Iíve been struggling with this situation for a while now (since opening). Iíve tried everything I could find on the internet but still canít solve this problem. The strainer will not fill sometimes it is almost full but most times it is about an inch short. It will prime itself with no problem. The pressure is about 26 normally it is 28-29. I can cover the return with my hand or finger where normally I can hardly stop the flow. If I go to 100% skimmers it hardly sucks any water itís a slow flow even if I close one of them. The Polaris seems to work fine but it has its own pump so I expect that. Iíve had this pool for 26 years so I know a bit about pools and maintenance but Iíve never had this situation before where it wasnít one of the simple fixes (like replacing the gasket on the strainer cover). To list some of the things Iíve tried I have several strainer cover gaskets none are in bad shape but changing them didnít fix the problem, Iíve checked all connections, I blew out the lines to be sure there was no blockage, I kept the pressure in the lines to see if I had a leak but it seemed to hold (but I really canít hold it there for very long but it held for a few minutes), I checked that the impeller moved freely, eventually I took the pump apart and checked the diffuser and the impeller both looked brand new (pump has no water leaks so I didnít check any further), Only part that might be involved and is not in my signature is a Hayward sp0735 deluxe 4 way ball valve I suspected this might be the problem as the handle wiggled around a lot so I replaced the internal O-rings, Since I have that ball valve I can switch between the just the main drain or just the skimmers or both but none of those settings solved the problem so that helps eliminate a problem with either of those lines. I am out of ideas and canít find any other suggestions that might be related to this issue. Tomorrow Iím going to try a suggestion I read today and spray shaving cream on the parts and if there is an air leak it should suck the foam into it. I did find other suggestions which I did try, one was very soapy water I tried shaking the bottle and just using the suds but that didnít show any leaks. Another thing I read and tried was smoke, I had some old punks (like incense without the smell) they said if there was an air leak it should suck the smoke in but that didnít show any results.
As a side note when I opened the pool I replaced the filters fingers and the top and bottom mounting plates so basically the inside of the filter is brand new. I am sure this is put together correctly as a matter of fact the new upper plate was different from my old one in that it has little cross pieces across the top of every finger (I assume so the inner plastic piece doesnít come out) but because that was different I changed it back to the old one just to eliminate it.
Any and all suggestions are welcome; I am at the point Iím going to have to call a pool service. For me that is real desperate because I have a hard time finding people who know more than I do and most just want you to spend your money. I have a pool supply store I use as he is very knowledgeable so Iím going to call him and see if he has a recommendation.
Thanks in advance.