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Thread: Another "air in the lines" question

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    Another "air in the lines" question

    First of all let me say I'm aware that this is probably the most frequently asked question on the forum. I have tried to avail myself of previous posts on this question but nothing seems to quiet fit my situation. I am also aware that air leaks causing primming problems are a vacuum side problem and the prime suspect is the O ring on the basket lid.
    The equipment: I have a 24 yr old Sta-Rite system. On the vacuum side I have a new 1-1/2 hp motor; new impeller housing on the motor side; new O ring, impeller, diffuser, and seal; original basket; other half of the impeller housing and Jandy valve. New O ring for the basket lid. Just to round out the equipment, on the pressure side I have the stainless steel dome type filter, a little used chlorinator and a Polaris booster pump.

    The pump failed to prime one morning which resulted in the motor side rebuild of impeller housing, impeller, diffuser, seal and basket O ring (the motor had been replaced earlier in the fall). Even after this it did not want to prime. I could get it to prime by filling the basket up with water and then turning it on. No visable leaks anywhere. I smeared liquid dish washing soap over everywhere air could possibly get in but never saw the first bubble. Plenty of water pressure jetting into the pool but air as well. At this point I began to suspect the lines because I was running out of suspects. (I'm aware that it seldom is the lines). Turning the Jandy valve from skimmer to drain made no difference, however and it seems unlikely that both lines would have leaks, although the baffle in that 24 yr old Jandy may not make a perfect seal. Also mitigating against a leak in the lines is the fact that the water is clear. My son had a leak in one of his lines and the water turned red (Georgia clay). I'm in Florida, so I have sand instead, but it seems like I would see something. The only unusual thing I noticed is when I filled the basket up to make it prime. Over 24 years I've had to do that more than once and it was always a bit of a race to get the lid back on and pump turned off before the water drained out. Not this time. Even though I filled the basket up to the brim, well over the inlet pipe from the Jandy--nothing drained out. Even when I rotated the Jandy from skimmer to drain and back. So-both lines obstruced? Seems unlikely, and in addition I have plenty of water coming through the system when it's on. I have ordered a Drain King. The pool did prime itself this morning but there is still air in the lines. I can bleed it off by opening the valve on top of the filter a little bit but that will probably only contribute to the priming problem. How about the old Jandy? It looks solid, diverts flow the way it should, it's never been opened, and it shows no signs of any cracks. I'm at a loss here. Ideas anyone?

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Another "air in the lines" question

    Welcome to the forum!!

    How about the drain plug(s) on the pump basket? Are they sealed with teflon or pipe dope?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Another "air in the lines" question

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Obstruction sounds like the most obvious thing, but- with a 24 year old system - it could be some strange confluence of other issues (like low water in the pool, a suction side leak, a return leak, a bad gasket on the Jandy valve ...).

    Try the Drain King, please be patient, often it can take ~ 20 minutes to see the first results. Let us know how that works out and we'll advise further.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Another "air in the lines" question

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Welcome to the forum!!

    How about the drain plug(s) on the pump basket? Are they sealed with teflon or pipe dope?
    There is one on the side of the basket and one on the bottom of the impeller housiing attached to the basket. Neither have ever been removed, nor has the housing ever been seperated from the basket

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    Re: Another "air in the lines" question

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Welcome to TFP!!

    Obstruction sounds like the most obvious thing, but- with a 24 year old system - it could be some strange confluence of other issues (like low water in the pool, a suction side leak, a return leak, a bad gasket on the Jandy valve ...).

    Try the Drain King, please be patient, often it can take ~ 20 minutes to see the first results. Let us know how that works out and we'll advise further.
    Water level is O.K. I'm kind of zeroing in on the Jandy just because it's old and everything else seems eliminated. Tell me something about using the Drain King. If there is an obstruction it would have had to come in from the skimmer end so it seems logical to first try and blow out the line from the basket end. Is my thinking right? I was surprised to hear that it might take 20 minutes or longer. I thought it would be over in a matter of seconds.

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    Re: Another "air in the lines" question

    Neither have ever been removed,
    If you are running out of options, I'd check (reseal) them anyway.....pumps vibrate

    Since the leak is not obvious, it will take eliminating all the possibilities until you discover it.

    With the pump off but primed, how long will it stay that way? i.e. How long does it take for the water to drain out of the basket?

    Have you reinspected how the pump was put back together?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Another "air in the lines" question

    Well here's a new twist. I'm sitting at the breakfast table this morning waiting to see if the pump will prime itself. It does! Second morning in row! Fried that egg! Fifteen minutes later I glance at the pool and it's smooth as glass. I go out expecting to see the motor running and that the pump has lost its prime. Wrong! The motor is not running. I know he is thermaly protected but why would it cut off after it got the hard work done? I let it cool down and tried to start it. No luck. Just a loud buzz, although one time the shaft rotated a couple of turns. Called the distributor and he says it sounds like a bad motor. He's checking with the manufacturer. This soap opera continues..............

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    Re: Another "air in the lines" question

    Get a rebuild kit for the Jandy valve. I have been getting lots of air in my vacuum line, and this appears to have been corrected using a rebuild kit (o-rings) and silicone lube for the Jandy valve. Given that the leak happens regardless of position of the Jandy valve, this would be the most likely candidate. Other than this, you could potentially have a leak in the plumbing between the Jandy and the suction inlet for the pump. Also, it would be a good idea to put some silicone lube on the r-ring for the pump lid if you haven't already done so.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Another "air in the lines" question

    Well I have resolved the motor issue. I'll have to say that inyopools showed some really responsive customer service. the customer service rep went over to their warehouse and picked a new one up and brought it back to their call center so I could pick it up. Saved about $19 worth of shipping. But--still have air in the lines. I'm still suspecting that 24 yr old Jandy, but rather tham rebuild or replace it I'm thinking of just installing two ball valves, one in the skimmer line and one in the drain line. If I "T" them together at the top I can do anything with them that I can with the Jandy and a WHOLE lot less expensive. Anybody else ever try that?

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Another "air in the lines" question

    My set up uses 2 gate valves that feed into a "T"-fitting to the pump inlet. Works well.
    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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