I am a new pool owner; this is my second year with the pool. Its an in ground gunite pool with 24000 gallons of water. Last year a friend of mine was over and commented that I have a leak somewhere because he saw air bubbles out of the return jets and into the pool. I didn't really think much of it since everything seemed to be working fine. I did not discover this forum until a couple of days ago. The pool ran 50% on skimmer and 50% on main drain. There was one air bubble on top of the pump basket. I have a solar heating system on top of my roof and the pump was able to move the water up to the top of a two story house (PSI reading was around 25).
I just had the pool opened this year and am still filling it up with my garden house; so the pool is circulating on the main drain only. I see that there are a lot of air bubbles in the pump basket and again air bubbles are entering the pool through the return jets. The pressure is about 15-18 psi steady and the pump is not loosing any prime. I have something called a "Vac Alert" which is hovering around 10 (last year it seems it was usually 0). I have no idea what that is. I don't think I am loosing water, but since I am still filling the pool I don't know. Last year I never lost any water. I have a cartridge filter system with an air release valve on top. If I turn the valve to open a lot of air is pushed out before water come out. I only need to run the system 5 minutes and more air accumulates in the cartridge system.
So do I have a leak or problem in the system? How could I isolate it if I do? And then what?? All the pipes are under the patio and not accessible.