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Thread: Very low suction when vacuuming

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Bayside, NY
    Posts
    2

    Very low suction when vacuuming

    Hello, This is my first post, I am VERY happy to find this forum! My problem (I think) is an air leak in the inlet side of the pump. I have read a few of your threads and know nothing about the pump other than how I turn it on. I usually use a pool company, but they seem overwhelmed and I just feel I should know this as well. They opened the pool May 12, 2016, and the water was WAY down about 2 feet from the bottom of the pool. They found and patched one tear in the liner where the sidewall meets the bottom in the low end. So far water is holding its level but now there are some bubbles coming out of one return.

    I did not think anything of this until reading a few of your threads, but when I went to vacuum last evening there was very little suction. Before closing the pool last fall there was a leak coming from the Gas Heater. (I do not use the heater as the pool is in direct sun all day) The pool company fixed the leak but right after their repair the pool turned purple, they had no answer for why or what this was in the pool. Doing research I believe it to be Copper from the heater, I drained and refilled about half the water before closing for the season, knowing I would most likely have to deal with this on opening.

    So when they opened it and water was so low, I figured at least I had a jump on the copper issue, They disconnected the heater so water does not circulate through it anymore and since the liner leak was repaired water looks much better, but bottom still needs to be vacuumed. The reading we took on the water June 8th, 2016 was FC- 0.1 , TC 0.2, CC 0.1, PH-7.2, Hardness 62, Alkalinity 69, Cyanuric Acid 90, Copper 0.2, Iron 0.2.

    I filled the Chlorine Feeder, and levels seem to be coming up (from dip stick test) They want me to add 7 pounds of Alkalinity increaser and 34 pounds of Calcium Hardness Increaser but this seems like a very large amount.

    Your thread said to check the pump basket, is this the box near the pump that I can see the water going around in through a clear plastic top? Sorry to sound so dumb, but wish there was a diagram telling about all the parts and what they do. I saw the list of pool parts on this site, but it does not address the pipes and the valves.

    Hoping you can give me a better understanding, again thank you so much for this forum and your time.
    12-year-old 20K in-ground vinyl liner pool, Haywood Pro-Series sand filter, 1 HP motor, Haywood Chlorine feeder, solid liner cover for wintertime with a pump on top. We use a Polaris Cleaner, but also go in with a scuba tank to hand vacuum. We backwash into a rain barrel so water is dispersed slower to our lawn.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio
    Posts
    12,947

    Re: Very low suction when vacuuming

    Hello and welcome to TFP! Yes, the pump strainer basket is that item where you first see water (through the clear lid) begin to enter the pump. If you were to turn-off your pump and close any 3-way valves before and after the pump (to isolate water flow), you could remove that clear lid and inspect the O-ring underneath. That's a common source of an air leak. You might also want to read the TFP Pool School - Suction Side Air Leaks page for more info.

    As for your chemistry, you are in a dangerous area right now if your test readings are correct. Why? Your CYA (stabilizer). It's very high and may be to the point where more water exchange is required. How does it get that high? Well, that chlorine feeder for one. Tablets/pucks add stabilizer each time you use them. If you used any of those convenient "bags-of-shock" from the pool store, you probably added even more stabilizer with those.

    So the #1 questions might be ... "How are you testing your water?" If you're not using a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006 test kit to test water on your own, that really should be the first thing you do. Testing the water is not difficult, and you'll water will be much happier for it.

    So take a look at that suction-side air leak link above, then consider how you are testing your water so we can help you keep your pool crystal clear. Have a nice weekend.
    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!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Bayside, NY
    Posts
    2

    Re: Very low suction when vacuuming

    Thank you so much for your quick reply! Ok, the CYA (this would stand for Cyanuric Acid?) Yes it is very high but it has gone down considerably, this was what I read was the cause for the purple slime water we were dealing with from last year.

    I have been backwashing and rinsing and the water looks better, but I still have the residual powdery stuff on the bottom. The pool store tested the water with their machine, that is the readings I wrote above plus their recommendations. I am just using the pool sticks (aqua chek 7) at the moment to see if I am getting the chlorine up. I will bring another sample to the store this weekend, but I wanted to get the air issue taken care of and the pool vacuumed first. There is another smaller clear round unit attached to the Polaris pipes near the filter that I can see water through and this also has bubbles. Is this the intake area? Could I have air leaks on both sides?

    I was looking into the testing kits you suggest on this site, which do you feel is better? TF-100 seems like a good fit to me but not sure. If so, can I buy this at the pool store or is this something I have to order. I have not used any shock bags, the pool company did add liquid shock when they opened the pool this season. Also I have never added CYA (stabilizer) or was this ever recommended.
    12-year-old 20K in-ground vinyl liner pool, Haywood Pro-Series sand filter, 1 HP motor, Haywood Chlorine feeder, solid liner cover for wintertime with a pump on top. We use a Polaris Cleaner, but also go in with a scuba tank to hand vacuum. We backwash into a rain barrel so water is dispersed slower to our lawn.

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