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Thread: Low Pressure -

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    Low Pressure -

    I am at my wit's end with my girlfriend's pool. Seems like I've tried everything and nothing is working.

    Until this year, her ex-husband took care of the pool. This year, I attempted to do it for her. Full disclosure - I know NOTHING about pool care, so this is all new to me. And it's likely I did some things not necessary due to my ignorance. Talk about trial-by-fire!

    She has a 20'x30' inground pool. I think it's 5' at the deepest end. She has what I think is a 1.5HP Hayward pump (square basket). Not sure what the filter is, but it is a DE filter that has no backwash/rinse controls - only a drain filter on the bottom. Up until this year, it's worked perfectly from all accounts. Or at least until I touched it!

    No matter what I do, I can't get more than 3-5 PSI of filter pressure and the flow is ridiculously low. Up until last week, I really hadn't thought about pressure - all my work revolved around what I thought to be poor suction (which it basically is).

    After taking the cover off the pool and starting/priming the pump, it wasn't pumping. I took the filter apart and cleaned what they've been calling "noodles". Caked with stuff and the filter filled with green sludge. But I cleaned it all. After that, the pool seemed to clear up pretty quickly, but tons of algea. Started treating it, but the hose between the pump and filter blew up in about 2 days. Went to Walmart (like an idiot) and got a new hose that blew in like 1 day. Went to the KB pool store and bought the correct hose. Problem solved.

    From what I could tell, the pump was working. Water was being pulled into the basket and there was an output at the pool - although pretty bubbly.

    Until it quit pumping. After some investigation, found the hose from the 1.25" ID rubber stub (run from the skimmer to the pool house) was cracked and leaking. So, back to KB and got the correct hose and installed it. Creating the next problem. Her ex ran PVC to the rubber stub and basically jammed the PVC 90 over the rubber stub - which juts out at about a 45 degree angle. Then PVC glued the **** out of it. When I replaced the hose, I jarred that connection loose. So, not knowing any better, put that back together "as-is". Again, I'm new to this and was looking for something simple.

    We continued to vacuum because I didn't know at that time the pressure was low - I just knew there wasn't much suction and since water was flowing into the basket with what I thought a decent bubbly output, it must be working. We super-shocked and chlorinated the pool, and the water seemed clear. But tons of algea remained. The vacuum seemed to work, but poorly. Figuring air in the output and poor suction, I replaced the vacuum hose. No difference.

    The algea continues to get worse, so I bought some stuff from Walmart for super-shocking. Something like 6 bags of powder - 3 each of a different type. Stuff was horrible. Laid a sediment on the bottom and with crappy suction in the vacuum, I was screwed - can't get it out. Then I finally got around to actually looking at the pressure and figured 3-5 pounds was not good enough. So, I took the pump apart and replaced all the seals. Put it back together and same thing - low pressure. I'm pretty sure it's working because if I drain the filter, close the valves, and turn the pump on, it pumps like crazy for a few minutes - sucks water in great. And then stops.

    So, thinking it might be something between the pump and pool, I ran the new vacuum hose directly to the pump. No difference. Same lousy pressure. So, back to KB - holder of my bank account funds. Bought the hoses necessary to get rid of the PVC junk. I am certain those fittings are sealed almost perfectly. I really tried to do it right. Fired the pump up - no difference.

    I have no idea what to do and I've tried everything. I thought about calling someone out to help, but I have so much sweat invested in this, I want to fix this myself for pride's sake. I feel like I've done everything correctly (although misguided at times) and it shouldn't be this hard. Now I believe I'm simply overlooking a false assumption - in other words, I probably saw something and blew it off as not important.

    I did replace the seal on the pump basket, made sure the basket is clean, and made sure the skimmer basket is clean. Have cleaned the filter several more times because that sediment yucked it up. I bump/drain the filter a lot. After it runs for a few minutes, I crack the relief valve on top of the filter to make sure no air is inside. One change I DO believe I've made that is positive is that I don't see air coming out anymore. Of course, not much water either!

    I do not see any water leaks, so I believe the seals and hoses on the output side of the pump are ok.

    Sorry for the long post, but I'm in over my head in something other than clean sparkly water and would really like to learn more. As bad as it's been, I've actually kinda liked the experience. As I'm sure the KB store does as well. Pictures that may be helpful. Would be glad to provide any more info as required. Thanks tons in advance for any and all feedback!



    20' x 30' - 3' to 5'
    Hayward 1.5HP Pump
    Hayward Perflex DE Filter
    Bud Light

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Low Pressure -

    Welcome

    When you took the pump apart, did you check if anything was clogging up the impeller?

    Does the gauge go to 0 when the pump is off ... if not it could be bad (although that would not explain the low flow). Do you know what the pressure used to be?

    So, you ran a hose from the pool directly to the pump and same performance right? That confirms that nothing is wrong with the plumbing between the pool and pump.

    Usually a low pressure reading is due to something before the filter, but for all we know at this point 3-5psi is normal.

    I did not see you mention adding DE back to the filter every time you clean it. Are you doing that?

    If you are not seeing good flow, then that certainly needs to be figured out. But, after the equipment is working, you need to read up in Pool School and follow the Shock Process to clear up the water (and save yourself some $$$). Of course to do this, you will need to have one of the recommended test kits.

    If you want to try to hold the algae at bay, while working on the equipment, start adding a gallon of 6% bleach to the water in front of a return every evening, until we know your actual chemical levels.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Low Pressure -

    I like your toenail polish

    I"m with jbizzle, I was thinking there's something in the intake that's preventing you from getting pressure. On the return side back to the pool, if that's clogged you'll see pressure too high. And, also with him, until all the algae and sediment is out of the pool, your filter is going to clog often once set up right.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Re: Low Pressure -

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Welcome

    When you took the pump apart, did you check if anything was clogging up the impeller?

    Does the gauge go to 0 when the pump is off ... if not it could be bad (although that would not explain the low flow). Do you know what the pressure used to be?

    So, you ran a hose from the pool directly to the pump and same performance right? That confirms that nothing is wrong with the plumbing between the pool and pump.

    Usually a low pressure reading is due to something before the filter, but for all we know at this point 3-5psi is normal.

    I did not see you mention adding DE back to the filter every time you clean it. Are you doing that?

    If you are not seeing good flow, then that certainly needs to be figured out. But, after the equipment is working, you need to read up in Pool School and follow the Shock Process to clear up the water (and save yourself some $$$). Of course to do this, you will need to have one of the recommended test kits.

    If you want to try to hold the algae at bay, while working on the equipment, start adding a gallon of 6% bleach to the water in front of a return every evening, until we know your actual chemical levels.
    I did forget to add that I did purchase a new impeller and replaced it. As far as pressure dropping back to zero, good question - I will check. And I have no idea what the pressure used to be. Another good question, but not sure I can get an answer. Will try though. And I did add DE a couple/few weeks ago, but not since then. And since then, I have taken the filter apart and cleaned it. Would the DE affect pressure/flow? I thought it was just to trap tiny particles. I wasn't going to do it again until the pump was working correctly. But no problem adding it if it could be a cause of my problem - easy enough.

    And maybe there is an important message in one of my observations - if I drain the sediment out of the tank and close the valve, when the pump starts, it seems to pump like crazy for a few seconds - almost as if it stops when the tank fills. I could be way off, but something is going on there and I don't know if it's important or not. But I know there's a huge difference from when it starts until when it goes back to very weak flow.

    Thanks for your input. I really do appreciate it.

    RobbieH: I prefer a brighter pink toenail polish, but my gf says I can't until her pool is fixed.
    20' x 30' - 3' to 5'
    Hayward 1.5HP Pump
    Hayward Perflex DE Filter
    Bud Light

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Low Pressure -

    You must add DE every time you clean the filter, otherwise it will get clogged very quickly (especially since you have algae). Although, that would not result in low pressure, but should result in high pressure on the filter and low flow.

    I am wondering if the gauge is bad and your filter is severely clogged due to the lack of DE.

    Does that filter have an air release valve on the top to get the air out when you restart the pump after cleaning?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Low Pressure -

    Well, thanks to everyone's help, I think I see light at the end of the tunnel. I had been tapping on the gage considering it may not be reading, but it never moved. I didn't have much time to work on the system last night, but before going out, I cut the power to the pump and opened all filter valves. Gage never moved. Closed the valves, had someone turn the pump back on while I watched the gage - expecting a burst of higher pressure before settling. Never moved. After running for a few minutes, smacked the **** out of the gage. It jumped up to about 20. Smacked it again, jumped somewhere else and stuck. Definitely a bad gage making me believe there was a suction problem when in fact, it seems as simple as a clogged filter. The obvious air leaks on the hoses going to the pump only validated my suspicion of no suction when in fact, I had fixed those problems. So, two problems threw me big-time.

    I will give KB more of my money for a new gage on my way home from work tonight, replace it, tear the filter apart tonight, clean all the gunk out of it, and report back so someone else can learn from my experience. Not ready for a victory dance quite yet, but getting pretty excited - not gonna lie!
    20' x 30' - 3' to 5'
    Hayward 1.5HP Pump
    Hayward Perflex DE Filter
    Bud Light

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Low Pressure -

    Good news and bad news...

    I can't see your photos but it sounds like a perflex filter and the gauge is about $10-15.

    More good news... A perflex will clean all the garbage very quickly

    The bad news... You will need to regenerate (bump) the filter and clean it several times to go from green to clean. I have done this several times. I normally set aside a weekend I can dedicate the time required to do this. It will require some frequent babysitting but it will be great when you are finished.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Low Pressure -

    Quote Originally Posted by techguy
    Good news and bad news...

    I can't see your photos but it sounds like a perflex filter and the gauge is about $10-15.

    More good news... A perflex will clean all the garbage very quickly

    The bad news... You will need to regenerate (bump) the filter and clean it several times to go from green to clean. I have done this several times. I normally set aside a weekend I can dedicate the time required to do this. It will require some frequent babysitting but it will be great when you are finished.
    I'm not worried about the $10-15 - compared to what I've spent and the hours I've invested, that's a small price to pay for resolution. And yes, I remember it being a perflex filter. I believe it does clean well, but clogs quickly. Especially after my stroke of utter genius putting that powdery super shock creating a layer of sediment on top of a layer of algae. Everytime it stops sucking, I turn the pump off, bump it several times, open the bottom drain, and crack the top air relief valve. Blows out a bunch of crud, but doesn't last long. I have to take the top off and hose down the noddles/fingers. Painful, but once I got all the big stuff out, I won't have to do it again for a while.

    Best news? I've pretty much rebuilt the entire system. Pump seals replaced, basket seal, all new hose from the pool to the pump (except for the underground one), new vacuum hose, new pressure gage, clean filter, and a virtual TON of pool knowledge. But I have a long way to go.

    I'm still fuzzy on the regeneration and backwash terms as it relates to my particular filter. It looks like a simple drain.
    20' x 30' - 3' to 5'
    Hayward 1.5HP Pump
    Hayward Perflex DE Filter
    Bud Light

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Low Pressure -

    Well, chalk up yet another win for team TFP!

    Put the new gage in, cleaned the filter (which really wasn't bad - not much in it after draining it), and fired the system up. Pumps like crazy. Pressure is around 23PSI and blows the return jet stream out to almost the other side of the pool with NO bubbles whatsoever. GF has never seen it work like this. Heck, I've never seen the basket at the pump as full as it is.

    So, my mistake was looking for a problem when there were multiple problems. Three pump to filter hoses (because I didn't know the Walmart hoses couldn't handle the pressure after the original ruptured), two pool to pump hoses (original was cracked and sucking air, another to replace a poor PVC connection that was sucking air), new seals in the pump, new impeller, new basket seal, new gage, and a new vacuum hose. Mix in hours of labor, sweat, and lots of Budweiser, and I have a completely rebuilt system that seems to be working perfectly.

    Thanks very, VERY much for the help. Now onto the topic that helps to teach me how to get rid of the sediment, algae, and gunk in the pool. Hope it includes hangover relief - nobody warned me that this is a very beer-friendly job.
    20' x 30' - 3' to 5'
    Hayward 1.5HP Pump
    Hayward Perflex DE Filter
    Bud Light

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