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Thread: Leak somewhere, but where???

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    Leak somewhere, but where???

    Hi all,
    Just got finished having our pool(inground, 12X22 gunite. Pump is Hayward Max-flo 2, 1 HP, and the filter is a Hayward Pro series 24 inch sand filter) renovated about 3 months ago, and everything has been somewhat OK. I know the pool has a leak, probably on the return lines, as the water will drop about 3/4 of an inch every day. Other than having to add water to compensate for the leak, it's been OK. But this weekend, a new problem started. I vacuumed the pool on Friday, then cleaned out the pump skimmer basket like usual. On Sunday, I turned the pump on manually(the pump normally runs on a timer) and noticed that there was no water moving, and the pump skimmer basket was almost completely empty. I took the pump lid off, filled with water, and started it back up, and everything was ok, other than knowing that the pump ran for the past 2 nights dry like this!!! Yesterday evening I checked the pump, and the leaf basket was almost completely empty again and the pump wouldn't prime, so it probably ran dry the past 2 nights!!! I primed it by filling the basket with the water hose, and it runs OK again. I looked all around the pump and filter and do not see any water leaking anywhere. I also checked the O-ring for the pump lid and it looks OK. It seems that this issue hadn't started until I vacuumed the pool the other day. Normally when remove the basket lid on the pump, the water will drain down to a certain point, as there is no check valve on the intake side. No problem as the 3 inches of water remaining in the basket chamber is enough to allow the pump to prime itself when the system is restarted. Now it appears the water is dropping even below that point when the system is turned off , causing the pump to not be able to prime. For the lasy 3 months, there has never been even a single air bubble in the leaf basket chamber of the pump, but now this issue. Last night after I got the system up and running again, I shut it off, and the water level in the basket chamber didn't go down, so whatever problem I have is a slow leak issue, and it's draining down slowly during the day when the pump is off. Any ideas or suggestions, before I have to call the pool company out?? I ran the plumbing myself(transitioned new pvc to the old copper lines), so if it's leaking there, it's on me, unless I want to pay them to come out.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Leak somewhere, but where???

    If it's leaking below the suction inlet of the pump it could be the basket drain plug(s). Vacuuming creates a much higher suction and could have caused a problem that wasn't there before. I'd check the drains and clean and lube the lid o-ring too.
    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: Leak somewhere, but where???

    OK, will check the drain plugs, and put lube on them as well. I checked them last night for tightness, and they were OK, but the O-rings on them did not have any lube, so I'll lube 'em up this evening, and check to see if that helps out this issue.

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    Re: Leak somewhere, but where???

    OK, so yesterday evening I checked on the pump, and of course the leaf basket was almost empty again. I Removed the lid and filled with water, then restarted, and the sytem primed fine. After a few minutes I turned it off again. This time, almost immediately I could hear a 'gurgling' sound, which sounded like it was coming from the sand filter. Then, looking into the leaf skimmer, a constant stream, of bubbles was coming from the line that goes to the filter. It's almost like I have an air pocket in the sand filter that migrates from the filter to the pump when the system is turned off. Everything is 3 months old, and I've never filtered the sand yet, as the pressure on the filter has never gone up(always at 13 PSI on the filter gauge), probably because the filter is way bigger than what I needed(24 inch filter, 8500 gallon pool). Maybe that has something to do with my issue. Also, this didn't start until I vacuumed the other day, so maybe some air in the vacuum hose got trapped into the filter. Is there a way to manually purge the air from the system?? Does this sound possible??? I was thinking when I get home today, to backwash and filter the sand, and see if that helps.

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    Re: Leak somewhere, but where???

    The air is coming out of the filter when you shut off the pump but that is not how it is getting in. The filter is on the pressure side of the pump and a leak anywhere on the pressure side will be a water leak.

    If you are getting air in the system, it is being sucked in somewhere between the skimmer and the pump impeller.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Leak somewhere, but where???

    OK, that does make sense, but why is the air staying trapped in the filter?? It's like the air that is sucked in when I attach my vacuum hose has been accumulating in the filter over the past few months and now that trapped air is pushing back in to the leaf basket chamber when the system is powered down. If I leave the pump running for a few days straight, there is no air at all in the leaf basket of the pump(the cover is clear). I'm reading that this filter(Hayward Pro-Series 24 inch) should have something that allows the trapped air to escape, so if it does have that, it's definitely not working. I'll filter, then rinse the sand tomorrow and see if that gets the trapped air out. Possibly the filter is severely stopped up and the pressure gauge isn't reading properly on the filter, and this is causing the air to stay trapped in the filter???

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    Re: Leak somewhere, but where???

    1. Most filters have a screw-type relief valve at the top to let trapped air out WHEN THE PUMP IS RUNNING. If you open it when the pump is off, it will suck in air.

    2. Regardless of how much air is staying in your filter, it can be dissipated ONLY after you find the suction side leak and stop pumping air into your system.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Leak somewhere, but where???

    It hasn't been accumulating over the last few months. This is something that's ongoing. As Dave said, once you find and stop the air leak you'll be able to purge the system of air.

    I suspect that the vacuuming issue is a coincidence or it just exacerabated the problem.

    Have you cleaned and lubed the pump basket lid and drain plug(s)?
    Can you still see air getting into the pump basket when the pump is running?
    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: Leak somewhere, but where???

    Well, I called the local pool supply place(Leslie's), since they are a hayward dealer, and explained the problem. She told me that they get that call fairly regularly, and that the problem is that since I haven't backwashed and rinsed the sand since the filter was installed(3 months ago), air has been accumulating every third day when I vacuum. When you backwash and rinse, she explained that is what releases the trapped air in the Pro-Series line of filters, as they do not have a manual air release. I'll do this tomorrow and report back with my findings.

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    Re: Leak somewhere, but where???

    Hmmmm, I can't see that as any way related to your problem.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Leak somewhere, but where???

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Hmmmm, I can't see that as any way related to your problem.
    I can't either, but I really can't wait to hear the results from the Leslie's solution!
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
    TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Leak somewhere, but where???

    Update, when I got home after work on Thursday, water was pouring from the bottom of the pump, so running it dry for those four 8 hour cycles must have damaged the shaft seal, and it finally started leaking. Even with the leak, I managed to backwash the filter and rinse the filter, and the water coming out was dark brown, so it was definitely filthy. Even though the gauge never got any higher since I installed the pump/filter, it appears as though I'll still need to backwash/rinse the filter at least every month. Is this a correct assumption??? Anyways, I'll update after the pump is fixed and see what the repairman says about the trapped air in the filter.

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