Become a TFP Supporter Welcome to our new server and new forum software. If you have problems logging in to the new system, you should try resetting your password. Click HERE to do that. Pool School
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25

Thread: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    8

    Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    OK - I've been all over. Heres the pool & problem. 25,000 gallon liner. 7 year old pool and hayward 2.0 hp. the pump sits 3 feet above pool. One skimmer, One main line. Both come up and merger to jandy valve in front of basket/pump. For a while I was getting small amounts of bubbles, with both lines open and each one shut. No real issue - very minor bubbles in basket while the pump was on you could see clear through. when pump was shut off you could see a small bubble come up out of the line into the basket about every 4 seconds. pump never lost its prime. I figured it may be a small leak in the valve.

    Now over the weekend - all of the sudden, there are lots of bubbles, cant see through the basket lid. If I turn the valve to close main line completely off (on skim only) - it is back to where it was (very small amount of bubbles). If I turn the skimmer line off - large amount of bubbles and it struggles to pull the water. And when pump is off large air bubbles up into the basket. no longer holds prime. The large bubbles stop if I close the main.
    I am figuring a main line leak above teh water line and below the pump. So I need to know what and where and how to fix. I had the valve apart, lubed everything, i checked all abve ground connections, using the watertrick and no changes.
    Thanks for any/all help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    19,793

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    I am figuring a main line leak above teh water line and below the pump.
    Me, too. You've done a pretty good job of isolating the issue.

    One clarification, I assume your "main" line goes solely to a main drain at the bottom of your pool...right?

    From Your description, I would still suspect that valve. (it's a 3-way Jandy, right? Somehow, just turning the valve to the main position is exposing an air leak. So that means the leak has to be at the valve occurring ONLY when the valve is in the main position or it has to be in the exposed pipes that come from the main drain.

    Sometimes, if you can get the pump quiet enough, you can take a 1/2" or 3/4" piece of PVC pipe and use it as a "stethescope" by placing one end of the pipe right up at the suspected spot and placing the other end to your ear listening for a suction sound. Usually, the pump is too loud for that to be effective but I wanted to mention it.

    I believe the leak is where you think it is and closer inspection may help you find it. It's also possible for an undergorund broken pipe but that's pretty rare.
    Dave S.
    Site Owner
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    8

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    Thanks duraleigh. Yes - the main only has the main. and yes 3 way jandy. It air leaks a lot when both supply sides are open and also just the main is open. So I am figuring it is not the valve. Doesnt leak at all (very very minor) with the skimmer sucking. I cant imagine where above ground it would be. If i leave both supply lines open and i turn the pump off - it takes about 6 to 7 seconds for the large bubles to move into the basket. So I am figureing the break/leak is a few feet undergound. Is there any chance it is not undergound ?

  4. #4
    Mod Squad Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    3,638

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    Sure; it doesn't have to be underground. Another quick trick that sometimes works is to run the hose over all the above-ground joints. If the bubbles lessen or go away, you've found an air leak. The fact that this suddenly developed in the middle of summer suggests to me that maybe the above-ground plumbing got bumped and something cracked, but that's just a guess.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

  5. #5
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    7,014

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    Take a close look at the drain. A clog can produce very similar symptoms.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    19,793

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    Is there any chance it is not undergound ?
    Yes, but you seem to be narrowing the possibilities.

    You want to be sure there is NO chance whatsoever of it being above ground before you start to dig, however.

    How many elbows, joints, unions, etc. do you have between the valve and the point where the pipes emerge from the ground? Do they all look good?..

    For an underground leak to suck air, it has to have a pretty viable air source. Usually, the water that leaks out when the pump is off pretty much seals a leak buried in dirt but not in rock. Have you had any concrete settling that may have cracked a pipe?

    Of all the suction side leaks posted here on the forum, I'd guess maybe 95% are above ground so you may be one of those 5% folks!
    Dave S.
    Site Owner
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    8

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    Thanks to all. there is only one 90 elbo and 1 foot of pipe above ground. Everything else is below and its all dirt - no rocks. I checked the drain and nothing there. I have not pulled the 2 screws to take cover off. I guess I can check that, but i dont know why i would get bubbles up that line with an obstruction. i tried the water trick and nothing has been disturbed. The only thing I just found out was the kids had water balloons in pool - but of course they claim they all popped and are accounted for. i looked in th basket and found no pieces. and there is no way an intact balloon sunk and went in the drain cover. So I guess I am lookin at digging. I was also thinking of using that liquid stop leak. I was thinking of plugging up the main drain, then dumping the liquid stop seal down the pipe toward teh main.

  8. #8
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    7,014

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    A clogged line wll bubble because there is not enough water to fill the pump.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    19,793

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    Puzzling.

    JohnT's idea of a clogged line makes perfect sense because of the sudden nature of the change.

    However, John, I can't quite follow how air would get into that main line after the pump is off....so much so that it unprimes the pump.

    I could only see that if BP is misdiagnosing the source of the air bubbles and they are coming from the lid and not the maindrain pipe. Do you see what I mean?
    Dave S.
    Site Owner
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    8

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    Thanks John - I originally though maybe clog - but thats why I kept cycling pump. and when off the bubbles float to the surface. I eventried to just leave the main on a very little while the pump is on and still get massive bubbles. only stops when completly off.
    duraleigh is kind of what i was thinking.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Fremont, CA
    Posts
    138

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    BP,

    I've had a ball (or something similar) clog my intake line to pump. I took off pump strainer lid, and strainer basket, and ran garden hose back towards pool. I turned the water on, and I somewhat "sealed" area between hose and intake line with a wet towel. This worked pretty well on my 1.5" piping. I had ball pop back out at the skimmer.

    I could see and feel water flow back out the skimmer. You might need two people, to do this, one to hold the towel and hose, and one to look and feel for water out the skimmer.

    Hope this helps,

    Jeff
    40 x 16 (28k gallon) plaster pool, Intelliflo VF pump, Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, using Purifiber, using BBB

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    19,793

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    Jeff,

    Despite it sounding as if it should be a clog, I don't think it is. A clog would not unprime the pump when the pump stops running.
    Dave S.
    Site Owner
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Fremont, CA
    Posts
    138

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Despite it sounding as if it should be a clog, I don't think it is. A clog would not unprime the pump when the pump stops running.
    I'm not sure either. Just offering a quick way too check the suction line for a clog.

    Jeff
    40 x 16 (28k gallon) plaster pool, Intelliflo VF pump, Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, using Purifiber, using BBB

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    8

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    Thanks ride. Any input of ideas could help especially since it sounds like i need a stinking shovel, or a contractor.

    I am actually thinking of putting a small ball on a string and dropping it down the open main line to see how far it goes so i have an idea but I guess it would go all the way to the pool water line. Any thoughts ????

    Anybody else ??? yes - i want input - even if you think i need a shovel.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Fremont, CA
    Posts
    138

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    BP,

    Try the garden hose with a towel after taking out the pump strainer lid and strainer. I would hate to see the ball come off the string, and get stuck somewhere.

    Jeff
    40 x 16 (28k gallon) plaster pool, Intelliflo VF pump, Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, using Purifiber, using BBB

  16. #16
    Senior Member mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    5,636

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    Quote Originally Posted by BP Framp
    I am figuring a main line leak above teh water line and below the pump. So I need to know what and where and how to fix. I had the valve apart, lubed everything, i checked all abve ground connections, using the watertrick and no changes.
    Thanks for any/all help.
    That's the only thing that makes sense to me. But given your configuration, there should be more bubbles when the pump is on vs off. Is that the case?

    I also agree with Dave that a clog would only cause air bubbles when the pump is running.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Paper
    18'x36' 20k gallon plaster/gunite pool, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 450 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panel, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  17. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    8

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    Thanks mas and ride.

    after diggin for a while i have an update.... about 2 feet down in teh dirt i found a sleeve where some brain surgeon apparently joined a 1.5 pipe from thr main to the 2 in - after i saw that - i filled the hole with water and now NO MORE AIR....only water - no bubbles, so i guess it finally just decided to leak, so now i just have to expoxy patch it and hope.....Thanks to all

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Fremont, CA
    Posts
    138

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    BP,

    Glad you found the problem.

    I assume you have PVC pipe, correct? Why not just cut out the sleeve, and replace, rather than patch? You could do it with a 2" coupling, and a 1.5 to 2" bushing. The 2" side of the bushing slips into (inside) the 2" coupling, and the 1.5" side of the bushing slips onto (over) the 1.5" pipe. Lowe's has them. Here is a picture of the bushing:

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_23310-1814-PVC+ ... 2727&Ntt=2

    Jeff
    40 x 16 (28k gallon) plaster pool, Intelliflo VF pump, Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, using Purifiber, using BBB

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,575

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    Ride is correct. Cut it out and fix it with a bushing. It's a permanent fix and it's the proper way to repair it so it won't give you any more trouble.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    19,793

    Re: Air Leak suction side - Main Drain line - no water loss

    Ditto on the bushing. I would not use epoxy.

    I'm glad you found the leak....even if you had to defy the odds and have it be underground, at least it appears it wasn't under the concrete.
    Dave S.
    Site Owner
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •