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Thread: What happened to my filter, pump and circulation???

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    midtngal's Avatar
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    What happened to my filter, pump and circulation???

    Last weekend I had to open the pump and clean it out of all the pine needles. They were wrapped around the motor like a string on a vacuum! After cleaning it, it purred like a kitten! The circulation was better than I'd ever seen it and the new filter gauge was actually working! Everything was working like a champ! Then today, the psi had risen to 10 (due to all the unbelievable amount of pollen coming from the pine trees almost directly over my pool!) so this evening I backwashed. Now, the pump basket is only half full of water, the filter gauge is back to reading "0" and there is very little, if any, circulation in the pool! Only 1 of the returns is actually "returning". I backwashed a couple of weeks ago just to get all the construction junk out and did not have this problem. What the heck has happened??

    Thanks for your help!
    Karen
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Karen, If you've got air in the pump basket, you've lost prime. Air has gotten into the suction side of your system from somewhere between the skimmers and the pump and is still getting in there.

    Is you pool water deep enough? If not, air will be sucked in thru the skimmers.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    ivyleager's Avatar
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    When my filter is choked and dirty from pollen, my skimmer baskets are also full of pollen....severly impeding the water flow. DId you clean out the skimmer baskets and check flow coming into the pump basket/motor? Second, is the motor still purring like a kitten?

    CaryB
    CaryB
    36 x 18 IG vinyl, 25K, 1 HP pump, sand filter
    1 skimmer, 2 returns, no main drain
    Old school: PoolSolutions test kit

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    midtngal's Avatar
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    duraleigh...I believe the water is high enough...it's about half way in the skimmer. But, you know what? As soon as you said suction side, I realized what I had done! I had left my cleaner hooked up! And as I was reading your words, the maunal instructions were screaming at me...UNHOOK THE CLEANER WHEN BACKWASHING! duh! I just went out and unhooked it and turned the pump off and tried to re-prime it, but it was a no-go so I have turned it off. I'm assuming that in an hour or so I can go out and try again???

    cary...yes, I had cleaner the skimmers and such before I backwashed. Unfortunately, that is something I have to do about twice a day because of these "I'm starting not to like them anymore" white pines!
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

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    If you have so much pine needles to clog your impeller, it's possible that you may have some clogging the pipe too. It's hard to tell if it's suction side or after your pump to your filter.

    Stick a garden hose into your skimmer port to the pump, with the pump lid off and see if you get any debris flowing into the pump basket, or if you get resistance and water flows back towards you.

    You may still have debris wrapped around your pump impeller.

    Turn your backwash valve to waste and see if you still have air in the pump trap. If it primes and flows well, you may have the blockage in the multiport valve.

    Check all your valves to make sure something wasn't accidentally turned off.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

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    midtngal's Avatar
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    Sean, I followed your instructions and the water flows to the pump from the skimmer just fine...no debris. When I flipped the valve to waste and turned the pump on it did not prime. Although, I will have to admit I did not leave it for very long. I was afraid I would burn the pump up or something. It's making a kind of ringing-type noise. Like the ring that holds the pump together is loose, but it isn't. I tried once again to prime it and it still didn't work so I shut it off.

    I'm not totally convinced that there are pine needles still in the pump. When I discovered this, the pump basket had not been cleaned out in about 3 weeks (since start-up) because my POS PB never told me it needed to be done....most especially with the pine trees so near! I just cleaned the pump this past Monday so it hasn't even been a full week and I have cleaned that basket about 3 times this week just to be on the safe side.

    This is the first time this pump has not primed on me. Did I do something to it by not unhooking the cleaner??

    Thanks so much for your help!
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

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    The only thing I can think of by leaving the cleaner attached, with debris still being sucked up is that if it got past the skimmer and pump baskets, the flow of water would be going down to the filter laterals (sand filter) or into the elements (DE filter), both of which can hinder flow, but should eventually flush it out to the pool.
    I wouldn't be too concerned with the cleaner being left on.

    How is the flow in Recirculation mode?

    It's unusual that you can't draw prime in backwash mode. Did you try filling the pump basket with water first?
    You should be able to run the pump dry for a few minutes before any signs of damage. You should try running it in backwash for at least a minute or two to see if it catches prime. Definately stop the pump if you see it starting to smoke up in the pump trap.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  8. Back To Top    #8
    It sounds like you aren't running the pump long enough to prime it. Run long enough dry it will cause problems but it may take several minutes to prime and that won't cause a problem.

    Make sure filter air relief valve is open and you fill the pump basket with water. Quickly replace pump lid and secure. Turn on pump and you should begin to hear air coming from the filter relief valve. If you hear this, it is starting to prime.

    Do you also have an attached spa? If so, flip valve over to spa, if the spa is closer to pump. Often easier with a short run.

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    Guest
    sorry to go off topic here, but i gotta ask.

    what does denali mean. is it like the GMC yukon/sierra denali (my favorite) your name, or the mountians??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollin Thunder
    sorry to go off topic here, but i gotta ask.

    what does denali mean. is it like the GMC yukon/sierra denali (my favorite) your name, or the mountians??
    The mountain.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    midtngal's Avatar
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    Okay...I want my "running like a champ" pool back dang it!!

    I have tried everything here and it's still not running like it was. I'm not even sure if it's priming. The pump basket gets filled to about the O-ring on the top and it's very slow getting there. I thought I might turn the booster pump on and maybe blow out anything that might be in there and it made this very bizarre screeching noise like there was no water in it so I turned it off. I'm just leaving the pump running now to see if maybe the basket will eventually fill. I have let the air out at the relief valve and sometimes there's air and then water and sometimes there's nothing.

    Could just this one time of accidentally leaving my cleaner attached really do this????
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You might want to try opening and removing the pump strainer basket and stick a drain king into the intake pipe and try flushing it out back towards the skimmers. A suction side blockage could account for all the symptoms you have described and the drain king should be able to unblock it.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    midtngal's Avatar
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    Thanks Jason...I'll give that a try. Of course, you did suggest the ONE tool I don't have! I will have to go to the hardware store tomorrow ane get one.

    Is it safe to leave the pump running overnight??
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

  14. Back To Top    #14
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Don't leave the pump running if it is making terrible noises or the strainer basket is dry. Other than that you are usually alright.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  15. Back To Top    #15
    midtngal's Avatar
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    Nah, it's not making strange noises...the booster was, but stopped when I hooked up the cleaner and ran it a little while. The pump basket has water in it up about a half inch into the lid so it's not dry, just a big ole air bubble in it. Other than that it looks to be okay...just not circulating like it was.

    Thanks for your help. We'll see how the drain king goes tomorrow!
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

  16. Back To Top    #16
    midtngal's Avatar
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    Okay...got the Drain King today. And boy was the guy at Ace Hardware blown away that a woman actually knew what she was looking for and it's name!

    I decided to just see what was in the pump before I started this and lo and behold...pine needles galore already! (Poolsean...next time just say "ya big dummy, this is what I do for a living...pay attention to me!") Then I did the Drain King. I'm not so sure it did anything though because there was no "exhaust". I let it run for a few minutes anyway. Then I put everything back together and started it up...and nothing! No priming...even worse than before! I just decided to just let it run. I knew there was water in it since I had added a bunch. It took about 15 minutes, but it finally primed and is purring like a kitten again! All is right with the world once more! I think maybe the Drain King may have at least loosened something because it looked like there were a few clumps of mud or something in the basket after it was running right. And...the circulation seems to be even better than before.

    So...I've been to 2 pool stores looking for skimmer socks and both were out. I've looked online, but have a hard time paying more in shipping than for the product. Since it's looking pretty critical that I have these, I have put the knee highs on for now until I can find the socks. I had to clean them twice today!

    I've decided that pools are like computers....they're great as long as they're working right, but ya hate 'em when they aren't!
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by midtngal
    Okay...got the Drain King today. And boy was the guy at Ace Hardware blown away that a woman actually knew what she was looking for and it's name!

    I decided to just see what was in the pump before I started this and lo and behold...pine needles galore already! (Poolsean...next time just say "ya big dummy, this is what I do for a living...pay attention to me!") Then I did the Drain King. I'm not so sure it did anything though because there was no "exhaust". I let it run for a few minutes anyway. Then I put everything back together and started it up...and nothing! No priming...even worse than before! I just decided to just let it run. I knew there was water in it since I had added a bunch. It took about 15 minutes, but it finally primed and is purring like a kitten again! All is right with the world once more! I think maybe the Drain King may have at least loosened something because it looked like there were a few clumps of mud or something in the basket after it was running right. And...the circulation seems to be even better than before.

    So...I've been to 2 pool stores looking for skimmer socks and both were out. I've looked online, but have a hard time paying more in shipping than for the product. Since it's looking pretty critical that I have these, I have put the knee highs on for now until I can find the socks. I had to clean them twice today!

    I've decided that pools are like computers....they're great as long as they're working right, but ya hate 'em when they aren't!
    Hey neighbor - go look at your friendly local WalMart for skimmer socks. The one up here in Hendersonville carries them. You can get a 3 pack for $6.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

  18. Back To Top    #18
    midtngal's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike...hadn't thought about Walmart! Actually, I try not to! I live almost across the street from one. Guess I'll have to bite the bullet and fight the crowd! Appreciate the tip sir!
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

  19. Back To Top    #19
    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by midtngal
    Thanks Mike...hadn't thought about Walmart! Actually, I try not to! I live almost across the street from one. Guess I'll have to bite the bullet and fight the crowd! Appreciate the tip sir!
    You're more than welcome, m'dear! Psstttt...go late at night...no crowds then...
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Don't waste your money on those skimmer socks. Go to a cheap store and buy a 10 pack of ladies knee highs, cut the top band off of them and put knee high over your skimmer basket. Works the same as skimmer socks and you get 20 skimmer basket socks for $1! I have been doing this for 2 years now. When you use skimmer socks/knee highs be sure to check your basket daily. They collect very fine particles and need to be hosed off or changed more often than using just your basket.

    Good luck!
    26,000 gal liner IG pool
    Doughboy with concrete construction
    Full sun most of the day
    1.5 hp pump system
    200lb sand filter

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