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Thread: Air in filter basket and filter

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    Air in filter basket and filter

    I have an IG pool with Cartridge Filter that is about 10 years old ( I've had it 2) .
    It's been pretty reliable until this season. I keep getting air in the filter and pump basket.
    I know suction side leak. I've tried shaving cream , Isolating the lines ( each skimmer and main), no luck.
    Checked all Orings , they are lubed and sealed, many brand new. Hired a guy , he said I have no suction leak
    since no air is viewable through the pre-pump view port ( sorry I don't know the proper name but it houses the
    backflow preventer ). Several pool guys later they say there is no problem, but everywhere I read there should
    be no air in the filter basket ( and there never used to be ). Pressure is 16. Filters clean, pool clean, chemistry spot on.
    If I start it up , bleed air from filter, hour later pressure is 5 and pump basket is very low. No visible
    water leaks. I've spent weeks trying to solve this so I can put the thing on auto, now it's got to be primed
    every time I start. Odd thing occasionally all works perfectly and runs hours w/o attention, then the next time
    it wont. Desperately seeking advice, I've been trying everything I can except replacing all equipment.

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    Re: Air in filter basket and filter

    Welcome to the forum. As you know, you have a suction side air leak. It is disappointing you pool guy doesn't recognize that. I am a little confused with your terminology.

    The pump strainer basket (clear lid on the front part of the pump assembly is the one that begins to show air instead of being completely full of water, right? What is that other pre-pump device? Is it a check valve (I think)? Can you ever see any bubbles in it? Got a pic?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Air in filter basket and filter

    Thanks, this problem is driving me nuts. Here's a pict of what I'm talking about.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/1158723919 ... 4176164850
    others here in case that clarifies things
    https://picasaweb.google.com/1158723919 ... oolSystems

    It's a window before the filter basket that houses a backflow preventer. I'm not so convinced it's a suction side leak anymore , though that is the majority opinion. I've checked every fitting's orings are fine, isolated each skimmer / main ( leaving me to believe it's not with regards to a particular line. And I did the shaving cream test, no suction evidence. How else does one diagnoss this ?

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    Re: Air in filter basket and filter

    That backflow preventer (which is a good description) is a jandy check valve. Air can only enter the system during operation on the suction side of the system.......water leaks on the pressure side. It's a suction side leak if you have air in the pump strainer basket (and it looks like you do)

    Have you tightened and checked the drain plugs on the pump basket? Is the O-ring making a perfect seal? Can you see air passing through the check valve when the pump is running?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Air in filter basket and filterHe

    Jandy Check valve ahh thanks. Thanks to google I have gotten a sense of what you are saying and I specifically hired a pool guy to find a suction side problem since I checked everything ( I think ) and all seemed ok . He seemed stumped then said it's ok to have air in there , I said it never did before. Even another pool guy I spoke to who I showed picts said the same. Have checked the O-Rings on the Jandy valve and the filter plug ( even gooped them ). No air passes through the check valve which is what the guy I hired said was proof there was no suction leak, and he checked the drain plugs too. Eventually he said the impeller is the issue, which didn't really make sense to me. At that point he wanted to sell/install a new pump. IMHO the pump seems fine , but I haven't taken it apart.... Yet. Not sure if it's worth the effort or should I really get a new pump. If I do it would really be unfortunate if the problem didn't go away and I replaced a perfectly fine pump.

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    Re: Air in filter basket and filter

    Interesting how even people in the business often misdiagnose so many problems. Some are right on the money but many are not.

    Well, if there are absolutely no bubbles in the check valve (you must check very closely) then the system is sucking air somewhere between the check valve and the impeller. I can't tell you where exactly that is but that's got it narrowed down some.

    Have you tried listening for it? Prime the pump, bleed the air out from the filter and get the psi back up to 16, then shut it off.

    Next, start listening at every possible joint in the suction side. Some folks take a length of pvc pipe and hold it to the different areas as sort of a "hearing aid"

    BTW, you have checked that your pool level is deep enough so that no air can be sucked in from the skimmer? Even sporadically.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Air in filter basket and filter

    You definitely have a suction side leak. Since you don't see any air in the check valve it has to be between it and the impeller. There have been a few reports where the strainer basket lid had a minute crack that wasn't visible except under close inspection.

    You should run water over the plumbing and pump basket to see if the bubbles go away. We've had reports of shaving cream not working.

    Dave & I were saying the same thing.
    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: Air in filter basket and filter

    If the skimmer is overfull it can suck air. Also if the skimmer door is blocked by something (floating pine cone) it can suck air. Plus pool water level too low can cause it to suck air. But you'd probably see that air pass the check valve.

    Asking the pros now..... any chance this is cavitation?
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Air in filter basket and filter

    any chance this is cavitation?
    No....symptoms would not suggest that.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Air in filter basket and filter

    I had a problem with air in the basket at one of the water feature pumps. Initially I thought it was a suction side air leak. PBS came and pulled a piece of plaster stuck in the suction line. Air in the pump basket was caused by cavitation. Now everything is fine
    NW Houston: 25K gunite pool & spa and pebble finish. Travertine deck.
    Pentair pumps: VS (pool); 2HP & 1.5HP (water features); booster pump
    400K gas heater; 520 cartridge filter; IntelliTouch + 8 function wireless

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    Re: Air in filter basket and filter

    OP states that he is able to get 16 psi when starting the pump.....that's not cavitation.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Air in filter basket and filter

    The pump runs at 16, but sometimes when the water in the basket gets really low it goes down to 5. What is cavitation ?

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    Re: Air in filter basket and filter

    hmm...... looks familiar.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Air in filter basket and filter

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Interesting how even people in the business often misdiagnose so many problems. Some are right on the money but many are not.

    Well, if there are absolutely no bubbles in the check valve (you must check very closely) then the system is sucking air somewhere between the check valve and the impeller. I can't tell you where exactly that is but that's got it narrowed down some.

    Have you tried listening for it? Prime the pump, bleed the air out from the filter and get the psi back up to 16, then shut it off.

    Next, start listening at every possible joint in the suction side. Some folks take a length of pvc pipe and hold it to the different areas as sort of a "hearing aid"

    BTW, you have checked that your pool level is deep enough so that no air can be sucked in from the skimmer? Even sporadically.

    Thanks for the reply , I wish we could find someone who could help. I don't mind doing things myself , but at a point one hopes experience would prevail and I don't have that. So the returns spew air bubbles like nuts. The pool level is ideal according to my knowledge ( mid skimmer ) . When I shut down the system I hear loads of gurgleing, which sounds wrong to my un-experienced ears. I'll try the "hearing aid" approach, at this point I'm desperate since continuing to hire people to fix this is not economically sound. Could it be the impeller ? I read somewhere that could be an issue, though from an engineering point of view that doesn't make sense. If replacing the pump is in order I'll do it , but my fear is I'll do that and wont solve anything.

    Thanks again for taking the time to reply!!

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    Re: Air in filter basket and filter

    How would I know it it's cavitation ? Is it worth the effort to remove and dismantle the pump ?

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    Re: Air in filter basket and filter

    If it turns out to be the pump, it's because the pump is sucking in air. There are very few places that can occur on the pump so should be easy to locate.

    The gurgling you hear is all the air that has been sucked into your filter and is now trying to get out.

    The answer is very basic but apparently difficult to locate.

    Air is being sucked into your system. That can occur only in areas where the pressure is lower than the outside....i.e. somewhere between the skimmer and the pump. Being repetitive, once you find that source of air, your issues are over.

    (It's not the impeller.)
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Air in filter basket and filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    You definitely have a suction side leak. Since you don't see any air in the check valve it has to be between it and the impeller. There have been a few reports where the strainer basket lid had a minute crack that wasn't visible except under close inspection.

    You should run water over the plumbing and pump basket to see if the bubbles go away. We've had reports of shaving cream not working.

    Dave & I were saying the same thing.
    I actually thought the lid might be a problem and happen to have the same exact pump for my waterfall, so I swapped them, no luck. Bummer about the shaving cream , I bet my neighbors thought I was nuts putting shaving cream all over my pool systems, but that let's you know how desperate I am.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Air in filter basket and filter

    Have you resealed the drain plugs?
    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: Air in filter basket and filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Have you resealed the drain plugs?
    Yes that was done by the pool guy.

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Air in filter basket and filter

    I'd check them just to be sure.
    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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