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Thread: Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

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    Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

    I would like to say hello. I'm a relatively new pool owner. I have a gunite saltwater pool that is around 20 year old. When we bought the house we had several small water leaks in the pool equipment, but all were fixed with new gaskets, or o rings.

    My issue now is that in the last month I have started to have a leak on the suction side of my pump. It is not a water level issue, or a weir valve issue. I have narrowed it down to the skimmer line because if I shut off the main drain line via the jandy valve at the pump, the leak goes away.


    Does anyone have any other obvious things to look for? I can't see any cracks in the skimmer. I guess my next step is to have a pool guy come leak test the line?

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

    Hello and welcome to TFP! Say, am I reading this correctly?
    I have narrowed it down to the skimmer line because if I shut off the main drain line via the jandy valve at the pump, the leak goes away.
    Wouldn't that imply (by closing the main drain) that the leak is in the man drain line? Or am I having yet another "senior moment"

    - How are your MD and skimmer lines plumbed? (i.e. separately up to the pump intake, or does the MD join-up to the skimmer first via diverter valve)?
    - Have you already exhausted everything listed on the TFP Pool School - Suction Side Air Leaks page?
    - Have you already tried the water hose method to find a suspected air leak? Some folks prefer shaving cream or plastic wrap around a connection.
    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.
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

    Sorry, I must be having a "junior" moment haha. I wrote that backwards. When I shut off the skimmer line the air bubbles go away. The skimmer and main drain are plummet separately and joined by a 3 way jandy valve right before the pump.

    I'll check out link you posted. I did try the water hose method on connections with no noticeable difference.

    Also, I will let you know that I do not have any wet spots in the yard, and no significant water loss in the pool.

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    Re: Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

    Is the water level in your pool high enough to prevent the skimmer from sucking air?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

    Yes, the water is almost to the top of the skimmer neck opening. It is on the high side of the recommended range now.

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    Re: Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

    Then somewhere (above ground) air is entering your pipes coming from the skimmer to the pump. Check the o-ring on the pump basket. it's a common source.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

    Sorry I have just now replied. I don't believe it is an issue with the pump basket because when I switch the janky valve to main drain only the problem goes away. I have check the above ground plumbing for the skimmer line and can not find any leaks.

    Could it be some kind of issue with the jandy valve?

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

    Yes. 3-Way valves have been known to get a leak, either around the mating area or the handle O-ring itself. Is there any way you can test that theory with some plastic wrap or something before taking it apart? Hate to see you go through the effort for nothing. Not the hardest task I suppose, just throwing that out there.
    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!

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

    Also, I just covered the entire above ground piping on the skimmer line with shaving cream and couldn't detect any leak

    - - - Updated - - -

    I just covered it in shaving cream and nothing obvious showed up. I'm not exactly sure how to go about covering in plastic wrap

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

    here is a picture of my system. You can see the shaving cream on the jandy valve and the line that runs back to the skimmer. Once again, if I shut off that line the problem stops

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

    That's the one bad thing about shaving cream ... it's a bit messy. Well, there's not much to inspect other than the valve and line exposed above ground. Since it's not doing anything when switched to main drain, it seems to rule-out anything around the pump basket. I kind of wonder about the pipe as it travels through that elevated area it all sits on (or under the poolside skimmer). Air leaks are almost always on the surface, but you never know. In your case, it might boil-down to having an expert check the ground lines.
    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!

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    Re: Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

    I had a 3 way Hayward valve and I was fixing it every year, could never get it right. I finally got rid of it and used a separate Jandy neverlube on each of my return pipes and haven't had an issue in two years (or is three?).
    23K gallon, IG, Vinyl, Hayward DE-3600 Filter, Raypak 406A Heater, Hayward 1.5HP SP2610X15 pump aka AO Smith UST1152, TF-100 Test Kit

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

    Man I was really hoping to avoid calling someone in. I might just go ahead and take the jandy valve apart and see if anything looks funny inside of it.

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

    So I went out of town this weekend and when I came back I am not longer getting air in my pump basket. Weird. I didn't do anything to it. I'll keep an eye on it and see if it returns

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Hello, and air bubbles in suction side

    Its back. Started getting air again yesterday. It is definitely on the skimmer line, and it is like surges of air. If i watch my pump, for 5-10 seconds there wont be any new air coming in, and then all of the sudden i will get a surge of air in the pump basket that lasts a couple of seconds. Then it calms back down. If i play with my jandy valve i can get the air bubbles to go away for a few minutes, but it eventually starts back up again.

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