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Thread: Limited suction from Skimmer - can't Vacuum

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    Limited suction from Skimmer - can't Vacuum

    I have been trying to vacuum my pool and unfortunately I'm only getting suction for a very limited time. I believe I have what is called a combination drain - where I have a drain on the floor of my pool and then one to the pump from the skimmer - where the one from the skimmer is to catch floating items.

    I pulled out the flying saucer looking thing in my skimmer and I noticed two holes. I inserted one end of the hose into the hole closest to the pump and then turned my pump on "quick clean", I get suction for about 10 seconds and then it stops. I noticed that it seems to coincide with the length of time that my pop up cleaners on the steps are going. Once they're done, I don't get any more suction.

    Anyone have ideas on what I can do to fix this?
    12,000 gal, plaster, in-ground pool
    Filter: Sta-Rite Systems:3 S8M150 Modular Media
    Pump: Pentair 011018 Intelliflo Variable Speed High Performance Pump

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Limited suction from Skimmer - can't Vacuum

    Since you haven't received a reply yet I'll throw an idea your way and hopefully some others may chime in. It sounds as though your main drain is plumbed to the bottom of your skimmer (one of those two holes). So that diverter is used to adjust or isolate how much water (suction) flow you want from either the main drain and/or skimmer. My vacuum hose connect into my skimmer as well, but I only have one of those holes. If I had two, my vacuum hose goes into one, then I would assume the other one needs to be plugged (either with a rubber plug or the diverter if there's room), otherwise the pump will pull water from the path of least resistance. Or at least that's my guess.
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    markuszoom5's Avatar
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    Re: Limited suction from Skimmer - can't Vacuum

    So I had a similar problem. It was fixed by changing the sand in the sand filter and re-sealing all the connections to the filter valve, as well as lubing the gasket and tightening the collar. I could suck a rock out of the pool now. It's amazing. So maybe if you have unions disconnect everything and apply Teflon tape and re-tighten all the joints. You don't have to change the sand. I just did mine cause I was missing some and it was 12 years old.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Limited suction from Skimmer - can't Vacuum

    It is rarely necessary to change the sand in a sand filter unless it is caked up by pool store chems. Here is a process to get a sand filter back to full function, Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter

    Are you backwashing the filter when the pressure rises 20-25%. Maybe do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to see if there is some algae growing in the pool clogging up the filter.
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    Re: Limited suction from Skimmer - can't Vacuum

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Since you haven't received a reply yet I'll throw an idea your way and hopefully some others may chime in. It sounds as though your main drain is plumbed to the bottom of your skimmer (one of those two holes). So that diverter is used to adjust or isolate how much water (suction) flow you want from either the main drain and/or skimmer. My vacuum hose connect into my skimmer as well, but I only have one of those holes. If I had two, my vacuum hose goes into one, then I would assume the other one needs to be plugged (either with a rubber plug or the diverter if there's room), otherwise the pump will pull water from the path of least resistance. Or at least that's my guess.

    Thanks! Do you think if I shoved a tennis ball in one of the holes (The one that I think is the floor drain), that would help the skimmer drain to create a constant suction? It's really weird how I will get suction for a minute or two, then lose it completely.


    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    It is rarely necessary to change the sand in a sand filter unless it is caked up by pool store chems. Here is a process to get a sand filter back to full function, Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter

    Are you backwashing the filter when the pressure rises 20-25%. Maybe do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to see if there is some algae growing in the pool clogging up the filter.


    Thanks, but I have a cartridge filter. Trouble is right now is that the pressure gauge on my cartridge filter is not working. I replaced the old one that was completely busted with a bottom mount gauge; only to find out that I needed a back mount gauge. As it is right now, the bottom mount gauge is not reading anything (which I thought it would since it shouldn't matter where the mount to the gauge is located right?)
    12,000 gal, plaster, in-ground pool
    Filter: Sta-Rite Systems:3 S8M150 Modular Media
    Pump: Pentair 011018 Intelliflo Variable Speed High Performance Pump

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    Re: Limited suction from Skimmer - can't Vacuum

    So I think the issue is that I was not priming my pool hose. Apparently if there is any air in the hose, the pump won't pull from it. I'll try priming my hose tonight and see if I can get vacuum to work.
    12,000 gal, plaster, in-ground pool
    Filter: Sta-Rite Systems:3 S8M150 Modular Media
    Pump: Pentair 011018 Intelliflo Variable Speed High Performance Pump

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    markuszoom5's Avatar
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    Re: Limited suction from Skimmer - can't Vacuum

    I forgot to tell you but I got a really nice one piece skimmer plate with a rubber gasket on bottom. This thing will not let anything through but the water. I got it from our local pool store.

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