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Thread: Air bubbles at lower speeds

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    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Air bubbles at lower speeds

    I'm convinced I've gone backward from where I was last year with flow and leaks and such, but am in the midst of trying to "diagnose" the current issues. What I noticed was that when I have the pump on its "normal" setting (2200 RPM) there is a stead stream of small bubbles coming out of one of the jets (the one that almost comes straight out from the wall - I didn't really look at the other one, which comes out almost parallel to the wall).

    While this is new this year, what I found kind of interesting is that if I cranked the pump way up (3400 RPM in this instance), the air bubbles completely go away.

    What I was wondering is if, at the lower setting, there's room for a little air to get in somewhere on the suction side while, at the higher setting, there's so much water flowing so fast that there's no room for air.

    Does that make any kind of sense at all? Is this an indicator of anything or just common place?
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    Re: Air bubbles at lower speeds

    I have been experimenting with running our pump at the slower speed and something I noticed is that at the regular high speed, there are absolutely no air bubbles in the pump basket. When it is running at the slower speed, there is an air bubble about 3 inches across in the top of the pump basket. Might be the same situation as your air bubbles?
    Built in October 2011, 16 x 26 x 20 L shaped vinyl IG steel wall pool, Hayward DE pro grid verticle filter 4800 pool, Hayward two speed superpump, 120,000 BTU Pentair Ultra Temp Heat Pump, Aqua Rite Salt system, 8' wide walk out steps, 2 skimmers, 4 returns, 2 main drains, 500 watt underwater light, intermatic mechanical timer

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Air bubbles at lower speeds

    It seems that bubbles in the pump basket on low is a common occurrence on the intelliflo when run at lower speeds. However I have not read reports of bubbles at rpms as high as 2200. Does it get worse at lower rpms?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Air bubbles at lower speeds

    Last year when I had this running decent, I ended up with one or two large bubbles in the pump basket at my "normal" speed. That was constant and no big deal. Previous to fixing a leak I had a lot of bubbles in the basket. So, my experience regarding a bubble in the basket is the same as yours.

    However, that's not the issue I'm dealing with now. I've gone backwards from where I was then and the bubble stream coming out of the jets is new. It just seems almost counter-intuitive that there should be less air at a higher speed.
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

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    Re: Air bubbles at lower speeds

    Not always, but changing the vacuum that occurs in the pump basket by raising/lowering rpm can cause a small air leak to reveal itself or seal itself....both scenarios are possibilities.

    It seems the O-ring on the pump basket lid is the biggest contributor to this but unions would be a suspect, too. Any fitting or valve that has a flexible rubber seal would probably be the best place to look.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Air bubbles at lower speeds

    Silicon grease, shaving cream, and some quality time near my pump equipment are in the plans for today...
    15,400 gal, 16x32 vinyl rectangle (sport dig), Intelliflo VS, 240 sqft cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40, Mastertemp 250, Dolphin supreme M4 cleaning, Pentair EasyTouch4

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Air bubbles at lower speeds

    Duraleigh,

    Right as usual. I was reading this post after searching for some info on running on slow speed. I was getting about an inch worth of air in the pump basket when I ran on slow speed. Since my heat pump and my swg seem ok with the slow speed I really wanted to make this work.

    I got some o ring lubricator and put a bead of that on top of the o ring (although mine is square) in my pump basket. No more air. At the end of the day is a small (maybe 50 cent piece size) air bubble but nothing like I had. When I run at high speed I have never had air.

    The only downside to this slow speed is that my skimmers don't skim much at all. I could turn off the valve to the floor drains but I like the floor drains because I feel like they keep the water really circulating and the bottom stays clean. I will just have to play with the valves to get the skimmers to work.

    Thank you for your advice.
    Built in October 2011, 16 x 26 x 20 L shaped vinyl IG steel wall pool, Hayward DE pro grid verticle filter 4800 pool, Hayward two speed superpump, 120,000 BTU Pentair Ultra Temp Heat Pump, Aqua Rite Salt system, 8' wide walk out steps, 2 skimmers, 4 returns, 2 main drains, 500 watt underwater light, intermatic mechanical timer

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