I have been helping an elderly couple down the road with their pool which other than the basic understanding of pumps and plumbing I don't know a whole lot about. I took a few days and researched online their pump, filter and motor to see if i could pin down their issue. I believe I have solved a few, but I am still confused about a few others. Her's a quick run down.
Pool is kidney shaped and starts off at around 4' and goes to 7'. It came with the house which was purchased 20 years ago. About 12 years ago they replaced the equipment with Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter 4800 with a multi-valve XL and 1 HP motor. There is only 1 skimmer and 1 return, to their understanding the drain at the bottom does not work.... They purchase a Kreepy Krawly thingy and asked me one day if i would hook it up for them.... which is where our adventure begins:
I attached the device to the skimmer after making sure the hose was full of water and could barely get it to pulse. I also observed the filter PSI go from 10 to zero instantly when i would attach it. I played with the weights on the the hose and still could not get it to move all that much and i kept losing the pressure in the filter. I tried taking the last extension off the hose which was attached to the head of the Kreepy thing to see if the vacuum was working up to that point and sometimes it was and sometimes it wasnt. When i lost the vacuum pressure id shut off the motor, re-prime it, disconnect the hose from the skimmer and start it back up. After researching online and messing around with it for a few days I concluded there must be a leak somewhere. First thing i wanted to do was make sure the O-ring in the filter was ok.. when i opened up the filter and took out the O-ring it did look a little battered so i replaced it.... then just to be safe i wanted to clean out the air valve because it seemed too inconsistent and in the process tightened it too much and it broke inside the filter... and so i replaced that as well. Sadly neither of these things helped the Kreepy thing Krawl...
I started examining the intake and outake bulkheads knowing there are O-rings in there that can break or wear down and cause leaks. i tried loosening them (you know the ones that say HAND TIGHTEN) and couldnt get them to budge! It appeared upon closer examination that the last 'pool boy' used an epoxy to seal them real good. So i let them be and off to the other areas before the pump. Their basket catch before the motor is an old galvanized container with a solid lid... so i cant see if there are bubbles in there when the motor is running. The o-ring looked fine in there but i am suspect as to how air tight that container really is. and the pipes that lead into that are 1 from the drain at the bottom of the pool (which has a brass water valve on it) and the other from the skimmer with no turn off valve...they meet and go into the galvanized basket catch. When I started messing with the brass turn off valve for the drain it became clear there was a problem with it. When i messed around with it i noticed that Kreepy thing started Krawling a little bit... but what does it all mean????
I tightened up the bolt on the brass valve and seemed to have a better control of the water flow but i was noticing more and more air was coming out of the air release valve on top of the filter when i'd open it. After messing with it a little more i am now able to get that thing to Krawl at a heartbeats pace without losing any pressure on the air gauge when it's plugged in to the skimmer BUT when i first plug that hose in, the thing starts flying - CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK- then it slows down to a click------click-----click-----click but at least now it stays that speed and doesnt come to a screeching halt.
So, my questions:
1) why is there so much air i need to release every so often in the filter? that obviously means there is still a leak taking in air, correct? and if so, why no bubbles in the return? I mean sometimes i see some tint tiny ones, but they go away
2) is the Kreepy thing suppose to go faster or is the heartbeat pace accurate
3) on the multivalve, i see there is an O-ring in there... would replacing that help with an air leak or would that technically be leaking water AFTER the filter?
4) When i turn off the motor and open the galvanized lid from the container and air gets in it gargles...a lot.
5) ive been nervous to do the hose test on the joints because the motor and electrical box is SO close to everything, im a just being a baby?
6) feel free to ask any questions that i obviously missed out on.
Oh and yes, the water level is fine.... thanks in advance for your help....
(the new free neighborhood pool guy...but only for older couples)