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Thread: Cannot keep bubbles out

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    Cannot keep bubbles out

    I have backwashed my system many times to get it to start flowing, but as soon as I fully open my ball valve on my return line the flow drops to a trickle. I can leave it partially closed and the flow is ok..not perfect. I have an intex 2650 sand pump/filter hard pipped with 1 1/2' pvc. I replaced the plunger valves with ball valves. I have noticed a small drip right at the output of the return line. Is there a way of testing for air leaks? When I do get the flow going good and I turn off the pump to switch it to the timer the water in the skimmer goes way down to where I need to open the lid to let the air out again. I am just at wits end on this and I am driving my wife nuts..
    13500 gallons
    Intex 2650 Sand filter pump
    AG

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    Sounds like the water level is too low.

    When you have no restriction in the return, the flow is greater than the supply, and you suck air in. Check for low water and if there's a flapper in the skimmer, that it doesn't stick.
    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!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    The inlet is full of water..through wall skimmer with pvc attached to the bottom to pump..I can close my return valve and the water will churn fine in the pump, I can open the valve on the return line partially and it will at least flow, but if I open the valve all the way it drops to where the water does not even come through the return and I have to turn off the pump, open the lid to release air and start it again and just hope that I don't open the valve too far or I have to start all over again.
    13500 gallons
    Intex 2650 Sand filter pump
    AG

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    Richard, I would be glad to talk to you as I am probably loosing something in translation on here. PM and I will give you my number if you want.
    13500 gallons
    Intex 2650 Sand filter pump
    AG

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    Not tonight. Bed time here.

    I still say your pump is pushing water out faster than it can suck it in. And eventually it empties itself and loses prime. See what happens if you stick a garden hose running full blast in the skimmer, right down the pipe.
    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!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    I don't understand how to do that. The skimmer is on the pump, then hose goes up to filter.
    13500 gallons
    Intex 2650 Sand filter pump
    AG

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    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    No problem..was just saying. 12:30 here.
    13500 gallons
    Intex 2650 Sand filter pump
    AG

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    Here is what my pump is.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    13500 gallons
    Intex 2650 Sand filter pump
    AG

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    wetchem's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    Can you take a picture of how your pool is actually setup... would be helpfull...
    Would be great to see the water/pool side of the skimmer so that we can see how the water level sits.
    -
    As for the water hose... stick in the the opening of the skimmer... turn the water on full blast... start the pump... open the valves... or is that open the valves and start the pump...
    -wc
    Intex Ultraframe 14'x3.5-Round (4000ish-gal) AG - Vinyl - Intex 5667EG Sand Filter 1600gph :)
    ( retired: 637R Crtrge 1000gph someday it may have another life as a water fountain... or feet washer! Solar Water Heater? )

    :mrgreen: Click here to Goto Pool School. :scratch: How Much Of What? Click Here - Poolcalculator.com :lookhere: TestKits

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    Here is pictures of my setup.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    13500 gallons
    Intex 2650 Sand filter pump
    AG

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    Here is the last picture. Let me know if you need anymore.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    13500 gallons
    Intex 2650 Sand filter pump
    AG

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    I think I see a problem. The pipe coming out of the skimmer is smaller diameter than the return line to the pool. So your pump can push the water out easier than it can pull it in. A 1.5" pipe is 225% bigger than a 1" pipe.
    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!

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    that pipe is 1 1/4" that goes to a 1 1/2"...could it be making that big a difference? I have been looking at the adapter intex sells, but for 20 dollars and some of the reviews I have read scare me.
    13500 gallons
    Intex 2650 Sand filter pump
    AG

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    Quote Originally Posted by wwhite0310
    that pipe is 1 1/4" that goes to a 1 1/2"...could it be making that big a difference? I have been looking at the adapter intex sells, but for 20 dollars and some of the reviews I have read scare me.
    Crunch the numbers. Cross-section of the 1-1/4" pipe is only about 70% of the 1-1/2" pipe. And then there's also the fact that pumps push better than they pull.
    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!

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    So is it a matter of getting the input the same size as the output? I guess I thought since the skimmer is full of water that the pump was pulling enough water.
    13500 gallons
    Intex 2650 Sand filter pump
    AG

  16. Back To Top    #16
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    It is extremely likely that you have an air leak somewhere on the suction side of the plumbing. Try running a garden hose on one connection at a time and see if the air in the pump strainer basket goes away when you are running water on a particular connection. If so, that connection is leaking.

    The pipe size issue is an issue, but it wouldn't cause all of the symptoms described.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  17. Back To Top    #17
    wetchem's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    Try something simple...
    If you can take the cover off the skimer while the pump is in operation, watch how the water is being taken into the line.
    With the cross-area differential, you might be creating a vortex in the strainer body; thus, allowing the pump to suck air when the return is open all of the way.

    I know that this will happen in the smaller waterbaths we have in the lab under certain conditions: I have a waterbath where the drain is on the bottom... it has 1/4" opening. The entire piping used to be 1/4". The pump burnt out, we changed it out with a new pump from the manufacture. The new pump was rated the same, just used 1/2" fittings.... so we used a 1/4" to 1/2" adaptor between the drain tubing and new pump. We upsized the remaining fittings and tubing (the return hole actually was a 1/4" fitting with gasket.. the 1/2" worked without modification). We were actually trying to reduce the force that the return had as it pushed the glass beakers around the waterbath which cause other issues!

    The pump would hiccup... it loose prime, then prime, loose prime, prime... Strangest thing I'd ever seen... my lab manger at the time had never seen anything like it either and he'd been in labs 20 ot 30 years at that time. (always a warm fuzzy when the old timers scratch their heads... confirms that I'm not totally crazy... well, maybe)

    What was happening was that the pump would pull a vortex, suck air, loose prime, then the water would back fill, and the whole thing cycle.

    The manufacture had already solved the same problem for other customers. There were two solutions... the first was that we put a vortex breaker in the waterbath Vortex breaker). The second was that we replaced part of the return tubing with the 1/4".

    The vortex breaker alone worked just fine; however, we weren't getting enough mixing in the bath; thus the second fix - what I found though was that I could take that vortex breaker out of the bottom drain after we reduced the return size. The return to the 1/4" tubing was also suggested by the manufacture; however, when explained why we went to the 1/2" opening, that is when they sent the vortex breaker.

    -wc
    Intex Ultraframe 14'x3.5-Round (4000ish-gal) AG - Vinyl - Intex 5667EG Sand Filter 1600gph :)
    ( retired: 637R Crtrge 1000gph someday it may have another life as a water fountain... or feet washer! Solar Water Heater? )

    :mrgreen: Click here to Goto Pool School. :scratch: How Much Of What? Click Here - Poolcalculator.com :lookhere: TestKits

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    It has to be a suction side leak. Check the gaskets and seals on that original pump. It would also be a good idea to replace that old pump with an adapter. That old pump creates a good bit of suction head, and provides more places for a leak.
    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
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  19. Back To Top    #19
    wetchem's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    Here's what may be happening:
    WithOUT Vortex Breaker
    WITH vortex breaker
    -wc
    Intex Ultraframe 14'x3.5-Round (4000ish-gal) AG - Vinyl - Intex 5667EG Sand Filter 1600gph :)
    ( retired: 637R Crtrge 1000gph someday it may have another life as a water fountain... or feet washer! Solar Water Heater? )

    :mrgreen: Click here to Goto Pool School. :scratch: How Much Of What? Click Here - Poolcalculator.com :lookhere: TestKits

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Cannot keep bubbles out

    I did some tests and when we open the return valve all the way it indeed creates a vortex in the skimmer, so for now we are keeping the valve partially closed. I will try the running water over the joints when we get back home.

    Thanks for the tips. I will let you all know how it goes.
    13500 gallons
    Intex 2650 Sand filter pump
    AG

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