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Thread: Help, lost suction can't find problem

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    Help, lost suction can't find problem

    I have 12 year old Northstar 1 HP pump. I have navigator vacuum and skimmer on a valve which I can adjust so I can provide more suction to one or the other if the solar is on. Over the past 30 days the valve has to be almost 100% on the navigator to work properly then I get no suction in the skimmer. The water in the pump basket is about 1 inch from the top of after turning the pump on and never seems to reach the top. I have pulled the motor, cleaned and lubed, pulled filters and found cracked manifold and top that attaches to the 4 filters and replaced both parts. With all the above work I am still having the low suction problem. I am also noticing very low flow from the returns. I am out of options unless I replace the pump. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    13,000 gallons, Northstar 1 hp pump, hayward cartridge filter, above ground.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Help, lost suction can't find problem

    Welcome to TFP!

    Your problem probably isn't where you've been looking. You either have a water restriction between the skimmer and/or drain and the pump, or an air leak in the same places. The most common sources are the O-ring on the pump strainer basket lid, the drain plug in the strainer basket, valves in that line, a sticking weir in the skimmer or a low water level in the pool. The first thing to try is to remove the strainer basket lid and inspect the O-ring. If it is cracked, replace it. If it looks okay, apply pool lube and reinstall it.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Help, lost suction can't find problem

    Welcome to TFP!

    Good advice so far from JohnT. Let us know what you discover after trying those suggestions.

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    Re: Help, lost suction can't find problem

    Thanks for the hints. When the pump is turned on it appears to have a good volume of water rushing in. However, I did check the O ring and it appears to be stretched out about 1/4 inch. I am going to replace and see if that helps.

    Thanks

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    Suction found could it be the filters

    I replaced the O rings, checked the line for clogs. While I was at the pool store I explained the filters I purchased a year ago (Pleatco) don't fit the manifold and that is why they cracked taking them off and on to clean them. The store mentioned there was a recall on those filters but did not elaborate.

    Troubleshooting I removed the filters and tightened everything down and the pump, suction, all ran perfectly. The filters were very clean and cleaned every three months. Do you think this Pleatco filters are so bad they are causing the issue? Or is my pump running out of juice?

    Thanks for any help

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Help, lost suction can't find problem

    It most likely isn't the pump. As long as the impeller is clear and there's not a lot of wear, it's probably fine.

    If indeed, everything ran "perfectly" then it certainly points to the filters. I'd call Pleatco if I were you and see what the recall is about.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Help, lost suction can't find problem

    No filter problem will cause a suction issue.
    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!
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Help, lost suction can't find problem

    A dirty or clogged filter will increase return head, reduce water flow and in turn reduce suction.
    Mark
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Help, lost suction can't find problem

    One thing I forgot to ask was what the filter pressure was when you were having the problem as opposed to before the problem existed.
    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: Help, lost suction can't find problem

    With the filters in the pressure was very low, Lower than 5 PSI. With filters out pressure read 11 PSI, no air in filter basket, vacuum works perfect. I have taken all your advice and took the filters to the water compressor. The filters looked great from the outside but I really cleaned them well for about 30 minutes and the gunk that came out was amazing. I used a lower car wash setting on the compressor (before I just used the hose) . I am going to install the filters this morning and keep you posted.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Help, lost suction can't find problem

    It almost sounds like your filter is plumbed backward. If the filters are clogged your pressure should go up.
    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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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Help, lost suction can't find problem

    Perhaps I missed something here. When you replaced your pump basket o-ring, is that when the air in the basket stopped?
    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
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Help, lost suction can't find problem

    I replaced the basket o ring and with the filters in the air in the basket was still present. When I took the filters out and ran the pump the water in the basket was flush to the top.

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    Solution to lost suction, honest answer

    Well after numerous part replacements and what I thought were clean filters I was wrong.
    After cleaning the filters with pressure washer for 30 minutes and noticing lots of gunk in the pleats that you can't see I reinstalled the filters this morning. Pressure stayed at 11 PSI and everything works perfect. I guess it comes back down to commons sense. (Clean the filters good before dumping money) Thanks to all the input and help.

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