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Thread: Question Regarding Low Vacuum Suction through skimmer...

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    Question Regarding Low Vacuum Suction through skimmer...

    Hello everyone,

    This is my first post on here, and I hope I put in in the right place! I just moved into a home with a pool so I am fairly new to pool ownership. Here is my problem this year...

    We had our pool opened last saturday by a pool company, since I had no idea how to do it. Everything seems to be working well except that the vacuum suction is very low compared to last year. There is some suction, but it is not even close to what it was. Last summer the vacuum head would even get stuck to the bottom and sometimes it was even difficult to pull the hose and vacuum skimmer plate out of the skimmer when I was done and the pump was still on. This year the hose pulls out with ease, the suction is low, and I even sometimes seem to lose suction...this makes vacuuming a long process.

    Our pool is about 31x16 and maybe 10ft deep in the deep end. The things I know that are fine in regards to this are:
    - The water level has not moved since we opened the pool
    - The jets are flowing with great pressure on return
    - The PSI gauge is sitting at around 18
    - The pump seems to be flowing fine through the clear lid with no air
    - I have replaced the hose and vacuum skimmer plate and it has not made a difference

    Thanks very much for your help
    Adam
    Michelle

    IG vinyl liner, 30000 gal (approx?)
    Nautilus FNS60 DE Filter; Pentair SuperFlo 3/4HP pump
    Nature2 Fusion Soft 1400 SWG
    Not sure when pool put in ?15-20yr ago, new liner ~7yr ago

  2. Back To Top    #2
    linen's Avatar
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    Twin Cities, MN
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    Re: Question Regarding Low Vacuum Suction through skimmer...

    Welcome to tfp, Adam78

    Sounds like you have done some good troubleshooting. Just a couple of questions:

    Do you only have on skimmer on the suction line, or do you have more than one or also a floor drain?

    What was the psi last year?

    Does the pressure gauge go to zero when the pump is off?

    When the vacuum is connected is the pump basket air free?

    What is the pressure when the vacuum is attached?

    How is the flow when the vacuum is attached?
    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: Question Regarding Low Vacuum Suction through skimmer...

    Hello and thanks for the quick response!
    Some of your questions I am going to have to go do a couple tests with to confirm 100%..however I believe these are the correnct answers..again, thanks for your help.......
    -I am pretty certain the psi was higher for sure last...I was worried it was a little too high at times 20-30
    -Will have to verify about pressure gauge going to 0 when pump is off, but I think it does
    -When the vacuum is connected, I dont believe there is air in the pump..I have not actually checked this..but I never notice air shooting out the jets when I vacuum (not sure if that means it is or isnt necessarily)
    -There is a floor drain, and in our skimmer there is two holes...I know one is for the pump and one is for the floor drain...funny you mentioned that because I know for sure when we moved in last year there was a yellow plug in the hole for the floor drain...I left it in all year...pool guy said I could remove it, but I never bothered since it was in there when we moved in and the pool was already running. When I looked in there this year I notice that when they opened the pool they took that plug out. Could having that hole open make a difference in the strength of suction to the pump??
    - The next thing I was looking at was cleaning out the impeller...(saw this through net research)..but I would need more instruction on this for sure
    Michelle

    IG vinyl liner, 30000 gal (approx?)
    Nautilus FNS60 DE Filter; Pentair SuperFlo 3/4HP pump
    Nature2 Fusion Soft 1400 SWG
    Not sure when pool put in ?15-20yr ago, new liner ~7yr ago

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Question Regarding Low Vacuum Suction through skimmer...

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam78
    Hello and thanks for the quick response!
    Some of your questions I am going to have to go do a couple tests with to confirm 100%..however I believe these are the correnct answers..again, thanks for your help.......
    -I am pretty certain the psi was higher for sure last...I was worried it was a little too high at times 20-30
    -Will have to verify about pressure gauge going to 0 when pump is off, but I think it does
    -When the vacuum is connected, I dont believe there is air in the pump..I have not actually checked this..but I never notice air shooting out the jets when I vacuum (not sure if that means it is or isnt necessarily)
    -There is a floor drain, and in our skimmer there is two holes...I know one is for the pump and one is for the floor drain...funny you mentioned that because I know for sure when we moved in last year there was a yellow plug in the hole for the floor drain...I left it in all year...pool guy said I could remove it, but I never bothered since it was in there when we moved in and the pool was already running. When I looked in there this year I notice that when they opened the pool they took that plug out. Could having that hole open make a difference in the strength of suction to the pump??
    - The next thing I was looking at was cleaning out the impeller...(saw this through net research)..but I would need more instruction on this for sure
    Yes. There's your problem. That second hole goes to the main drain. You put the plate on and it splits the suction between the vacuum hose and the floor drain. The hose is longer and smaller and ribbed inside, so it has more friction. It's easier to draw from the drain than the vacuum.

    Is there a sliding flap inside the skimmer that you can move to cover the main drain hole? If not, either a) reinstall that plug temporarily while you vacuum and buy a diverter valve if you don't have one, or b) do what I did and make an adaptor to stick the hose on that fits nicely into the suction port and forget about the plate.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Question Regarding Low Vacuum Suction through skimmer...

    Oh man... I cant wait to try this tomorrow morning! I will let you know how it works out for sure.
    Thanks a bunch. I am glad this forum is here and I am sure Ill have some more questions in the future...and then hopefully I can answer some in the future.
    Michelle

    IG vinyl liner, 30000 gal (approx?)
    Nautilus FNS60 DE Filter; Pentair SuperFlo 3/4HP pump
    Nature2 Fusion Soft 1400 SWG
    Not sure when pool put in ?15-20yr ago, new liner ~7yr ago

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Question Regarding Low Vacuum Suction through skimmer...

    Worked like a charm!!! The suction is back! Took back the $90.00 new hose and plate I tired and got a $1.50 expanding plug for now. Works like it used to. Thanks for saving me some stress. After vacuuming today I back washed ..then when I put it back on filter mode, dirty/cloudy water shot out of the jets for 5-10secs. Have not seen that happen before..but I never went through the first week of an open pool before either.........is that normal?
    Michelle

    IG vinyl liner, 30000 gal (approx?)
    Nautilus FNS60 DE Filter; Pentair SuperFlo 3/4HP pump
    Nature2 Fusion Soft 1400 SWG
    Not sure when pool put in ?15-20yr ago, new liner ~7yr ago

  7. Back To Top    #7
    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    8,649

    Re: Question Regarding Low Vacuum Suction through skimmer...

    After backwash, did you run a rinse cycle before going back to filter? The rinse should go until the water is clear. Also, make sure you turn your pump off before you move your valve to different positions.
    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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