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Thread: too much suction when vaccuuming

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    too much suction when vaccuuming

    Here is my problem. When I vacuum my cement/plaster floor/steps and fiberglass walls with my vacuum, I actually often get too much suction. I vacuum manually with the rectangular style vacuum with weights on it. I actually enjoy vacuuming it manually...just not now with this problem I'm having!
    I prime it from the return jets and cup the hose with my hand it while I walk to the skimmer and insert the hose. When this happens I notice the collection basket next to the pump motor mostly empties and then takes a minute or so to fill back up completely with no air present. Is this normal? Its been like that since I inherited the pool 4-5 years ago.

    fyi, This is the only time I ever get air in my basket. Never any air in the lines otherwise.

    So, to continue on....almost every time I vacuum now the vacuum itself actually sticks to the bottom and I can't move it. Totally locked in place. The vacuum hose will kink up at this point as well. Make vacuuming a pain in the you know what. Every time that happens I have to shut off the pump, unkink, then turn pump back on, reprime...etc...I have to do this 4-5 times just to clean the entire pool.

    This too much suction phenomenon has only occurred the last couple years.

    What, if anything, am I doing wrong and do I need to replace anything? I have a single skimmer and single drain at the bottom, and 3 return jets. 18 x 36 oval IG pool. I never adjust any valve(s) when vacuuming. I only have 1 valve near my pump/filter and I never touch it. Should I?

    I asked my pool guy about this and he said he has never had anyone with this problem...he says its people saying there isn't enough suction.

    Any thoughts or ideas?
    Thanks!
    25k, IG, fiberglass walls and plaster/cement steps and floor, DE, 3/4 HP Heyward motor, Heyward automatic chlorinator, Pool is about 20 years old.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    Is the valve at the equipment on the suction side to select between the skimmer and floor? If so ... definitely open up the floor some to reduce the vacuum suction.

    Add a picture of the equipment pad.

    Likely the air in the pump is just due to air left in the hose after trying to fill it, as long as it all goes away, you are fine.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    I will post a picture in the morning. In the meantime...Since I have never adjusted the valve in my 5 years of inheriting the pool, should I turn off the pump when doing this?
    25k, IG, fiberglass walls and plaster/cement steps and floor, DE, 3/4 HP Heyward motor, Heyward automatic chlorinator, Pool is about 20 years old.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    You should not have to turn the pump off, just turn it slowly and make sure you never close of the main suction line into the pump.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    perhaps a silly question, but is there a scenario where the main drain would be completely closed at any time? I will post a picture in the am, but my single valve is actually a handle type contraption that I'm not sure indicates whats open or closed? There is also a spinny thing near this about the diameter of a quarter and an inch tall that I can turn, but nothing seems to happen when I do loosen or tighten it? I think the picture(s) to follow will illustrate better.

    Thanks
    25k, IG, fiberglass walls and plaster/cement steps and floor, DE, 3/4 HP Heyward motor, Heyward automatic chlorinator, Pool is about 20 years old.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    Hmm. Maybe the valve is really a backwash valve ... a picture is a good idea.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    Here is my handle style valve and the quarter sized spinny thing that's about an inch thick. [attachment=0:231zk3yo]2013-05-29 002 001.JPG[/attachment:231zk3yo]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    25k, IG, fiberglass walls and plaster/cement steps and floor, DE, 3/4 HP Heyward motor, Heyward automatic chlorinator, Pool is about 20 years old.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    Ok. That is a 3 way valve. Is it in front of the pump or after the filter? The little knob is to add lubricant.

    Opposite the handle it should say off. Do not point the off toward the center pipe and you should be fine.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    The way it's shown in then pic either the skimmer or the main drain is completely off.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    The handle valve is in front of the pump. I would suspect that the main drain is the one in "off" position b/c my skimmer is definitely pulling water in and has great suction....in fact too much suction, hence the reason for my post. Too much suction when I vacuum that it locks up and the hose kinks and then I have to start over and keep re-priming every 5 minutes or so.
    25k, IG, fiberglass walls and plaster/cement steps and floor, DE, 3/4 HP Heyward motor, Heyward automatic chlorinator, Pool is about 20 years old.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    Try turning the valve handle over the middle pipe. That will open the main drain and thereby lessen the suction to the skimmer.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    Thanks Bama. Any harm in keeping the main drain valve open a little bit permanently after I finish vacuuming? Will that affect the pools circulation for better or worse? affect pool chemistry?

    thanks for the response.
    25k, IG, fiberglass walls and plaster/cement steps and floor, DE, 3/4 HP Heyward motor, Heyward automatic chlorinator, Pool is about 20 years old.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    No harm at all. It should have been open some all the time anyway. It usually helps a little to leave it open as it draws some water from the bottom and that aids circulation a bit.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    Opening the main drain a little cured the too much vacuum suction problem.


    On a side note, I know the main drain hadn't been opened by me for at least the 5 years since I've inherited the pool...as soon as I opened it the entire basket was filled with rotten and decayed worms that were like jelly and slime. DISGUSTING! The smell was what I would think decayed flesh would smell like. Truly awful.
    25k, IG, fiberglass walls and plaster/cement steps and floor, DE, 3/4 HP Heyward motor, Heyward automatic chlorinator, Pool is about 20 years old.

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    Yuck!!!
    Make sure you leave the floor open a little at all times now.
    I would certainly suggest elevating your FC up to shock level for a while to ensure everything is killed off ... review this:
    Shocking Your Pool
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    LOL!

    I wonder why it was closed? Do keep an eye on water level, perhaps previous owner closed it to stop a leak....
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  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo
    LOL!

    I wonder why it was closed? Do keep an eye on water level, perhaps previous owner closed it to stop a leak....
    Closing the 3-way valve at the pump would not prevent a leak as the water would still enter through the drain
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  18. Back To Top    #18
    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo
    LOL!

    I wonder why it was closed? Do keep an eye on water level, perhaps previous owner closed it to stop a leak....
    Closing the 3-way valve at the pump would not prevent a leak as the water would still enter through the drain
    What if piping runs above skimmer water level and that is where the leak is? Probably not likely....
    18'x43' Sport Pool
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  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    definitely no leak. I am awaiting my test kit to come tomorrow. I have been not been able to hold a good shock level as I seem to be fighting some sort or algae that keep reappearing every day. My CYA is about 50-60 so, I need to bring it up to about 24 according to the chart. While I wait for my new test kit, the strips I had been using only test FC to 10. So without knowing if I am keeping the shock level, I'm waiting for my new k 2006 test kit to begin the battle. In the meantime, my water is crystal clear...aside from some patchy algae that show itself each morning. I just keep vacuuming to waste and brushing in the interim.

    I am ready to convert to BBB this season avoid be held hostage by the pool store!

    However, I do hate to waste all the 3" chlorine pucks that I had leftover from last season though. I'd say I have about 25lbs worth. Does that stuff ever go bad...so I can save it for filling the automatic chlorinator when we go on vacation?

    I have about 15 1lb. bags of dichlor based "super shock" as well. I hate to waste it, but my CYA levels have been ridiculously high and I know those add to that level. I have already drained about 20-30% of the pool from pumping out and vacuuming to waste and refilling.

    Speaking of the automatic chlorinator, when I begin chlorinating with bleach permanently (after I maintain shock level and pass OCLT of course!), do I just close the auto chlorinator feeder to the "closed" position?
    25k, IG, fiberglass walls and plaster/cement steps and floor, DE, 3/4 HP Heyward motor, Heyward automatic chlorinator, Pool is about 20 years old.

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: too much suction when vaccuuming

    You can save the pucks. As long as they are kept closed they will last a very long time.
    You can use them for vacations, etc.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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