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Thread: Air getting into system?

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    delirium330's Avatar
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    Question Air getting into system?

    Since I started getting familiar with the new pool I am noticing that air seems to be getting into the system when the pump is off.

    Normally whenever the pump turns on, the jets in the pool push staight water and there are no air bubbles. Whenever I clean the pump filter baskets, or clean the main cartridge filter, air of course gets in and when I turn the pump back on the jets in the pool will push air/water for about 20 seconds until all of the air is pushed out.

    Now I am noticing that when the pump turns off I can hear air bubbles somewhere in the system creeping in (similar to the sound when I break the seal of the pump filter basket cover to clean them). Now when the pump turns on it seems to ALWAYS be pushing air for the first 20 seconds even when I don't touch anything.

    Anything obvious that could be causing this? I can't really think of anything I've done differently, though I recently cleaned my main cartridge filter, SLAMed the pool, and took the pucks out of the chlorinator. All my test results are spot on and have been maintaining good FC levels since the SLAM.

    Thoughts? Should I be worrying about the pool equipment with constant air being pushed in/out?
    Built 2003, 14k Gallons, IG Pebbletec, Primary Pump: Sta-Rite Intellipro VS, Sta-Rite Series 3 S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Fiberstars Jazz Light w/Color Wheel, Polaris 280 Vacuum (Runs Zodiac PB4-60 Booster Pump) and 2 Waterfalls (Run on separate, dedicated 1HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas II Pump).

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Air getting into system?

    What you are describing should not happen. I would recheck that the filter is well sealed (including the gauge) and not allowing air in anywhere when the pump turns off.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    delirium330's Avatar
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    Re: Air getting into system?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    What you are describing should not happen. I would recheck that the filter is well sealed (including the gauge) and not allowing air in anywhere when the pump turns off.
    Yeah, and what is strange is that I'm not seeing any obvious water leaks. I would assume that anywhere air is getting sucked in would produce an outgoing water leak that I should notice right?
    Built 2003, 14k Gallons, IG Pebbletec, Primary Pump: Sta-Rite Intellipro VS, Sta-Rite Series 3 S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Fiberstars Jazz Light w/Color Wheel, Polaris 280 Vacuum (Runs Zodiac PB4-60 Booster Pump) and 2 Waterfalls (Run on separate, dedicated 1HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas II Pump).

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Air getting into system?

    Not necessarily ... Hypothetically, imagine that the pressure inside the filter is pushing on something like an o-ring and creating a water tight seal, but when the pressure is released, the seal is lost and thus air can get in. For that matter, theoretically you could have a giant hole in your filter and some rubber sheet inside the filter. When pressurized, the rubber is pushed into/over the hole and no water can get out. Then the pump turns off, there is nothing holding the rubber in the hole and weight of the water in the filter can suck air in the hole ... this is just like how a check valve works.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Air getting into system?

    Something similar happens to be if I dont push the air out of the bleeder valve after cleaning cartridges. Maybe double check that you did that or try it again?
    Walnut Creek, CA. 18k gallon Pebble Sheen + 1.5k gallon IG spa, 1.5hp whisperflo main pump, Pentair clean and clear 420, Intellichlor IC20, Polaris 360 w/booster,Jandy lite 2 natural gas, plus solar with Heliomatic 5000 controller and 3/4 hp booster

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Air getting into system?

    I'd look for grit or something on the O-ring. And make sure it has plenty of lube on it.
    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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    delirium330's Avatar
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    Re: Air getting into system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    I'd look for grit or something on the O-ring. And make sure it has plenty of lube on it.
    Will do, any specific type of lube appropriate or just a standard silicone grease okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Not necessarily ... Hypothetically, imagine that the pressure inside the filter is pushing on something like an o-ring and creating a water tight seal, but when the pressure is released, the seal is lost and thus air can get in. For that matter, theoretically you could have a giant hole in your filter and some rubber sheet inside the filter. When pressurized, the rubber is pushed into/over the hole and no water can get out. Then the pump turns off, there is nothing holding the rubber in the hole and weight of the water in the filter can suck air in the hole ... this is just like how a check valve works.
    Makes sense. I am also going to check the "drain faucet" that I recently use to drain the water from the pool. It is a standard type of screw open/close faucet running off the pump line to drain water. I never used it until last week when we had a lot of rain.
    Built 2003, 14k Gallons, IG Pebbletec, Primary Pump: Sta-Rite Intellipro VS, Sta-Rite Series 3 S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Fiberstars Jazz Light w/Color Wheel, Polaris 280 Vacuum (Runs Zodiac PB4-60 Booster Pump) and 2 Waterfalls (Run on separate, dedicated 1HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas II Pump).

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Air getting into system?

    Quote Originally Posted by delirium330 View Post
    Will do, any specific type of lube appropriate or just a standard silicone grease okay?
    That should work. I just bought a tube of pool lube a couple years ago at the pool store; they had a basket full sitting by the cash register. Just don't use petroleum based stuff like vaseline.
    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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    delirium330's Avatar
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    Re: Air getting into system?

    Thanks for all of the input. Did some testing last night and figured out it was the primary pump's lid gasket (as Richard predicted). You had to get close and listen carefully, but I could hear the air slowly seeping in. I swapped the o-ring from the waterfall pump (it is an identical pump) and that did the trick. I'm going to grab a couple of fresh o-rings for both pumps and lube them up. The current ones look okay, but are starting to deteriorate.
    Built 2003, 14k Gallons, IG Pebbletec, Primary Pump: Sta-Rite Intellipro VS, Sta-Rite Series 3 S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Fiberstars Jazz Light w/Color Wheel, Polaris 280 Vacuum (Runs Zodiac PB4-60 Booster Pump) and 2 Waterfalls (Run on separate, dedicated 1HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas II Pump).

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Air getting into system?

    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Air getting into system?

    Lube is just a bandaid for bad orings the are flat or have cracks in them (Aladdin Magic Lube is good). New orings don't need lube; it may be used to hold it in place so doesn't fall out when trying to put things back together. GE Silicone II 2.8-oz. Kitchen and Bath Clear Caulk (from any hardware store) is good for the seal inside the pump.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Air getting into system?

    Sorry Maverick, but lube is not just a bandaid. Brand new straight out of the package o-rings should always be lubed when installed. Saying that lube is a bandaid is completely wrong.

    In almost every industry in the world, you would lose your job if you were caught installing any o-ring without lube. That should tell you that it's not just a bandaid.
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    delirium330's Avatar
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    Re: Air getting into system?

    I will mention that the official Sta-Rite manual specifically states that the OEM o-rings included with the pump should not be lubed because they have some sort of internal lubricant... see below. I'm also replacing the rings simply because it is cheap insurance, but it seems strange for a manufacturer to recommend not using lube and first I've ever heard of an "internally" lubricated o-ring that doesn't need lube. Oh well, I'm getting new rings that will get lubed and we'll call it good.

    Do not lubricate the trap cover O-Ring. The original equipment O-Ring contains
    a permanent internal lubricant.
    NOTICE: If you replace the O-Ring with a non-internally lubricated O-Ring,
    you may need to apply a silicone based lubricant.
    Built 2003, 14k Gallons, IG Pebbletec, Primary Pump: Sta-Rite Intellipro VS, Sta-Rite Series 3 S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Fiberstars Jazz Light w/Color Wheel, Polaris 280 Vacuum (Runs Zodiac PB4-60 Booster Pump) and 2 Waterfalls (Run on separate, dedicated 1HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas II Pump).

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Air getting into system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick916 View Post
    Lube is just a bandaid for bad orings the are flat or have cracks in them (Aladdin Magic Lube is good). New orings don't need lube; it may be used to hold it in place so doesn't fall out when trying to put things back together. GE Silicone II 2.8-oz. Kitchen and Bath Clear Caulk (from any hardware store) is good for the seal inside the pump.
    No, lube is required to keep O-rings from distorting or being damaged when being compressed and allows them to seat properly. All standard O-rings, especially new ones need to be lubricated. Parker, the biggest name in seals says the same thing: http://www.anchorrubber.com/specialty/parker_o-lube.pdf
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    Re: Air getting into system?

    I find that most O-rings do better when properly lubricated. There are multiple benefits, such as:

    1) For O-rings that go between moving parts, such as the Polaris wall connection or a chlorinator lid, lubrication allows the parts to move smoothly and easily over the O-ring. Without lubrication, the parts can be very difficult, or even impossible, to install or remove. Without lubrication, the O-ring can be deformed, abraded, stretched, ripped or otherwise damaged.

    2) Proper lubrication protects the O-ring from drying out, oxidation or chemical attack.

    3) For O-rings without moving parts, lubrication helps prevent the parts from sticking to the O-Ring.

    4) Lubrication makes a better seal.

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    Re: Air getting into system?

    The topic here is about his pump and filter orings. He followed up with the manufacture not recommending additional lube since they after factory lubricated. After a few years they can become flat and or get cracks in them. You can lube those up as a temporary solution until you get new ones. I am not referring to other industries instructions just what the swimming pool manufactures recommends. Some even state that using extra lube may breakdown the oring faster. I find I have success following those recommendations.

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    Re: Air getting into system?

    There is little doubt in my mind that 0-ring lubrication is a VERY good idea and should not be overlooked. The caveat might be if the manufacturer states no lubrication is necessary, but even then there is certainly no harm.

    So, rather than get down in the weeds about fine details and exceptions (and there are some) I think we can all take away that lubrication on 0-rings is a positive thing.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Air getting into system?

    Lube is always a good thing. Too much isn't.
    Sorry, couldn't resist.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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