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Thread: Bubbles in return on new pool. Should I be concerned or not?

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    Bubbles in return on new pool. Should I be concerned or not?

    So my pool was just completed a few months ago and after it was all set up I would get little bubbles coming out of the returns in the pool. Without the pool builder coming to the house to see my concerns he mentioned over the phone that it is normal because I have a salt cell. I did my homework and saw that this is possible so I let it go.

    So my auto-fill is almost always on (trickling) so at one point I had turned it off and a few days later the water was down a few inches from where it should be. From what I read on the internet it could be evaporation so I tried the bucket test for two days. Two days later it seemed like it passed the bucket test. I turned on the auto-fill again and let it fill up however it does not shut off, just goes to a slow trickle once it gets higher with the float. So lately I have been messing with the float adjusting it down so it pushes up the float higher to shut it off. That does the trick but then the water goes down much further than it should because the float has been adjusted. Then I am adjusting it once again to fill the pool but again once it gets near full it will just trickle rather than shut off.

    Now to the next part which is in the subject line. I can come out to the pool and at times (intermittent) it will have bubbles coming out of the returns. Everything I have read is if there are bubbles it is getting air from somewhere. Strange thing is that it does not always do this and it can be big or small bubbles at any given time.

    A few weeks ago I cleaned the filter for the first time hoping this would solve the issue however all it did was clean the filter and the bubble are still present. The bubbles come and go with or without the salt cell being on. I will attach three videos I have taken and ask for your opinions on what you think may be going on.

    I have already sent my PB an email yesterday morning and waiting on a reply. Again I mentioned this when the pool was opened for a few weeks and they said it was normal and did not even come back to check my concerns. After spending this much money on our backyard it needs to be right.

    This was the first video I sent the PB. The salt cell was on at this time and he said it was normal:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ2J68_5YX0

    Here was a video from a few weeks ago. The salt cell was NOT on as it was early in the morning when the vacuum was on:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnJma3o4Y7o

    Here is a video from this morning. Again the salt cell was not on and the vacuum was going:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVKLFNaJxwA

    Thanks to everyone from their comments.

    UPDATE:

    I just started to think could the bubbles be entering from the pool sweeper as it does come to the surface sometimes and you hear it gulping air. That seems plausible to me for the air entering the system. Just something I thought about now.
    30,000 Gallon Pool IG (Pool 18' X 38' / Spa 7' X 7') - Pentair IC40 SWG - (1) Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST Pump - Pentair DE FNS-Plus 60 Filter - Pentair Mastertemp 400 Heater - Pentair Easytouch 8 - Pentair Electronic valves - Pentair 5G Color LED Pool/Spa Lights - Pebble Sheen Mini Tahoe Blue - Auto Fill/Over Flow - Taylor K-2006C - Completion 3/2016.

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: Bubbles in return on new pool. Should I be concerned or not?

    I would check your sweeper, let it suck air and see if the bubbles can be replicated and then unhook the sweeper and see if it stops
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
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    Re: Bubbles in return on new pool. Should I be concerned or not?

    Besides potentially being from the salt cell which it seem you have eliminated bubbles are usually suction side leaks so filter as a cause is doubtful. After you try Casey's test I would check the gasket on the pump basket lid look for any debris under the gasket or between the gasket and the pump body. Then check the fitting on the input to the pump ensure it's tight. Some silicone gasket lube might be a good idea too, you can get it at some hardware stores, pool shop, or Amazon. I also saw a post where one of the more senior members mentioned trying shaving cream around the input to the pump and pump lid if there is a suction leak there it might suck a whole in the foam of the shaving cream.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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    Re: Bubbles in return on new pool. Should I be concerned or not?

    Thanks guys that is exactly what I was going to do tomorrow morning. I was going to lift the vac out for a second to gulp some air and see if I can replicate this. I have a sneaky feeling this may be it as it does not always have this issue. The vac also does not always surface.

    I saw the shaving cream method a few days ago as well. Already tried the soapy water but with the air coming from the fan on the pump it was hard to tell.

    I would think if there was an air leak you would see signs of water but maybe not.

    Still learning the life of owning a pool. I think I am doing okay so far but with you all I will be good in no time .

    Quote Originally Posted by cowboycasey View Post
    I would check your sweeper, let it suck air and see if the bubbles can be replicated and then unhook the sweeper and see if it stops
    Quote Originally Posted by atttech-2 View Post
    Besides potentially being from the salt cell which it seem you have eliminated bubbles are usually suction side leaks so filter as a cause is doubtful. After you try Casey's test I would check the gasket on the pump basket lid look for any debris under the gasket or between the gasket and the pump body. Then check the fitting on the input to the pump ensure it's tight. Some silicone gasket lube might be a good idea too, you can get it at some hardware stores, pool shop, or Amazon. I also saw a post where one of the more senior members mentioned trying shaving cream around the input to the pump and pump lid if there is a suction leak there it might suck a whole in the foam of the shaving cream.
    30,000 Gallon Pool IG (Pool 18' X 38' / Spa 7' X 7') - Pentair IC40 SWG - (1) Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST Pump - Pentair DE FNS-Plus 60 Filter - Pentair Mastertemp 400 Heater - Pentair Easytouch 8 - Pentair Electronic valves - Pentair 5G Color LED Pool/Spa Lights - Pebble Sheen Mini Tahoe Blue - Auto Fill/Over Flow - Taylor K-2006C - Completion 3/2016.

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    Re: Bubbles in return on new pool. Should I be concerned or not?

    Sometimes with suction side leaks you can find them with running a hose on the leak. I.e. the water will seal up the air leak while it's applied. So if you're sucking air into the pump basket visibly.. run a hose over the pump lid, pump cconnection, and maybe any valves or plumbing joints in the area. If the bubbles dissappear it's probably there. Also if it's a good leak you can sometimes hear it when you shut the pump off.
    ~15k gal oasis shape, IG vinyl, 2 speed superflow 1HP ~6' above pool level, pentair TA60D 60GPM/325# sand, built 2004, intermatic 1353 and stenner chlorine injection pump, dolphin robot, and a filthy light niche

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