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Thread: Newbie - Boost/Main air leak location.

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Newbie - Boost/Main air leak location.

    Ok First off my father has recently fallen ill and I have taken over maintenance of his property, including a pool/spa. Before this past friday, I knew absolutely nothing about swimming pools so please be patient with me should I exhibit ignorance. I did try to read all of the introductions on this site and they were very helpfull. To begin, on friday I noticed that the automatic cleaner (phantom) did not seem to be operating properly. Upon further inspection, I noted a suprising amount of bubbles coming from the jet which it hooks up to. I knew this was a problem as I assumed skimmer to jet was a closed system. This has led me here, where I have come to the conclusion I have air entering on the suction side. I need help honing in on it. Here is what I know:

    Main pool pump basket glass shows a good number of bubbles when pulling from skimmer. If I switch the valve to spa, bubbles go away. This indicates it's a skimmer side problem and everything behind the valve is ok. I have a slight drip coming from either the pressure or suction side of the boost pump, I will research this further. My father said he replaced the boost pump a year or two ago with a different model that has no glass, and if air is entering the system it's likely through one of his fittings. How does the boost pump connect to the system? Is it possible it is tied in to my main pump, and the bubbbles I'm seeing in the main pump are actully introduced via the boost pump pipping? The plumbing is underground and I am unaware how the boost pump interacts with the system. With boost pump off and main pump on it feels like water is flowing through the boost pumps plumping, but I am not 100% on this. I do feel enough vibration to believe it's got moving water in it.

    So, I don't know whether to start digging, plumbing, or wrenching. Is it possible the leak could be introduced through the valve even though the spa side works fine? Should I attempt to rebuild the plumbing on the boost pump first, or is it unlikely for me to be seeing bubbles in my main pump due to amature plumbing on a separate pump? Or should I start digging in search of the leak on the skimmer side of the main pump, a professional installation which is about 5 years old?

    I thank you in advance for your assistance. I did some light searching, but I have quite a bit of business to attend to, and I want this fixed now. Please forgive my haste.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2007
    South Central NJ

    Re: Newbie - Boost/Main air leak location.

    Please post a picture of the equipment pad. Copy and paste the 4th code option after placing the picture in a photobucket album.

    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Newbie - Boost/Main air leak location.

    Scott, first off I sincerely thank you for your response.

    Yesterday while waiting for a response, I rechecked and lubed the pump basket o-ring as I read this is a common problem. This reduced bubbles only slightly, I know it's a good seal because on "spa" the problem pump resembles the one next to it and is completely air free. Then I decided to take the least invasive action. I tried to seal all relevant junctures to no avail, I dug down a little around the skimmer pipe and hit water. I'm not certain if this is completely unusual considering the hard clay I hit just below the water and my geographic location is roughly sea level and damp. It is worth noting that with those junctures exposed, I got more bubbles, which leads me to believe I may be honing in. I really don't know what to do at this point. I've tried burning a cigarette in the vicinity of all above ground junctures and the valve with no abnormal movement in the smoke, guess I'll try it around the exposed junctures.
    Here are some photos.

    Two main pumps, left side has a spa/pool valve and is my culprit, right side I assume is just a boost for the pool, not really sure.



    Two pumps, side by side, both running. Bubbles in lower pump are clearly visible.

    Digging up lines reveals hole full of water, and increase in bubbles released into pool.

    Boost pump for cleaner.

    Just in case, here's a picture of the pool and spa.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Newbie - Boost/Main air leak location.

    I'd try filling that hole with water from the hose, and seeing if the bubbles stop. If so, your leak is definitely in one of those connections.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
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