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Thread: Can't tell if pump is defective or just underpowered.....

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    Can't tell if pump is defective or just underpowered.....

    HI All,
    We successfully set up our 12'x24'x52" rectangular intex for the first time. This is also our first year using a sand pump. The intex came with a 2100GPH sand pump. I set up the pump using HTH sand, backwashed, rinsed and started the pump. I have the skimmer that hangs over the edge of the pool. On this particular pool model, there are 2 outlets leading to the pump, and one inlet leading from the pump back to the pool. On the first day, there was weak pull into the skimmer, but there was some slow movement around the pool and the skimmer collected crud. The next day, there was no water being pulled into the skimmer. The pressure coming back into the pool seemed similar to the first day. I backwashed, rinsed, and restarted the filter. The suction was slightly improved. The same thing happened the following day, but the suction into the skimmer didn't improve all that much after backwashing. I know from prior experience that the filter pumps that come with intex pools seems under-powered. I'm not at all against buying a larger pump (in which case I would love an opinion on if I should go for the 3000GPH or the 2800GPH.) But, am I missing something, does this seem broken, or is it just too small for the pool? Is it normal to have to backwash daily? Thanks for your help!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Can't tell if pump is defective or just underpowered.....

    Are you sure you don't have a small air leak somewhere in the suction side?
    Do you see any air bubbles in the pump basket?
    Are there any bubbles in the returns in the pool?

    The 2100 gph pump is a bit small, but it should do a fairly decent job of circulating water in the pool.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Can't tell if pump is defective or just underpowered.....

    Those symptoms could also be explained by an algae bloom starting and clogging your filter. Given you just started up the pool, did you get the chem levels dialed in right away. One way to tell is with an OCLT.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Can't tell if pump is defective or just underpowered.....

    Thanks! You might be onto something there. I have no bubbles in either of the lines. However, there is an air bubble above the strainer basket of the pump. I'm not sure if you're familiar with this pump, but the lid is somewhat domed with the air bleed at the top of the dome part. Unfortunately, there is a lip on the inside of the air bleed, and it is preventing the last bit of air from coming out. I jiggled around the pump and was able to get a bit more out, but there is probably about a tablespoon worth of air in there that won't come out because of that lip. I restarted it and will check back in an hour and see how it's doing and if the air bubble got bigger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
    Are you sure you don't have a small air leak somewhere in the suction side?
    Do you see any air bubbles in the pump basket?
    Are there any bubbles in the returns in the pool?

    The 2100 gph pump is a bit small, but it should do a fairly decent job of circulating water in the pool.
    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks for the suggestion. The chemistry is fine, I've been checking it daily since we filled it. Up until today, the chlorine was high- I was a little heavy handed with the chlorine while filling. Everything else is definitely within an acceptable range.

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    Re: Can't tell if pump is defective or just underpowered.....

    That little bit of air is irrelevant. Don't be too quick to dismiss mas985's thought's. Unseen algae in your water can create exactly the conditions you are describing. Can you post a complete set of test results? Is your water crystal clear? like Sparkly?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Can't tell if pump is defective or just underpowered.....

    It's definitely crystal/sparkly clear. I didn't write down my test results, but as I recall Chlorine was 5, ph was 7.2, alkalinity was 70, no hardness, and I didn't measure CYA because I don't think it would be high enough yet, since I've only added the kem-tek granules twice.

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    Re: Can't tell if pump is defective or just underpowered.....

    OK. let's get back to your pump, then. Do you have a psi gauge on that pump? can you tell us what it is now and what it is after you backwash and then return to "filter"?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Can't tell if pump is defective or just underpowered.....

    I had some other things going on tonight that kept me away from the pool. I'll do the backwash and report the before & after numbers tomorrow morning. Thanks for all the help so far!

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    Re: Can't tell if pump is defective or just underpowered.....

    OK, so oddly enough, it started at 5psi and stayed at 5psi after backwashing for about 3 minutes.

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    Re: Can't tell if pump is defective or just underpowered.....

    I have the same pool and pump and have no issues but I don't have the skimmer. Try it without the skimmer and hooked up normally. Maybe there's just enough air draw somehow to cause a lack of vacuum.


    New Intex 24x12x52 above ground pool.Rich

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    Re: Can't tell if pump is defective or just underpowered.....

    Well, here we are a few weeks later, and my pump has pretty much stopped sucking. I eventually abandoned the skimmer, since I couldn't really get it to work properly. I went out to check on the pool today, and the pump was running but very little water was moving. I'm going to chalk this up to a defective pump. Just wanted to tell the end of the story for folks that might come along trying to figure out what is going on with their system.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Can't tell if pump is defective or just underpowered.....

    What is the filter pressure? And are you sure your filter gauge is working (must go to zero when pump is off)?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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