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Thread: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

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    Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    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.

    https://youtu.be/CnjmjO5TFAM

    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.

    https://youtu.be/gkq3anKJOn8

    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.
    18' round above ground doughboy pool - 7636 gallons
    Doughboy Powerline 0-3046-200 1 hp pump
    Doughboy Aquaclear sand filter
    Aqua Trol RJ Salt generator - GLX-Cell-5 salt cell

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    Re: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    So of course when my schedule frees up for me to check on things at the pump, it's pouring rain here. Isn't it funny how that usually works out? aha. The pump is definitely leaking a good bit when off. This morning when I checked things before work, (it was off for about 6 hours before I checked it) and there was roughly a 2 ft diameter puddle about half an inch deep, so it's leaking pretty good when it's off. Needless to say, I adjusted the salt cell accordingly, and took the timer out of the equation so the pump is running 24/7 until I can get a chance to tear into it and see what's going on.

    I don't think it's worth mentioning, but last year mid season I had to take the skimmer pot off to clean out some gunk that was built up in the impeller (darn pine needles), but everything was ran for about 3 months after that and had no leaks, and it's been running since april of this year with no leaks until this weekend (that I noticed).

    Here is an exploded diagram of the pump assembly. I'm thinking that obviously something between part 8 and part 15 is causing the leak, but I'm not sure having never had the pump apart that far.

    Doughboy 0-3046-200 Exploded view.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18' round above ground doughboy pool - 7636 gallons
    Doughboy Powerline 0-3046-200 1 hp pump
    Doughboy Aquaclear sand filter
    Aqua Trol RJ Salt generator - GLX-Cell-5 salt cell

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    Re: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    So it finally stopped raining for a few minutes. Not enough for me to really dig into the pump, but enough to get some more pics of the leak site.

    Since it was raining pretty good when I was initially trying to look at this, I wasn't able to really get underneath the pump to check for fine cracks or anything. However upon further investigation with the ground a tad drier, there is indeed a hole in the bottom of the strainer pot where the clamp joins the pot to the pump impeller face. I'm not sure if this hole is supposed to have a plug in it, or if this is purposely there to help even out pressure or something. It doesn't seem like it should be open and leaking, but it does only leak when the pump is off. It did not leak here last season, and only started leaking recently that I noticed (which is when the air bubbles from the return started). I'm sure this is probably where the pump is sucking in air, which would make sense being so close to the impeller, and likely the reason I don't see any air bubbles in the strainer pot.

    Here are some pics of the hole, as well as me pointing to the top of the pump directly over where the hole is to illustrate where it is in relation to the impeller/strainer pot.





    Can anyone confirm if this hole is supposed to be plugged/leaking when the pump is off? I don't see a plug here in the diagram I posted, but is it possible that maybe one was built in from the factory and some how broke off?
    18' round above ground doughboy pool - 7636 gallons
    Doughboy Powerline 0-3046-200 1 hp pump
    Doughboy Aquaclear sand filter
    Aqua Trol RJ Salt generator - GLX-Cell-5 salt cell

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    Re: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    I emailed Doughboy with the photos I attached in my last post asking if there is supposed to be a plug in this hole, or if it's just coincidental that a perfect hole is open like that in the bottom. Hopefully they'll respond, or someone here could help me soon .
    18' round above ground doughboy pool - 7636 gallons
    Doughboy Powerline 0-3046-200 1 hp pump
    Doughboy Aquaclear sand filter
    Aqua Trol RJ Salt generator - GLX-Cell-5 salt cell

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    Re: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    It gets frustrating to see no replies to a thread like this. Anyway…

    I have the same brand pool, filter and pump, just a bigger version. My build thread in my signature shows it all. So here is the thing. My pump and filter are doing the same thing. Bubble in the return (started this year), leaking at the clamp ring on the pump and now even the sand filter at the top ring is leaking. I am replacing it all today with a Pentair cartridge filter. Doughboy won’t tell me anything, they just keep referring me to my install who sucked to begin with and has since gone out of business.

    Couple of questions:
    What kind of vacuum do you use?

    The clear strainer cap, is there any air in there while it is running?

    Is the clear cap cracked? Even minutely.

    Pull the basket out of the skimmer and turn it on, any air going into the bottom of the skimmer into the hose to the pump?

    Let me know. I have been dealing with this for 3 years. I can’t even vacuum mine because the pump will run dry from all the air getting in. That is why I am replacing it all. I am impressed with their pool, but not their choice of filter/pump/skimmer.
    18x34 Doughboy AGP 22300K Gallons - Build Thread
    Aquaview 24" Sand Filter - 1.5 HP Powerline Pump - Barracuda Ranger - Taylor K-2006 - BBB
    Pool School and Pool Calculator

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    Re: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    Quote Originally Posted by Glock View Post
    It gets frustrating to see no replies to a thread like this. Anyway…

    I have the same brand pool, filter and pump, just a bigger version. My build thread in my signature shows it all. So here is the thing. My pump and filter are doing the same thing. Bubble in the return (started this year), leaking at the clamp ring on the pump and now even the sand filter at the top ring is leaking. I am replacing it all today with a Pentair cartridge filter. Doughboy won’t tell me anything, they just keep referring me to my install who sucked to begin with and has since gone out of business.

    Couple of questions:
    What kind of vacuum do you use?

    The clear strainer cap, is there any air in there while it is running?

    Is the clear cap cracked? Even minutely.

    Pull the basket out of the skimmer and turn it on, any air going into the bottom of the skimmer into the hose to the pump?

    Let me know. I have been dealing with this for 3 years. I can’t even vacuum mine because the pump will run dry from all the air getting in. That is why I am replacing it all. I am impressed with their pool, but not their choice of filter/pump/skimmer.

    Whoops, re-worded my post to not come off like a jerk hahaha, I totally understand replies take time, didn't mean for it to sound bad, this site has helped me LOADS already, that's what I get for writing a post before my coffee hahaha.

    Thankfully my sand filter so far isn't leaking at the valve, but it does have a very slow drip at the drain plug at the very bottom, but that's a slow water leak that's only when the pump is running and wouldn't likely cause any bubbles. I get a constant 10-11psi on the filter, and usually backwash when it gets closer to 13 or 14 psi.

    I just have a standard hose vacuum that hooks up to the extension pole and plugs into the skimmer port. I wish I had a vacuum port, as it is sometimes difficult to keep the pump primed when first starting the vacuum. Once the pump primes back up (I usually will pre-fill the vacuum hose with water, and open the cap on the pump slightly until it's completely filled before I turn the pump on to start vacuuming). The vacuum doesn't stay attached to the pump, only when needed to clean the pool.

    When the pump is running, I don't see any air bubbles at all in the strainer pot, which seems strange to me given how many bubbles are coming out of the return.

    As far as I can tell, the strainer cap isn't cracked anywhere, and I did replace the O-ring on the cap last year. I also made sure it has a healthy coating of Magic Lube on it, so I don't think it's pulling in air there (plan to do the hose test on all the suction side plumbing this afternoon now that the rain has stopped).

    The previous owner must have lost the basket that goes in the skimmer, but there hasn't been a basket in the actual skimmer since we bought the house. I will check this afternoon for bubbles going from the skimmer into the pump, but I don't recall seeing any in the past. Ours is similar as well, if you plug the vacuum in then turn the pump on without pre-priming the pump and hose, it will suck the pump dry, and you have to keep manually priming it multiple times until the vacuum's hose is completely filled with water (I've started to just fill the vacuum hose before I hook up the vacuum to avoid this).

    I agree about the quality of the pump/filter. I'm no pool expert, but they don't seem to have a confidence inspiring build quality to them. The pump is very noisy, not a bearing squeal or anything, but it does vibrate significantly when it's on. The previous owner literally had 4 bricks stacked on top of the pump housing. If you take the bricks off, it's so loud you can hear it down the street, but if you put the bricks back on it, or push down on the pump housing, it gets quiet. I could probably pull the housing apart and tighten things up to fix that, or maybe the motors in these pumps just run loud or vibrate a lot inside the housing.
    18' round above ground doughboy pool - 7636 gallons
    Doughboy Powerline 0-3046-200 1 hp pump
    Doughboy Aquaclear sand filter
    Aqua Trol RJ Salt generator - GLX-Cell-5 salt cell

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    Re: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    I got some time this afternoon to pull the suction side of the pump apart. I wasnt really expecting what I found. The front of the impeller volute is cracked from the center where the strainer pot seals. The crack is about an inch long or so, only shows if you slightly flex the volute. I called my LPS and they have one in stock, freaking $70 of course, but I guess it beats the cost of a new pump right now. I'll be getting a full set of o rings for the suction side of the pump and the union joints from the skimmer, just to be on the safe side and replace them while everything is apart. But at least I'm pretty confident this will take care of everything hahaha. I'll post back when I get thins back together, the pool store is nice enough to stay open a few minutes late for me to swing by and get the parts, so +1 on their customer service! they're the store that did the install on this pool with the previous owner, so it's nice to see them extend good service to someone who didn't technically buy anything from them
    18' round above ground doughboy pool - 7636 gallons
    Doughboy Powerline 0-3046-200 1 hp pump
    Doughboy Aquaclear sand filter
    Aqua Trol RJ Salt generator - GLX-Cell-5 salt cell

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    Re: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    Well stupid me left the old part that broke at the pool store, and I forgot to take a picture of it to show the damage. But I got the new one put on, new o-rings on the inside of the volute where it mates with the impeller, and a new o-ring where the strainer pot mates to the volute. I put a healthy coating of magic lube on both, as well as the mating surfaces of the volute to the strainer pot. Probably a little overkill, but a little extra won't hurt anything, and it makes me feel better lol. I also put new o-rings in the unions where the pvc connects to the skimmer basket, as well as where it connects to the strainer pot. I've had the pump back together for about 15 minutes, bled all the air out of the lines and primed the pump, and started it right up. After about 30 seconds of the pump running, there were zero air bubbles coming out of the return. When I turned the pump off, there was no leak from the strainer pot weep hole. The pump repair guy at the pool store said that hole is to help prevent pump damage in the event that anything tried to freeze. I suppose that makes sense.

    The thing I'm the most impressed with though, is how quickly my pool changed when the pump got back together. Before with the leak, there was so much air coming out that it made the entire pool look cloudy. 15 minutes of pump run time (granted I SLAMmed the pool recently, so 99% is doing things the TFP way) but the water is crystal clear. It's crazy how much air makes the water just look gross, but now it's perfect! Pardon the terrible quality cell phone pic, might as well have been taken with a potato, but for the first time since I started the SLAM this year, I can see the bottom of the pool perfectly clear! Just needs a good vacuum, and it'll be clean enough to eat off of!

    18' round above ground doughboy pool - 7636 gallons
    Doughboy Powerline 0-3046-200 1 hp pump
    Doughboy Aquaclear sand filter
    Aqua Trol RJ Salt generator - GLX-Cell-5 salt cell

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    Re: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    My mistake, my post about no replies was not targeted at your responses, but the lack of help you have received to your request. I feel your pain though with this setup. I am reading the rest of your posts and will chime in shortly.
    18x34 Doughboy AGP 22300K Gallons - Build Thread
    Aquaview 24" Sand Filter - 1.5 HP Powerline Pump - Barracuda Ranger - Taylor K-2006 - BBB
    Pool School and Pool Calculator

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    Glock's Avatar
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    Re: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    My sand filter leaks at the drain plug too. I have the hole you refer to and it leaks too. If you release the ring clamp (it’s just to the right of your index finger in the pick of you pointing out the hole. Make sure you cut off the water flow before you disconnect it) and pull that filter basket container off the pump there is an o-ring in there that can be replaced. I think that is why it leaks. My clear cap is laced with micro cracks too.

    If the pot is clear of bubbles but they are coming out in the pool then the air is getting in after the pot. Maybe the plastic hose that goes to the filter or the spider valve at the top of the filter. I suspect that is where mine is getting all these extra bubbles as of late.

    If your filter is that loud they clamp inside that holds the crappy housing to the pump might be broke. Open it up if you really want to see a poor design. Lol.

    Good find with the crack. I will check mine once I get the new setup installed and report back. Glad to see things are running well. As for a vacuum, try the shark ( Kreepy Krauly Lil' Shark Above Ground Pool Cleaner-In the Swim ). It is the only one I found to work well with these Doughboy pools.

    I love the TFP method. I have only ever used it on this pool but my last one was standard chemicals and it was a real hassel. I got my new filter in yesterday and will be installing it this weekend so I am hopeful it resolves the issues the Doughboy setup has. I will have a powerful version of your pump available soon if you are interested. I think its is 1.5HP.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oops, just noticed you got yours fixed so most of my post is a moot point now. lol
    18x34 Doughboy AGP 22300K Gallons - Build Thread
    Aquaview 24" Sand Filter - 1.5 HP Powerline Pump - Barracuda Ranger - Taylor K-2006 - BBB
    Pool School and Pool Calculator

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    Re: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    Thanks for the suggestion about the vacuum, I would love to get one that self cleans a bit. The one thing that worries me though, is that there was a leak in the liner when we bought the house. I have since patched it, but it caused some uneven spots on the floor of the liner where water got under the liner. Those few spots usually cause the regular pole vacuum to "stick" to the bottom of the pool, and the pump will run dry from not being able to suck water. So I'm a little leery of getting an unattended vacuum. But otherwise, I haven't had any trouble with the pool itself. I need to do a deep clean of my sand filter (and possibly add some sand, it looks like the previous owner let a decent bit leak out of the drain plug at the bottom when they closed the pool), and the multiport handle on the filter is getting creaky when you turn it. But otherwise, hopefully I won't have anymore problems this season.

    And I'd love to upgrade to a better pump, but the electrical work to get power out to the pool is uh, less than up to par. They tapped into an outlet in our downstairs living room, ran conduit around the house and out to the pool. Granted there is a GFCI outlet that everything plugs into, but if you want to use ANYTHING while the pool pump is running, it trips the breaker. We have a 90 gallon fish tank in that room, and sometimes the pump for that running with the pool will trip the breaker. The big kicker is that the main panel is located dead center in the house, so running a subpanel to the pool would mean cutting through the ceiling in 3 rooms, and over $2000 per 3 electricians that quoted it for me. So for now, I'm going to live with it, but I may try and see if I can get the power company to work with me on installing a main disconnect/4 spot breaker panel outside at the meter to get power to the pool. But that's for another section hahaha
    18' round above ground doughboy pool - 7636 gallons
    Doughboy Powerline 0-3046-200 1 hp pump
    Doughboy Aquaclear sand filter
    Aqua Trol RJ Salt generator - GLX-Cell-5 salt cell

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    Glock's Avatar
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    Re: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    Interesting. We have a lot of the same issues. I am looking for a electrician as well and for a similar situation. The patches in the liner might be an issue although the shark would probably be okay since it does not sit as close to the liner as a traditional vacuum but I can certainly understand your reservations. Atleast you got your air issue fixed. I am going to be changing out my filter tonight, hopefully.
    18x34 Doughboy AGP 22300K Gallons - Build Thread
    Aquaview 24" Sand Filter - 1.5 HP Powerline Pump - Barracuda Ranger - Taylor K-2006 - BBB
    Pool School and Pool Calculator

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    Re: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    My sand filter drain plug has also leaked in the past a few times.
    Turns out its over tightened, remove and flip the rubber disc around and re install but not overly tight.The rubber seal likes to distort out of round shape.
    Doughboy AG 16' x 32' oval, 13,700 gal.
    AquaView by Doughboy 150lb sand filter model 0-1709-20
    PowerLine pump by Doughboy model 0-3047-200, 1.5hp-single speed-20amp
    Gulfstream electric heater-HE125-R-A
    Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    I have to say, I am OVER this pump haha. I went to empty the strainer pot because a lot of bugs had gotten into it. The lid took a significant amount of force to get off, likely from it finally getting the proper suction in the pump. I didn't use any tools to get it off, but I guess I used too much force because upon priming the pump, I've got water shooting through some small micro cracks in the side where the lid contacts the o ring. guess I'll be calling the pool store again tomorrow and hope they have one. Why does this thing hate me so much hahaha.


    And thanks for the tip on the drain plug, I tried what you said, and low and behold no more leak there!
    18' round above ground doughboy pool - 7636 gallons
    Doughboy Powerline 0-3046-200 1 hp pump
    Doughboy Aquaclear sand filter
    Aqua Trol RJ Salt generator - GLX-Cell-5 salt cell

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    Re: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    After about 3 years my strainer lid decided to create cracks, split in many areas around the threads,I used a plastic epoxy compound to get by for the weekend but it was ugly, but also worked until a replacement arrived.
    I ordered 2 .
    If in a jamb,and still available but on back order or something let me know.
    Doughboy AG 16' x 32' oval, 13,700 gal.
    AquaView by Doughboy 150lb sand filter model 0-1709-20
    PowerLine pump by Doughboy model 0-3047-200, 1.5hp-single speed-20amp
    Gulfstream electric heater-HE125-R-A
    Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: Doughboy Pump Leaking when off

    Quote Originally Posted by rajung View Post
    After about 3 years my strainer lid decided to create cracks, split in many areas around the threads,I used a plastic epoxy compound to get by for the weekend but it was ugly, but also worked until a replacement arrived.
    I ordered 2 .
    If in a jamb,and still available but on back order or something let me know.
    My pool store opens in about 10 minutes, so hopefully they have one in stock. If not, I do have a few packs of jb weld hahah, maybe that will work until one comes in
    18' round above ground doughboy pool - 7636 gallons
    Doughboy Powerline 0-3046-200 1 hp pump
    Doughboy Aquaclear sand filter
    Aqua Trol RJ Salt generator - GLX-Cell-5 salt cell

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