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Thread: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

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    Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    Hello. Thanks in advance for any help.
    I just realized that I posted in the Introduce Yourself section with my other thread. So, I will post it again here because we need help with our skimmer. This is what I posted in the other thread.
    "Hello all.
    We have an 18' above ground Intex inflatable pool. This is the second one we have had in about 8 seasons. We upgraded long ago to the 2500gph pump and it helped a whole lot. We had a skimmer on the old one and everything worked fine. It finally played out for some reason. I think a part broke. So, we bought another Intex skimmer just like it. We also had to replace the pump a couple of seasons ago when we replaced the pool. So, now the setup is a new 18' pool, new 2500 gph pump and a new skimmer. All the same stuff but new. (It is now about two seasons old but the skimmer issue happened a while back and we have been without one since.)
    We hooked the skimmer up as before and it caused the pump to make a terrible sucking in sound like when someone is having a coughing spasm and cannot breathe well. The pump sounded like it was straining horribly. We unhooked it all and I asked the seller on Ebay about it. I was greeted with "that's an Intex problem so call them thing and no chance of a refund." We called Intex and got a poor girl that barely spoke good English. We couldn't understand her and she couldn't understand us so we finally gave up. So, we lost about $30 on that skimmer.
    We still have it. It is sitting in the shed. I saw this website and thought I would ask y'all if y'all have any ideas about it. We bought a new pool kit and it included a flow reduction adapter that came with a picture of a skimmer but no real instructions. It made me think to post this thread. What does that do and will it help this problem? Thank you!"

    I looked around and I thought maybe we had figured out the problem but it was short lived. Here are those two posts:
    "I think we got it fixed today. Took a little doing because our pool was already up and going and filled with water. The connectors had stuck together too so it was fun trying to get them apart to hook the skimmer up. I found another place where others had said their skimmers were being pushed up at an angle and remembered something like that happening to ours. So, we attached it and when the pump was turned on the skimmer rose at an angle and was not pulling the water through. We did as those others had suggested and weighted down the bucket part leaving the hole clear of course. (We used rocks and a 2.5lb barbell weight.) Once we got the height adjusted right it did just fine. The surface of the water was much cleaner after only a little while of it running. Thank y'all for the help. Hope this helps anyone who may be having the same issue."
    and
    "Looks that only worked for the other day. We didn't run the pump yesterday but turned it on again today. It once again started sucking air (after having worked well two days ok) but it didn't sound as bad. We can hear the air though and air bubbles are coming out the other side where the water flows back into the pool. We have tried the weights thing and even switched for the old skimmer. Seems that the only thing wrong with our old one may have been the hose. But, it continued to bring in air. The weights kept the barrel part down but the blue part floats to the surface. We cannot figure out why air is coming in that way. Please help with any ideas. We are about to go back to no skimmer at all sadly. Thanks."

    The responses I got were that the pump is sucking air. But as you can see we don't know why it is doing it. It worked fine after putting the weights in on Tuesday but today it went back to doing it again. The barrel part had the weights and is staying down. The blue part sucks bugs and stuff in very well but air is going into the pump. Even though it was quieter we could see the air bubbles and hear the air going through so we shut it off.
    Please help if y'all have any ideas. Thank you.

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    Your post is so complex it's hard to respond, but what happens if you put more water in the pool? Does that stop the skimmer from sucking air?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    titleistseemore's Avatar
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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    confusing, I have the same skimmer on my Ultra Frame, tough to diagnose maybe you could post a picture. As long as you have the hose that came with the skimmer hooked up to the inlet, and the unit is level with the water, and the top ring is floating about an 1/2" to 1' above the bucket. It should work good. I have used mine for 2 seasons with no problems. Please post a picture.
    Tim Jacobsen Lodi Ca.
    18'x48" Intex Ultra Frame (5700 Gallons)
    TF 100 Test Kit, Speedstir, & Sample Sizer. Liquidator Installed.
    Hayward C550 Cartridge Filter (55 Sq. Ft.), 1HP Powerflo LX Pump, Pool Rover Jr.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...uild-Questions

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    Your post is so complex it's hard to respond, but what happens if you put more water in the pool? Does that stop the skimmer from sucking air?
    I don't know. I think our pool has enough water in it. I may be misunderstanding. We tried adjusting the skimmer to the water. It was weird because it worked two days ago and we are having a hard time figuring out what changed. We have tried adjusting it, getting the air out of the pump, putting weights (not blocking the hole) in the skimmer to hold it down and stuff like that but nothing worked today. It was not near as bad as it was the first time but still air was coming in.

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    Quote Originally Posted by titleistseemore View Post
    confusing, I have the same skimmer on my Ultra Frame, tough to diagnose maybe you could post a picture. As long as you have the hose that came with the skimmer hooked up to the inlet, and the unit is level with the water, and the top ring is floating about an 1/2" to 1' above the bucket. It should work good. I have used mine for 2 seasons with no problems. Please post a picture.
    We had one too that we bought eight years ago and it worked great for 5 seasons then the hose finally broke. I think we bought a new one because of the price of just the hose and a totally new skimmer at the time. We set up the new one like we had the other one and followed the instructions but it caused the pump to sound like it was about to die. I did some researching this time though and thought to give it another try. It worked on Tuesday but today it did not. We did the things I mentioned above but it still brings in air. At one point we had it looking like it was adjusted pretty well but still air was coming in. We tried the old skimmer with the new hose and it was doing a great job skimming and looked to be at the right level. But, air still came in. It is not as much but you can hear the pump running harder and air bubbles are coming out the side where the water goes back in. We tried several times to get the air out of the whole system but it still makes that slurping sound. Does a great job getting the bugs in though but something isn't right. I will have to see about a photo in the daytime. Maybe y'all can spot the problem. Thanks.

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    titleistseemore's Avatar
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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    certainly will try
    Tim Jacobsen Lodi Ca.
    18'x48" Intex Ultra Frame (5700 Gallons)
    TF 100 Test Kit, Speedstir, & Sample Sizer. Liquidator Installed.
    Hayward C550 Cartridge Filter (55 Sq. Ft.), 1HP Powerflo LX Pump, Pool Rover Jr.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...uild-Questions

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air


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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    I had a couple of other photos but cannot get them on here.
    There is a 2.5lbs barbell weight holding the barrel part down (not blocking the hole) and a chlorine tablet in the basket. When the pump starts it pulls the blue part down like it is supposed to. We let all the air out of the pump before we start it. But, air is still coming in. I had a photo where you can see the air bubbles blowing back into the pool. The pump runs a little harder than usual at first but not like it did that one time it sounded real bad. But we left it on and after a few minutes it started slurping and pulling in more air. The skimmer is doing a good job skimming and it looks like the way we use to have the skimmer before when we had it for several seasons. This is the old skimmer but the new skimmer hose. Everything seems to be on there tight. The water is calm and we never run it with anyone in the pool. Let me know if y'all can tell anything. Thank you.

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    Your skimmer bucket is sitting too high! Move it down at least two inches below the surface so the blue part can move freely up and down. The way you have it now restricts the down movement, causing the pump to suck air.
    Intex Ultra Frame 24'x12'x52" (732cm x 366cm) rectangular pool
    Intex SF80220RC (1600 GPH) pump/sandfilter
    Intex SF10220 (1050 GPH) pump/sandfilter driving the
    Intex Automatic Pool Cleaner
    Intex 8220 ECO SWG, Brilix XHP100 9kW heatpump

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    Quote Originally Posted by Mickelin View Post
    Your skimmer bucket is sitting too high! Move it down at least two inches below the surface so the blue part can move freely up and down. The way you have it now restricts the down movement, causing the pump to suck air.
    Thanks for the reply. We had been adjusting it and trying several positions. I went out there just now and adjusted it again and let the air out of the pump and started it. It was still sucking in air. I adjusted it more but still the same. If the bucket sits too low the blue part floats out of the it. No matter how I adjust the bucket the blue part floats to the top. Then the pump pulls it down when it starts. Skims great but pulls air in. I can hold the blue part under the water and still air is coming through. Let me know what else please. Thanks.

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    In that case, you must have a leak somewhere. What if you remove the blue piece altogether and have the bucket below the surface? Still getting air in the pump? Then check all the hose connections and the hose itself. Check that the lids on the pump and filter are tight. Good luck!
    Intex Ultra Frame 24'x12'x52" (732cm x 366cm) rectangular pool
    Intex SF80220RC (1600 GPH) pump/sandfilter
    Intex SF10220 (1050 GPH) pump/sandfilter driving the
    Intex Automatic Pool Cleaner
    Intex 8220 ECO SWG, Brilix XHP100 9kW heatpump

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    Does the bucket still have the big rubber flapper in the bottom of it? The screws rust out over time and break off allowing the flapper to float free and not work properly.
    Ultra 16', Intex Sand filter/pump combo, 8' x 20' solar panels, solar blanket w/roll tube, 1" extruded foam floor with Gorilla pad, Liquid chlorine and stabilizer.

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    Thanks for the comments. Just now saw these. I will have to look about the flapper and try the connections tomorrow. Maybe we can get it working. Thanks again.

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    I had some issues with the same over the rail skimmer (I was losing water pressure, making be assume air was getting into the line). When I found the real problem I was almost embarrassed. There was a clog inside the pool where the skimmer connected to the pool. There's a blue fitting that the small hose connects to. I pulled off the small hose, then unscrewed the blue fitting and found the clog. Fixed my issue immediately. I never experienced a sucking from the skimmer, but I have a different pump, good luck!!

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    We checked the connections and the flapper part. We could not see anything wrong there. We tried to see if the skimmer hose was leaking anywhere but it seemed fine. I took the blue hose connector piece off and didn't notice anything until I went to put it back on. Then I felt debris between it and the connector piece to the pump hose. I removed that debris. We changed the air filter and checked the pipes for debris. The hoses were clear except there was some in the intake of the pump. After all that and connecting everything back we tried it again. It started to act the same but settled down in about 5-10 seconds and is running fine now. So, Wseaac it may have been the debris like you said. But, we are going to see how it acts because we thought it was working the other day and it did it again. We are thinking about putting netting in there like I saw on a youtube video to keep more debris from going into the pipes. We have an old pool net that may work and allow water to get through. Thanks for the help. Maybe it will work again tomorrow this time.

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    We ran it today (we were not able to the past two days) and it did fine again. Though I imagine I will have to clean out the connections again before too long because it sounds like maybe it is pulling some stuff through. I tried the pool net thing somewhat but it held the blue part in place. I saw where you can buy those pool socks. Do they work well? Thanks.

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    I didn't read all the post but I think if you put a river stone inside the blue cup, and force it to go a little down it will stop sucking air, hope this helps
    8,400 gal Intex, 3K GPH pump, 16" sand filter, SWG CG-28669, TF100 test kit, speed stir, K-1766 Taylor salt test.

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    Quote Originally Posted by Piolin View Post
    I didn't read all the post but I think if you put a river stone inside the blue cup, and force it to go a little down it will stop sucking air, hope this helps
    Thank you. I have a weight in the barrel part to hold it down. So, far it seems to be that trash is getting through the basket and after some time it seems to be causing it to suck air. When I clean it out, as suggested, it does better. I got a net for the basket and tried it today. It seemed to do fine. So far, it has been running better the past several days but it has had to have some tweaking.

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    If you use a cheap hairnet in the basket it will drastically cut down on the grass scraps and little bugs that make it through the basket and into the strainer connection on the outlet. I use these...super cheap, and disposable. I just pull the basket out, pop the yucky one out, put a new one in, and drop back into the barrel. Don't even need to rinse the strainer basket.

    Disposable Hair Net, Spun-Bonded Polypropylene, White, 100 per Bag: Science Lab Hairnets: Amazon.com: Industrial Scientific

    But be forewarned, if you leave them outside over the Texas summer, fall, and winter, they will crumble when you try to use them the next year! LOL. This year I will store them indoors!
    22' x 52" Intex UltraFrame ABG, 10,500 gallons
    using TF-100 test kit
    Krystal Klear 633T Filter Type B pump - 2,500 GPH
    Intex wall-mount surface skimmer

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    Re: Intex Skimmer Causes Pump to Suck Air

    Quote Originally Posted by tamaralemus View Post
    If you use a cheap hairnet in the basket it will drastically cut down on the grass scraps and little bugs that make it through the basket and into the strainer connection on the outlet. I use these...super cheap, and disposable. I just pull the basket out, pop the yucky one out, put a new one in, and drop back into the barrel. Don't even need to rinse the strainer basket.

    Disposable Hair Net, Spun-Bonded Polypropylene, White, 100 per Bag: Science Lab Hairnets: Amazon.com: Industrial Scientific

    But be forewarned, if you leave them outside over the Texas summer, fall, and winter, they will crumble when you try to use them the next year! LOL. This year I will store them indoors!
    Thank you for the link to those on Amazon. That is a good price. I had bought one off of Ebay and have been trying it out. It caught a lot of stuff. These would be a cheaper option though. I don't know how long the one I got will last anyway so I will keep these in mind. Also, we try to put everything up too haha. MS weather is definitely bad for trying to leave the whole pool out year round (the sun also messes up the parts after a while). The people who tried that around here had their pools torn up by the wind and spring storms.

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