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Thread: pulsating pump/filter basket

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    pulsating pump/filter basket

    When I turn on my pump, regardless of where I have the filter switched to, i get a pulsating action. The water level in the baseket increases, then the pump forces the water out to the returns, and then the water level in the basket drops. As the basket fills back up, the action repeats. It does this set to filter, backwash, & circulate.

    It only does it when the pump is on high speed. The pressure gauge swings back and forth in time with the pulsating action. When the pump is on slow speed, i get a slow but regular flow through the pump/filter.

    What could cause this. It seems to me that the line from the skimmer could be partially blocked, to where there isnt enough flow from the skimmer to keep up with the pump. If thats the case, how do I cure it? I could cut one of the lines, and stick the pressure washer down it. However there is not much space betwen the ground and the pump to re-join the skimmer line. Would it be ok to cut the line between pump and filter, and run the pressure through the pump, and therefore down the skimmer line?
    16'x34' IG Vinyl. 1.5HP Hayward 2spd. Hayward S244T sand. Nitro wall climber.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: pulsating pump/filter basket

    Look for low water level in the skimmer, or a stuck weir (the skimmer flapper). Also check that you don't have a lot of air trapped in the filter.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: pulsating pump/filter basket

    Water level is high from all the rain over winter. I was trying to run some to waste. How do I check for trapped air in the filter?
    16'x34' IG Vinyl. 1.5HP Hayward 2spd. Hayward S244T sand. Nitro wall climber.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: pulsating pump/filter basket

    Quote Originally Posted by ncbrit
    Water level is high from all the rain over winter. I was trying to run some to waste. How do I check for trapped air in the filter?
    Open the air bleed until water comes out. Although I looked up the filter in your signature and it looks like you may not have an air bleed since the outlet is already at the top.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: pulsating pump/filter basket

    yeah, theres no air bleed valve. I tried running a regular hosepipe down it for a while, but nothing changed. I think i'm going to have to cut one of the pipes, or try to find some kind of 90 degree attachment for the pressure washer to try and blow out the skimmer line. All my plumbing is glued hard, so I cant just unscrew the joints.
    16'x34' IG Vinyl. 1.5HP Hayward 2spd. Hayward S244T sand. Nitro wall climber.

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    Re: pulsating pump/filter basket

    after reading this, pump-strainer-basket-issue-t41008.html

    i think i found the issue. I could hear air hissing in the area around the motor/pump housing. I unbolted the motor, and found a small area where the o-ring was pinched.
    16'x34' IG Vinyl. 1.5HP Hayward 2spd. Hayward S244T sand. Nitro wall climber.

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    Re: pulsating pump/filter basket

    That didnt fix it. I replaced all the seals in the pump, and also the one at the strainer lid. It still fills then empties, fills then empties. I also noticed that the returns blow then suck, blow then suck. I put my hand over the skimmer suction hole, and noticed that the suction pressure seems really weak.

    I think my next step is to try a drain king to blow the skimmer line backwards.
    16'x34' IG Vinyl. 1.5HP Hayward 2spd. Hayward S244T sand. Nitro wall climber.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: pulsating pump/filter basket

    That's probably your easiest to try. If that doesn't work it's off leak hunting.
    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: pulsating pump/filter basket

    I purchased a cobra at lowes. I did get flow through the line, but I cant tell if its losing any along the way, due to the high water level in the skimmer. I would need a way to measure the pressure in the line. I have a long thin steel fish tape (electricians kind) that I'm going to try. If its a leak, I'm 100% confident its not at the pump, and must be underground. With the skimmer line being suction, wouldnt I see dirt in the water that enters the strainer though?
    16'x34' IG Vinyl. 1.5HP Hayward 2spd. Hayward S244T sand. Nitro wall climber.

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    Re: pulsating pump/filter basket

    I would assume your underground pipes are fine....they almost always are. You are sucking air into your system somewhere between the skimmers and the pump.

    Even if the pipes are clogged (and it sounds like they are not) you are still sucking air into the system. finding that air leak will solve the problem.

    Did the hissing near the pump stop?

    I assume you have checked the most common place for that to occur....the o-ring around the pump basket lid.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: pulsating pump/filter basket

    Yes, the hissing stopped. I replaced all three seals including the o-ring around the pump basket, and used magic lube on them. Its what they had at the pool store. I've also tried running a water hose over the usual suspect areas, and it doesnt help.

    I'm thinking its probably time to call in the professionals.
    16'x34' IG Vinyl. 1.5HP Hayward 2spd. Hayward S244T sand. Nitro wall climber.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: pulsating pump/filter basket

    Have you checked the drain plugs on the pump? That's another common place.
    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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    Re: pulsating pump/filter basket

    I put PTFE tape around them when I first had the issue, I could take them back out and reseat them with some of the magic lube on them.
    16'x34' IG Vinyl. 1.5HP Hayward 2spd. Hayward S244T sand. Nitro wall climber.

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    Re: pulsating pump/filter basket

    Pool guy has been working on it on and off for the last week. First he took the pump apart. No issues there, so at least I know I replaced the seals correctly. Then he pressure tested the skimmer line. No issues there either. Determined that it must have been a clog. He tried blowing it out, and couldnt get it moved, and was planning on bringing a higher pressure pump. Then yesterday he called, and said he had gotten a wad of leaves and pine needles out using a sewer cleaner with a corkscrew device on the end. Everything is flowing good now, and I have the shocking process underway
    16'x34' IG Vinyl. 1.5HP Hayward 2spd. Hayward S244T sand. Nitro wall climber.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: pulsating pump/filter basket

    Whoohoo!

    Glad you found it and got it out of there, even if you did have to employ help.
    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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