Yes, me again with same lousy problem, now trying to see if weird stuff observed might establish cause of the leak in the suction side.
I have had the suction line open over a week while creating a cement pad for the pump. From time to time, it would produce the gurgle sound of water leaking or doing something that should not happen when all inlets and outlets are submerged.
The more bizarre part is that the water level was even with the suction line - shouldn't it have been as far below the ground as the pool's water level?
Upon re-assembly this afternoon (worse than before, thank you), I find I can now not only FILL the basket with a slow flow, I can make it overflow. This is an IG pool/spa - how does water rise above its level?
It did take a substantial amount of water to raise the level (there is 40' of 2" between the pump and the pool/spa).
Upon starting (pool returns are not visible from pad), there was a massive ripple created, making me think there was a whole bunch of air in the initial discharge - the paving around the pool at the return was wet - some thing splashed. There is no evidence of air in the return after that initial blast.
I opened the bleed valve on the filter - it eventually discharged water, but not entirely without air - the pressure valve never moved above zero.
At least this time, shutoff did NOT produce an explosion in the basket sump.
How likely is it that a 30 year old Ortega valve could be the culprit?
I did a quick version of the saran wrap test on the basket cover and both unions on the suction line. Neither did the water level rise significantly, but the wrap showed no desire to stick to any spot.
So - a pipe supposed to have a water level even with the pool and have a constant level gurgles and supports water ABOVE the pool level (until shut down, whereupon the water is barely able to cover the impeller inlet.
Q: where should it have ended up?
One last item - as a short-cut to getting everything noce and aligned, I shimmed up the rear of the pump. The water is now required to travel up about 7-10 degrees. Given the lift capability of a 1 1/2 hp pump. I figured it could handle it. I mention it in case it could have some bearing.
I am now seriously considering the surface-level replacement - how much of such a line (tap the skimmer and run PVC back to the pad) - how much, if any, of it would need to be sch 80? The existing is sch 40 at the pool and sch 80 coming out of the ground. Surface is preferred because the 40' involved is all paved. Yes, this IS a nightmare.