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Thread: Pump is struggling to draw a suction

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    Pump is struggling to draw a suction

    Hi All,

    i have recently set up an 18'x52" Intex Ultra frame pool. Last year i had the 18'x48" easy set. I had trouble last year with keeping the pool clean and was advised from the pool store to buy the Hayward Power Flo LX Pump 40gpm skid with the C225 filter.

    When i set up the pump this year (can;t remember if i had this problem last year) it seems to be having trouble drawing a suction, it seems to be cavitating, even though i am bleeding the system.

    Is this pump to powerful for the Intex supplied plunger valves and pulling air in through the seals in them. I have the hoses connected properly and i cannot see any "leaks".

    Has anyone had a similar problem, and does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix this. As it stand i have "throttled" the suction valve down which appears to at least keep the pump flowing, only at a reduced capacity.

    Thanks
    Intex 18'x52" Ultra Frame pool
    Hayward Power Flo LX 40gpm & C225 Filter skid

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pump is struggling to draw a suction

    Welcome to TFP!

    My first two guesses are that either the water level in the skimmer is too low and it is drawing in air along with the water, or perhaps there is some kind of blockage in the hose. It is also possible for there to be air leaks at any of the hose connections or the Intex valves, but that seems less likely.

    The Intex equipment should be able to handle that pump, though it is on the high end of the range they are designed for.
    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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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pump is struggling to draw a suction

    I would take those valves apart and inspect the seals and o-rings well. lube them good before putting them back together.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Pump is struggling to draw a suction

    Check and clean/rinse the filter too. Air seems to be more of an issue with our pumps when the filters are in need of attention.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Re: Pump is struggling to draw a suction

    Thanks for the reply guys. I have cleaned the filter and the strainer basket is definately below the water line. Is it possible there is a problem with the pump. another strange point is that when i bleed the air trap on top; of the filter is does not release all the air. If i turn the skid upside down and use the filter cartridge drain port it bleeds off a large amount of additional trapped air.
    Intex 18'x52" Ultra Frame pool
    Hayward Power Flo LX 40gpm & C225 Filter skid

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Pump is struggling to draw a suction

    Without me having any knowledge regarding the design of your filter/pump... It sounds like something is blocking the air from going to the bleed area. Which is odd because the air will rise as high as it can go. Something is preventing that and it could be the blockage or restriction that is causing the air as well.

    Without knowing how fully you've gone over the parts and setup already, maybe everything needs another check. Correct filter? Installed/seated properly, etc.

    The air confuses me too. Sometimes I think it comes from the water itself. Still working on figuring that out around here.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Pump is struggling to draw a suction

    Well guys i have disconnected the pump suction from the pool outlet valve and dropped the suction line into the pool and the pump works fine. So i guess the filter and pump seals are fine. I guess this means there is a problem with the outlet valve seals. If any one has another suggestion feel free to pass it on
    Intex 18'x52" Ultra Frame pool
    Hayward Power Flo LX 40gpm & C225 Filter skid

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    docchop1's Avatar
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    Re: Pump is struggling to draw a suction

    If I even partially obstructed the water outlet strainer in my pool air would get drawn into the plunger valve around the stem. I fixed it by getting replacement o rings at Menards and by chance the ones I found there are just a little bit thicker. I lubed it up with plumbers silicone grease and all is well.
    Intex 15x48, Intex Saltwater Chlorine Generator, Intex 14" Sand Filter, TF-100 unicorn eating spaghetti while riding a unicycle on a high wire during a storm edition test kit,

    http://tftestkits.net

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Pump is struggling to draw a suction

    Check the outlet strainer for blockage. This is the first thing to see about. They used to not have these strainer grids built in to the fittings, but the newer ones do. I cut mine out with a Dremel and let the pump strainer basket do that job. They put them in to prevent a long haired child from being pulled under the water level however, so consider that. Liability potential reduction, and pumps without a strainer is what they are really for if you ask me. Seems hard to imagine a problem with the hair thing, but possible I suppose.... I can tell you that the least little amount of leaves or whatever over these strainers will choke that pump nearly dry in nothing flat.
    TFP Moderator
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  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Pump is struggling to draw a suction

    Thanks guys, it was the outlet strainer grid which is hidden by the blue skimmer connection. Pump is working fine now and i now know a lot more about fixing it. Including lubing the seals. Was almaost about to buy the plinger valve set from teh local Leslies pool store, come in two's at a cost of $60 bucks.
    Intex 18'x52" Ultra Frame pool
    Hayward Power Flo LX 40gpm & C225 Filter skid

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Pump is struggling to draw a suction

    Quote Originally Posted by Halpy69
    Thanks guys, it was the outlet strainer grid which is hidden by the blue skimmer connection. Pump is working fine now and i now know a lot more about fixing it. Including lubing the seals. Was almaost about to buy the plinger valve set from teh local Leslies pool store, come in two's at a cost of $60 bucks.
    Awsome! If you dont have one already, use that 60 you saved on a Good test kit.

    Glad it got worked out.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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