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Thread: how to diagnose and fix weak suction for suction cleaners?

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    how to diagnose and fix weak suction for suction cleaners?

    I have several automatic pool cleaners that rely on suction. They didn't work well when we moved in a few months ago -- someone somewhat knowledgeable ascribed their listless performance to "weak suction" so we've been relying on a pressure-side Polaris 280. That person may or may not have known what they are talking about.

    I would like to figure out if the suction is indeed weak either on the pump end or on the skimmer end. It would be nice to be able to use those suction-side cleaners: the pool is very large. The pool was built in 2006 and the pumps are Hayward SP4015NSs.

    What equipment do I need to buy and use to figure this out? I have a vacuum gauge and several pressure gauges on order.

    Alternately, if there are suction-side cleaners that work well with less suction than my current cleaners, that would be useful to know. The cleaners that came with the house are black Hayward Navigators .
    60k gallon (est), 83ft PebbleTech pool, spa. Goldline Aqualogic controller, AQL-PS-8. 2 Hayward SwimClear C5025 filters. Hayward H400ED2 heater. 2 T-15 SWG. Pool pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor. Spa pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.0 HP Emerson 1081 motor (SF 1.4, RPM 3450, Amps SF 6.2-5.8/11.6). Hayward 5060 3/4HP booster pump. 6' x 9' waterfall driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump (115 GPM @ 47' of head & 2200 watts). Spa jets driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor (SF 1.6, RPM 3450, Amps SF 11.0 - 10.2/20.4) Still learning!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: how to diagnose and fix weak suction for suction cleaner

    ONce you get the vacuum gauge you can install it at the pump strainer basket and that'll tell us of you have good suction there. If you do there then you can rig up a cap with the gauge in it and attach it to the skimmer or wall suction if you have one and take a reading there. Then start closing off things (if you have more than just one skimmer) and take readings as you close them off. That'll tell us what & where the problem is.
    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: how to diagnose and fix weak suction for suction cleaner

    Thanks Dave. What kind of cap (for rigging the gauge up) do I need to buy? I can order it today. And how do you close off skimmers?
    60k gallon (est), 83ft PebbleTech pool, spa. Goldline Aqualogic controller, AQL-PS-8. 2 Hayward SwimClear C5025 filters. Hayward H400ED2 heater. 2 T-15 SWG. Pool pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor. Spa pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.0 HP Emerson 1081 motor (SF 1.4, RPM 3450, Amps SF 6.2-5.8/11.6). Hayward 5060 3/4HP booster pump. 6' x 9' waterfall driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump (115 GPM @ 47' of head & 2200 watts). Spa jets driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor (SF 1.6, RPM 3450, Amps SF 11.0 - 10.2/20.4) Still learning!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: how to diagnose and fix weak suction for suction cleaner

    You'll need something that will fit in the hole of the skimmer that you can screw the gauge into. Or you could use a piece of tubing to extend the gauge above the water. If you have a vacuum plate you could use something that would fit that.

    To close off the other skimmers all you have to do is get a tennis ball, gizmo, or other object that is bigger than the hole but is small enough to fit over it and let the skimmer suck it down on the hole. Unless you have individual valved lines ran from each skimmer to the pad.
    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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