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Thread: poor suction problem

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    poor suction problem

    My pool suction was fine but a month or so ago I noted that my barracuda was geeting stuck in corners. Now my suction is very poor. No bubbles at return. 1 year old 150 sqft Pentair cartridge. Cleaning did not help. It was dirty though.

    Of note I just took over from my pool guy because he was unresponsive to questions about how he was balancing my pool.

    On testing I had 0 CYA and have been adding it over the last two weeks via a sock by the return. Also the pressure guage is shot (despite being 1 year old) and a replacement is on the way.

    where do I start?

    Thanks!
    32000 gallon, inground, fiberglass, Aqua-Rite SWG, Pentair 420 sqft cartridge filter (Installed-ya baby), Hayward Super II pump 1.5 hp, 144k BTU heat pump, Dolphin Dx5 Plus, and a good test kit from Duraleigh!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: poor suction problem

    If you haven't already, check the skimmer basket(s) and pump strainer basket, clean/backwash the filter, and make sure the valves (if any) are set correctly.
    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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    Re: poor suction problem

    I have done that. Other than noticing that my suction is so weak that I can only support one valve open at a time I noticed nothing.

    Could the pump be failing? It is about 4 years old.

    Thanks!
    32000 gallon, inground, fiberglass, Aqua-Rite SWG, Pentair 420 sqft cartridge filter (Installed-ya baby), Hayward Super II pump 1.5 hp, 144k BTU heat pump, Dolphin Dx5 Plus, and a good test kit from Duraleigh!

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: poor suction problem

    Any noise (or lack thereof) when the pump is on?
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: poor suction problem

    It sounds ok. No different then ever. But the water level in the pump seems low. Not full.
    32000 gallon, inground, fiberglass, Aqua-Rite SWG, Pentair 420 sqft cartridge filter (Installed-ya baby), Hayward Super II pump 1.5 hp, 144k BTU heat pump, Dolphin Dx5 Plus, and a good test kit from Duraleigh!

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    Re: poor suction problem

    But the water level in the pump seems low. Not full.
    If you can see air or bubbles in the pump strainer basket lid, then you have developed a suction side air leak. Air is being sucked in instead of just water so your pump is unable to operate normally.

    You will need to find the source of that leak, fix it, and your pump will return to normal output.

    The air leak is occurring between the skimmer(s) and the pump. The most common place seems to be a faulty or misaligned O-ring on the pump basket lid but it could be anywhere along that path.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: poor suction problem

    I took the O ring out to clean and lube it and when I went to put it back it is way toooo long now.....
    Off to find a replacement.
    32000 gallon, inground, fiberglass, Aqua-Rite SWG, Pentair 420 sqft cartridge filter (Installed-ya baby), Hayward Super II pump 1.5 hp, 144k BTU heat pump, Dolphin Dx5 Plus, and a good test kit from Duraleigh!

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    Re: poor suction problem

    New O ring did not fix my problem.

    I have three valves. One lilypad skimmer, One vacuum, and the main drain.
    My suction is bad no matter which is open or shut.

    Any help in where to start looking fo my leak? or leaks?

    I should add that I have no bubbles coming from my return. Just very weak pressure. Could my impeller be shot? pump is a little noisy. The water level in the basket is low and moves very little. No cavitation.
    32000 gallon, inground, fiberglass, Aqua-Rite SWG, Pentair 420 sqft cartridge filter (Installed-ya baby), Hayward Super II pump 1.5 hp, 144k BTU heat pump, Dolphin Dx5 Plus, and a good test kit from Duraleigh!

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: poor suction problem

    I had a similar sounding problem last spring with a pump. Impeller was cracked off the shaft. Motor turned just fine, but the impeller head was just bouncing around inside the housing, making the noise you're describing.

    I disconnected the tubing between the pump and the filter and tried playing fireman to verify that there was no pressure coming out of the pump. That was when I started taking it apart and found the impeller not connected anymore.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: poor suction problem

    smykowski, mk1,

    The impeller loose or damaged would not account for air in the strainer basket. The system needs to be airtight and air is being sucked in by the pump.

    Check the drain plugs at the bottom of the strainer basket and check all the valves by pouring water slowly over them to see if the air stops. (sometimes you can hear it being sucked in if it's at a valve.

    The water is deep enough in the pool that air is not being sucked in at the skimmer, correct?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: poor suction problem

    I have poured water over all pipe joints, valves, and the strainer basket cover. My skimmer is adequately below water. I have in fact wrapped all the pipe joints in plumbers putty.

    If I fill the pump basket manually I don't actualy gain any air, just the small amount of air remains, with low flow on both suction and return ends. No air bubbles either.

    I have reviewed my records and the pump is actually more like 6 years old. I may rebuild it.

    any more thoughts?

    Thanks!

    I will check the drain plugs too!
    32000 gallon, inground, fiberglass, Aqua-Rite SWG, Pentair 420 sqft cartridge filter (Installed-ya baby), Hayward Super II pump 1.5 hp, 144k BTU heat pump, Dolphin Dx5 Plus, and a good test kit from Duraleigh!

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    Re: poor suction problem

    What psi is on the gauge when the pump is running?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: poor suction problem

    As noted above the gauge is not working. It is rusty and does not move. (I noted this 3 weeks ago when I started doing my own pool) and a new one is one the way.
    I wonder why it failed as the filter unit is one year old.

    Thanks!
    32000 gallon, inground, fiberglass, Aqua-Rite SWG, Pentair 420 sqft cartridge filter (Installed-ya baby), Hayward Super II pump 1.5 hp, 144k BTU heat pump, Dolphin Dx5 Plus, and a good test kit from Duraleigh!

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    Re: poor suction problem

    Get your gauge fixed. You can get a new one at ANY pool store for less than $10. I still think it's a suction side leak but you need a working gauge to help determine the problem.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: poor suction problem

    Did you ever figure this out?
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: poor suction problem

    I did. The gauge was replaced and I had zero pressure registering. I was going to rebuild the pump since I tried all the tricks and could not find an above ground leak. Instead I bought a new pump since I was not sure what components needed replacing.

    Pool is fine now. I will probably rebuild the old pump as a spare.....or maybe not. I have mega flow and 15 psi on the gauge. No air in the pump.

    Thanks for the interest. And thanks to all who helped me avoid throwing in the towel.
    32000 gallon, inground, fiberglass, Aqua-Rite SWG, Pentair 420 sqft cartridge filter (Installed-ya baby), Hayward Super II pump 1.5 hp, 144k BTU heat pump, Dolphin Dx5 Plus, and a good test kit from Duraleigh!

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    Re: poor suction problem

    In case anyone cares...

    The impeller was packed with little seed husks that had gotten through holes in the pump strainer.
    32000 gallon, inground, fiberglass, Aqua-Rite SWG, Pentair 420 sqft cartridge filter (Installed-ya baby), Hayward Super II pump 1.5 hp, 144k BTU heat pump, Dolphin Dx5 Plus, and a good test kit from Duraleigh!

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    Re: poor suction problem

    ka-zaam! sorry i did not see this earlier, I had the exact same issue a couple years back and would have suggested taking the pump apart and inspectiing before replacing - at least now you have a backup!
    33k Gunite, CompuPool CPSC48 SWG, Sta-Rite System 3 DE, 2.25hp dual-speed, POOLVERGNUEGEN Pressure-side

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