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Thread: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction cleaner

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    Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction cleaner

    My pool has one suction outlet and one inlet. When I run the pump with nothing attached to the suction side it works great with no bubbles in the pump basket. As soon as I attach out suction cleaner (or even just a couple lengths of hose) it starts to fill with some air. It ends up with a inch of air or so in the pump basket and a few minutes later the SWG is full of air as well and it stops generating because it is not full of water. If I disconnect the suction cleaner at the weir it starts to work fine again. Any ideas? I have
    16,000 gallon pool, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, solar panels, In Ground Plaster with SWG. Living in the southern hemisphere in the "cold" part of Africa in Lesotho.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    How old is the hose? Are the ends brittle or cracked? It could have small cracks or holes that allow air into the pump.
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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    Had a similar issue it was due to my hose. Small pin sized holes from dragging/age. Nothing major, but a nuisance and will get worse with time. If you really want to find where you could put a section of the hose in water and observe when the air leak goes away.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    It is a brand new hose, just bought a new cleaner. I have almost 100% sure that the leak it not in the hose itself. I held the hose completely underwater and it still does the same thing. Any other suggestions?
    16,000 gallon pool, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, solar panels, In Ground Plaster with SWG. Living in the southern hemisphere in the "cold" part of Africa in Lesotho.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    When you attach a suction cleaner, the suction at the pump will usually increase so even if there are no air leaks without the cleaner, there could still be an air leak with a cleaner. Usual suspects are the pump lid gasket and drain plugs. Pool lube can help seal them.

    Also, what is the filter pressure with and without the cleaner?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    The pump lid gasket looked ok when I looked at it a couple of days ago, but I will take a good look tomorrow. The power will be out all day tomorrow till 6 PM so I will check the filter pressures then. Thanks for the help, hope I can get it figured out.
    16,000 gallon pool, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, solar panels, In Ground Plaster with SWG. Living in the southern hemisphere in the "cold" part of Africa in Lesotho.

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    Not sure what type of pump you have but the ususal suspects are pump lid o-ring or any of the drain plugs. Some silicone grease works wonders. Another thing you could do is use water, spray it on the lid, basket, exposed connectors and see if the leak goes away. I had a small air leak on one of my gate valves (brass), used silicone grease when I put it back together works well. Found it by spraying a small stream of water on the stem, leak went away, came back when it dried out.
    If it's not too bad, you don't loose suction and only happens when you vac I wouldn't worry too much about it. Depends on how bad/much it bothers you.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    Here are the filter pressures from today. With the suction cleaner I am getting 9 PSI, when I remove the suction cleaner from the weir it jumps up to 11 PSI. I do have solar panels located a ways from the pool. Would the return from the roof suck air as the water is going back to the pool? Thanks
    16,000 gallon pool, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, solar panels, In Ground Plaster with SWG. Living in the southern hemisphere in the "cold" part of Africa in Lesotho.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    Yes it could suck air from the solar panels but from your description you had air in the pump basket, no? If you have air in the pump basket, it is coming from the suction side of the pump. If there is no air in the pump basket but you are still getting air out of the returns, then it could be the solar panels. But at 9-11 PSI, is the solar even engaged?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    When I engage the solar the PSI goes up by 4 PSI. Yes the problem is air in the pump basket. Getting some silicone grease today at work. This morning after the pump is running all night (I am shocking the pool) the filter is full of air as well. My next guess is some of the connections that are underground.
    16,000 gallon pool, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, solar panels, In Ground Plaster with SWG. Living in the southern hemisphere in the "cold" part of Africa in Lesotho.

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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    Tried grease on all the fittings, sprayed the only connections above the ground and still no source of the leak. Whats the chance that the leak is underground?
    16,000 gallon pool, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, solar panels, In Ground Plaster with SWG. Living in the southern hemisphere in the "cold" part of Africa in Lesotho.

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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    Whats the chance that the leak is underground?
    Not very likely. I would suggest you absolutely eliminate ALL other possibilities first. If the leak begins when you connect the hose, then the natural suspect is somewhere between that connection and any part of the hose that's exposed to the air.

    It is very tempting to assume the leak is underground because suction leaks are usually hard to track down. That said, I don't think we've discussed more than 2 posts or so (in four years on the forum) where the leak was actually in an underground pipe on the suction side.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    Thanks for the input. I have held the entire hose underwater (no part of the hose above water) and it still starts to suck a little air when I suction through the hose rather than through the weir. It is also not a gradual thing. Within a second or two after attaching the hose the water level drops in the pump basket. (PSI also drops from 11 to 9 PSI when the hose is attached)
    16,000 gallon pool, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, solar panels, In Ground Plaster with SWG. Living in the southern hemisphere in the "cold" part of Africa in Lesotho.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    I agree with Dave, underground leaks are very rare and usually caused but disturbance of some sort like someone digging in the area or freeze damage. So unless that happened, I bet the leak is on the pad somewhere before the pump. Again, pump lid, drain plugs and valves are the usual suspects. I know you said that you lubed everything but I also know of the others who said the same thing but tried multiple times and eventually found the problem. Pump lid gaskets can also age and become useless after some time so if it can't find the leak, that may be a good thing to replace.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    Was able to make it to South Africa yesterday and got a few pool things while I was there. I replaced the pump lid gasket, and still have yet to find my suction leak. The leak still only begins when I connect the hose. I also purchased a Zodiac leafcatcher and can rule out the first 8 pieces of hose. There is no air bubbles at all coming through the clear plastic leafcatcher. The first piece of hose is entirely underwater. There are no drain plugs on my pump so the only possible places are the basket inlet fitting and the lid/O-ring. Tomorrow I think I will try to bypass the weir to pump basket line and make a temporary line out of new PVC and see if the same thing happens with a new line. we will see what happens.
    16,000 gallon pool, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, solar panels, In Ground Plaster with SWG. Living in the southern hemisphere in the "cold" part of Africa in Lesotho.

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    Can you post a picture of your equipment pad?
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    Quote Originally Posted by bobodaclown
    Had a similar issue it was due to my hose. Small pin sized holes from dragging/age. Nothing major, but a nuisance and will get worse with time. If you really want to find where you could put a section of the hose in water and observe when the air leak goes away.

    I think reading the above will assist me in my similar issue I just posted, thanks.

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    Re: Pump basket gets air only when I attach my suction clean

    Here is my equipment pad. Nothing fancy, you can see my JustChlor (South Africa Brand) chlorinator. Things are working slightly better. When I run without the cleaner it works great no bubbles anywhere. I can run the MX8 suction cleaner as well, but this still creates a bubble on top of the pump inlet. If I increase the suction as they recommend with the cleaner is works for a few minutes and then it eventually has a air gap in the pump basket. Eventually this air works its way to the chlorinator, and will build up and the water sensor will turn the chlorinator off. I have a new lubed O-Ring and there are no other drains or anything on the pump inlet. I am extremely confident there are no leaks on the suction hose.
    16,000 gallon pool, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, solar panels, In Ground Plaster with SWG. Living in the southern hemisphere in the "cold" part of Africa in Lesotho.

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