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Thread: Worst Fear Came True! Pool half empty, water near boiling!

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    6

    Worst Fear Came True! Pool half empty, water near boiling!

    Please help!

    Today, after 3 yrs of successfully building, using, maintaining (BBB) my refinished pool and deck (blood, sweat and tears), I made a startling discovery. I heard my pump running as if it had been doing so without water. I looked in the pump basket and saw water, but when I looked at the filter, I noticed 0 psi! I immediately stopped the pump. I ran out and looked into the skimmer and discovered NO WATER! I popped open the cover (beige passthrough type) peered in and discovered to my horror that the pool was half empty!

    I immediately opened the pump basket and discovered the water near boiling. The basket has a few cherry blossom petals, and a few bundles of what appeared to be a sinuey bundle of white threadlike material which I did not recognize, nor did I know where it originated from since my pool has a tight winter cover on it, and the skimmer is sealed with plastic. I cleaned it all out, and put the lid back on. Since the Vac, Skimmer and Main were all on in various positions, I shut all except the Main. I put the MV to recirc and waste to test to see if I had flow, which it did. I then put the pump back to filter where it was originally, and it started flowing again! I turned on the water to begin the refil process, but because of winter rates, I stopped it at step 2 of 3 on the shallow end so that the pool is a little more than halfway filled (2-4" above the returns). I shut off the pump and went to have a beer to drown my sorrow.

    I was unable to locate any sort of flooding or leaking that would account for that much water loss. Given that the pool was refinished with all new plumbing, main drain and equipment, I am not sure what to think and am hoping some of the experienced folks out there can give me some suggestions to try.

    I'm hoping to go back out tomorrow to see if the water level has dropped any since filling it. My pump is starting to squeal, I imagine it's going to fail at some point, despite being brand new when the pool was finished. The pump states that it's thermally protected, but it still ran hot enough to create steam and nearly boil, ***?

    Pool facts: 30K, 18x38, Plaster/Gunite IG, all new plumbing, Pentair Easytouch system, Intellichlor, Whisperflo 2spd 1hp pump, Triton II 24" Sand Filter, Great White Vacuum

    Any help is appreciated!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    27ft Above Ground Pool
    Sand filter

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Central NJ
    Posts
    3,192

    Re: Worst Fear Came True! Pool half empty, water near boiling!

    The water in the pump got hot from the friction of the impeller spinning and beating the small amount of water left. This may have resulted in the plastics warping some. You will need to split the pump halves and inspect it. I would expect to find the volute gasket ring on the front of the volute is toast, at the least. It is also possible that the seal set may need replacing. I suspect the seals are the source of the squeal or a warped impeller may have worn the bearings or shaft some. I hope you caught it early enough to have prevented this.

    The thermal protection is for the motor, not the inside of the pump. If a motor gets too hot, it shuts off.

    I expect that the water loss at the level you mention may have come from anywhere after the pump intake. Look for clues like dried calcium deposits under the pump, drain ports, gutters (leaky solar panel), etc... A pressure test of the returns is not a bad idea either. Given the loss volume and how far it fell...

    What kind of cover was on the pool?

    I take it that the pool was not winterized, just covered. Did you modify the pump's run times? Solar control?

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    6

    Re: Worst Fear Came True! Pool half empty, water near boiling!

    Hi Scott for the info, even as dire as it seems.

    There are no apparent leaks anywhere on/around the pump or any exposed piping.

    I guess I'll have to schedule a pressure test, thanks for the suggestion. When the pool was re-done, it did pass its pressure test, so I guess I didn't think it would need another.

    My pool cover is a mesh passthrough type, but you can't see through it. Since we've had a lot of rain the last few weeks, the last thing I expected to experience was half my pool emptied! In our area, winterizing is not necessary, so I just keep the pool circulating on for a few hours each on high (night for vacuum)/low (day) schedules year around, and I keep the water clean/clear for easy openning in early summer when it's warm enough to heat with solar. As for the solar, during the winter, I have the actuator valve deactivated in the control panel and via the manual switch because my panels are drained and open to prevent freeze damage when it does snow.

    Is it possible for a MV to allow water to pass through to waste due to some sort of internal failure, such that while in the Filter position, water gets around and goes to waste?
    27ft Above Ground Pool
    Sand filter

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Worst Fear Came True! Pool half empty, water near boiling!

    It is possible for a main valve to fail in that way, though it is almost always just a slow drip, not a torrent.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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