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Thread: pump basket suction

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    pump basket suction

    I have noticed poor suction in the skimmer this year and maybe just never paid much attention to it so it could just be the way it works. But here's a question. When I open the lid to the pump basket the water drains out with a sucking sound leaving just a few inches of water in the basin. When I replace the lid and restart the pump the system primes itself within 45-50 seconds. Is this normal? I am wondering whether that is the source of the relatively weak skimmer suction.
    22650 gallon in-ground vinyl pool
    Hayward sand filter
    Aqua Rite SWG
    installed 6/25/09

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    Re: pump basket suction

    Is this normal?
    Yes.

    YOur "poor suction" at the skimmer is better characterized as low flow. The low flow can be caused by a whole variety of things. After your pump primes does the pump basket fill completely with water or is there a lot of sloshing and air in it?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: pump basket suction

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Is this normal?
    Yes.

    YOur "poor suction" at the skimmer is better characterized as low flow. The low flow can be caused by a whole variety of things. After your pump primes does the pump basket fill completely with water or is there a lot of sloshing and air in it?
    Thanks for the quick response. The pump basket fills completely with water and returns to pool appear to be free of air, although that can take longer than 50 secs to be completely free of air.
    22650 gallon in-ground vinyl pool
    Hayward sand filter
    Aqua Rite SWG
    installed 6/25/09

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    Re: pump basket suction

    The pump basket fills completely with water and returns to pool appear to be free of air, although that can take longer than 50 secs to be completely free of air.
    That's good. So, now, look for a restriction on the pressure side.

    What HP pump do you have? What is your normal psi? What is it now? (a dirty filter will cause low flow) Have you made any changes like the size of the return eyeballs that would restrict flow?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: pump basket suction

    I'll have to check the pump model when I get home but normal psi is 15.5 and right now its around 16.5. I have not changed the return eyeballs, assuming those are the screw-ins on the returns but this was the first year I actually opened the pool myself so I may have put them on wrong. I just screwed them on as tight as I could manually and then adjusted the direction of the flow either upwards or downwards. I wouldn't think that would affect flow.

    By a dirty filter, do you mean too much debris within the sand itself?
    22650 gallon in-ground vinyl pool
    Hayward sand filter
    Aqua Rite SWG
    installed 6/25/09

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    Re: pump basket suction

    That all sounds pretty normal. It thought perhaps you had placed smaller eyeballs which would've increased pressure and decreased flow.


    Yeah, a sand filter that hasn't been backwashed will demonstrate a higher pressure and resultant low flow but your pressure seems fine, too.

    What made you notice (low flow) it this year?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: pump basket suction

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    That all sounds pretty normal. It thought perhaps you had placed smaller eyeballs which would've increased pressure and decreased flow.


    Yeah, a sand filter that hasn't been backwashed will demonstrate a higher pressure and resultant low flow but your pressure seems fine, too.

    What made you notice (low flow) it this year?
    I've noticed debris floating by the skimmer and not being drawn in very well. The suction from my vacuum has not been great either. I figured I'd ask just in case there was something wrong but it sounds like this is how it works. The vacuum cleaner suction has improved somewhat now that I replaced the hose so its really just the ineffectiveness of the skimmer I guess.
    22650 gallon in-ground vinyl pool
    Hayward sand filter
    Aqua Rite SWG
    installed 6/25/09

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: pump basket suction

    Quote Originally Posted by bostonbruins59
    I've noticed debris floating by the skimmer and not being drawn in very well. The suction from my vacuum has not been great either. I figured I'd ask just in case there was something wrong but it sounds like this is how it works. The vacuum cleaner suction has improved somewhat now that I replaced the hose so its really just the ineffectiveness of the skimmer I guess.
    Do you have a main drain? If so, is it turned off during your use of the vacuum?
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: pump basket suction

    so its really just the ineffectiveness of the skimmer I guess.
    You can increase the flow velocity of the water into the skimmer by lowering the water level. If you do that, be sure you don't get it so low you start sucking air.

    You do have the skimmer door (weir) installed and operating, correct?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: pump basket suction

    yes, I have a skimmer door although it seems to block the debris from coming in as much as it keeps already trapped debris in the skimmer. Not sure if I have it installed properly either since its prone to popping off if the kids have a rowdy swim.

    and yes, I close the main drain (mostly) when vacuuming. I have even taken to closing the main drain to improve the skimmer flow but am not sure if that helps or not.
    22650 gallon in-ground vinyl pool
    Hayward sand filter
    Aqua Rite SWG
    installed 6/25/09

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    Re: pump basket suction

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    so its really just the ineffectiveness of the skimmer I guess.
    You can increase the flow velocity of the water into the skimmer by lowering the water level. If you do that, be sure you don't get it so low you start sucking air.

    You do have the skimmer door (weir) installed and operating, correct?
    My skimmer issue was the skimmer weir after all. I've installed it wrongly for years.
    I thought it was for keeping the debris in so I hung it from the top rather than from below.
    I did not realize it was to create surface tension and improve flow!

    The thing is now drawing like its never drawn before! Thanks a bunch for the help.
    22650 gallon in-ground vinyl pool
    Hayward sand filter
    Aqua Rite SWG
    installed 6/25/09

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: pump basket suction

    It's amazing what a seemingly minor thing can do. Glad you got it worked out.
    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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