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Thread: Suction Leak

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    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Amherst, MA
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    Suction Leak

    I've been getting air bubbles in return lines for a while when hooking up vacuum hose but now they occur anytime the input line selector (Hayward Dial-a-flo) is moved off center. It doesn't matter which direction it's moved - one line is from skimmer, the other from a frog grate in side of pool. Bubbles appear under pump basket cover and get heavier as the valve is moved towards one port or the other. Tried shaving cream idea on everything around pump - union, 3 port valve, basket cover, drain plug but nothing indicating a leak. Could I possible have leaks in both input lines? Hopefully not since they're all under carpet covered concrete.
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    Re: Suction Leak

    im not familiar with that 3 way valve, but it looks backwards.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Suction Leak

    While I am not familiar with that brands of valve, most handle the handle pointing away from the closed position, which would make that picture closed at the pump.

    Is that the normal operating position?

    When you close off one side, the pump will pull more suction as you have reduced the pipe area. This could then start to pull air in. Either through the valve seals of the pump lid or pump drain plug. Sounds like you may have checked many of them.

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    Re: Suction Leak

    The valve is Hayward SP-733 with 7 positions. As shown both ports are open equally and at 90 degrees the selected port is fully open and the other closed. Then you have 4 in between positions. I read somewhere that the pump seal could cause a suction leak but when I've had this problem water was leaking instead - which I'm not getting now.

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    Re: Suction Leak

    The pump seal wouldnt cause a suction leak. It is strange that you dont get the air when the valve is open to both lines, since the suction leak is obviously coming from both lines. My guess would be that the flex lines have something to do with it. Are they glued?

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    Amherst, MA
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    Re: Suction Leak

    The Tigerflex connections at the valve appear to have silcone sealant at the barbed hose fittings along with double clamps. Applied shaving cream to both of these with nothing obvious showing up.

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    Re: Suction Leak

    I personally have never had the shaving cream thing work, so i am not convinced that you have ruled anything out yet. If it was me i would just start with the pump lid o ring. Closely inspect it for rips or tears, sometimes you have to bend the o ring to really see where it has lots of wear and tear. If that looks good, then i would move to the 3 way valve o ring and check that. Often times with a suction leak when the pump shuts off after running, water will squirt out from where the suction leak is. Also look for any spots that have lots of white buildup, usually around the pump drain plugs, or in this case around the knobs that tighten the pump lid, these spots will indicate that there is a leak there.

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