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Thread: Plstc bag blkng intake in basket...getting sucked back

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    Plstc bag blkng intake in basket...getting sucked back

    Longtime lurker, first time posting...... lots of helpful people on these boards.

    I see a plastic bag blocking the impeller side of the pump basket on my Pentair WhisperFlo pump. When I release the manual relief valve on DE vertical filter, the plastic bag and loose grass gets suck back down the tube coming from the skimmers and main drain. I can't get the plastic back which is reducing the flow of water into the impeller.

    Coming from the ground at my pool equipment site, there is one PVC pipe from the main drain and one PVC pipe from the skimmers. They join together at an adjustable valve where a short PVC pipe goes into the pump basket. The only intake that I can control is the valve directing skimmer and/or main drain water into the pump. There are only three possibilities: 1) skimmer line closed and main drain line open, 2) main drain line open and skimmer line closed, or 3) both lines open.

    Any advice on how I can out the stuff in the pump basket without the junk being sucked back into main drain/skimmer lines?

    Thanks in advance for any tips you can provide!
    Built in Summer 2011, 16,875 gal, 14'6" x 34' irregular, 3'6" to 7' depth, gunite/plaster inground (blue quartz)
    Two-tone kook deck, 1 handrail, 7' x 10' beach landing, 2 IntelliBrites LED
    2 skimmers, Paramount Pool Valet floor cleaning system, 3'w x 8'l x 18"h tiled water cascade fountain w/3 geysers, 4 therapy jets
    1.5 hp WhisperFlo pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 sq ft vertical grid filter, Intermatic timer (T100 series), Performax 960 chlorinator tube

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    Re: Plstc bag blkng intake in basket...getting sucked back

    Welcome to the forum.

    It sounds like the plastic is visible (pump running) but then retreats back into the suction piping when you let air in.

    1. Run the pump to get the bag visible with the skimmer line open and main drain closed.

    2. Have a partner remove the skimmer basket and, just as you turn off the pump, push a tennis ball down into the hole in the bottom of the skimmer.

    3. Open the pump basket and remove the plastic.

    Do you have any idea why the plastic won't come all the way into the pump strainer basket on it's own?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Plstc bag blkng intake in basket...getting sucked back

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Welcome to the forum.

    It sounds like the plastic is visible (pump running) but then retreats back into the suction piping when you let air in.

    1. Run the pump to get the bag visible with the skimmer line open and main drain closed.

    2. Have a partner remove the skimmer basket and, just as you turn off the pump, push a tennis ball down into the hole in the bottom of the skimmer.

    3. Open the pump basket and remove the plastic.

    Do you have any idea why the plastic won't come all the way into the pump strainer basket on it's own?
    The plastic bag goes all the way into the pump strainer basket...it isn't a large bag but big enough to block the impeller intake. The bag retreats out of the basket once the manual relief valve is opened on the DE filter. I thought that the manual relief valve had to be opened before cover on pump strainer basket could be taken off. So I don't need to depressurize before taking this basket cover off?

    Thanks!
    Built in Summer 2011, 16,875 gal, 14'6" x 34' irregular, 3'6" to 7' depth, gunite/plaster inground (blue quartz)
    Two-tone kook deck, 1 handrail, 7' x 10' beach landing, 2 IntelliBrites LED
    2 skimmers, Paramount Pool Valet floor cleaning system, 3'w x 8'l x 18"h tiled water cascade fountain w/3 geysers, 4 therapy jets
    1.5 hp WhisperFlo pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 sq ft vertical grid filter, Intermatic timer (T100 series), Performax 960 chlorinator tube

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Plstc bag blkng intake in basket...getting sucked back

    Quote Originally Posted by Gator Fan
    The plastic bag goes all the way into the pump strainer basket...it isn't a large bag but big enough to block the impeller intake. The bag retreats out of the basket once the manual relief valve is opened on the DE filter. I thought that the manual relief valve had to be opened before cover on pump strainer basket could be taken off. So I don't need to depressurize before taking this basket cover off?

    Thanks!
    If the gauge says zero, it's no longer pressurized, but it will drain down when the strainer is opened.

    You can't go fishing with a coat hanger or a plumber's snake? Or set a trap with some kind of wire hook attached to the basket and when it tries backing out it gets caught on the hook?
    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: Plstc bag blkng intake in basket...getting sucked back

    [/quote]If the gauge says zero, it's no longer pressurized, but it will drain down when the strainer is opened.

    You can't go fishing with a coat hanger or a plumber's snake? Or set a trap with some kind of wire hook attached to the basket and when it tries backing out it gets caught on the hook?[/quote]

    When I turn off the pump motor, the pressure gauge always goes from the current pressure to zero. It has always done this. But pressure always comes out of filter when the manual relief valve is opened. So it may be operating at 20 psi and immediately go to zero when the motor turns off.

    I haven't thought of creating wire lines in the basket to "catch" the bag......
    Built in Summer 2011, 16,875 gal, 14'6" x 34' irregular, 3'6" to 7' depth, gunite/plaster inground (blue quartz)
    Two-tone kook deck, 1 handrail, 7' x 10' beach landing, 2 IntelliBrites LED
    2 skimmers, Paramount Pool Valet floor cleaning system, 3'w x 8'l x 18"h tiled water cascade fountain w/3 geysers, 4 therapy jets
    1.5 hp WhisperFlo pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 sq ft vertical grid filter, Intermatic timer (T100 series), Performax 960 chlorinator tube

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    Re: Plstc bag blkng intake in basket...getting sucked back

    GF,

    If the filter is pressurized with the pump off, you have a different issue with a suction side air leak.

    So, still do as suggested with the tennis ball tightly sealing the skimmer and then open the pressure relief valve to release any pressurized air in the top of the filter.....be sure to close the relief valve back up. Then, open the pump strainer basket and remove the bag....easy peasy.

    Next, you can work on your suction side air leak but we'll wait 'til we hear back from you.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Plstc bag blkng intake in basket...getting sucked back

    I very, very slowly opened the manual relief valve for a short time to keep the bag in the pump basket. I quickly removed the cover on the basket and snatched the bag.

    Thanks for your suggestions.......hopefully I get enough experience to help others down the road.
    Built in Summer 2011, 16,875 gal, 14'6" x 34' irregular, 3'6" to 7' depth, gunite/plaster inground (blue quartz)
    Two-tone kook deck, 1 handrail, 7' x 10' beach landing, 2 IntelliBrites LED
    2 skimmers, Paramount Pool Valet floor cleaning system, 3'w x 8'l x 18"h tiled water cascade fountain w/3 geysers, 4 therapy jets
    1.5 hp WhisperFlo pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 sq ft vertical grid filter, Intermatic timer (T100 series), Performax 960 chlorinator tube

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