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Thread: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

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    Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    I am getting a substantial amount of air in my filters. I thought that the vacuum leak might be my basket filter lid right before the pump, but I put a heavy layer of lube on the gasket so that I am sure no air is getting sucked in there.

    Any tips on leak detection at PVC joints/valves/etc?

    Thanks,
    Mike
    Commercial,100 K, Liquid chlorine, Indoor, Heated to 86 with Jandy Lite 2 gas heater, High-Rate Sand Triton TR-100 filters (3), 7.5 HP pump motor, IG, Plaster.

    Jesus is my Lifeguard!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    The most common way of detecting leaks on the suction side is to run water over the plumbing and see if the bubbles in pump basket stop. If they do you've found your leak. I't's also been suggested to take shaving foam and coat the fitting joints with a bead of it and where ever it sucks the foam in you can see it.
    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
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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    thanks Bama - I'll give that a shot
    Commercial,100 K, Liquid chlorine, Indoor, Heated to 86 with Jandy Lite 2 gas heater, High-Rate Sand Triton TR-100 filters (3), 7.5 HP pump motor, IG, Plaster.

    Jesus is my Lifeguard!

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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    I do not have anywhere to view the bubbles (neither the basket lid nor the filter top are clear), so I tried the shaving cream, but could not find any leaks, even though I am getting a lot of air in my filters. Any other ideas? Also, will a large amount of air cause problems with filters/anything else? I have thought about having the filter air valves continuously bleed into tubing and back to my gravity flow tank, if I cannot locate the leaks...
    Commercial,100 K, Liquid chlorine, Indoor, Heated to 86 with Jandy Lite 2 gas heater, High-Rate Sand Triton TR-100 filters (3), 7.5 HP pump motor, IG, Plaster.

    Jesus is my Lifeguard!

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    ChiknNutz's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    I recently discovered a small leak that confounded me for a while. Ended up being a bad O-ring on one of the drain plugs (happened to be the one in the pump strainer).
    Chris A.
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide | 1.25HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump & 13 gallon carboy (BBB) | Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator (used on pool startup) | TF-100 | 2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    Thanks for your input, Chris. I'll take another look at the strainer.
    Commercial,100 K, Liquid chlorine, Indoor, Heated to 86 with Jandy Lite 2 gas heater, High-Rate Sand Triton TR-100 filters (3), 7.5 HP pump motor, IG, Plaster.

    Jesus is my Lifeguard!

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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    Can't find a leak at the strainer. I cleaned and lubed the top and the o-ring, and it does not have a drain plug- just a plug in the lid that seems to be sealed...
    Commercial,100 K, Liquid chlorine, Indoor, Heated to 86 with Jandy Lite 2 gas heater, High-Rate Sand Triton TR-100 filters (3), 7.5 HP pump motor, IG, Plaster.

    Jesus is my Lifeguard!

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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    what about using smoke to find vacuum leaks?
    Commercial,100 K, Liquid chlorine, Indoor, Heated to 86 with Jandy Lite 2 gas heater, High-Rate Sand Triton TR-100 filters (3), 7.5 HP pump motor, IG, Plaster.

    Jesus is my Lifeguard!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    That could work if the leak is large enough to suck the smoke in so you could see it. A better way would be to pressure test the plumbing by plugging all the inlets & outlets and pressurize the system looking for leaks. That may not be feasible on your pool. Without being able to 'see' into the system, it's going to be hard to troubleshoot. Maybe you could get a clear lid for the pump basket of install a piece of clear piping on the discharge of the pump. That would allow you to see when you've found the leak.
    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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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    Make sure the water level is at least 1/2 way up the skimmer and that the weir moves freely.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    Dave and Zea3,
    Thanks for the suggestions. I have full perimeter gutter with gravity flow to a tank. There is no opportunity for air to get in unless the level goes to low- which is easy to check. It would be difficult to pressure test, because I have so many inlets and outlets. I'll check out installing some clear pipe, lid, or filter dome.
    Commercial,100 K, Liquid chlorine, Indoor, Heated to 86 with Jandy Lite 2 gas heater, High-Rate Sand Triton TR-100 filters (3), 7.5 HP pump motor, IG, Plaster.

    Jesus is my Lifeguard!

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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    Found the leak! (At least one of them). It is in a PVC joint between the basket filter and the pump. Re-doing the plumbing would be expensive, so I would like to just seal the leak between the existing fittings. Any suggestions? I thought I might try a fillet of PVC cement, with the pump running, and let it suck it into the void.
    Commercial,100 K, Liquid chlorine, Indoor, Heated to 86 with Jandy Lite 2 gas heater, High-Rate Sand Triton TR-100 filters (3), 7.5 HP pump motor, IG, Plaster.

    Jesus is my Lifeguard!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    You can try the PVC cement, but some A+B epoxy is probably going to be a better fix since it'll cure under water.
    If you could get a fernco coupling over it that would work but it requires the piping to be cut apart.
    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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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    Bama-
    Thanks for your quick response and advice. It is a suction leak and dry, and I have some Oatey Wet or Dry cement that I just tried.
    Commercial,100 K, Liquid chlorine, Indoor, Heated to 86 with Jandy Lite 2 gas heater, High-Rate Sand Triton TR-100 filters (3), 7.5 HP pump motor, IG, Plaster.

    Jesus is my Lifeguard!

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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    So far so good! No air yet. Normally I would have gallons of air accumulated in 2 hours.
    Commercial,100 K, Liquid chlorine, Indoor, Heated to 86 with Jandy Lite 2 gas heater, High-Rate Sand Triton TR-100 filters (3), 7.5 HP pump motor, IG, Plaster.

    Jesus is my Lifeguard!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    Did it make it through the night?
    Good for you if it did!
    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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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    Yep! Made it through the night without the slightest amount of air at the filters
    Commercial,100 K, Liquid chlorine, Indoor, Heated to 86 with Jandy Lite 2 gas heater, High-Rate Sand Triton TR-100 filters (3), 7.5 HP pump motor, IG, Plaster.

    Jesus is my Lifeguard!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuum leak detection (Air intrusion)

    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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