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Thread: Tips requested on how best to clean pump strainer basket

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    Tips requested on how best to clean pump strainer basket

    My current method to clean debris from the pump strainer basket is to turn off the pump circuit breaker, slowly vent the filter until there is no more air draw, and then take off the strainer basket cover and clean out the basket. The problem with my method is that inevitably there is some backflow from the basket to the incoming suction line which pulls out some of the debris before I remove the cover to clean the basket. After starting up again, that upstream debris ends up back in the basket so that the basket is immediately "dirty" again.

    Is there a better way to do this so that I can remove ALL the debris at each clean out?

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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    Re: Tips requested on how best to clean pump strainer basket

    Funny you should post~I'm a neebie as well and also frustrated. The way I see it; either placement of a check-valve (one way) or manual valve very near the intake of the pump. Not too sure the check-valve is advisable (may cause other problems down the road-debris slipping past skimmer/cleaner). Maybe the experts will advise?
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Tips requested on how best to clean pump strainer basket

    LA2240 -- Do you have a sand filter with a multiport valve?

    If so, put the valve in the closed position and that should help with the backflow. You won't have to bleed the filter that way also.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Tips requested on how best to clean pump strainer basket

    I have a cartridge filter.

    Why wouldn't I still have to bleed? The strainer basket is full to the cover, and I'm not dying to try the experiment of pulling it off when completely full and having gallons spill over. Or does a vacuum in the filter prevent that problem?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Tips requested on how best to clean pump strainer basket

    The vacuum in the filter actually does prevent all but a tiny bit of water from coming out of the pump basket. In fact if left full it may siphon the other way toward the pool. Instead of backing out of the pump basket.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Tips requested on how best to clean pump strainer basket

    OK, I'll give it a try (with a mop handy).

    Thanks for the advice.

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    Re: Tips requested on how best to clean pump strainer basket

    Follow up question on the multiport diverter valve. Mine is operated by a Compool automation system with an electric actuator. I can manually override to set the valve in any position. However, it looks like the three positions are <pool suction><both suction><spa suction>. There does not appear to be any "closed" position. In other words, the pump can continue to draw and pump water in any possible position on the diverter valve.

    Suggestions further to "close the diverter valve"?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Tips requested on how best to clean pump strainer basket

    Just saw that you have a cartridge filter, and since you have an actuator on the diverter valve there's no easy way to close it so you're current way of doing it is probably the best way.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Tips requested on how best to clean pump strainer basket

    Am I the only one that just turns off the pump and opens the basket without moving any valves? Water never spills out. The water in the basket drains back into the pool through the suction line. But, the filter water does not drain back into the pump ... maybe I am blessed with a sealed system or the filter actually drains a little forward to the pool through the returns pulling in air through the pump?

    One of those things that I never really thought of as being complicated. Although I certainly understand if the pump was below the pool water level, valve must be used ... but I know I have read where someone would actually open the valve a bit to let remaining debris in the pump get washed out the top of the pump.
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    Re: Tips requested on how best to clean pump strainer basket

    Jason ... I'll give that a try ... I just always assumed with a full cartridge filter standing taller than the pump and with the strainer basket completely full of water, I need to drain first.

    If this works, I definitely got what I was looking for by asking the question.

    Thx.

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    Re: Tips requested on how best to clean pump strainer basket

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Am I the only one that just turns off the pump and opens the basket without moving any valves? Water never spills out. The water in the basket drains back into the pool through the suction line. But, the filter water does not drain back into the pump ... maybe I am blessed with a sealed system or the filter actually drains a little forward to the pool through the returns pulling in air through the pump?

    One of those things that I never really thought of as being complicated. Although I certainly understand if the pump was below the pool water level, valve must be used ... but I know I have read where someone would actually open the valve a bit to let remaining debris in the pump get washed out the top of the pump.
    I loosen the filter basket cover, remove it swiftly, then quickly block the inlet pipe with my hand.
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    Re: Tips requested on how best to clean pump strainer basket

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Although I certainly understand if the pump was below the pool water level, valve must be used ... but I know I have read where someone would actually open the valve a bit to let remaining debris in the pump get washed out the top of the pump.
    That's definitely me, or could have been me. My pump was/is below water level on both my pools and set-ups were/are such that spills were not a problem. Leave the valve open, let it flow over, dump the basket and then plunge it up and down in the flowing water to clean it out. Close lid. I've been doing it for almost fifty years.

    In my old set-up the bonus was the sump got fired up and run for a few seconds.
    Current: 28,000G 18'x36' I/G AnthonySylvan Plaster; Waterway 60 sq.ft. DE Filter; 1.0hp x 1.65 SF Two-Speed (B2982) WhisperFlo; 2004-Present
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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Tips requested on how best to clean pump strainer basket

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Am I the only one that just turns off the pump and opens the basket without moving any valves?
    Nope, that's exactly how I do it. No water spills out, it just retreats back through the suction line towards the pool.
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