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Thread: pump leaking--ran dry for awhile

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    pump leaking--ran dry for awhile

    I'm hoping you all can offer some suggestions to this novice pool owner Last month I let the pump run dry for quite a few hours (I'm not sure exactly how long...I didn't realize the o-ring wasn't on the basket). There wasn't a problem at first but after several weeks I noticed a small leak where the threaded fitting is (see photo where A is located). I was reading that if you let the pump run dry it can distort the PVC fitting and it needs to be replaced. I first tried several layers of teflon tape but there was still a small amount of water leaking and now there is a leak where B is on the photo (I think the moving around of the pump to get the pipes off messed it up).

    Should I just go ahead and replace both PVC fittings or should I keep on trying more layers of teflon tape (now I have to work on B fitting, too)? Should I be using anything other than the teflon tape? It seems that other people say to use blue silicone or plasto-joint stick.

    If I replace the PVC, is there any way to get the male fitting that's screwed into the pump off the elbow part or will I have to replace everything because it's glued together.

    Sorry if I'm not using the correct language...let me know if anything isn't clear!

    Thanks in advance,
    Devon

    [attachment=0:3e0sw6n8]poolpump1.jpg[/attachment:3e0sw6n8]
    20,000 gallons
    Hayward Swimclear Cartridge filter
    IG, concrete/plaster floor, gunnite sides with fiberglass over
    Waterfall, Hayward Super II pump, 2HP, Polaris 280 pool sweep w/ 3/4hp booster pump
    Built in the early 60s

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    Re: pump leaking--ran dry for awhile

    Welcome to the forum. That is a very helpful pic. I think the leaking at that particular spot and your pump running dry may be either unrelated or, if not, I think it's fixable.

    1. You are blessed that whomever put your pump in isolated it with unions. simply unscrew those big "collars" and your pump will come right out.

    Next, take apart the PVC at the leaking joints and clean them thoroughly.

    I like pipe dope on joints that big....I don't think teflon works quite as well.

    Simply clean the joints THOROUGHLY, spread a thin but complete layer of pipe dope on both sides of the joint and screw them back together. Like all good joints, be sure not to overtighten them but get them nice and snug.

    Hook your unions back up and you just might be good to go.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: pump leaking--ran dry for awhile

    Thanks, I'll try that. I think the pool man who installed this 4-5 years ago used some type of pipe dope because there was a residue that was hardened. I tried to get it all off on joint A. I'll work on it for joint B as well. It looked complicated but because of those collars, it did come off pretty easily.

    I'll let you know how it goes.

    Thanks again,
    Devon
    20,000 gallons
    Hayward Swimclear Cartridge filter
    IG, concrete/plaster floor, gunnite sides with fiberglass over
    Waterfall, Hayward Super II pump, 2HP, Polaris 280 pool sweep w/ 3/4hp booster pump
    Built in the early 60s

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    Re: pump leaking--ran dry for awhile

    I'm crossing my fingers but it's been a couple of hours and the pipe dope on the connections seems to be working. Thanks so much for your advice! Devon
    20,000 gallons
    Hayward Swimclear Cartridge filter
    IG, concrete/plaster floor, gunnite sides with fiberglass over
    Waterfall, Hayward Super II pump, 2HP, Polaris 280 pool sweep w/ 3/4hp booster pump
    Built in the early 60s

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    Re: pump leaking--ran dry for awhile

    My fingers are crossed for you, too.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: pump leaking--ran dry for awhile

    Hi Dave,

    The pipe dope is holding but I have a new (or related problem). There were a little bit of bubbles coming from the jets and some in the pump basket. I decided to check the seal on the basket. Now there are no bubbles there but lots of big bubbles in the jets and the PSI on the filter is low and the needle is moving a lot.

    I noticed the ground was wet even before I fixed the pump leak. But now there is a lot more water (see photo). Does this indicate a suction side leak? I don't see any leaking above ground so it must be from the intake pipes below, correct? Is this something a novice can do (dig up the pipe and replace)? Money is tight now and I'd like to do myself if I can.

    Thank you,
    Devon
    20,000 gallons
    Hayward Swimclear Cartridge filter
    IG, concrete/plaster floor, gunnite sides with fiberglass over
    Waterfall, Hayward Super II pump, 2HP, Polaris 280 pool sweep w/ 3/4hp booster pump
    Built in the early 60s

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    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: pump leaking--ran dry for awhile

    Yaayyyyr for the Pipe Dope holding, good pipe dope.
    *Pats pipe dope on round little head* :P

    In the 2nd picture you show, where the main pool pump is visible, do those main suction lines go directly away from the pump, parallel to it's length axis, IE. toward the bottom of the picture? That is once they go down, then level off.
    Or do they shoot to the left of the picture, perpendicular to your main pump, as they head toward what appears to be your waterfall pump?

    I'm curious because I see a noticeable amount of standing water very close to your waterfall, to the left of the pavers as well as to the right. Leading me to believe that at least some of that may be from the waterfall suction side. or return. Another thought would be that pressurized water tap coming out of the ground there to the left of your waterfall pump. Maybe shut that off and see if the ground saturation reduces?
    Sure that won't fix the air in your lines, but it's worth a shot for maybe what's some of the leak.

    After you solved the pump basket o-ring issue, did you lube it with silicone grease? Since you no longer have air in the basket, I would think that it's no longer a suction side issue, at least not upstream of the basket.
    I'm assuming that's a cartridge or DE filter you have, I'm pretty sure both types have bleeder valves on them for bleeding system air. Have you done this?

    As far as digging up a pipe, so long as it isn't under a concrete slab, it's just a bunch of digging, excavating the pipe and replacing the bad section, similar to what you have already done up top. Except down there you use pipe joint compound/solvent or PVC glue as it's also called, with many other names actually, to actually melt the pipes together using press fittings, you prep it 1st with PVC Joint Primer, that's the blue goo you see on the outside of pipes at joints. It's not rocket science at all, just lots of fun, manual, sweat labor. HAHA
    If it's under a slab, then you obviously have to have at least enough knowledge or find out how to properly cut into it, then hire someone to patch it when you're done and you're sure all the leaks have been taken care of.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: pump leaking--ran dry for awhile

    Or do they shoot to the left of the picture, perpendicular to your main pump, as they head toward what appears to be your waterfall pump?
    Yes, it shoots off to the left. where the waterfall and pool are located

    I'm curious because I see a noticeable amount of standing water very close to your waterfall, to the left of the pavers as well as to the right. Leading me to believe that at least some of that may be from the waterfall suction side. or return. Another thought would be that pressurized water tap coming out of the ground there to the left of your waterfall pump. Maybe shut that off and see if the ground saturation reduces?
    Sure that won't fix the air in your lines, but it's worth a shot for maybe what's some of the leak.
    I turned off the waterfall a week or so ago. It's always leaked a bit and we're trying to clear out all the overgrowth of grass that was there and want to replace with stones.

    After you solved the pump basket o-ring issue, did you lube it with silicone grease? Since you no longer have air in the basket, I would think that it's no longer a suction side issue, at least not upstream of the basket.
    No I didn't lube it. It says not to, but maybe I should disregard instructions (they also say not to use pipe dope on the pump)

    I'm assuming that's a cartridge or DE filter you have, I'm pretty sure both types have bleeder valves on them for bleeding system air. Have you done this?
    No I haven't. I had to go on Youtube a couple of months ago to learn how to clean the cartridges. I guess I can do that to figure out how to bleed the system air as well. I've inherited the pool/house from my folks and they used to have a pool guy who took care of things for them but now my husband and I are learning how to do things ourselves

    I'll try bleeding the air first and let you know.

    Thanks!
    Devon
    20,000 gallons
    Hayward Swimclear Cartridge filter
    IG, concrete/plaster floor, gunnite sides with fiberglass over
    Waterfall, Hayward Super II pump, 2HP, Polaris 280 pool sweep w/ 3/4hp booster pump
    Built in the early 60s

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    Re: pump leaking--ran dry for awhile

    Forgot to mention that the pipes are NOT under slab it's just dirt so I guess we can do some digging as easily as anybody
    20,000 gallons
    Hayward Swimclear Cartridge filter
    IG, concrete/plaster floor, gunnite sides with fiberglass over
    Waterfall, Hayward Super II pump, 2HP, Polaris 280 pool sweep w/ 3/4hp booster pump
    Built in the early 60s

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    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: pump leaking--ran dry for awhile

    Yup, just checked with my dad, "Mr. Fix It" who has done a fair amount of plumbing and irrigation work, he said "Start Digging". And laughed. He's mean!! :P

    Looking at the photo, trying to account for shade on the ground, it looks like it actually stretches back quite far into the background as well as the foreground. Looks much larger than your circles, by a very large margin.

    Sounds like this will be a good time to fix the waterfall leak too.

    All these awesome experts on here can help you with the pipe joint sweating specifics and all that good stuff if you get down in there and have questions. Fire away!!

    I'll help with what I can, I'm no plumbing expert by any stretch, just too smart for my own good.

    Keep us updated and thanks for the pictures. We like those, they really are worth about a 1000 words or so.

    As for not putting grease on the o-ring?? HAHAHA!! I would totally ignore that horrible advice. Buy some clear silicone grease, it's often called dielectric grease and use that. Don't use Vaseline, that has been mentioned on here, but petroleum jelly doesn't hold up long term and it can negatively effect plastics and rubber.
    Coat it liberally, but don't glob it on there in blobs. You actually take the o-ring out, carefully, so as not to nick it, clean the groove on the lid and it's seat on the pump basket, as well as the o-ring itself, just water is fine, then dry it off relatively OK, doesn't have to be perfect, then goop it up. When tightening the lid, snug it less than you think you'd need, almost so it's barely snug past leaking. The reason being, that the heat and sun will lock it down really tight in no time flat. It's weird, I know, but what seems "normal tight", you have to summon Atlas to come help you get it off the next day. UGH!! It's crazy. HAHA

    Yes, do bleed the cartridge filter. Based on your pictures and seeing the Hayward text, faintly there, but I can't read the rest. I'd say you Have a Hayward SwimClear series filter.
    Read pg. 5 of this manual, it covers start-up and how to bleed the filter.
    http://www.hayward-pool.com/pdf/manuals/Manual363.pdf

    If it eliminates your air bubbles from the returns, great! But if it returns, check for bleed again, as shown in the manual.
    Basically you open the valve at the top, next to the gauge, before start-up of the system, then let it bleed until no more air or air+water is coming out, just water. Then close the valve.
    If you keep building up air, I would shut it all down and follow the instructions on taking the top off, inspect the gasket for any damage and make sure it seats well. Then re-assy, be sure to torque it to speck.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: pump leaking--ran dry for awhile

    I had to prime the pump so I turned off the valve to the drain and just had the skimmer into the pump. Bled the air from the filter. Everything was going well...no big bubbles. After things ran for awhile, I shut it off and turned the valve to 50/50 from the skimmer and drain and darned if the bubbles didn't start up again. I switched it back to the skimmer, bled the air and it seemed fine again. Tried the same thing later in the day (50/50 drain + skimmer), the bubbles started again. Does that mean the leak is likely in the drain pipe?

    Also, I've noticed some water under the pump but I can't see that anything is leaking. Should I take apart and check the seal?

    Is it okay to run it like this (with just the skimmer into the pump and the small leak from the pump)? I may not be able to fix it for about a week.

    Still lots of water on the ground from the leak. And I did put grease on the basket o-ring.

    Thanks!
    20,000 gallons
    Hayward Swimclear Cartridge filter
    IG, concrete/plaster floor, gunnite sides with fiberglass over
    Waterfall, Hayward Super II pump, 2HP, Polaris 280 pool sweep w/ 3/4hp booster pump
    Built in the early 60s

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: pump leaking--ran dry for awhile

    It's fine to run with just the skimmer. A lot of pools don't even have a main drain.
    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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