Hi everyone, first I'd like to say TFP helped me a TON last year. It was my first year as a pool owner (we bough our first house, and the pool was installed in 2011 by the previous owner). I used the trouble free pool method, and it's helped me keep my water sparkling clear! So you can understand my frustration when I looked at the pool today and saw it looking a little cloudy. I slammed the pool about 2 weeks ago, and made sure everything was as close to 100% as possible, so I know this is not an algae issue. All levels are on par with what they should be. So let me give some background info on my pool.
Pool: Doughboy 18' x 4' above ground with vinyl liner
Doughboy Sand filter (not sure on the size)
Pump: Doughboy PowerLine 0-3046-200.
Here is a pic of the pump label. It's pretty faded since it's old, but just in case there's anything else listed on here that may be helpful.
When I went to investigate the pool, I noticed that the water coming out of the return jet in the pool was very white and choppy. You can literally see and hear the bubbles popping and jumping off the surface of the pool.
Here is a video of the return jet. Earlier this season the water was perfectly clear and bubble free, so this is a newly developing issue.
Of course I first checked all my chemicals with my Taylor kit to rule that out, and they're all good. The water level is also good. Then, I tried to bleed the pump. On my pump there isn't really a bleed valve, so I turned everything off, loosened the strainer basket lid until water was flowing freely from the lid, then tightened things back up to make sure no air was entering through the lid. I replaced the lid o-ring when I opened the pool, and it has a healthy coating of magic lube on it. I then did a water pour test over all my plumbing, skimmer gasket, pump lid, and nothing seemed to stop the pump from shooting out bubbles into the pool.
Strangely enough though, there isn't any water leaking when the pump is running, and I don't really hear any cavitation while the pump is running (I had a few large saltwater fish tanks in the past that had pump cavitation, so I am at least familiar with the sound), although it does LOOK like the water that's coming out of my jet is water that's been cavitating. But if that were the case, I'd think that all the bubbles and such would get broken up in the sand filter, or am I wrong thinking that?
The thing that worries me though, is that when I turn the pump off, I get this brief creaking noise, and then water starts leaking out of the housing where the strainer basket and impeller shaft meet. I don't physically see any cracks in the housing, and everything is tightened up really well. I'm not sure what could be causing this leak, but wouldn't it make sense that if it's leaking like this when the pump turns off, that it's sucking in enough air while the pump is running to cause the "whitewater" effect out of my return jet? And if that's the case, what am I likely looking at replacing here? I know there is a weephole of some sort on the bottom of the strainer basket, but the water isn't leaking from there. It's coming directly from under the pump shaft where the "clamp" connects the strainer basket to the pump housing.
Here is a video showing what I'm talking about. Again, no water leaks while the pump is running, just when it turns off.
I've read that leaks in this area could indicate the impeller shaft seal, but wouldn't it be leaking with the pump running if that were the case? I'm new to pools and pumps (but not new to fixing things ) so I'm not really sure what parts are where in this area.
Thanks for the help! And please let me know if you need any more information that what I provided. I'm really wanting to get the pool running to 100% again haha, these bubbles are driving me crazy! Not to mention that I'm sure a good bit of water is leaking out when the pump shuts off overnight.
Oh, and also, I do plan to replace the "power cord" that the pump is hooked up to currently. The previous owner of the house just has it connected to a regular 14g extension cord. I'm not sure if the female plug was cut off and wired directly to the pump as I haven't taken the housing apart, but something tells me that isn't really how it's supposed to be hooked up. Again I may be wrong there, but it doesn't seem right to me.