FOUND THE LEAK (I think) - see next post.
I am getting air bubbles in the pump trap. I noticed a 2-3 weeks ago I was getting a few bubbles coming out of the pool jet closest to the pump at start-up (after the big burst of bubbles that is normal at start-up). When I noticed the bubbles were lasting longer, I looked things over a little closer and saw bubbles swirling around in the pump trap. The pump trap is full of water and the pump is primed and everything seems to be working fine other than the bubbles. I can't get a good picture of the bubbles swirling in the trap during operation but I included a picture taken right after turning off the pump and a some air is visible in the trap.
When we were viewing the property prior to purchasing, we told the realtor someone needed to add water to the pool because the pump trap wasn't filling. As it turned out, the water level was fine but air was entering the system due to cracks in the PVC/valves. The owner replaced some of the plumbing (marked on picture inside red circle). The repairs are where the bright blue stuff (adhesive?) is. While taking these pictures I am noticing a couple of other blue areas that must have been repaired around the same time. The pump was replaced by us about six months ago. It was leaking and might have only needed a new gasket but the service guy from the local pool store (25 years in the neighborhood) broke a bolt so the whole thing had to be replaced. Ever heard of spraying some stuff on an old rusty bolt before yanking on it! Still might have broken but at least try.
I started with the easy stuff and replaced the pump trap gasket. No change. There is also a small leak in the chlorinator (that I'm not using). A slow drip when the system is under pressure. I included a picture with the leak highlighted. This leak has NOT increased as the bubble issue has increased. It looks like I could just unscrew the hose and put on some new teflon tap to fix the leak but everything is so old I'm afraid to break something else! I would rather remove the entire assembly but there is barely any pipe on the outlet side and seems like it could be a problem.
I'm assuming the two pipes joining and entering the pump trap are from the main drain and the skimmer. Should I try to turn the Jandy valve to one side or the other to see if the bubbles stop? To turn the valve, do I have to first turn the button that says, 'unlock?' Do I do the turning when the pump is turned off? Are there any other steps I can take to fine where the air is entering the system? If you want additional pictures of something I haven't shown, please let me know.