Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26

Thread: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    40

    Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    Hello everyone.

    First off I am a new member and completely new to pools, My wife and I just moved into our first home a couple weeks ago which was a forclosure and learning the world of pools has been an interesting ride so far, and I am so glad I found this site. it has helped me a lot this past week. Please be patient with my long first post as I want to provide and much info as possible

    To Set the scene: A month ago the pool was a green swamp with hundreds of tadpoles swimming in it before we took ownership. I convinced the Seller (bank) to have a pool company come in and get it up and running or at least started. When we moved in the pool was crystal clear, looked perfect, and running..(not the way it should be from what I now know)

    Moving on to This week.. I have spent MANY hours learning all the valves, pipes, and how the pool works. The pool had an algae outbreak since I hadn't done anything with it since we moved in and was turning green so I have spent the week also learning about shocking the pool, which I started the process a few days ago and as of today the pool is beginning to look nice, just cloudy yet...unrelated issue..

    So FINALLY onto the issue/problem(s)

    1st Problem) Through this process I have found that when the pump is running, the basket is never full, and there is about an inch space of air..basically just barely above the inlet hole of the pump. I recently found out this is not normal or good. After reading for a long time on here I have done everything I can to check for leaks on the pump/inlet side since that is where the air leak must be. I have been unsuccessful in finding the leak in any of the pipes, cover, plugs etc...

    Here is what I know:
    I was able to get the pump basket almost completely filled by turning the pump on for 30 seconds, then turning it off and opening the air valve on the filter to release air, then closing it and starting the pump again. After doing this about 6-10 times I am able to get the level to rise up almost eliminating all the air...key word ALMOST.. So far it has stayed that full now for today, but still not completely full, and I have no idea why doing what I did gave me this result, but hey it worked..kinda

    I also know that regardless of where I am pulling water from (pool drains, pool skimmer, both, or even the spa drains) the issue does not change at all in any way.

    So if anyone could tell me what my problem might be, or why doing what I did gave me that result that would be step one..

    Second problem..and might be related to the first problem, I don't know.
    I tried to vaccum the pool through the skimmer and found the suction was basically nothing. The pool also has a cleaning port in the pool that you can put a hose in, my hose is too big, but just to test it I even turned all intake valves off and opened the cleaning valve to pull in water to see if that changed anything and the suction there was again barely anything..so basically I am getting very little suction...this obviously then explains why my return pressure on the other end is so low too... In my opinion it should be 5x what it is on both ends. Regardless if I have the return set to my pool return jets, or spa jets..the flow is very low.. and regardless of which intake I have it on Skimmer, pool or spa drains, or both or even the cleaner line.

    What is going on? Is my air pocket in my pump the cause for this? If not what do I do?

    My filter is clean, I have cleaned it several times this week being all the algae was being pulled through it. I have 20 PSI at the filter and everything seems to be functioning properly..just not much pressure/suction.

    Sorry for the VERY long post, but hopefully that will give enough information to help with finding a solution. This is all new to me and I refuse to give up and call someone, as I am determined to do this myself and keep my money in my pocket, regardless of how long it takes haha. I will also get pictures of my set up tomorrow just because I know that maybe will be of help regardless of the issue being discussed.

    Thank you!
    Pool: ~11,500 Gallon Free Form, In Ground, Plaster, 23x17 with raised Spa and SunGrabber Solar
    Pump: STA RITE Dyna Glass MPF series 1.5 HP
    Filter: Cartridge Pro Clean PCCF-100

  2. Back To Top    #2

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,084

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    Good Morning! Welcome to the forum

    First, congratulations on how much you have learned so very quickly........you have done your homework.

    I am pretty sure your entire issue is an air leak. They are stubborn to find. That said, there is something in your post that doesn't support that........that's the 20 psi of pressure your guage shows.

    1. Does your guage go to zero when you turn the pump off?

    2. Is the filter currently pretty clean?

    3. If you point the returns to the surface of the water, do they ripple the water pretty aggresively? (I'm trying to get a picture of just how much flow you have)

    Reply back with those answers and we'll go from there. Usually, the symptoms all support one another but your 20 psi sort of muddies the water. We'll all help get if figured out.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    40

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    Thanks for the warm welcome!

    When I get home today I will check these things out. To answer your first question, yes the PSI drops to 0 when I shut it off, at least I remember it doing that..however I will make sure when I get home as well.

    I will provide an update later today when I have some answers! Thanks!
    Pool: ~11,500 Gallon Free Form, In Ground, Plaster, 23x17 with raised Spa and SunGrabber Solar
    Pump: STA RITE Dyna Glass MPF series 1.5 HP
    Filter: Cartridge Pro Clean PCCF-100

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    40

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    Update.

    When pump is running, PSI is currently at 23PSI..when I shut the pump off it goes to 0

    I have 3 return jets in my pool and 1 water feature jet on the sun bathing platform that shoots water straight up.

    With it set to return jets ONLY, the closest Jet to the pump barely puts out any water..if I hold my hand more than 6 or 7 inches away from it I can't even feel it. The 2 jets further away I have to have my hand actually touching the jet, or within a half inch to even feel anything coming out.

    If I set the return to the Pool feature jet ONLY it shoots the water about 2-3 inches above the surface...I seem to remember a month ago when we first looked at the house, it shot it about a foot high..either way 2 inches of water isn't much of a "water feature"

    If I set the return to Spa ONLY the water barely trickles/runs over the edge of the spa into the pool.. Another thing to add is a few days ago I drained the spa to clean it good..I set the intake side to pump ONLY from the spa, and the return to send it into the pool...it took about 45 minutes to drain that thing and it must only be about 500-700 gallons! Then when I switched the intake side to Pool and return side to Spa so I could refill it, again it took about 45 minutes to fill the thing back up..that was the first sign of low flow I noticed..

    Ok so that is what I have discovered, now hopefully we can move one step closer to solving this issue
    Pool: ~11,500 Gallon Free Form, In Ground, Plaster, 23x17 with raised Spa and SunGrabber Solar
    Pump: STA RITE Dyna Glass MPF series 1.5 HP
    Filter: Cartridge Pro Clean PCCF-100

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    3,899

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    Yikes, that is low flow! Another quick thing to try is to run the system with the filter cartridge(s) out. That will eliminate that as a possibility; sometimes the filters can look reasonably clean but in reality not be.
    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

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    40

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    Another possible update.

    I just went out to check the filter again...something strange occured.. when I shut the pump off I turned the the intake valves before the pump all closed so that when I opened the filter, no water would run out of the pump and it would be easier to prime...HOWEVER, I left the return lines after the filter open...when I opened the air valve on the filter housing, nothing drained out? even after I opened it up and took the filter itself out of the housing none of the water drained?!? Is this right? I would have thought with the filter opened up all the water would have drained out of the housing through the return pipes into the pool? Or am I wrong? I turned every valve in every configuration to try and get the water to flow out with no success. What is going on? or is this normal?

    Im very frustrated as I have spent all the time and money and electricity 24 hours a day, trying to get the pool back to crystal clear, however with the water barely flowing, and me being unable to vaccum all the dirt and crud off the bottom.


    Also, here are pictures of my setup in case this will help with anything. Please ignore how dirty the house/patio/yard all is...like I said it was a forclosure and we still have lots of work to do.

    Here is the intake side of things..as you can see I have them labeled..they come out of the ground and go to the pump..In this picture The main drain I have partially open, the Cleaner Line is closed, and the skimmer (handle isn't on it in this picture) is fully open. Also..what I didn't get in the picture all the way was the drain from the spa..which is the pipe that comes out of the ground to the right of the main valve on top...I have that closed




    And here is the pump running with the airpocket I can't get out..keep in mind this is at it's absolute best..it took a lot of work to get it this full, normally it is lower yet and doesn't even get up to the cover.



    Here is the return line side..in this picture I have the water returning to both the pool and spa..and on the pool side have the return line turned off (jets in pool) and the water feature turned on as I was testing flow for the next picture.




    Here is the amount of flow I am getting when only this one valve is open which is the return line for the "water feature"..as you can see it is pretty much just barely breaking the surface..



    A picture of part of the pool with the Spa..and then a picture of how much water flows from the spa into the pool when I have just the spa return line open.





    Pool: ~11,500 Gallon Free Form, In Ground, Plaster, 23x17 with raised Spa and SunGrabber Solar
    Pump: STA RITE Dyna Glass MPF series 1.5 HP
    Filter: Cartridge Pro Clean PCCF-100

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Miami Beach, FL
    Posts
    125

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    I had similar symptoms recently and could not find an air leak. It turned out my pump impeller was severely clogged with little seeds.

    HTH
    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!

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    3,899

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    I wouldn't worry about the water sitting in the filter; it just depends on how the pipes are laid out. It'll settle into the low spots, and your filter is probably just in a low spot.

    Definitely worth checking the impeller too, but that would normally cause low filter pressure along with low flow.
    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

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    40

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    Good to know.

    I will have to take the pump apart and check that tomorrow. It is dark now so can't do it tonight any more.

    Not sure what else to check since it sounds like being my pressure is high than it must be a problem after the filter? like something plugged? if something was plugged tho, you would think one of my returns would work, however none of them work, so the plug would have to be before that first valve after the filter I assume?
    Pool: ~11,500 Gallon Free Form, In Ground, Plaster, 23x17 with raised Spa and SunGrabber Solar
    Pump: STA RITE Dyna Glass MPF series 1.5 HP
    Filter: Cartridge Pro Clean PCCF-100

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    3,899

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    Yes, it means that the problem is after the pump (not necessarily after the filter). That's why I recommended pulling the cart and firing up the system; that will tell you whether the filter is the culprit. That's a pretty small filter for that size pool, so I'm suspecting that pulling the cart will make a huge difference.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    40

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    Ok I will pull the filter and see what happens. I would still think that there is some other problem too, since even if the filter is small, the amount of water that should be flowing should be WAY more than it is.
    Pool: ~11,500 Gallon Free Form, In Ground, Plaster, 23x17 with raised Spa and SunGrabber Solar
    Pump: STA RITE Dyna Glass MPF series 1.5 HP
    Filter: Cartridge Pro Clean PCCF-100

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    40

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    UPDATE!!

    Just took the filter out and started the pump...and what do you know the pump basket filled completely up, and suddenly water started roaring out of the spa and into the pool.

    Turn the only the water feature on and holy **** it shoots up about 4 feet! made a mess everywhere since it was aimed wrong.

    Well we found the problem..now does this mean I simply need a new filter or that the filter is way too small for my pool? the filter looks completely clean, as I clean it daily to get all the algae out of it through this shock period. but obviously it must not be?
    Pool: ~11,500 Gallon Free Form, In Ground, Plaster, 23x17 with raised Spa and SunGrabber Solar
    Pump: STA RITE Dyna Glass MPF series 1.5 HP
    Filter: Cartridge Pro Clean PCCF-100

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    40

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    Ok so I brought my filter in and it looks perfectly clean to me, but the amount of flow I am getting says otherwise..

    Why is this? I am guessing I need to just replace it, but I am just wondering why? If it is clean what is causing it to not flow..I feel like I am missing something. I don't get it.
    Pool: ~11,500 Gallon Free Form, In Ground, Plaster, 23x17 with raised Spa and SunGrabber Solar
    Pump: STA RITE Dyna Glass MPF series 1.5 HP
    Filter: Cartridge Pro Clean PCCF-100

  14. Back To Top    #14
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    11,489

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    Have you tried soaking the filter in water with dishwasher detergent?

    If that doesn't work, you could try an acid soak.
    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

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    40

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    No I haven't I will have to do that and see if it helps. if that doesn't work, What kind of acid do I use to soak it in and where would I get it?

    the filter size from what has been said and what I am finding is way too small for my 1 1/2hp pump. I am not going to spend $60 on a new filter that isn't the proper size, so I think I am going to upgrade to something larger. Craigslist has some amazing deals, so I think I can pick up a whole new setup for under $100. Until then I will do what I can to clean this filter and make do for a week or two.

    Thanks for all the help guys. I am making good progress!
    Pool: ~11,500 Gallon Free Form, In Ground, Plaster, 23x17 with raised Spa and SunGrabber Solar
    Pump: STA RITE Dyna Glass MPF series 1.5 HP
    Filter: Cartridge Pro Clean PCCF-100

  16. Back To Top    #16
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    11,489

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    If you are planning to replace the filter anyway, then just try the dishwasher soak and see if that works. You need to do that first anyway before the acid soak.
    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

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    3,899

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    Glad it worked!
    Look deep within the pleats, and you may be surprised what you find down in there! It can look perfectly clean at first glance, but still have goo in it.

    The dishwasher soap trick should dissolve any oily gunk that may be clogging it up, but isn't really visible. I'd give that a shot, as Mark suggested.

    You can get by with that size filter, it'll just require more frequent and diligent cleaning.
    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

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    40

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    Thought I would update you all!! I soaked the filter in dishwasher detergent in a cooler last night and after putting it back in this morning it now flows just like it did without the filter.

    When this whole issue started, with the "clean" filter, at least I thought, it was running at 23psi. Now today after soaking the filter and it actually being clean for once, it is running at 8psi

    Thanks for all the help everyone. you all solved my headache, and it was such an easy, FREE fix!!

    I still think I may upgrade to a larger filter setup though in the next month. Do you all think my size filter is causing my 1 1/2 hp pump to work harder than it needs to, and it to not be as efficient? Perhaps I am wrong, and I can just keep what I have.

    My Parents have a 15,000 gallon pool with a 1 HP pump and 120 FT filter, so I was thinking with over half a HP more than them, my filter is holding me back maybe.
    Pool: ~11,500 Gallon Free Form, In Ground, Plaster, 23x17 with raised Spa and SunGrabber Solar
    Pump: STA RITE Dyna Glass MPF series 1.5 HP
    Filter: Cartridge Pro Clean PCCF-100

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    40

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    OK I just got home and noticed water flowing over the spa was hardly anything again. Went out and checked the pressure at the filter and it was back up to 20 psi

    There is no way it can be clogged up and dirty from only a few hours of use. Right? What the heck is going on here? I took the filter out and it looks as clean as it did when I put it in. I don't get how it can flow great for a half hour or so (the time I was monitoring it before I left this morning) and then I get back several hours later and it isn't flowing again.

    needless to say, the filter is out once again and I am running it with no filter for now.
    Pool: ~11,500 Gallon Free Form, In Ground, Plaster, 23x17 with raised Spa and SunGrabber Solar
    Pump: STA RITE Dyna Glass MPF series 1.5 HP
    Filter: Cartridge Pro Clean PCCF-100

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    22,347

    Re: Pool Pump has low flow/suction and basket has Air Pocket

    It actually could clog up in that short a time. Though it's probably time for a new filter. If you're gonna get a new filter and not just a new element I'd recommend at least a 200 sqft for a pool your size and even 300 if it's feasible.
    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

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •