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Thread: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

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    Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    Hello, pool gurus!

    The Zodiac Baracuda G2 in my ma’s pool is stuck on the bottom.

    File Aug 04, 12 54 46 PM.jpg

    The diaphragm is not damaged—it pulses as soon as I pull the G2 off the bottom.

    There seems to be way more suction than there used to be, and that *seems* to be the problem.

    An uncle of mine messed with the pool recently and “doesn’t remember” what he did. I don’t know much about pools, so I don’t quite know how to troubleshoot this.

    The pool has a single skimmer, and the hose is attached as pictured (in the photo it might look as if the hose segment is damaged, but that’s just distortion from a water bubble):

    File Aug 04, 12 55 32 PM.jpg

    I'm using the G2's flow regulator assembly:

    File Aug 04, 12 56 45 PM.jpg

    So far, I have:

    —backwashed the pool
    —emptied the strainer basket
    —emptied the basket at the pool
    —checked the flow regulator in the skimmer basket (it has 3 settings, 1-2-3--the G2 manual says the lower the number, the lower the flow; I have it on setting #1, but I tried all three, with no result)

    At the motor there are three handles:

    valves.jpg

    There used to be a handle to control the whips (yep, the pool is that old) but when the pool was remodeled, there were no more whips.

    The aerator and jacuzzi are both off. The one remaining control doesn’t seem to alter the power of the flow/suction. All that happens when I turn it clockwise to close it is that the needle on the pressure gauge rises (otherwise, it hovers just above 10).

    I’ve used the flow gauge that came with the G2:

    File Aug 04, 3 43 37 PM.jpg

    No matter what, the flow is so strong that instead of the gauge reading about 3, the suction pulls the spring all the way!

    A thousand thanks in advance, Obi-Wans!

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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    The only other thing I can think of is that I know the motor was replaced sometime within the past year. Could it possibly be too much motor for a ca. 17,000-gallon pool?

    File Aug 04, 3 43 08 PM.jpg

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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    With your hand on the regulator bypass push in and see what happens, if the cleaner starts moving you might have to downsize the pump. What does the pump sound like and pressure on filter when you plug in flow regulator. That is a full-rated high head pump and sticking a cleaner into the only suction to pump may be to much.

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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    Thank you--I'll be back over there tomorrow and I'll perform that test.

    If the pump is too much, is there any option other than getting a less powerful pump?

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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    I should add, though, that the cleaner worked with this pump for at least a year, if not more, without this problem.

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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    The regulator should open allowing another water path if the suction is too high. My bet is a faulty regulator.
    16 x 32 IG plaster pool, 23k gallons, built 1992, DE filter, Pentair VS pump, IoThyngs controller, Taylor 2006 test kit, SoCal water restrictions
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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    It's possible to set it permanently open, so I'll try that and see what happens.

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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    Well, I checked the flow regulator (actually, I tried it with the one that's there and also with a spare that was sitting around). They seem to be working fine--and even if they weren't, I tried setting them to be permanently open, but the suction is still just too much at the cleaner. I went to a pool store and they tried to sell me a $95 contraption that replaces the skimmer basket and has a fitting for the cleaner hose to go into and an adjustment lever for the amount of suction. What concerns me about that is what the effect on the pump is if I throttle down at the skimmer contraption. Right now if I put my hand over the opening in the regulator, the pump motor starts making an unhappy noise.

    It's weird, because this pump replaced the old one maybe a year, year & a half ago, and everything worked up until recently...

    Ideas?

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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    Not knowing what pump you have or your plumbing setup, or what the pressure is with cleaner disconnected and then connected it's hard to give advice. One way to reduce flow is if your return fittings in the pool can be reduced. This will cause more backpressure on the pump slowing down the flow

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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    Is the foot on your cleaner worn down? It should have grooves that allow the water to flow into it. If the grooves are worn, and it is basically flat, it will get stuck to the pool bottom.

    Here is a picture of the foot on the bottom of my cleaner, so you can see what I am talking about.

    Last edited by RonsPlc; 08-07-2016 at 09:39 AM. Reason: added picture
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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    (Sorry for delay--been taking care of my elderly mother herself for the past few days, rather than her pool!)

    The footer on the G2 is brand new--not worn down at all.

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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    The pump is an A. O. Smith SQ1152 (you can see a photo of its plate in the second post of this thread).

    The pressure gauge has stayed around 10-11 except for a brief period where it when up to around 20, when I was fiddling with the main drain handle.

    When the pool's running, the suction is much, much higher than it ever was before, and when I backwash, the water shoots out like crazy, waaaaaaaaay harder than ever before.

    Could something be plugged in the system?

    Also, the guy who worked on the pool a year or so ago said he had taken this pump off of another pool--he said it was brand new, but the people didn't pay him, so he reclaimed it. Curiously, he never came back for me to pay him for this pump or his labor charge, which made me wonder whether something was wrong with it. But it worked all this time just fine, until recently.

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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    You say you have a main drain handle, can you control the main drain suction with this? In your picture you show a valve that has the word main above it , when you close that does the pressure go up. You can adjust the suction either by opening main drain or by closing the return valve until pressure rises (AKA creating back pressure). This is a Whisperflo 1 1/2 hp full rated pump. It is way to much pump to have a cleaner plugged into the only source of suction. Some people have had luck with reducing the pump impeller by a hp size but still not sure this would help you. Above you said you were able to make pressure rise to 20, did the cleaner work when you did this?

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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    Several things, but the main one is that everything worked until recently. So what happened recently? your uncle messed with something. did the cleaner start having problems right after that? If so, ask him again to see if he can remember. walk him through what he did.
    When did you notice the much higher flow rate? after your uncle? when you turned off the spa? (and when did you do that?).

    Not sure what your plumbing is. you did say you had only one skimmer, but do you have a main bottom drain too? if so, is it possible to regulate flow from it? If you can, open it up to increase the flow from it. I THINK from your picture of valves, these are in the return lines but i really have no idea. Can you confirm whether they are return line valves?

    I was going to suggest that you try hooking both regulators in series to increase the bypass flow but from the discussions, it seems the flow rate is just way too high. Or maybe the diaphragm is just old and weak, even though it is not torn, but again, the high flow rate seems to be the culprit. try to narrow down when the higher flow rate happened, then figure out what changed. I'm assuming this was not the case when the year old pump was installed.

    Curious.

    As a last resort and if you have room, you can install a bypass loop around the pump with a valve in it to control the flow from the skimmer.
    30000 gal inground vinyl liner;sand filter w/glass media, nuvo uv, TF-100 test kit; 25 years on Baquacil, converted to TFP chlorine in 2016

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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    When I close that handle, the pressure gauge goes from 10 to about 25 but the suction remains strong.

    From what you're saying, I gather that the pool guy who sold this pump didn't know what he was doing and installed too much pump for the pool--is that right?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Unfortunately, my uncle went back to his home in another state--he's in his mid-80s and wouldn't remember what he did yesterday, let alone weeks back.

    The jacuzzi jets haven't been used in years, nor has the aerator.

    I confess I don't know what return line valves would look like--the only controls I see are those in the photo.

    The diaphragm is fine--the G2 pulses as it should. There just seems to be so much suction that it can't move.

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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    I'm assuming this pump has a sand filter? Is it possible that the spider gasket was replaced and not re-clocked in the correct orientation so that the unit is on bypass not filter. Secondarily the spider gasket could be blown out allowing bypass flow.
    I gave up on my G3 after fixing a suction side pipe restriction as I have the same problem as you do with excessive suction.

    When end looking at the basket picture there are two holes in the bottom was there a diverted valve installed in it at one point?
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    Re: Zodiac Baracuda G2 stuck (aka, too much suction?) (aka, how to reduce suction?)

    I had a pool guy out here yesterday who took a good look at everything. He said that the suction as it is now is as strong as it's supposed to be, so up until now there hasn't been enough. He said any less suction is not filtering the pool enough. Which is weird, though, in that the pool has always been super-easy to keep crystal clear, so if it hasn't been filtering well all this time, well...that's odd. What I'm planning to do now is get a Hayward Aquanaut or Phoenix, which doesn't rely on a diaphragm.

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