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Thread: pump strainer basket issue

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    pump strainer basket issue

    I'm having an issue with my pump strainer. When the pump is off the strainer assembly is full of water all the way tp the lid but when you turn the pump on it just about empties out. The suction line from the pool to the pump will constantly flow water into the strainer but the water never fills up more than maybe the height of the strainer basket inside the assembly. The pump seems to be pumping the water but I have very little flow from the jets in pool and alot of air bubbles. I'm guessing that the pump is pulling air in from somewhere? I replaced the O ring on the strainer lid this morning and that didn't fix the issue. I poured water over all the PVC connections associated with the pump and strainer basket but found no air bubbles or places where water sucked in. Anyone had this issue before or know what else I can check or try to do? Guy at pool store said I may have a hairline crack in lid and I could try to replace the actual lid.
    Ed Klein
    My Backyard Setup with Pictures
    Pictures of my Build Process
    27,000 gallons total
    IG plaster pool with waterfall/slide and 10' OD hot tub
    SWCG - Pentair IC-40 with Easytouch 8 automation
    Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS filter pump with 150gpm cartridge filter
    Built Summer 2012 - Houston, Texas area

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: pump strainer basket issue

    There are several place to get air into the system. You've addressed one of them. Did you lube the o-ring good after you replaced it? That makes a big difference.
    Another is the drain plug in the basket. Reseal that and tighten it.
    Check the skimmer weir and make sure it's not sticking. Check the water level in the skimmer when the pump is running to make sure it's not creating a vortex.
    After you've checked all that then check any valves for leakage around the stems, etc.
    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: pump strainer basket issue

    Yes, I forgot to mention that I did check the drain plug. I removed it and reinstalled it. As for lubing the lid O ring, what do I use to do that? I inquired about it at the pool store and guy there said he wasn't familiar with having to do that. He said I could use silicone but to me that didn't sound right because once it cures I'd have a heck of a time getting the lid off. How do I reseal the drain plug? Use teflon tape on the threads?
    I checked the weir and it's functioning right and theres no vortex in skimmer when pump is running.
    Ed Klein
    My Backyard Setup with Pictures
    Pictures of my Build Process
    27,000 gallons total
    IG plaster pool with waterfall/slide and 10' OD hot tub
    SWCG - Pentair IC-40 with Easytouch 8 automation
    Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS filter pump with 150gpm cartridge filter
    Built Summer 2012 - Houston, Texas area

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: pump strainer basket issue

    You use silicon pool lube. It doesn't cure like caulking does.

    Teflon tape or paste will work on the drain plug.
    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: pump strainer basket issue

    OK, thanks for the quick rsponse. I'll try it and see what I find.
    Ed Klein
    My Backyard Setup with Pictures
    Pictures of my Build Process
    27,000 gallons total
    IG plaster pool with waterfall/slide and 10' OD hot tub
    SWCG - Pentair IC-40 with Easytouch 8 automation
    Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS filter pump with 150gpm cartridge filter
    Built Summer 2012 - Houston, Texas area

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    Re: pump strainer basket issue

    OK, I teflon taped the drain plug on the strainer and silicone lubed the strainer lid. I also found where there were 2 fittitngs both the suction and discharge side of my booster pump that were loose were able to be moved by hand. I thought this could have been allowing air to enter the system somehow so I cut the piping and reinstalled new fitttings. I purchased a drain king and made sure the line from skimmer at pool to pump wasn't plugged. I blew it from the pump back to the skimmer. Water appeared to be flowing back into the skimmer and nothing came out so I figured it was free. After doing all this over the last few days the problem still exists. My pump is still starving for water.
    I contacted the company that installed my pool and he said to take the main pump apart and check the impeller to make sure it wasn't clogged with trash. I took it apart and it was fine. He came over yesterday to look at everything and he too took pump apart and verified it was ok. He told me that he installed a check valve in the line when he originally put pool sysyem in and that it sounded like the check valve had trash/leaves in it and was clogged so it was restricting the flow to the pump. He said it would either in the line near the pump or the strainer probably no more than a few feet down thge line once it straightened out. The pump was the easier of the two to access so I have spent all morning digging up my yard. I located the pipe and went down it 4 feet once it 90'd out straight and still havent found it. I'm guessing it's going to be near the strainer. Does this checkvalve sound like it could be causing the problem?
    I ask because I am about to get into a major job trying to locate this checkvalve. We have a 4 foot by 50 foot retaining wall off the back of our pool because our backyard has a severe slope. Digging up the pipe to access the checkvalve is going to require digging down into the area within the wall, removing the landscaping, tearing down the wall, and reassembling all the pavers once we're done. Just want someone with more experience and knowledge to confirm this may solve my pump issue?

    And if there's a checkvalve should I try to use the drain king and blow the line from the skimmer to the pump strainer basket since that is the intended flow direction. I blew it from the pump strainer to the skimmer bc I read several posts on here saying not to blow the line back to the pump. But if there is a checkvalve and I blew it from the pump back to skimmer I essentially was restricted by the checkvalve because I was trying to flow against it.
    Ed Klein
    My Backyard Setup with Pictures
    Pictures of my Build Process
    27,000 gallons total
    IG plaster pool with waterfall/slide and 10' OD hot tub
    SWCG - Pentair IC-40 with Easytouch 8 automation
    Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS filter pump with 150gpm cartridge filter
    Built Summer 2012 - Houston, Texas area

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: pump strainer basket issue

    If you could blow water from the pump back to the skimmer then either the check valve is stuck open or it doesn't exist. I vote for the latter!
    You can remove the drain king and stick the open hose in the pump basket sealed with a rag and force water back to the skimmer. If it doesn't build much back pressure I'd say the line is fully open.

    A stuck check valve might cause the suction head to be higher but it wouldn't cause air to get into the system unless it's also leaking (which is doubtful.

    I have serious doubts about the builder. A clogged impeller would make the 'air in the system' better, not worse, because it wouldn't pump as much and therefore would produce less suction head.

    Can you post a pic of the pad equipment? That might give us a clue of places to check for air leaks. The leak is going to be on the suction side of the pump. Are there any valves on the suction side? one could be leaking around the stem or body.
    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: pump strainer basket issue

    Dave J, where are you located? I only ask because I see South Alabama in your profile on the side and I'm in Mobile so thought we may be close.
    I appreciate the info. I'm about to pull my hair out trying to figure out whats going on. The checkvalve thing just didn't sound right to me especially after I started to think about the fact that I blew the line back from the suction side of the pump to the skimmer and got a water flow back into the skimmer. The only thing I know to replace at this point in maybe the lid to the strainer basket, maybe it has a hairline crack? Or the strainer basket assembly, as it may have some type of crack somewhere?
    Ed Klein
    My Backyard Setup with Pictures
    Pictures of my Build Process
    27,000 gallons total
    IG plaster pool with waterfall/slide and 10' OD hot tub
    SWCG - Pentair IC-40 with Easytouch 8 automation
    Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS filter pump with 150gpm cartridge filter
    Built Summer 2012 - Houston, Texas area

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: pump strainer basket issue

    I'm several miles north of you up 43.

    You can try running a water hose over the lid while the pump is running and see if the air slows down a bit. In fact you can run water over any of the suction side plumbing while it's running and see if it helps any.

    If you don't find it soon, maybe I can come take a look at it for you.
    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: pump strainer basket issue

    Thanks man, I'll give the water hose thing a try.
    Ed Klein
    My Backyard Setup with Pictures
    Pictures of my Build Process
    27,000 gallons total
    IG plaster pool with waterfall/slide and 10' OD hot tub
    SWCG - Pentair IC-40 with Easytouch 8 automation
    Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS filter pump with 150gpm cartridge filter
    Built Summer 2012 - Houston, Texas area

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    Re: pump strainer basket issue

    Check the plugs on the bottom of the pump basket again. Those can be really sneaky for air leaks. I had one crack last year. The pump was starved for water, no flow out the returns, and the pressure on the filter was nothing. I fiddled around for an hour trying to run it down. I finally ran my hand over the front plug and was able to feel it. I used my fingers to keep the air from leaking and the basket filled back up. I just needed to replace the plug. There was no water coming out, just a little bit of a crack was enough to cause the pump to starve.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: pump strainer basket issue

    Ok, I'll check it again. You're talking about the drain plug in the strainer basket, right? I only have one in mine. I'll check it, redo the Teflon tape, and reinstall.
    Ed Klein
    My Backyard Setup with Pictures
    Pictures of my Build Process
    27,000 gallons total
    IG plaster pool with waterfall/slide and 10' OD hot tub
    SWCG - Pentair IC-40 with Easytouch 8 automation
    Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS filter pump with 150gpm cartridge filter
    Built Summer 2012 - Houston, Texas area

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    Re: pump strainer basket issue

    Removed drain plugs from both the strainer basket and the pump, teflon taped them, and reinstalled. I tightened the 4 bolts that attach the strainer basket to the pump. I ran the drain king again. This time I flowed water from the skimmer to the pump strainer basket and from the pump back to the skimmer. Both times I got a good flow coming out the other end with no restrictions or trash. After all this, nothing has changed. The strainer empties out when the pump turns on and the pump appears to starve for water.
    If there's a check valve it must be broke open and not working because when I used the drain king to flow from the pump strainer to skimmer, I immediately got water flowing up through suction opening in skimmer. I encountered no restriction which I believe I should have if there was a check valve in line between the skimmer and pump and I was trying to flow backwards.
    Ed Klein
    My Backyard Setup with Pictures
    Pictures of my Build Process
    27,000 gallons total
    IG plaster pool with waterfall/slide and 10' OD hot tub
    SWCG - Pentair IC-40 with Easytouch 8 automation
    Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS filter pump with 150gpm cartridge filter
    Built Summer 2012 - Houston, Texas area

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: pump strainer basket issue

    You're right about the check valve. Sounds like it never existed.

    I know you said you checked the weir and for a vortex in the skimmer, but it's looking exactly like that's the problem.

    Is your pump above or below the water line?

    Try taking a water hose and running water into the skimmer line while the pump is running and see if the water level in the pump basket changes. Just hang it over in there. Don't try to seal it off. You just want to add to the water going in there.
    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: pump strainer basket issue

    I am late to the dance on this thread but, like bama, it sure sounds like low water level at the skimmer.

    The strainer empties out when the pump turns on and the pump appears to starve for water.
    Keep that in mind as you're searching....that water empties out ONLY because it is being replaced by air.

    The only way that air can be getting in there is to be pulled in somewhere between the pump's impeller and the skimmer. Rarely is that air leak underground or even a cracked pipe. It is usually a seal, a valve that is leaking or some type of opening that allows the air to get in.

    I forgot, did you check to make sure the impeller is not clogged with debris?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: pump strainer basket issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    You're right about the check valve. Sounds like it never existed.

    I know you said you checked the weir and for a vortex in the skimmer, but it's looking exactly like that's the problem.

    Is your pump above or below the water line?

    Try taking a water hose and running water into the skimmer line while the pump is running and see if the water level in the pump basket changes. Just hang it over in there. Don't try to seal it off. You just want to add to the water going in there.
    Pump is above the water line around the side of my home up on a small slab. Rechecked weir and no issues there or vortex. I tried with water hose in the skimmer, it didn't change anything. Water level in there with or without the hose running is unchanged. It is full and even with the pool water level which is right at the level even with overspill drain in side of pool. I know wthat when the pump is running water is definately flowing from pool into the skimmer very well because I sat and watched it flow into skimmer bringing a good flow of water and some leaves that were on top of water.
    Ed Klein
    My Backyard Setup with Pictures
    Pictures of my Build Process
    27,000 gallons total
    IG plaster pool with waterfall/slide and 10' OD hot tub
    SWCG - Pentair IC-40 with Easytouch 8 automation
    Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS filter pump with 150gpm cartridge filter
    Built Summer 2012 - Houston, Texas area

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    Re: pump strainer basket issue

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    I forgot, did you check to make sure the impeller is not clogged with debris?
    Yes I have taken the pump apart as has the pool company that installed pool and checked out the impeller. It is fine with no trash and runs good. I'm still baffled.
    Ed Klein
    My Backyard Setup with Pictures
    Pictures of my Build Process
    27,000 gallons total
    IG plaster pool with waterfall/slide and 10' OD hot tub
    SWCG - Pentair IC-40 with Easytouch 8 automation
    Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS filter pump with 150gpm cartridge filter
    Built Summer 2012 - Houston, Texas area

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    Re: pump strainer basket issue

    Check the fitting in front of pump make sure threads are sealed and housing isn't cracked where it screws in. Is there any valves between skimmer and pump, unions on plumbing, if so check to make sure all orings are in place and nuts holding them are tight. Make sure oring on lid doesnt have a flat spot, check to see that there isn't any dirt or sand between oring and lid and housing.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: pump strainer basket issue

    Quote Originally Posted by swimcmp
    Check the fitting in front of pump make sure threads are sealed and housing isn't cracked where it screws in. Is there any valves between skimmer and pump, unions on plumbing, if so check to make sure all orings are in place and nuts holding them are tight. Make sure oring on lid doesnt have a flat spot, check to see that there isn't any dirt or sand between oring and lid and housing.
    The only fitting on pump suction is a 1 1/2" male threaded fitting that is screwed in and then the PVC is glued into the opening of it. I tried to move it but didn't get any movement indicating it may be loose. I guess I could cut it out and replace it. I don't see any cracks on pump where fitting is. Basically on the suction side of the pump there are 2 lines coming into it. One is from the main drain at bottom of pool and yes, there is a valve installed in pvc there so that it can be blocked and suction just come from the skimmer. It generally stays open. The other line of course is from the skimmer. No unions. I tried blocking the suction from main drain and just pulling suction on the skimmer to see if it would solve the issue and it didn't.
    I replaced the O ring on the lid last week and coated it with silicone pool lube. It didn't resolve my issue either. The only thing I haven't replaced so far is the actual skimmer suction basket assembly where it attaches to pipe and pump and I haven't replaced the actual lid. Someone else told me that I could have a hairline crack in the lid and not be able to actually see it. Yesterday, I tightened the bolts that attach the pump strainer basket to the pump as well.
    Ed Klein
    My Backyard Setup with Pictures
    Pictures of my Build Process
    27,000 gallons total
    IG plaster pool with waterfall/slide and 10' OD hot tub
    SWCG - Pentair IC-40 with Easytouch 8 automation
    Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS filter pump with 150gpm cartridge filter
    Built Summer 2012 - Houston, Texas area

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: pump strainer basket issue

    I just wanted everyone to know that I do appreciate all the helpful suggestions and advice. I've got to figure this thing out soon.
    Ed Klein
    My Backyard Setup with Pictures
    Pictures of my Build Process
    27,000 gallons total
    IG plaster pool with waterfall/slide and 10' OD hot tub
    SWCG - Pentair IC-40 with Easytouch 8 automation
    Pentair Intelliflo VS+SVRS filter pump with 150gpm cartridge filter
    Built Summer 2012 - Houston, Texas area

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