I just installed a new Pentair IntelliFlo XF pump station. It doesn't seem to be priming properly. The basket does not fill all the way up with water.It fills to the top of the basket after much "work". So like an inch from the lid - one heck of a bubble.
I saw here at TFP the post for poor suction and I tried to trouble shoot air leaks with candle smoke and used some silicone grease around union seals and the Ortega 3-way on the suction side. Nothing seemed too apparent as far as smoke getting sucked in.
Also, I noticed a leak on the motor side. It appears to be dripping at a decent rate from the back side of the motor plate. Like maybe the shaft seal?
Also the pump runs smooth at 2300RPM but seems to idel badly(car reference) at lower RPM. Especially at 750RPM. Like it might stall out(also car reference). And it sounds like the impeller may have air in there - a little gravelly sound. Not quite like pumping gravel but unsettling to hear. Higher RPM seems to fix the noise though.
So maybe I have two problems.
My intake for the Spa and the skimmer drain are 1.5" but all the plumbing in my pool shed has been replaced to 2".
I was thinking that at higher speeds that maybe my 1.5" intakes couldn't keep up with the draw. But the problem also exists at lower speeds. Also at lower speeds I can see bubbles in my CircuPool SWG cell. And I can here water running at my heater intake. Like it sounds like there is air in there. I don't see any bubble after the pump in the outflow. I have a see through check valve there. So I'm guessing I might have some air leaks post pump. Like the filter unions.
So my first questions are:
1. What's up with my new pump station leaking? I made sure the plate bolts were snug, some were looser than the tighest bolt so I tried to snug them up to that torque.
2. Air leak at suction? Maybe I should replace my Ortega 3-way? It's on 1.5" and probably old-er. Then I could put a 2" 3-way in?
3. Priming. When I add water to my basket it seems to drain back into the pool. So it's impossible to fill it all the way before starting the pump. Maybe a check valve before the suction side of the pump station? I was thinking about getting that FloVis from TFTestkits - looks cool.
Note: I'm betting that if the pump station primed properly I would eliminate a lot of the problems except for the leak.
Thanks again see pictures and video below. - hmiser
Pictures of Pump and Plumbing Layout:
Pump Basket not filling all the way:
Bubbles in CircuPool