So, I still must have a small suction side leak. Everything runs well, but there is still a small amount of air getting into the system, and it gets worse when a few leaves get into the skimmer basket. So... all of my fittings, hose clamps, etc look fine.
I'm thinking that the o-ring on the pump basket lid could need replacing. It was new as of July, but I have taken the lid on and off numerous (and I mean numerous!) times this year. Could that have caused it to degrade enough to require replacing again?
I cranked on the pump basket drain plug and it is pretty tight... unless this is a part that requires teflon tape???
Any other ideas? It is a minor problem, but now that my major problems have been solved, I can focus on the minor ones and I just have not been able to solve this one.