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Thread: Bubbles in return vents, Loss of suction

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    Bubbles in return vents, Loss of suction

    In ground pool 36x18
    Pool was not used for about 18 months (lost my leg and that changed and that slowed up a lot of things)
    Pool became very dirty and at least a foot of dead and decaying leaves at bottom
    Drained and cleaned pool, refilled and balanced the chemistry
    Then: Bubbles in pool return, Pump basket doesn’t completely fill with water, Vacuum is strong at skimmer then drops off to nothing.

    More background info: before emptying the pool I tried vacuuming to see if I could clean it without completely draining. In doing that I would clog the DE filter in about 15 minutes (or less) of using the vacuum. A lot of leaves and debris was pulled through the skimmer pipe to the filter.

    There is a concrete deck around the pool and all the plumbing is below that. Making any pipe repair very costly. I am being told that there must be an air leak in the pipe between the skimmer and the pump.

    This non-priming, non-complete filling of the pump basket, loss of suction (pressure) happened suddenly.
    So now here are my questions:
    What other things could be causing this problem. For example could cavitation in a pipe elbow cause this? Could a clog (after the pump), in the maze of pipes around the pump and filter cause this?

    What testing and bypassing procedures can I use/try to locate the problem

    If it is underground is there a skimmer that I can purchase that would clamp onto the cement deck and be piped on the top of the deck to the pump? Bypassing the underground pipe completely?

    I need the pool operational to help me get back in shape so I can work and bring in some income. Luckily I am a Vet and the VA has been wonderful in building me a prosthesis. Any thoughts you have on what I might do to fix or work around this problem would be greatly appreciated.

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    Re: Bubbles in return vents, Loss of suction

    Suction side leaks are almost never the underground pipe. It is far more likely to be the pump basket lid or a joint above ground.

    Pump running, what is the psi? Does the psi go to zero when you turn the pump off. Have you checked the impeller to see if it is clogged?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Bubbles in return vents, Loss of suction

    do you have one or two skimmers? I had a manual switch near my pump inlet and if one side was closed off
    it leaked air in. there is also a hose fitting on that too in the middle. I found the gasket
    to that hose fitting was missing and someone tried to
    use silicon to seal it. (house and pool set up is new to me just bought)

    as for bypassing the line in a very long vacuum hose might work temporarily.
    a plumber with a portable camera might be able to scope it for damage.

    also is the pump strainer gasket leaking? remove and grease it up as it may seal better.
    one more thing if you have a switch at filter housing I would not vacuum it (waste leaves) through the filter
    you would set filter control to waste (bypassing filter) and when you loose prime try setting at recirculate until
    intake is full of water. then stop pump set to filter, run.
    18X36 Grecian 24400 est., pacfab sand Triton II, 1.5hp AOSmith, clormatic 2

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    Re: Bubbles in return vents, Loss of suction

    Dave

    First, Thank you for the reply. Your Questions,
    Pump running, what is the psi? 10 lbs
    Does the psi go to zero when you turn the pump off. yes
    Have you checked the impeller to see if it is clogged? Yes

    Richard

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    Re: Bubbles in return vents, Loss of suction

    Eaamon,
    Thank you for your reply Your questions:

    do you have one or two skimmers? One skimmer. If I had two I would have tested each one separately and noted it in my first forum entry
    there is also a hose fitting on that too in the middle No hose fitting on mine. pool is about 30-35 years old.
    also is the pump strainer gasket leaking? No, not leaking. I am aware of o-ring problems
    I would not vacuum it (waste leaves) through the filter. Understood! however the pool is crystal right now, but if I can't get the pump running properly algae will be back.

    I have replaced the following in the last month.
    Pump internal plastic basket
    Pump basket cover
    Pump basket o-ring
    2 grids in filter
    O-ring for filter


    Richard

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    Re: Bubbles in return vents, Loss of suction

    I think now some idea of your filter type. pictures etc.
    if you have a large filter type, does you filter use a manual switch to set backwash and so on?

    to get air out of that type. you might check out youtube to view some filter control videos.
    shut down pump first before changing valve position at any time.....
    1, set it to recirculate. there it should prime the filter pump and not go through filter. it will give you
    the highest speed through the inlet lines and clean out any air all the way back to the pool.
    2, once air is expelled shut down the pump and set for filter. if you start to see bubbles coming out
    of return. I might ask do you have a SWG/salt water chlorine generator. (pictures help) if you do then the
    bubbles coming out into the pool are normal.
    hopefully there are no bubbles entering your filter pump basket by now.
    18X36 Grecian 24400 est., pacfab sand Triton II, 1.5hp AOSmith, clormatic 2

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    Re: Bubbles in return vents, Loss of suction

    Eaamon (what does that stand for) [you don't have to tell me]

    You are right about pictures I will do that today.
    Also model number(s) of parts
    The air release is on the top of the filter and is opened by rotating the pressure valve assembly.

    I do purge air from the system but it doesn't make any difference to the bubbles in the return.

    Thanks for the followup

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    Re: Bubbles in return vents, Loss of suction

    OK here are pictures of the pool and pump area
    I have got to find out what is causing this.
    [attachment=2:gn1zqfs0]Pool.jpg[/attachment:gn1zqfs0]
    [attachment=1:gn1zqfs0]Overhead_view.jpg[/attachment:gn1zqfs0] [attachment=0:gn1zqfs0]Intake_Pump.jpg[/attachment:gn1zqfs0]
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Bubbles in return vents, Loss of suction

    ok, the area where you have fro, pool or spa. is it a switch to choose either?
    if it is can you filter both at the same time. this area is on the intake side of things
    and if you shut one down it may be what is taking in air. it is hard to tell from the pic.
    but on mine if the valve handle goes left or right it can also go to the filter and allow both spa and pool
    to be filtered at the same time. in that position of running both to pump my bubbles stopped.
    at where the pool or spa arrow the top of that unit is that a pipe from the pool drain?
    mine was closed off and some one tried to seal it but failed. looks like a white elbow or cap there.

    I am not familiar with your back wash system. I have the haywood or pacfab multiport valve on mine.
    18X36 Grecian 24400 est., pacfab sand Triton II, 1.5hp AOSmith, clormatic 2

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    Re: Bubbles in return vents, Loss of suction

    There are two valves when looking at the pictures the one infront of the pump with the lever as it is now pointing left it pulls from the pool and the Spa. the valve on the right near the heater, with the lever pointing to the right, pushes to the pool and Spa

    If the levers are reversed the pump pulls from the spa and returns to the spa.

    I will set them that way and see if I am getting bubbles in the spa. If so, it seems that it is somewhere around the pump and filter and not underground as the pipes (underground) go in a different direction.

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    Re: Bubbles in return vents, Loss of suction

    sounds like a good test.
    18X36 Grecian 24400 est., pacfab sand Triton II, 1.5hp AOSmith, clormatic 2

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