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Thread: Help diagnosing issue

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    Help diagnosing issue

    Hello, I purchased a home in August with my first pool, owner seems to have taken great care. I came home the other day to find significant air coming out of the return lines, whirlpool action in the pump basket, no pressure in the filter, reads 0. Water level is perfect, and pump is returning significant amount of water to the pool, just with a lot of air. The pump basket isn't filling completely with water.

    From my reading this points to a suction side leak? Could this be a clog as well? My system is fairly simple, see pics below. We've also had cold weather in south texas, so weather in the 70s one day and lows in the mid 30's the next, not sure if that could affect pipe fittings. You will also see plenty of small leaves I'm the pics, they may be an issue as well. Both skimmer and pump baskets are now completely clean.

    Thanks for your help as I'm going to try to tackle this myself. The company my home warranty provider sent out seems to be trying to get into my pocket. They are pointing to an underground leak. I just don't see how that much air could be sucked from underground.
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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    Everything you say does point to a suction side leak. It could also be caused by debris wrapped around the impeller or a debris clog in the suction side pipes.


    Have you read the article in Pool School on how to find and fix a suction side air leak?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    Sure did, not having much luck I just replaced/lubed the lid gasket, inspected the three joints in front of the basket all appear well put together, tried wrapping joints in a wet cloth and running water over basket lid. Hmmmm....

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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    It's there somewhere. Is the water level in the pool high enough in the skimmers?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    Sure is, I put the house back into the supply line from the pump basket and water seemed to run freely back to the skimmer. Gonna keep investigating...

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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    Not too often, but the impeller could be clogged with debris which would cause those symptoms or the suction side piping could have a significant obstruction that would also cause them.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    Thank you for taking the time to reply, I lit an incense, one of those sticks that lets out a smokey aroma, the smoke is was being pulled towards the back of the pump behind the basket. See the slots left of the pump? The suction was strong enough to hold a leaf against the slot. Would that indicate debris in the impeller?
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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    No, that suction is not related to your circulatory system.

    Turn your pump off (really!) and then remove the pump strainer basket. You should be able to reach into the opening that goes into the pump and touch the impeller (It's smooth plastic....not a "fan" like you might think))

    Feel for debris and spin the impeller to see that it spins freely. It probably will then you will know that the impeller is not the issue.

    After you have removed your hand, replaced the pump strainer basket, replaced the pump basket lid and count all ten of your fingers to make sure you didn't leave one in there, then you can turn the pump back on. I count mine twice to eliminate a miscount.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    Check that the water level in the skimmer remains full while the pump is running. If the water is lowered and air being sucked into the skimmer pipe, check that the skimmer weir is not stuck in the closed/near closed position.
    _________________
    13K freeform gunite with spillover spa; Hayward 244T sand filter; Whisperflow 1.5 HP 2-speed; waterfall w/ Whisperflow 1HP; Pentair Legend w/ Pentair .75 HP booster pump; Aqua Logic PS-8 (no SWCG); Pentair Minimax heater (dead), Pentair 300 clorinator (vacation use); BBB, TF-100 w/ speedstir.

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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    Ok I cannot locate the issue, over the last few days the water level dropped below the skimmer line, went out this morning and lifted the skimmer basket to find there to be almost no water in the skimmer. The pump has been off the entire time, this would indicate that there may be a leak in the supply line. Any other thoughts?

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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    The thread started as air in the return lines but now you are reporting a drop in the water level??

    They should be unrelated but I am not sure which issue you are trying to solve.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    That could be why there is air in the pump basket. If the pool water level is too low, the pump will draw in air instead of water. The pool water levels should be half way up the skimmer inlet.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    When you turn on your pool do you get an initial rush of dirty water coming thru your pump. I had a fitting on dedicated suction line crack and the water would leak out and when I switched the valve to the dedicated suction I would get a rush of red clay colored water and then air and water mixture as all the leaked water had been sucked back up thru the crack. I make reference to this because I would think that the same thing may happen at the skimmer fitting.
    35K IG Vinyl 20 x 40 self built pool, Hayward Pro Series High-Rate Sand Filter 31" 98gal/min, Hayward TriStar 1.85hp, Hayward 400btu heater, BBB method w/Hypo, Jazz light w/matching fiber optic rope lighting around coping w/syncronized color wheels. Concrete Paver deck.

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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    Yeah obvious things like enough water in the pool were checked prior. When I originally had the issue water level was fine just air in the return. Over the next serval days water level lowered however it wasn't clear if it was evaporation related, relatively warm water compared to a overnight cold front pushing dry cold air in. When I had the home warranty company send someone out he pointed to a possible underground issue. I wasn't convinced as I just could not understand how that much air was being pulled in from under ground, I would also think I could locate a soft/wet spot if it was infact leaking. I then refilled midway above slimmer and tried testing myself with no luck. Since I refilled a week and a half ago water has dropped below skimmer opening. With skimmer basket almost empty. I'm gonna poke around the ground near skimmer to see if I can locate some water.

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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    When my pool had a leak, I was losing tens of thousands of gallons per month. Not a single wet spot anywhere in the yard.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    Knowing my luck it's underneath my cement patio...

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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnmike0985
    Knowing my luck it's underneath my cement patio...
    Sounds like you have luck like me! The leak I was referring to was under the pool deck. The only thing that worked in my favor was that I did my deck with pavers which made the repair a lot easier. You may be able to screw a plug into the bottom of your skimmer(s) and use this to help diagnose where the problem is.
    35K IG Vinyl 20 x 40 self built pool, Hayward Pro Series High-Rate Sand Filter 31" 98gal/min, Hayward TriStar 1.85hp, Hayward 400btu heater, BBB method w/Hypo, Jazz light w/matching fiber optic rope lighting around coping w/syncronized color wheels. Concrete Paver deck.

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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    Found the issue finally... A lot of digging and frustration later I found a bad connection under ground, under the deck. Looks like they used some bs coupling.
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    Re: Help diagnosing issue

    I am glad you found the problem. That coupling does look suspicious! Was that coupling in the return side or the suction side of you pool plumbing?
    35K IG Vinyl 20 x 40 self built pool, Hayward Pro Series High-Rate Sand Filter 31" 98gal/min, Hayward TriStar 1.85hp, Hayward 400btu heater, BBB method w/Hypo, Jazz light w/matching fiber optic rope lighting around coping w/syncronized color wheels. Concrete Paver deck.

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