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Thread: First Vacuum - Did I Screw Up My Pump?

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    FattyLumpkin's Avatar
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    First Vacuum - Did I Screw Up My Pump?

    Hey all, first time poster.

    I set my system up to do a first-of-the-year vacuum of all the stuff in the bottom of my pool. I set things up to vacuum straight to waste. Here's my question/issue: I removed the insert filter on the pump itself as I figured that little basket would fill up in about 0.2 seconds if I left it in there... Was removing it then operating the vacuum a mistake, or is this SOP for large-scale vacuum? I ask because the pump lost suction and I think was clogged after about 10 seconds of my beginning to vacuum... I'm worried I seriously messed things up. Any input appreciated.... thanks!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First Vacuum - Did I Screw Up My Pump?

    Hello and welcome to TFP! I understand what you were trying to do and why you did it. Unfortunately that pump's strainer basket was the pump's last line of defense against debris, frogs, or anything lese lurking in the depths of your pool. Best to leave it in. While it may eventually clog-up with twigs and stuff, it's better than compromising the pump itself.

    Is your pump clear and operating okay now? Not sure about your equipment since it's not loaded in your signature, but with power off, you should be able to reach into the pump's impeller area to see if a lot of junk got wrapped-up or jammed in there.
    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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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: First Vacuum - Did I Screw Up My Pump?

    Make sure to turn the pump breaker off, as well, so someone does not accidentally turn it on while you are working on it. Better safe than sorry.

    Kim
    Last edited by kimkats; 05-19-2016 at 02:24 PM. Reason: clear up my wording
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    FattyLumpkin's Avatar
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    Re: First Vacuum - Did I Screw Up My Pump?

    Thank you, Texas. I was able to get it going again, but it took quite a while to "prime" and get moving -- I think there was probably debris lodged in there (a frog included) for a time, but all seems to be operating OK now. My filter's reading ~15 PSI, which is actually lower than the original PSI (~18) when the pool was first opened this year. So I think I've avoided any serious issues at this point. I appreciate your guidance!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks, Kim!

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    Pool Tool's Avatar
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    Re: First Vacuum - Did I Screw Up My Pump?

    The reduced pressure could be an indicator of less flow meaning something is still partially blocking it. They are built pretty robust, so just keep an eye on it and listen/look for any changes in sound or flow. You are probably just fine.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: First Vacuum - Did I Screw Up My Pump?

    What he said ^^^

    Reduced pressure indicates reduced flow from the pump, and a clogged impeller would do it.

    Picture an electric fan. Now string some masking tape between the blades. It spins just as fast as ever, but it doesn;t move nearly as much air. Same thing with the pool pump.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    FattyLumpkin's Avatar
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    Re: First Vacuum - Did I Screw Up My Pump?

    OK, thanks... let's say the pressure doesn't return to the baseline ~18 PSI... I'm assuming 3 PSI would equate to a fairly significant loss in efficiency relative to the electricity (perhaps not equal to 3/18, or ~17%, but some)? Not to mention additional wear on the pump while it spins with this debris on it... is this something I would reach out to someone to correct (i.e., my pool installer), or is it a DIY-serviceable job?

    Thanks again, all.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First Vacuum - Did I Screw Up My Pump?

    Can you update your signature with your pump, pool, and equipment type? You can add your pool info to your signature by going to the top of the TFP web page (just under the Pool School button) and select "SETTINGS". On the next page look to the left for a menu bar that says, “MY SETTINGS” and go to "EDIT SIGNATURE" to enter your pool and equipment info there. It will help us later. This link may also help you: Pool School - Read This BEFORE You Post.

    That info (and maybe a picture) will help us tell if you can open-up your pump and get to the area required to inspect it.
    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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    FattyLumpkin's Avatar
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    Re: First Vacuum - Did I Screw Up My Pump?

    Thanks, Texas. Yes, I was just creating one, but I need to get all the info as we moved into this home recently and the pool was already here . I'll update ASAP -- again, appreciate everyone's help.
    / 24k Gal, 18x36 Freeform IG Vinyl Saltwater / Sta-Rite MPRA6E-205L 1HP Pump / Sta-Rite System:3 Cartridge Filter / IC-40 SWCG / Dolphin Nautilus Cleaner / TF-100 Test Kit w/ SpeedStir / Taylor K-1766 Salt Test /
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: First Vacuum - Did I Screw Up My Pump?

    Here is a video on clearing a clogged impeller. Don't worry about not having the exact same style of pump as the one in the video, the basic information will work for any pump.

    How To: Clean Out A Pool Pump Impeller - YouTube
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    FattyLumpkin's Avatar
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    Re: First Vacuum - Did I Screw Up My Pump?

    Thanks, Zea. Will give that a try later today, and will post pics when I can. I've updated my signature with the details around my setup. Hoping the pump is serviceable...
    / 24k Gal, 18x36 Freeform IG Vinyl Saltwater / Sta-Rite MPRA6E-205L 1HP Pump / Sta-Rite System:3 Cartridge Filter / IC-40 SWCG / Dolphin Nautilus Cleaner / TF-100 Test Kit w/ SpeedStir / Taylor K-1766 Salt Test /
    Useful Links: Recommended Levels / SLAM / FC/CYA Chart / Test Kits Compared / Edit Your Signature

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    FattyLumpkin's Avatar
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    Re: First Vacuum - Did I Screw Up My Pump?

    Some pics of my pump/filter/heater. Like I said, I'll try the coat-hanger approach from the YouTube video later, but any insights anyone else has on my pump's impeller cleaning are appreciated! Thanks all.

    Attachment 48422
    / 24k Gal, 18x36 Freeform IG Vinyl Saltwater / Sta-Rite MPRA6E-205L 1HP Pump / Sta-Rite System:3 Cartridge Filter / IC-40 SWCG / Dolphin Nautilus Cleaner / TF-100 Test Kit w/ SpeedStir / Taylor K-1766 Salt Test /
    Useful Links: Recommended Levels / SLAM / FC/CYA Chart / Test Kits Compared / Edit Your Signature

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