In ground gunnite, 20k gals
2 skimmers, 1 main drain
Hayward Super II Pump.
Sand filter w/ side mount Muli-Valve
Pool is approx 20 yrs old. Inherited it in the summer of 2009.
At this time I have no reason to believe that all equipment isn't original, tho I may have seen a receipt for a new pump w/ going thru the paper work te prev. owner left me.
I don't know what it is, so I'll list the symptoms I've witnessed
1) since opening the pool 1.5 weeks ago, I've yet to backwash the filter as pressure hasn't gone up more than 2PSI from what I've come to know normal operating pressure (10 PSI). Pool started w/ 2+ ft viability. Now its all but crystal clear.
2) the past to seasons of running the pool, when looking down in the clear plastic lid to to the pump basket, i would see mostly water, maybe a couple pea sized bubble rolling around when the pump was running, and same for the view bubble on top of the filter. Now, and since opening, the pump looks more like a washing machine, just water sloshing around, and same for the filter. To me that means air in the system.
3) Since day one for me, there has always been water coming from somewhere under the pump, not a lot, but enough to keep the area wet. I could never see it flow necessarily, but it would appear after the pump was running for a bit. Now, I still can't tell where its coming from, but there seems to be somewhat of a greater flow. I could be over sensitive right now considering these new other symptoms.
4) I put my pump on a timer before last season. Works great, I love it, Intermatic T104. Starting this season, I put another set of toggles in so I could run the pump a couple hours over night. So a few times when i check the pool in the morning, one or both of my skim caps are off and the basket is upside down or ajar in the skimmer. So much so that I had myself convinced I wasn't putting the skimmers back together after emptying the baskets the night before. On a humid night, there would actually be wet pool deck around the skimmer caps in the morning, like it overflowed at some point. (so me thinks some kinda reverse flow of water/pressure/bubbles). Not that I have my suspicions, it hasn't happened again, I check after every time I turn the pump off manually.
5) When I turn the pump off, there seems to be a rush of water into the pump basket in the wrong direction. I can hear sloshing going on thru out the pipe work around the pump and filter.
6) When turning the pump off, I would hear water head down my waste pipe. I havea valve after the multivalve on my waste pipe, so I closed that, thinking air was getting into the system that way when I turned the pump off, kinda a pressure release or something, tho I don't much water was escaping the system out of my waste. So I closed that waste valve, and a day later, water was leaking out of my waste view bulb. So I stuck a garden hose washer in there and wrapped the bulb threads in plumbers tape and screwed it back in, leak stopped but I knew I had a bigger problem. More on that later.
7) Last symptom, I noticed for the first time the other day (the last time I ran my pump) that when I turned it off, and I'm watching all the back flow of whatever/air/water, I hear something at the three valves I have for my 2 skimmers and main drain. Don't remember what I heard, but it got my attention, and I see that a little bit of water as escaped from the valve, seemingly from around the stem of the wheel. (I have gate valves, those big metal thins, that look like oversized Garden hose taps.) Leading me to believe I have an issue w/ the valve packing on those valves.
8) I think I'm getting filter sand in in my pool. There's something dark and somewhat heavy that keeps appearing. I vacuum it up, and its back a day or so later. Pool is to cold for me to get in and touch it. But it seems to heavy to dirt as If I go over it w/ the vacuum too fast, it stays put. Needs relatively good suction to get it up.
9) The past few times I've turned the pump on, I've closed the skimmer valves so the pump would prime just off my main drain. Which worries me because if my pump tuned on in the middle of the night before I took it off the timer, it may have run a couple hours w/ out water going thru.
So, driven by symptom 6 above, I replaced the spider gasket on my multi-valve thinking that when the pump was turned off a lack of a good seal @ my waste port was allowing the air in and offering all of that swooshing sound and back flow of water. Sales dude sold me on some Teflon sealant/lubricant that I covered the spider w/ as well as all the other rubber gaskets I could get to. (one on the cap of the multi valve, and the one under the lid of the pump basket)
My hopes were high. Cranked up the pump, let it run for several minutes. The air never cleared, pressure didn't build in the filter. I turn it off and see water rush back into the pump basket, I hear air sucking around. And this is also when I saw the water near the skimmer and main drain valves. Pump has been off since then.
The things I'm contemplaing are
1) replace the packing on those three vavles (2 skimmer, 1 main drain). Everything I'm reading is telling me that if air is getting in the system, it has to be on the vacuum side, duh, where is there negative pressure. So somewhere b/w the pump and the skimmers/main drain.
2) crack open my pump and see what seals need replacing. I'm guessing any water emerging from the bottom of my pump is bad.
3) Could my multivavle be malufuncitoning, like is the plunger not seating well/completely? There's some play in the handle when left in its operational position, COuld the spring or washers in that system need replacing?
Do I have three (or more) problems here so I need three solutions? Should i tackle one before the other? Can I handle any of them? Am I off the mark on any of this?
Sorry, I tend to blabber. Pictures are worth a thousand words, so if there's something I could take a picture of or a video, lemme know.
Thanks for any help anybody has to offer. I've got an almost 3yr old begging to get in the pool, but I'm not officially opening until I've got the water flow straight and the pump not losing prime when turned off.
This is a video I took of my pump when I opened last season. I'll gladly grab another video if it helps anyone.