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Thread: Struggling to get flow !

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    Struggling to get flow !

    Hey everyone. This is my first post here. Me and my GF just moved into a place in January and about 3 weeks ago our landlord decided to get the pool ready. Now, it has been dorment for 2 years but he assured us it would clear right up. Everything is ready to go, chemicals are in and all that good stuff but it looks like the pump is simply not cutting it. From my understanding, the pump pot should fill right up while priming but it only gets to about 80-90% and you can see bubbles and slashing in it. When I kill the prime, the water level in the pot gets very low and pressure is indicated as less then 5. At times, there isnt even water getting pumped in! We have been trying everything...

    First we thought maybe the bottom drain was clogged. But after experimenting with the skimmer and drain lines, there appears to be a solid connection to the pool.
    After alot of reading, I want to say there is a leak somewhere but Idk how to find it. I have done various things to create a reverse pressure to detect spurting but this has not been successful. I examined the pump pot and it certainly seems to be holding full water pressure. We replaced the gasket for the pot as well, and retaped the treaded screws on the pump. Today, i unbolted the 4 screws holding the motor and cleared out some minor sticks and acorns, stones from the impeller. Inspected the diffuser seal and reattached it. Not dice there either.

    Upon additional reading, could my problem be caused by the motor shaft seal? Is this a common problem? We ordered some parts for the Hayward S200 Sand Filter as we noticed some sand getting in the pool at the stairs.

    Its an AO Smith Corp motor model UST1102...

    Any help would be immensely appreciated!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    Well, it's starving for water because of a restriction or an air leak, or it's oversized.
    First check all the valves, make sure everything is open. Then check the water level in the skimmer when the pump is on. Is it staying full or sucking down? Is the weir (flapper) sticking? You already dealt with the strainer lid. How about the returns? Are there aimable eyeballs in them, or just threaded outlets? Lack of backpressure could cause low pressure in the filter and an empty strainer.

    Keep checking this thread, I'm sure there will be more replies in a day or two. From pros.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Well, it's starving for water because of a restriction or an air leak, or it's oversized.
    First check all the valves, make sure everything is open. Then check the water level in the skimmer when the pump is on. Is it staying full or sucking down? Is the weir (flapper) sticking? You already dealt with the strainer lid. How about the returns? Are there aimable eyeballs in them, or just threaded outlets? Lack of backpressure could cause low pressure in the filter and an empty strainer.

    Keep checking this thread, I'm sure there will be more replies in a day or two. From pros.
    Thank you for your response. I imagine it is not oversized as it has worked perfectly prior to this year. Valves are all open. Water level on the skimmer is at about half. Maybe a little under, Ill have to look more closely. I do know that there is constantly water flowing into it, seemingly not any room for air.
    There doesnt appear to be a "flap". It is just open to the pool. I was cleaning it the other day and noticed the main suction tube. And some other... tube/thing. It has sand in it. I picked away at it for about an inch in. Not sure if it just ends there or its majorly clogged. (Do you know what this is?)
    As for the returns, they seem to be pushing out alot of air. Spurts of bubbles every so often. (aimable eyeballs?) Ill have to check to see if the outlets are threaded.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    Could a sandfilter ever been the root cause of bad flow?

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    Open the air bleed valve on the filter until just water comes out. Too much air in the filter can prevent a pump from fully priming if at all.
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
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    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    Tried the air bleed value while priming. No change yet.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    Water in the skimmer needs to be at least 1/2. If you see any type of waterfall or venturi action in the skimmer then the water level is too low and a lot of air is getting sucked into the pump. Try raising the water level 2/3 of the way up the skimmer and see if the situation improves.
    TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    You said you replaced the o-ring in the pump strainer basket lid, but did you lube it good when you put it back?
    You need to watch the skimmer while it's running to make sure it's not creating a vortex while it's running.
    You should remove the pump drain plug(s) and reseal them as well.
    After that, you can run water over the pump and plumbing while watching to see if the bubbles stop.
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    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    Will check the skimmer level when i get home. As for the pot, i did not use lube. What should i use to lube it ? If that doesnt work will try watering the pipes.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    Use silicone pool lube on the o-ring. Do not use any petroleum based lubes as they will cause deterioration of the o-ring over time.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    So today I went to Namco and picked up some gasket kits, some silica lube, and some new drain plugs. I did 3 things...

    1. Released the bottom plug on the S200 sand filter, draining it for a good while.
    2. Replaced the existing threaded drain plugs with new ones with o-rings instead of tape. (Lubed them up too )
    3. lubed up the pot gasket.

    The flow seen in the video was a HUGE improvement. Not sure which step caused the better flow but I was pretty happy to see steady pressure over 10psi.
    In the pool house, there was a very obvious suction leak. I temporarily sealed it with some sort of gel-like compound. PSI jumped to about 14 steady.

    Pot now looks to have about 90% flow. Still quite a few bubbles, but the outlet ports to the pool arnt spurting air bubbles anymore, but instead have a general steady, semi-powerful flow. Still bubbles visible.

    I figure why stop here, anything else I should do to get full flow? Thanks a ton so far guys, this is wonderful!

    [youtube:e284kt1k]9uPOAd4nFqA[/youtube:e284kt1k]

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    You definitely still have an air leak and my guess is the fill hose in the suction pipe. Remove and plug that at the PVC and see if that doesn't help. Also the union right before that point can also be a point of entry for air. Lube the o-rings inside.
    Mark
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    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    You definitely still have an air leak and my guess is the fill hose in the suction pipe. Remove and plug that at the PVC and see if that doesn't help. Also the union right before that point can also be a point of entry for air. Lube the o-rings inside.
    Aye, I was thinking that could cause issues. The hose is in terrible condition. How do I go about priming it without that line? Also, how do you unscrew these PVC sections? My mighty man strength isnt getting the job done...

    Also, on average what should the pressure be when on filter mode?

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    If the pvc sections are glued together then you will need to cut them apart. If they are screwed together a strap wrench should help you get them loose. When everything is connected with no leaks, open the pot and fill it with water, then turn on the pump. The pot should fill up to the lid and push out any excess air at that point.

    It doesn't look like you have a weir on the skimmer. The weir helps prevent air being sucked in the skimmer.
    TFP Moderator
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    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    From my experience so far, lubing the seal around the strainer makes a huge difference in my pumps operation and it's only 9 months old. I don't have close to the same problem you indicated, but I have much less bubbles when I lube the seal and reseat the strainer top.
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  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    I looked at the skimmer. There is a flap hiddennin there

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    Replaced the line on the suction. Gained a tad more prrssure but still mot 100%

  18. Back To Top    #18
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    What exactly did you do? I don't think replacing the fill line will solve the problem. The hose shut off valve is not designed to seal on suction so I doubt that can hold the air out. I would suggest removing the fill line all together and using a PVC threaded plug with teflon tape to plug the connection into the suction pipe.
    Mark
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  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    The crappy hose that was there was replaced with a new line. I will take the line entirely off next.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Struggling to get flow !

    Just wanted to update everyone. The pool is nice and clear blue !!! The pump looks to be running at about full flow now ! Thank you so much for all the suggestions. This is certainly the best pool resource on the net. Brilliant support !

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