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Thread: Suction side air leak

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    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Flintstone, GA USA
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    112

    Suction side air leak

    I installed my new Hayward SP2600VS 1 1/2 HP pump. The housing on all Super Pumps are identical so the fitting connections matched up perfectly.

    I have considerable air bubbles in my Pump strainer and also back through into my pool via return jet. I have 2 return jets but strangly enough the lesser amount of air bubbles only coming from one of the jets which is the one that is the closest to the pump.

    I have checked all suction side connections and relubed them as well as the unions.

    On full skim it is considerably worse than it is on full drain, even though I still have bubbles on full drain.

    It is priming fine but it appears that the water lacks about 3/4 inch filling the strainer basket all the way to the top.

    I had a pool fellow tell me one time that if you had a suction air leak and it was not really bad you could do this trick.
    Take some Boss Silicone Hi Temp Blue GAsket Maker 323 all around each fitting and if it is leaking at that fitting the suction from the pump will pull it into the fitting and stop the leak. I am sure it would work better if the fitting was the kind that screwed in and not a pvc cemented one.

    Have you heard or ever used this method?

    Tom
    Tom

    18 x 36 Grecian Polynesian Fiberglass Walls with Concrete bottom - 3 ft to 9 1/2 ft. deep -
    Hayward Variable Speed Super Pump SP2600VS 1 1/2 True HP,Hayward sand filter S200, and Hayward auto clorinator. Hayward 250,000 natural gas heater. PoolKeeper automatic water leveler. Loop Loc Ultra Solid Safety Cover. Hayward Color Logic 12 volt light. Dual Pool Deck Jets.
    Polaris 380 auto cleaner. Trouble Free Test Kit TF-100.

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Suction side air leak

    I would not use silicone caulk anywhere on a pool circulatory system.

    You will be much better served in the long run to track down the leak and fix it correctly
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    alanpaul's Avatar
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    South Florida
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    Re: Suction side air leak

    Tom McC,
    No, I have not, but others may have.

    Why not try to find the source of the leak.
    O-ring around pump lid. Lubricate? Replace?
    Hairline crack in pump lid itself. Not usually visibly noticeable, but it can even slow down the circulation in the pool.

    Chances are that the leak is most likely one of the fittings you worked with while installing the new pump, as you implied.

    Joints in plumbing might have been stressed during your installation. Pour water slowly over each PVC weld before the pump and watch the pump lid for no bubbles.
    Do you have any ball valves? Pour the water on and around them, too. They tend to leak, and could be the source.

    Knowing where the leak is will allow you to actually take care of the problem. And yes, when I had a ball valve leak sucking air silently, the second-closest return had all the visible air bubbles in it too.

    Good luck in finding your air intrusion.
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Flintstone, GA USA
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    Re: Suction side air leak

    I have checked all these listed items. I also checked and lubricated the 2 plugs in the pump housing even though the pump is brand new.

    I feel that it is somewhere in the 2 pipe sections that I had to take loose and reinstall to the new pump but the water treatment around the fittings did not show any results.

    I can run the pump at 2400 RPM on even the skimmer setting and there is very little bubbles but running it on 3000 and it is worse.

    If I can't locate it over the week end then I will have to turn it over to a professional.

    Tom
    Tom

    18 x 36 Grecian Polynesian Fiberglass Walls with Concrete bottom - 3 ft to 9 1/2 ft. deep -
    Hayward Variable Speed Super Pump SP2600VS 1 1/2 True HP,Hayward sand filter S200, and Hayward auto clorinator. Hayward 250,000 natural gas heater. PoolKeeper automatic water leveler. Loop Loc Ultra Solid Safety Cover. Hayward Color Logic 12 volt light. Dual Pool Deck Jets.
    Polaris 380 auto cleaner. Trouble Free Test Kit TF-100.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Flintstone, GA USA
    Posts
    112

    Re: Suction side air leak

    My pool man came by this morning and got the air leak fixed. It was where the PVC fitting was screwed into the front of the pump housing. He removed my silicone and put 3 or 4 wraps of Teflon tape and then one round of the silicone to act as a gasket seal. This solved the problem and I do not have any air leak now.

    He also put silicone lubricant really heavy on all the seals which I had already done. I don't think it was at the seals but at the fitting that went into the front of the pump housing that he refitted.

    Tom
    Tom

    18 x 36 Grecian Polynesian Fiberglass Walls with Concrete bottom - 3 ft to 9 1/2 ft. deep -
    Hayward Variable Speed Super Pump SP2600VS 1 1/2 True HP,Hayward sand filter S200, and Hayward auto clorinator. Hayward 250,000 natural gas heater. PoolKeeper automatic water leveler. Loop Loc Ultra Solid Safety Cover. Hayward Color Logic 12 volt light. Dual Pool Deck Jets.
    Polaris 380 auto cleaner. Trouble Free Test Kit TF-100.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    alanpaul's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Location
    South Florida
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    227

    Re: Suction side air leak

    Thanks for telling us how it was done. We're glad you're leak free now.
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

  7. Back To Top    #7
    tcat's Avatar
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    May 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    708

    Re: Suction side air leak

    That's exactly where my problem was too; after replacing o-ring, foaming everything up with shaving cream... for the heck of it I unscrewed that fitting and wrapped a ton of teflon tape around it, and no more bubbles or need pump prime daily.
    IG pebble, 15,000 gallon
    48 PentAir DE Filter with backwash valve
    PentAir Whisperflo pump with 1hp 2-speed motor
    Aquabot 4WD, Poolskim
    Intermatic Dual Timeclock with freezeguard
    DIY chlorine feed
    BBB

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