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Thread: Baracuda G3 creating air bubbles

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    Baracuda G3 creating air bubbles

    I have been googling in vain for an answer to this problem but cannot find a solution. I have a Zodiac G3 Baracuda pool cleaner. The cleaner itself works OK for my kidney bean shaped pool save for one issue major issue:

    When the Baracuda undulates to create suction, it also produces bubbles.

    I have read many, many posts on suction side cleaners and obvious places to look for air, and have not found any of them to be the cause. I have the Baracuda connected to a dedicated pool cleaner suction line with an in-line leaf basket. I have checked the in-line leaf basket for air leakage by submerging it completely with my hands and tipping the chamber so all if the air goes straight into the pump. The leaf basket accumulates more air from deeper into the pool.

    I have held every bit of hose and the Baracuda itself underwater so that not a single rib on the hose stays above the water line . It still creates bubbles that collect in the leaf basket. Further, I have held the Baracuda and all of the hose completely still in the dead center of the pool (it's like wrestling the Hydra) away from the sides and bottom and it still produces air.

    I have removed the Baracuda head from the vacuum hose and the hose instantly stops sucking air into the in-line leaf basket. I can drain the air from the basket and no new air develops. Only with the cleaning head attached does it create air bubbles that go into the pump.

    I have verified the amount of suction is correct at number 3 with the flow gauge that comes with the Baracuda. All parts are in good working order, diaphragm has even been replaced to no avail.

    The only thing I can think of is the spa fountain, and waterfall that goes into the pool has somehow super oxygenated the water and the smack of the Baracuda diaphragm is causing some sort of cavitation to occur. But is that even possible?

    Any idea on how to rectify this particular problem would be greatly appreciated. At least once a day the Baracuda gets caught on the steps or a return jet and I'm wanting to try a device like the Twister to see if it can shake it loose to make it a bit more maintenance free. The Twister states it won't work if the cleaner sucks air so I'm trying to rectify that situation.
    12K Gal, IG plaster traditional chlorine pool with Spa Fountain & Waterfall feature, 2 skimmer, Raypak 2100 heater-currently broken :(
    2HP Challenger Pump, Pentair DE filter 48 sq. ft., The PoolCleaner 2 wheel suction side cleaner. Borates added.

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    Re: Baracuda G3 creating air bubbles

    The twister works great. I have several accounts with them attached to Zodiac cleaners. They last about 2 years - I know this because one that I put in two years ago finally stripped it's gear out. It also helps the cleaner get full coverage in a pool besides keeping it from getting pinned by the steps or in a corner.

    Check the canister o-ring. Put some silicone on it and see if the air continues. The reason I think it doesn't appear when you just hold the hose freely with your hand verses having the G3 attached is that their is less resistance without the cleaner head attached. ( 9 out of 10 times the canister o-ring is to blame - especially in the small grey top Hayward ones (W560). Silicone will seal it good. If the air stops -replace canister the o-ring.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Baracuda G3 creating air bubbles

    My guess is you have a suction side air leak somewhere and the added suction requirement for the cleaner makes it show up
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Baracuda G3 creating air bubbles

    Thanks for the replies. I've lubed that o ring excessively to no avail, so I'll try a replacement. It is indeed the Hayward model. But why would air continue to go into the canister due to a faulty o ring when it's completely under water?

    If there is a suction side leak, it's got to be before the leaf basket I would think. I also tried removing individual lengths of hose to try and find out if one had leaks, but couldn't find any. Perhaps the unions between hoses are leaking and my underwater hold down test was not long enough to clear the lines of air completely.
    12K Gal, IG plaster traditional chlorine pool with Spa Fountain & Waterfall feature, 2 skimmer, Raypak 2100 heater-currently broken :(
    2HP Challenger Pump, Pentair DE filter 48 sq. ft., The PoolCleaner 2 wheel suction side cleaner. Borates added.

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    Re: Baracuda G3 creating air bubbles

    aim4squirrels,

    Did you figure it out? I have the same issue...

    My only last theory is the same as Isaacs...

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    Re: Baracuda G3 creating air bubbles

    No, I never did, the baracuda plastic started to break apart at the opening where the diaphragm goes. I trashed it, bought The Pool Cleaner, and haven't looked back.
    12K Gal, IG plaster traditional chlorine pool with Spa Fountain & Waterfall feature, 2 skimmer, Raypak 2100 heater-currently broken :(
    2HP Challenger Pump, Pentair DE filter 48 sq. ft., The PoolCleaner 2 wheel suction side cleaner. Borates added.

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    Re: Baracuda G3 creating air bubbles

    Thanks. couple more questions if youve got a few minutes.

    Does the Pool Cleaner operate in a different manner so as to avoid this problem? (not "undulating"). Is it more of a constant suction? Similar to manual vac but with wheels?

    Do you use an in-line leaf canister with this also? If so work as expected with no air inside the canister?

    Newbie questions. Remember if you had any air bubbles in the pump pot? When I have skimmer only, I get one or two tiny bubbles every couple seconds coming from the suction side. Is this normal, created from some kind of small turbulence, or should there be absolutely NO visible bubbles no matter the size or frequency? Things appear to work ok in this mode and no air bubbles in the return or accumulation in the filter.

    When I attach the cleaner, I believe there is more bubbles in pump pot coming from suction side and bubbles coming out of water return. There is not as much water in the pot so its harder to see the amount since the water is all swirling around. But like you when I put in the in-line leaf canister, it rapidly filled with air which led me to start diagnosing beyond that point (hose and cleaner only things beyond that point). It just seems like if there was an air leak in the plumbing, why would I be getting significant air into the leaf canister that is beyond an air leak point? Unless some weirdness its getting in from the other side from the undulating action?

    The pump lid has new o-ring/lube, tried some new vac hose sections, and I havent identified any leaks in the suction side of the piping at the equipment using the shaving cream or water tricks. So Im afraid if there is a suction side leak it would be underground plumbing

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    Re: Baracuda G3 creating air bubbles

    The Pool Cleaner is indeed a completely different animal, pardon the pun. It is constant suction and it rolls across the bottom and sides of the pool. It's great. In the 6 months I've had it, it's only gotten stuck once. That Baracuda had to be constantly adjusted, pulled off the return jets, diaphragms replaced, etc. It was just a pain in the butt.

    Changing to The Pool Cleaner did fix the air bubble problem in my case. I can't tell you exactly why, but the diaphragm action was the cause of the air bubbles being made. Out of desperation trying to solve this problem, I got in the pool with the head of the Baracuda wrapped between my legs and kept everything underwater. All hoses, basket, head of the Baracuda, all of it. I still had bubbles??? ******, I stuck my finger in the orifice where the diaphragm was to stop it from slapping. I still was letting water through, mind you, but not letting it slap. I watched the leaf basket and waited a bit. No more air bubbles. Took finger out, air bubbles start appearing. Now explain that one...

    As a test, I checked each hose to the Baracuda by connecting one new section one at a time to the suction port on the pool and raising all but the end of each new section out of the water while the pump was on. No air, until I connected the Baracuda head underwater.

    My only thought was since I have a waterfall feature into a rather small pool, the water is saturated with oxygen and the smacking diaphragm motion actually knocks the tiny air bubbles together to form a bigger bubble. I'm not a scientist, so I can't explain the phenomenon better than that.

    The Pool Cleaner just works. Rolls around, turns when it gets in a bind, and keeps going. It takes a bit of adjusting to first get it going, but the directions are simple to follow. After you've tweaked the speed and the floats on the hose, you literally don't have to babysit it any more. And the part that I like the best is the clacking sound is gone.

    The only thing I've had a bit of a problem with is the tire lifespan. I'm replacing mine after 6 months as they're past the wear marks. Most of what I've read online are 2-3 years. I do, however, run it ALL THE TIME. If the pump is on, The Pool Cleaner is running, unless we're swimming in the pool.

    The leaf canister issue had to do with the o ring in it. It was shot. I bought a new one and it seems to stay underwater for the most part. It will fill with air when the lube has been washed off the ring, but I have noticed that the pump runs fine even when the basket is partially floating and has some air in it. My pump basket almost never has air in it any more. Occasionally there are a few bubbles, but never much. But understand, this could be due to the size of the pump I have in relationship to the pool size. I have what's listed on the motor as a 2.2HP pump, I think the installer or previous owner vastly oversized the pump for what we need, but perhaps they wanted strong jets on the spa tub. We've not used the spa yet, as the heater is still broken. Expensive fix. Anyway that strong pump probably yanks air out of the system readily. A more cost or energy efficient pump may not.

    I couldn't really diagnose your air issue without really looking at the system in person, but I can tell you what's happened to me on different occasions that I wasn't fully aware of at the time:

    There was a time that air got into the main pump basket and it wouldn't clear. Come to find out, there was debris that got through that final basket before the pump and was lodged in the pump impeller. It compromised the pull the pump had on the water and it wasn't strong enough to clear the air. I had to take the band off from around the pump, pull the pump away from the housing, and clean the impeller fins with needle nosed pliers by carefully reaching down the snout of the pump.

    Check every o ring in the system from your problem all the way to the pump. If it's even a little suspect, replace it. Save the old o rings and if that doesn't fix your problem, you've got an extra o ring. You'll use them eventually.

    I had the skimmer baskets turned on too high once, and it created a vortex so strong it sucked air in.

    I have had The Pool Cleaner set too high, and it actually rolled itself right up the wall and out of the water and sucked in massive amounts of air, so loud I could hear it from inside the house.

    Hope that helps you.
    12K Gal, IG plaster traditional chlorine pool with Spa Fountain & Waterfall feature, 2 skimmer, Raypak 2100 heater-currently broken :(
    2HP Challenger Pump, Pentair DE filter 48 sq. ft., The PoolCleaner 2 wheel suction side cleaner. Borates added.

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