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Thread: cleaning pump strainer

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    Kathe's Avatar
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    cleaning pump strainer

    Hi all! We were trying to clean out our pump strainer basket today. Turned off the pump, closed the out take valves, top and bottom valve. Relieved pressure from filter. Unscrewed the pump top.

    But water continually flowed out of the top of the pump. Couldn't figure out how to stop it. Must be coming from the filter, backflowing from the pool's intake hose. How do you isolate the water coming from the filter?

    Thanks!
    Above ground 27' round, 17,000 gal., 52" high; vinyl liner; TropiCal 96,000BTU Heat pump; Integrity A Frame Ladder; Solar Blanket, Aqua Cover by PolyAir Corp, thermotex clear, 5 yr. warranty, cartridge filter., Clear Bay Cartridge CBA2-10043 (two to switch out when cleaning); New pool as of 6/1/15.

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    Re: cleaning pump strainer

    your description is alittle confusing, not familiar with above ground pool setup. my pump sucks from the skimmer and bottom drain, pushes through the filter back to the pool. pump is above water level of pool. can you describe your set up? in either case you should be able to close one or more valves to isolate the pump.
    30000 gal inground vinyl liner;sand filter w/glass media, nuvo uv, TF-100 test kit; 25 years on Baquacil, converted to TFP chlorine in 2016

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    Kathe's Avatar
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    Re: cleaning pump strainer

    Our filter and pump are below water level. I was looking for a valve to close between the filter and intake and there isn't one. Should one have been put in at time of install? I wonder why we didn't get one. We usually hook the filter to the heat pump and then into the intake. But I don't see a valve inside the heat pump. Right now the heat pump isn't attached because we are waiting for a new part. I wonder if we would have the same problem if we were hooked up to the heat pump?
    Above ground 27' round, 17,000 gal., 52" high; vinyl liner; TropiCal 96,000BTU Heat pump; Integrity A Frame Ladder; Solar Blanket, Aqua Cover by PolyAir Corp, thermotex clear, 5 yr. warranty, cartridge filter., Clear Bay Cartridge CBA2-10043 (two to switch out when cleaning); New pool as of 6/1/15.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: cleaning pump strainer

    Mine does that when I leave the filter housing or air relief valve open. So after you initially relieve some pressure, close the system back up and only open the pump strainer basket lid and you should be okay.
    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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    Kathe's Avatar
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    Re: cleaning pump strainer

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Mine does that when I leave the filter housing or air relief valve open. So after you initially relieve some pressure, close the system back up and only open the pump strainer basket lid and you should be okay.
    We actually did close the relief valve before opening the basket lid, but it still backflowed.
    Above ground 27' round, 17,000 gal., 52" high; vinyl liner; TropiCal 96,000BTU Heat pump; Integrity A Frame Ladder; Solar Blanket, Aqua Cover by PolyAir Corp, thermotex clear, 5 yr. warranty, cartridge filter., Clear Bay Cartridge CBA2-10043 (two to switch out when cleaning); New pool as of 6/1/15.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: cleaning pump strainer

    That is odd, even with an AGP. Once you close any 3-way valves (suction side and pressure side), you essentially cut-off outside flow from the pool (gravity). The only place water could come from is the filter unless it's still sealed/closed. Only when the filter is opened somehow to allow air is will it allow water to equalize towards the strainer basket. Is there any other place between the shut-off valves that may be open to allow air into the system?
    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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    Kathe's Avatar
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    Re: cleaning pump strainer

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    That is odd, even with an AGP. Once you close any 3-way valves (suction side and pressure side), you essentially cut-off outside flow from the pool (gravity). The only place water could come from is the filter unless it's still sealed/closed. Only when the filter is opened somehow to allow air is will it allow water to equalize towards the strainer basket. Is there any other place between the shut-off valves that may be open to allow air into the system?
    we don't have a valve on pressure side (between filter and intake) I assume that is probably the problem.
    Above ground 27' round, 17,000 gal., 52" high; vinyl liner; TropiCal 96,000BTU Heat pump; Integrity A Frame Ladder; Solar Blanket, Aqua Cover by PolyAir Corp, thermotex clear, 5 yr. warranty, cartridge filter., Clear Bay Cartridge CBA2-10043 (two to switch out when cleaning); New pool as of 6/1/15.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: cleaning pump strainer

    Ahhh yes. That makes sense then of course. Without a way to completely isolate the equipment pad from the pool (both suction and return/pressure sides), water is getting pulled-back from the pressure side towards the filter as soon as you open the lid, then eventually pouring out the pump strainer basket.
    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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    JoeSelf's Avatar
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    Re: cleaning pump strainer

    You have water gravity fed from the skimmer to the pump strainer basket. If you take off the lid there is no way to stop the water, without closing off the water from the skimmer basket. You can block off the bottom of the skimmer, BUT YOU MUST remove after putting lid back on and before turning on the pump. Running the pump without water is VERY BAD.
    13700 gal, 32'x16'x54" AG oval, vinyl, Echo Canyon II, 8500 series, Narrow Yard, Safety Fence & Stair, Sta-Rite Crystal Flow T-210WF, 44 GPM, Hayward SP1580TL 1HP Pump, Aqua Luminator, Festiva wedding cake steps, March 2006, TFT-100, Speed-Stir, Sample Sizer. Avatar Credit: TJ Townsend

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    Kathe's Avatar
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    Re: cleaning pump strainer

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSelf View Post
    You have water gravity fed from the skimmer to the pump strainer basket. If you take off the lid there is no way to stop the water, without closing off the water from the skimmer basket. You can block off the bottom of the skimmer, BUT YOU MUST remove after putting lid back on and before turning on the pump. Running the pump without water is VERY BAD.
    Yes, thank you. I did shut off the valves coming from the skimmer basket.
    Above ground 27' round, 17,000 gal., 52" high; vinyl liner; TropiCal 96,000BTU Heat pump; Integrity A Frame Ladder; Solar Blanket, Aqua Cover by PolyAir Corp, thermotex clear, 5 yr. warranty, cartridge filter., Clear Bay Cartridge CBA2-10043 (two to switch out when cleaning); New pool as of 6/1/15.

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    Re: cleaning pump strainer

    Very simple solution.

    Buy another pump strainer basket, take out dirty, replace instantly w clean one, re-tighten and fire-up pump. The amt of water you lose is so minimal that the prime mode of the pump will get it back going again. Just bleed/purge the filtering system and you are good to go. Now you can clean the diry strainer on your own time and do a much more thorough job bc you are not under the gun to reinstall.

    I also bought two additional skimmer baskets and the plug and play method is so much easier on the knees, the back and other there too...try it, you'll never regret it.
    InGround 15K gal, 18'x30' 3.5' to 5.5' depth w/ 9'x9' spillover Spa, Pebblesheen w/ Travertine, Hayward 3 HP VSP, Hayward C4030 Cartridge, Hayward 1.5 HP for 2 Scupper columns, ProLogic, PL-PS-8 Panel, Hayward 400K BTU Heater, 3 ColorLogic LED, Spa Blower, TF-100 w S-Stick, QC Tiger Shark, Autofill

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    Kathe's Avatar
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    Re: cleaning pump strainer

    Quote Originally Posted by tstex View Post
    Very simple solution.

    Buy another pump strainer basket, take out dirty, replace instantly w clean one, re-tighten and fire-up pump. The amt of water you lose is so minimal that the prime mode of the pump will get it back going again. Just bleed/purge the filtering system and you are good to go. Now you can clean the diry strainer on your own time and do a much more thorough job bc you are not under the gun to get it back is the pump.

    I also bought two additional skimmer baskets and the plug and play method is so much easier on the knees, the back and other there too...try it, you'll never regret it.

    Great idea! Thanks!
    Above ground 27' round, 17,000 gal., 52" high; vinyl liner; TropiCal 96,000BTU Heat pump; Integrity A Frame Ladder; Solar Blanket, Aqua Cover by PolyAir Corp, thermotex clear, 5 yr. warranty, cartridge filter., Clear Bay Cartridge CBA2-10043 (two to switch out when cleaning); New pool as of 6/1/15.

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    Re: cleaning pump strainer

    I have had below water-level pumps for over 50 years and I NEVER close my intake valves when I clean the basket. I just slap the basket against a pipe to get the big stuff and then push the basket into the water flowing out of the pump, working it up and down rapidly. That pretty much cleans out the stuff stuck to the basket and washes it away. Then slap the lid back on and start her up. I have it down so it's open less than 30 seconds, so the amount of water loss is minor.

    My old pool had the pump/filter in the pool house basement, so this was a good way of giving the sump pump a little test/exercise.
    Current: 28,000G 18'x36' I/G AnthonySylvan Plaster; Waterway 60 sq.ft. DE Filter; 1.0hp x 1.65 SF Two-Speed (B2982) WhisperFlo; 2004-Present
    Previous: 40,000G 20'x40' I/G Koven unlined WWII salvage 5/8" marine steel; Lomart Stainless Sand Filter; 3/4hp Hayward SuperPump; 1946-2003 (managed by me from about 1964)
    Ancient Taylor K-2000, upgraded with Taylor CH, TA, and FAS-DPD, and TFT CYA tests.

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