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Thread: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

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    Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    My pump is about 50 feet away and 10 feet above the pool. So I know it won't be perfect. But it will pull prime within a couple of minutes (running full tilt).

    But what doesn't seem right is that if I shut off the pump and wait just 10 seconds and start the pump up again, I don't get instant water flow but after about 20 seconds it will hammer out some giant water bubbles for a few seconds.

    Now, I realize will all the height and head necessary that everything won't be without air here and there. But I'm struggling with where that much air could come from in 10 seconds time unless there's a huge leak somewhere.

    Do I just have unrealistic expectations? Or can someone help point me in the right direction because my pool builders (this pool was just installed in the fall) are pretty much useless.
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    You certainly have a leak somewhere. It seems improbable that a pool pump is capable of lifting 10 feet but, if so, the resultant draining would be VERY quick.....10 seconds doesn't surprise me.

    If you find that leak, the pump will stay primed. Don't be surprised if you have more than one.

    Your builder was in agreement to locate the pump 10' above pool level???
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    It was his idea to put it there actually.

    This would be a suction side leak, right?
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    This would be a suction side leak, right?
    Probably but your description of what's happening after the 10 second pause is not clear to me. Describe it in some other words, please.

    My assumption is you see no visible water leaks when the pump is running, correct?
    Dave S.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    Leak could be on the pressure side which would allow air into the system when the pump is off .. although you would then likely see water leaking out when the pump was on.

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    pump is running and doing it's thing no problems, no air bubbles (at least no big ones).

    I shut the pump off and wait 10 seconds.

    I turn the pump back on and it fires up to 3200RPM for priming (I normally run it at 2200).

    After about 10 more seconds water starts trickling through and then these giant air bubbles come blowing out of the jets into the pool. Think water hammer from air trapped in lines in your house. They're loud and make 'boom'ing noises. After about 5 seconds, they are gone and everything goes back to functioning essentially normally.

    Does that explain it better?
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    I am impressed that it primes at all.

    There must be a pressure side leak allowing the filter to at least partially drain down. That air must come from somewhere, and a leak is the only thing I can think of that would let air into the plumbing.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    If it was pressure side, I would expect to see some water leaking somewhere right?

    It makes sense to me because my original issue was suction side, which turned out to be a bad valve (I fixed that over a month ago) and the pump basket would drain immediately. Now the basket doesn't drain immediately, but I have the issue I described. It will drain given enough pump off time though, just not fast like before.

    The pump basket needs to be cleaned out in a bad way too. I've only managed to get the lid off once though. When they installed it, they didn't actually fasten the pump to the platform, so I'm afraid to break the pipes or joints trying to get the pump lid off.

    Back to the issue at hand...what's the best way to track this thing down? It seems hopeless to me, with pipes buried or under concrete, etc.
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    A very small water leak, with the pump running, can be a large air leak with the pump off. Air goes through small holes more easily than water does.
    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

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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    A very small water leak, with the pump running, can be a large air leak with the pump off. Air goes through small holes more easily than water does.
    Very profound, actually. Make perfect sense to me!

    Ugh. How in the world do I find it?
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    Oh - additional question! Should I have any pressure reading on the filter gauge (on the top) when the pump is off? (I don't)
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    Should I have any pressure reading on the filter gauge
    No
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by doncaruana

    The pump basket needs to be cleaned out in a bad way too. I've only managed to get the lid off once though. When they installed it, they didn't actually fasten the pump to the platform, so I'm afraid to break the pipes or joints trying to get the pump lid off.

    Back to the issue at hand...what's the best way to track this thing down? It seems hopeless to me, with pipes buried or under concrete, etc.
    what does your pump look like got a pic, I don't understand why you would be concerned about cleaning your pump strainer basket
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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo
    Quote Originally Posted by doncaruana

    The pump basket needs to be cleaned out in a bad way too. I've only managed to get the lid off once though. When they installed it, they didn't actually fasten the pump to the platform, so I'm afraid to break the pipes or joints trying to get the pump lid off.

    Back to the issue at hand...what's the best way to track this thing down? It seems hopeless to me, with pipes buried or under concrete, etc.
    what does your pump look like got a pic, I don't understand why you would be concerned about cleaning your pump strainer basket
    There's a bunch of leaves and such in there. When the pump is running, it's enough to about coat the bottom half of the strainer basket. I don't think it's enough to severely impede the pump, but I know it's not helping any. We have a bad habit of emptying the skimmer basket with the pump on, hence the junk in the pump strainer, although some stuff makes it there anyway.
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    Well, I ended up cleaning the strainer basket out anyway. Had to reprime the pump, no real issue. But then this morning, not only was prime gone like usual, but it wouldn't pull prime for **** or high water. Normally, I leave the suction valve mostly on the skimmer and a little bit on the main drain. But yesterday it was right in between. So, I had to prime it again and now it's running.

    But that gets me to another question. If I assume that there are no suction side leaks from the pump to the pool, and I put check valves in the suction lines up near the pump, wouldn't this all but alleviate this particular issue for me? I mean the priming. Not sure about the air bubbles...
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    It could help the priming issue, but also adds to the entrapment risk in the pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    It could help the priming issue, but also adds to the entrapment risk in the pool.
    dumb here...what's an 'entrapment risk' and how do check valves affect it?
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    I may be completely wrong but wouldn't you want a check valve down near the pool to hold the column of water up behind it. Even if it were 10 feet from the pool (beyond the patio slab) it would still be 9-10 feet below the pump station. This way if the basket leaks, or you open it to clean out the basket, you only need to prime for the air above the water in the check-valved suction line.

    As to the basket lid, don't they make handles that help you open them. They may be brand specific.



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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by techguy
    I may be completely wrong but wouldn't you want a check valve down near the pool to hold the column of water up behind it. Even if it were 10 feet from the pool (beyond the patio slab) it would still be 9-10 feet below the pump station. This way if the basket leaks, or you open it to clean out the basket, you only need to prime for the air above the water in the check-valved suction line.

    As to the basket lid, don't they make handles that help you open them. They may be brand specific.
    Problem with putting check valves near the pool is that it's all underground (or concrete!). SO I don't know where they would be put.

    As far as the handle, ironically, I grabbed about a foot long scrap of 2x4 and using that and fairly lightly tapping on one of the lid ears works great. I couldn't generate the right force to do it with just my hand because the pump is fairly close to a wall.
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    Re: Doesn't seem right - am I just wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by doncaruana
    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    It could help the priming issue, but also adds to the entrapment risk in the pool.
    dumb here...what's an 'entrapment risk' and how do check valves affect it?
    Hypothetically, say you put your hand over the suction line in the pool with the pump running. You are entrapped because you can not pull your hand away. So a friend runs over and shuts the pump off and you can remove your hand. If you have a check valve on the suction line, even though the pump gets turned off, you may not be able to remove your hand because the valve will not allow water flow toward the pool to release the suction.

    You can imagine a worse case if you got stuck to a floor drain (which is why there are now 2 drains typically)

    Now the likelihood of this happening is probably pretty low ... just giving my thoughts.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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