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Thread: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

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    New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    Hi all,

    I've been following a few threads in here in preparation for my new home purchase, which includes a pool! Yesterday, the previous owner was showing me valves and pump controls. He switched it off, adjusted valves to allegedly start the waterfalls, took off pump lid to show me where filter basket is, then turned the pump back on. After a few minutes (and no waterfalls) he switched valves back to the way they were before (according to him) and switched pump back on. A half hour later, I noticed the reservoir in the pump was low and no water appeared to be coming in from the inlet to the pump. The reservoir did maintain a low level of water in it but it just bubbled when pump ran.

    Now I can't get the pump to actually circulate water. After reading similar cases where pump priming was suggested, I removed pump kid and added about 5 gallons of pool water. It instantaneously drains into the inlet line and doesn't seem to stay full. The o ring seal seems good on the pump lid and I observed the pump cycling water earlier in the day so I'm inclined to believe the problem started after the owner adjusted the valves and turned off pump.

    Last thing, after I added those 5 gallons of pool water, I switched pump back on to try. I noticed air and water leaking out of the pump outlet fittings.

    Am I really in for it? Suggestions? Any help is appreciated.


    Sta-Rite Intellipro Variable Speed Pump
    Crystal Water Pool & Spa Filter

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    Kiss4aFrog's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    Welcome to TFP Nerfterguson

    Might not be a big deal but sounds like it could use a little maintenance.
    Really need some photos of your pump equipment to understand how it's plumbed and what might be causing the problem.

    The air and water leaking is not a good sign.

    Do you have a good test kit yet, never too early to order one if not. Like a TF100 or K2006 Link for TF100 in my signature.
    Will you be using bleach to treat the water and what did the former owner leave you for chemicals ??
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    Hey Frog,


    Thanks for the reply. I bought a K2006 weeks ago based on advice from this forum. I stocked up on some bleach yesterday in preparation for doing the TFP pool care method. All that does no good without a pump (as you know)! I'm on day 1 of this pool ownership thing and I get saddled with this pump - bigger problems in life I guess. Here's the setup:

    Thanks for any guidance.
    Attachment 53419Snap3.jpgSnap1.jpg

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    In accordance with tips for newbies: being explicit that, while test results are important, I haven't been circulating water and would like to address the pump issue first. This is primary, if I'm not mistaken (but I could be!).

    Nerf
    15K Gal, IG Plaster
    Crystal Water Cartridge Filter
    Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS Pump
    (no SWG)
    Fill from municipal source

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    JesseSchmidt's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    Make sure the water level in the pool is adequate. Level should be middle to about 2/3 from the bottom of the skimmer inlet.

    SkimmerLevel.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    If the water is low, you'll be sucking air into the skimmer instead of water!
    26k Gal IG vinyl, Hayward Super 1HP, Hayward Pro Series S244T Sand Filter, TFTestkits TF-100 w/ Speedstir
    Links: TFPC for Beginners / ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry / GETTING STARTED / PoolMath / SLAM / TFTestkits / Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    Might be good to dump some bleach in there and brush to mix depending on how long it takes to get the system operating. Have you tested for CYA, pH and FC yet ??

    I'm looking at the big valve on the output side of the filter and wondering how it works electrically. Is there a control that's labeled inside the control box ??

    Photo of the panel when you get a chance. Photo of what looks like a valve directly above the pump but from the other side from your photo above.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    Thanks for the tip. The water level looks good.
    water level.jpg
    15K Gal, IG Plaster
    Crystal Water Cartridge Filter
    Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS Pump
    (no SWG)
    Fill from municipal source

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    88 ppm CYA
    7.7 Ph
    Can't get FC sample to turn pink after about 10 dippers of R-0870

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    Mr Bruce's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    10 dippers? Use shouldn't use more than 2! It is likely you have 0 chlorine. Use the OTO test to confirm.

    If so it would be best to get some chlorine in there immediately.

    How did you get 88 CYA? Do you have a SWG? (can you update your sig please).
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
    Test Kits - Pool Math - Chlorine/CYA/Target/Slam Chart

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    JesseSchmidt's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    You should only need one heaping scoop of R-0870. If it doesn't turn pink, you have no chlorine. I would go with KissAFrog's suggestion and pour some bleach in slowly around the perimeter then brush to mix it up. Otherwise, you'll have a green pool to contend with once you get the equipment ironed out.

    Side note: if you were able to pour water into the pump basket and it just kept taking it into the return side, you probably don't have a blockage. Turn your attention to the valves the previous owner was messing with. Look up manufacture information on them to see how they operate.
    26k Gal IG vinyl, Hayward Super 1HP, Hayward Pro Series S244T Sand Filter, TFTestkits TF-100 w/ Speedstir
    Links: TFPC for Beginners / ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry / GETTING STARTED / PoolMath / SLAM / TFTestkits / Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    Did anyone else suddenly get the feeling I'm sitting on a ticking time bomb?

    How does one perform OTO Test? Looks like I need R-0600, which is not in my Taylor K-2006.

    I'll get some bleach in and brush in the meantime. I have Clorox Performance bleach "Concentrated", 8.3% Sodium Hydrochlorite and 91.7% "other ingredients" - that good?

    Regarding the pump: it was working yesterday, now it isn't. I checked the valves, water is at least set to flow to waterfalls or in-pool outlets, but I see neither when I run pump - there is no water coming out of the inlet into pump reservoir and reservoir stays low and doesn't fill, even when I add gallons of water - it just drains back into inlet. All the videos i've seen, if you dump enough water into that thing, eventually it fills, then you cap and run. I can't get it to fill.
    15K Gal, IG Plaster
    Crystal Water Cartridge Filter
    Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS Pump
    (no SWG)
    Fill from municipal source

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    JesseSchmidt's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    If your pump is above the water level in the pool, you'll never put enough water in that basket to get it to fill up unless there is a check valve or blockage in that line. Gravity will just pull the water down to the level in the pool. Is the pump actually coming on when you turn it on? Is the gasket in place on the pump basket lid?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, according to THIS POST that Clorox product is fine to use. Someone got a response from Clorox saying that it is the same as their regular bleach. Just use PoolMath to figure out how much you need to add.
    26k Gal IG vinyl, Hayward Super 1HP, Hayward Pro Series S244T Sand Filter, TFTestkits TF-100 w/ Speedstir
    Links: TFPC for Beginners / ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry / GETTING STARTED / PoolMath / SLAM / TFTestkits / Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    Okay, folks, I can't thank you all enough for the support so far. This is pure insanity. Not even unpacked fully and the pool maintenance rears its head. Good news: after running 5 gals of pool water at a time and dumping into reservoir with no luck ( only just now read your post, JesseSchmidt), just got in in there fast, and screwed lid on and turned on. Slowly at first the water started to come, now it's operating normally - aside from some air bubbles working their way out.

    Now the chemical game: should I test for FC again? Posters seem to agree that 10 scoops of R-0870 is disconcerting... Original Owner says pool guy was here one week ago today.

    Readings as of 10:22 AM, PST:
    88 ppm CYA
    7.7 Ph
    Can't get FC sample to turn pink after about 10 dippers of R-0870

    I'm going to add 121 oz 8.3% bleach to 15K gal pool per PoolMath to get from .5 to 6 FC. Agreed? Do I have to brush now that water is flowing or can I just slow add around perimeter?
    15K Gal, IG Plaster
    Crystal Water Cartridge Filter
    Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS Pump
    (no SWG)
    Fill from municipal source

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    Added 121 oz. of 8.3% bleach to pool around perimeter. How long before FC retest is appropriate?

    Regarding my apparently high CYA (88 ppm), using Taylor K-2006, how invisible should the black dot be? completely, absolutely undetectable, or just faintly visible?
    15K Gal, IG Plaster
    Crystal Water Cartridge Filter
    Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS Pump
    (no SWG)
    Fill from municipal source

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    Kiss4aFrog's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    The addition is good. Brush it up a bit and I wouldn't worry about it until tomorrow. Try to concentrate on the pump.

    When you are adding water to the pump basket it will never fill completely up if the pump is above the level of the pool. Priming it will however leave water in the basket for the impeller to start to work with and pouring bucket after bucket of water into the pumps basket will hopefully flush any air in the intake lines out, from skimmer and or drain to pump.

    I too think you might have a valve after the pump that's closed. There is also the chance the filter is really clogged and overdue for cleaning. You might need to pop it open and inspect. Even if it's really nasty in there the pump should still prime and push some water through it.

    Edit Opps, just got home and didn't catch that you have the pump going

    - - - Updated - - -

    Pretty sure I didn't see a SWCG anywhere in the plumbing so your CYA is likely about twice what it should be. If that's the case you'll want to drain off 30-50% of the water before you start doing any water chemistry.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Just past faintly visible Make sure to do it in sunlight what your back to the sun like in the directions.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    Updated results:
    Ph 7.7
    FC 4 (added 121 oz. 8.3% bleach ~1 hr ago. pump has been running ever since)
    CYA 60 (made dot completely disappear with back to sun.

    How am I looking? After hearing about today's earlier pump troubles, my father in law said, "why don't you just pay the $75 to have the pool guy come out?" He doesn't get it. Some people never will. I appreciate all of the insight!
    15K Gal, IG Plaster
    Crystal Water Cartridge Filter
    Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS Pump
    (no SWG)
    Fill from municipal source

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    The other problem you'll see is there are a number of owners that end up here BECAUSE of the pool guy !!

    At a CYA of 60 you want to keep your FC no lower than 5 and target for 7. I would drain some water but you are in CA so not sure if you're under any restrictions or how $$$ refilling is. Would be better to be closer to 40 IMHO.
    You're looking good in the overall picture so maybe you can take a break and enjoy the house for a few hours now ??
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

  18. Back To Top    #18
    JesseSchmidt's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Pump Trouble

    Like Kiss4aFrog said, target 7 FC and don't let it go below 5 FC. My pump does the same thing yours did. When it kicks on (if it hasn't been running for a while), at first there is nothing then the water slowly starts coming into the basket. Gradually it gets faster until the basket is filled and pump is running well. Check into draining 1/3 to 1/4 of your water and replacing to get your CYA down to the normal level. If you can't, you'll just have to manage at higher levels of FC. No big deal if you can't change it out right now. If you are getting any big rains, you can preemptively drain some water but it's a crapshoot as to whether you will get enough to refill!
    26k Gal IG vinyl, Hayward Super 1HP, Hayward Pro Series S244T Sand Filter, TFTestkits TF-100 w/ Speedstir
    Links: TFPC for Beginners / ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry / GETTING STARTED / PoolMath / SLAM / TFTestkits / Chlorine/CYA Chart

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