister is letting air into the line somehow and stopping suction?


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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: vacuum/suction issues

    If air can get in - sure. I guess the only way to know for sure is to keep testing it that way for a while and see what happens. That would save you from a lot of plumbing headaches.

    Inspect any applicable connection locations and the canister O-ring if it has one. O-ring probably should be lubed well also.
    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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