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Thread: Air leak or something else?

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    Air leak or something else?

    I hope I'm not double posting, my last post doesn't appear to have gone through.

    After cleaning out my pump basket, I started getting a lot of air bubbles coming out of the spa jets in my pool. The pool jets do not bubble. My spa also seems to be draining down despite the fact that I have the valves set to pull only about 25% of water from the spa, and return 50-50 to spa & pool. If I set the suction valve to 100% spa, I can see the air accumulate in the pump lid and get all frothy.

    Seems like an air leak in the suction line from the spa, but why would the spa be draining down? And why only bubbles in the spa jets, and not in the pool jets? Even if I return 100% to the pool, the pool jets don't bubble. I'm a thoroughly confused new pool owner.

    Here are some pictures. First image shows the amount of bubbles and how far the spa is draining. Second image shows where my valves are set that resulted in the drain down of the spa. Third image is just an overall of my equipment.

    https://goo.gl/photos/YLqyDBLXyhvjcuNe8
    16,200 Gallon
    In-Ground Pool, Plaster
    Cartridge Filter

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Air leak or something else?

    Hello Turbo! And you never had any problems before cleaning the strainer basket? That's odd. Typically in this kid of a situation we go right back to where our hands last touched something. Is it possible the O-ring didn't seat properly, or that some grit or something is letting air into (under) that lid?
    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: Air leak or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Hello Turbo! And you never had any problems before cleaning the strainer basket? That's odd. Typically in this kid of a situation we go right back to where our hands last touched something. Is it possible the O-ring didn't seat properly, or that some grit or something is letting air into (under) that lid?
    I suppose it's possible. Would an air leak cause the spa to drain down like that? I'll double check the O-ring. I didn't have problems with bubbles before cleaning the strainer basket. However, the strainer basket was in terrible shape. All broken and completely full of crud. Everything is running much better now, except for the bubbles and the spa drain down.
    16,200 Gallon
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Air leak or something else?

    If you never had that problem before, I'm thinking O-ring and/or a valve. Something that was manipulated for maintenance. Also, you might want to ensure none of that crud got past the strainer into the impeller area. Turn power off first and check in there perhaps?
    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 leak or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    If you never had that problem before, I'm thinking O-ring and/or a valve. Something that was manipulated for maintenance. Also, you might want to ensure none of that crud got past the strainer into the impeller area. Turn power off first and check in there perhaps?
    I cleaned out the impeller when I replaced the strainer. I don't think it's the pump lid because when I change the suction valve over to 100% spa, I can watch the air accumulate in the lid and get all frothy, it goes away if I change it to 100% pool (but bubbles come out in the spa either way).
    16,200 Gallon
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    Re: Air leak or something else?

    I wonder if you don't still have some air trapped somewhere after the filter from the valve to the spa causing a type of outgassing or aeration effect. I've seen in another scenario where slowly alternating the valve from pool to spa, over & over slowly several times, that eventually it helped to "burp" the air out and resolved such a problem. Since everything was working fine before the cleaning, I'm hoping it's something as simple as that.
    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 leak or something else?

    One more piece to the puzzle... I noticed that every 10-15 seconds the spa air blower is making a gurgling noise. Sounds like maybe air is being drawn in from there? Not sure if it made this noise before, or if it is new. Is it possible that air is leaking at the air blower when it is turned off? Would that explain the problem I am having?
    16,200 Gallon
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    Re: Air leak or something else?

    At this point I would run-down any potential trouble spots, but it is odd that it only started happening recently after the regular maintenance performed. That's the kicker. At this point, trying to identify any potential air leak source is beneficial.
    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 leak or something else?

    yes it is possible

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    Re: Air leak or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurboArch View Post
    One more piece to the puzzle... I noticed that every 10-15 seconds the spa air blower is making a gurgling noise. Sounds like maybe air is being drawn in from there? Not sure if it made this noise before, or if it is new. Is it possible that air is leaking at the air blower when it is turned off? Would that explain the problem I am having?
    the air blower adds greatly to the spa jet action when both it, and the jet pump are both on.
    it is also possible to notice a small amount like you see in the jets now,when the blower is off.
    when the jet pump is off,and the air blower is on,the bubbles will usually just go up vertically and spill water on the deck.

    air blowers are optional and some spas just have a notch cut out of the pvc pipe air line, to draw air naturally when jet pump is on, which also works well.

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    Re: Air leak or something else?

    A few notes:
    1.) Spa jets have built-in venturi so they'll bubble once the water is evacuated from the air line when you have good flow - not an issue.
    2.)Your spa should have what is called a "spa common" line tied into the pool return to circulate water into the spa while filtering in pool mode thus creating a spillover into the pool.
    3.) the sound you hear associated with the blower is normal when returning water to the spa w/o the unit on. Basically you're hearing the air draw created by the water flow to the jets.

    I'd shut the spa suction valve and the spa return valve and see if the spa fills and overflows into the pool, if so leave your valves like that because of #2. If that works it should take care of #1 and #3 as well.

    GL!

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    Re: Air leak or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoelFitz View Post
    A few notes:
    1.) Spa jets have built-in venturi so they'll bubble once the water is evacuated from the air line when you have good flow - not an issue.
    2.)Your spa should have what is called a "spa common" line tied into the pool return to circulate water into the spa while filtering in pool mode thus creating a spillover into the pool.
    3.) the sound you hear associated with the blower is normal when returning water to the spa w/o the unit on. Basically you're hearing the air draw created by the water flow to the jets.

    I'd shut the spa suction valve and the spa return valve and see if the spa fills and overflows into the pool, if so leave your valves like that because of #2. If that works it should take care of #1 and #3 as well.

    GL!
    I'll give it a shot. Thanks!
    16,200 Gallon
    In-Ground Pool, Plaster
    Cartridge Filter

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    Re: Air leak or something else?

    Just a quick update... I added some water to the pool and the bubbles diminished, but did no go away completely. Not sure why that made a difference because the water level seemed ok before. Maybe just a tad on the low side. So now the spa isn't draining down as much because the pool is overflowing into the spa and keeping it filled. Not ideal, but better than it was. I double checked the lid and o-ring. I'm confident that's not the problem.
    16,200 Gallon
    In-Ground Pool, Plaster
    Cartridge Filter

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