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Thread: Little to no suction

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Brookville, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3

    Little to no suction

    Okay, so this is going to be long since I feel like I've tried EVERYTHING.

    Firstly, I'm VERY new to pool ownership. I was recently gifted a 22' above ground Intex pool.
    I was given very little else as far as information goes, and I've been picking up bits and pieces as I've troubleshooted.
    I was told that the pump and filter I have for the pool are *more* than sufficient for the size of the pool. The pump is 1 HP, 115 Volts, 13.8 Amps, 60 hz, and 3450 RPM, if that helps.

    So here's the problem: My pool pump does not pull ANYTHING out of the pool. Things can be floating almost directly nearby/above/below the strainer and it isn't strong enough to budge them. I can feel some suction with my hand but very minimal.
    The return pressure seems much stronger, and really gushes out into the pool, moving significant amounts of water, but there is not enough suction to remove any debris from the pool, no matter how small.

    Here is what I've attempted/verified so far:

    I've checked for air leaks. There were some originally (the water was barely splashing the top of the pump basket.) but now I have eliminated all air bubbles completely. Pump is primed and seeming to run optimally.
    I checked the impeller. It moves freely with my hand, no obstructions.
    The pressure rating on my filter would jump up to 18 psi or so when I'd run the pump so I followed the deep cleaning instructions for a sand filter. (Thank you for the great tutorial!) That dropped the pressure reading down to 12 when I run the pump, but made minimal to no difference in the suction strength.
    I've switched the multi-valve to re-circulate to bypass the filter. (NO CHANGE in the suction strength.)
    If I remove the inlet line, water gushes out of the pool at an alarming rate, so I'm ruling out the strainer basket as the issue. (But I could be wrong!)
    I've checked the line for any obstructions and it is also clear.

    I have to hand skim the entire pool constantly, because the filter doesn't pull anything.
    I thought about getting a vacuum but then figured it wouldn't work either if there is no suction.
    I have gone through a ton of discussions to read suggestions for similar situations, and I've fixed everything I have heard of, so I guess this is a unique case.
    Do I need a new pump? I assumed not because the pressure build up and the good flow of the return line but I don't know enough to be certain and I'm out of other ideas!

    Things that may be worth noting: Some of the vertical posts didn't have feet on them when I got the pool. I didn't realize how important that was, doi, so some of the posts have sunken into the ground making the top of the pool uneven. (The ground itself is level so there is no risk of the pool moving one direction or another, it just looks sloppy and the top edge isn't even with the water level.)
    Both the intake and return are fully submerged.
    The return may be mal-adjusted, as it tends to spray some upwards instead of out of the eye, but I don't know how to fix that and don't want to break it so I've just left it go. It does effectively circulate the water though, I did the ping pong ball test.
    ANY suggestions you all may have are VERY appreciated!
    10,000 G, Intex AG 22'x52"
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix pump with sand filter and Hayward Vari-Flo XL Multi-valve
    I filled the pool with city water.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Texas Splash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio
    Posts
    12,968

    Re: Little to no suction

    Hello and welcome to TFP! Unless I missed it in your explanation, I have a couple questions that may help us ..
    1 - Do you only have a skimmer (no main drain)?
    2 - What type of skimmer came with your pool (over-hanging or through-wall)?
    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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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Brookville, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3

    Re: Little to no suction

    Pool Side Skimmer.jpgDry side.jpg

    Only one skimmer! There are two "main drain" places at the bottom of the pool, but they're not hooked up to anything? The guy who gave it to me told me that was how you drain the pool and to make sure they stayed fully closed.
    It's a through-wall skimmer. Little round basket-like thing on the water side, with a hose connection on the dry side that has a little air vent twistie (Sorry I'm bad with all the actual terminology) and a lock/unlock valve.
    10,000 G, Intex AG 22'x52"
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix pump with sand filter and Hayward Vari-Flo XL Multi-valve
    I filled the pool with city water.

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    TFP Guide

    cowboycasey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Fletcher, OK
    Posts
    3,346

    Re: Little to no suction

    Welcome to TFP

    do you have a skimmer like this and is the water in the middle to upper half?



    - - - Updated - - -

    here is a thread on putting in a skimmer Question about in wall skimmer vs over the wall skimmer

    or you can use this one Amazon.com : Intex Pool Surface Skimmer : Patio, Lawn Garden
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Brookville, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3

    Re: Little to no suction

    I just checked out that link you posted cowboycasey, and here's a thought! I didn't install the skimmer and return, they were in the wall of the pool when I received it. I made the assumption that the one with the rotating "eye" was the return line and the other (pictured) one was for the intake.
    He had the one with the "eye" installed in the hole that is further up the wall, so my skimmer is completely submerged in order for any water to hit the return. Should it be the other way around?! Is that the problem?!
    10,000 G, Intex AG 22'x52"
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix pump with sand filter and Hayward Vari-Flo XL Multi-valve
    I filled the pool with city water.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Hazelwood
    Posts
    25

    Re: Little to no suction

    Your return lines should only be hooked up to a jet outlet. Your suction side should be hooked to either a main drain and/or skimmer


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