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Thread: Pump squeaks when shutting off

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    Pump squeaks when shutting off

    I have a new problem...because I just love having problems...

    Everything was perfect - no air coming from the jets, no loss - everything sealed tight.

    Then yesterday I noticed pretty frequent puffs of air coming from the jets. I'm not 100% positive of how much air I had in the basket this morning - it actually looked like I hadn't lost any, but I can't be sure. I had some big air bubbles blow out of the jets when I turned the pump on after sitting overnight.

    I went and checked all the pipes, turned a couple of collars just a shade tighter. Tried with skimmer completely shut off and also with main completely shut off - same issue.

    Flipped my inlet valve so my intake was off to the pump and opened the pump lid and immediately lost prime.

    Pulled prime no problem. But when I shut it off I then noticed for the first time that there's a little squeak coming from the pump. Not real high pitched or long. Like a little gasp or inhale of air almost.

    Any ideas from anyone what in the would this could be? Could the seal on my pump (not the lid) be going??
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Pump squeaks when shutting off

    Probably an air leak in the pump lid or drain plug gasket. Inspect the gaskets for any cracks and replace as necessary. If they look ok, try some pool lube on the gasket.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Pump squeaks when shutting off

    When I got home tonight the water in the pump basket had dropped an inch or two.

    The orings on the drain plugs and pump lid I just replaced a month ago. But I have a feeling it's the pump lid though. For tonight I shut off the pump and turned the 3 way on the inlet so the pump is "off". If I lose anything over night that will prove (in my mind) it can't be my drain or skimmer lines.

    I figure it has to be either the pump lid, the inlet pipe or the 3 way valve that I shut off for the night.

    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    Re: Pump squeaks when shutting off

    Does the following logic make sense...?

    My filter and heater are uphill from my pump.

    If I shut off the valve in front of the pump but the water still drains uphill, the only way that can happen is if everything on the pressure side is airtight, right?

    I'm thinking that if the whole pressure side is airtight all the way back to the pump but there's a leak at the pump, then the water will get sucked all the way uphill by the vacuum on the pressure side and leak back into the pool. If there's not a good vacuum then the water in my returns coming down hill will just pull all that other water back up into the pipes and uphill. And, to pull that water uphill like that, the pressure side must be tight - right?

    So, if I lose water in my pump basket overnight with that valve in front of it shut off, it proves 2 things:
    1) The air leak is not in my skimmer or drain lines
    2) The air leak must be between the filter and the 3-way valve in front of the pump

    If I didn't have the valve in front of the pump shut off then the water could just drain back down the suction side back to the pool. But with it shut off, could I possibly have an air leak anywhere but at the pump that would allow that water to suck up hill?

    And, at this point, I'm having a hard time convincing myself that an air leak anywhere but the pump lid would allow the water to escape to the pressure side.

    There's another 3-way uphill in front of the filter and heater that switches between my deck jets and the pool returns. I'm also thinking that, if I were to pull the same trick with the valve that is up there (so the water is shut off from going to the pool), so that both my valves were shut off, the water would hold tight because it would be a giant straw with a proverbial tongue on the top.

    And after the above tests, if I had both valves locked off and the pump stopped and then I opened the suction side valve and the water drained back into the pool, it would point to the pool lid again. Right?

    Ugh - this is exhausting. Hydraulics not really my strong suit. If any of the above makes any sense (or not) or if there are any decent tests anyone can think of besides soapy water, please let me know. Feedback welcome!

    20160818_070138 - Copy.jpg
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    Re: Pump squeaks when shutting off

    This morning the water in the pump basket was down well below the intake. And, just to double check the 3-way valve in front of the pump, I had my wife open it to the skimmer while I put my hand down in the skimmer (with basket removed) and I could feel all the water rushing back into the pool. So, to me that says it's at least not a leak on the front side of the valve.

    I don't understand how it could get sucked uphill unless the source of the leak was on the pump-side of the 3-way in front of it, the intake line into the front of the pump itself, or the pump lid. If the air source was anywhere on the pressure side, it would seem to me that I would just end up with big air bubbles in the filter or wherever, but the water in the basket wouldn't get sucked that far past the leak itself. Would it?

    I popped the pump lid (was hard to break the seal though) and cleaned it up and ran a little magic lube around the o-ring and replaced the lid. I ran the pump and bled the filter until I had water all the way up to the lid again and then turned the pump off for a bit just to see what happens now after the lid's been reseated.

    Incidentally, the squeak seems to come from the general area of the motor side of the seal plate on the pump.
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Pump squeaks when shutting off

    Most air leaks occur in the pump lid, pump drain plugs or the pipe connections to the pump.

    If the air source was anywhere on the pressure side, it would seem to me that I would just end up with big air bubbles in the filter or wherever, but the water in the basket wouldn't get sucked that far past the leak itself. Would it?
    True although once there is enough air in the filter, it can start to drain the pump too. But the filter would have to lose almost all it's water.


    Incidentally, the squeak seems to come from the general area of the motor side of the seal plate on the pump.
    Does the pump leak while running? It could be a bad seal or gasket within the pump. If the lube does not work, you might try a new Go-Kit.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Pump squeaks when shutting off

    I haven't noticed any water leaks at all anywhere. However, on a positive note, after opening all the valves the way they are normally and reseating the pump lid, the water didn't seem to have evacuated from the pump basket over almost exactly 4 hours. But given that overnight I lost the entire pump basket, I'd call this an improvement.

    Looking at the two pictures below, the one from just now has a bunch of condensation and some tiny tiny bubbles on the inside of the lid. Not quite sure what to make of that.

    I am getting some air pushed out of seemingly only one jet, but not nearly as much as before. I'm going to let it run for a while and check on it again later to see if it I lose water in the basket.

    8:19am
    20160827_081910.jpg

    12:12pm
    20160827_121237.jpg
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    Re: Pump squeaks when shutting off

    Well...the latest in my saga here is no loss of water in the pump overnight!!! Yay!!

    What I am seeing (I think - have to see how today goes), is a bit of air gathering in the pump basket during pumping during the day. Nothing like it was, but a little. If I watch the jets, every once in a while, I'll see a puff of air come through. I'm only running at 2200rpm on this but this just be cavitation activity? Would the fact that I was sealed tight overnight mean that I don't have any leaks? Or does it just mean that in a static system I'm fine, but once the pump starts running, there's enough suction to pull open wherever the air is coming from?

    And when I really crank it up, it will refill the basket anyway. Is that because there's just too much water rushing to allow for air to come in? Seems counter-intuitive to me.
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Pump squeaks when shutting off

    More likely to be out gassing. This normally happens on the suction side of a pump but when flow rates are high, it will get pushed out of the returns. When flow rates are low, it just accumulates. Given your setup, your situation (elevated equipment pad) will be much worse because the suction at the pump will be much higher.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Pump squeaks when shutting off

    The pump is only a foot or two higher than the water level although the filter and heater are much higher. Would that still apply for much greater suction at the pump?

    And, basically are you saying not really much to be done or to worry about?

    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Pump squeaks when shutting off

    I wouldn't worry about it unless it gets like it was before.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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