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Thread: Pump chamber was only half full this morning

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    Pump chamber was only half full this morning

    I've searched on here and haven't found anyone with quite the same problem - or at least not the same solution.

    I woke up this morning and noticed the eyelets flow was way down so I went and checked the pump. It was only half full of water which was unusual. I went to check the skimmer because this is what I pulled out of it last night!



    That's just ONE day with the maple tree above the pool and some high winds.

    I pulled out several handfuls of the same but it wasn't clogged. I checked the filter and it had risen from 12-15 to about 26 psi. Figuring maybe that was the problem, I changed the valve to "recirculate" and the pump filled up completely and my eyelet pressure was back. So I set it to backwash (without the hose! ) for 5-10 seconds hoping that would be enough so it could run until I got home from work. I put it back on filter and the PSI started in the mid teens but quickly rose to the 25 or so and the pump chamber was half empty again.

    So... is that normal behavior? I'll have to do a real backwash when I get home but for the day I just left the pump off. Why does a restriction on the filter side cause a the pump chamber to not fill to the top? I suppose if it can't push the water through fast enough it can't draw in enough to fill the chamber?
    22,000 gallon in-ground kidney-ish shape: 1 HP pump and Triton TR60 sand filter. NEW: Dolphin Nautilus robot! :)

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    Re: Pump chamber was only half full this morning

    It's hard to say but the likely event was your skimmer became so full of the tree droppings, it restricted the flow to your pump and let air leak in......that happens on mine.

    Keeping your skimmer cleaned up will likely solve your issue.

    Changing the multi-port probably had little to do with your problem.....I believe it was your clogged skimmer.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Pump chamber was only half full this morning

    You might also look into using a skimmer sock
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Pump chamber was only half full this morning

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    It's hard to say but the likely event was your skimmer became so full of the tree droppings, it restricted the flow to your pump and let air leak in......that happens on mine.

    Keeping your skimmer cleaned up will likely solve your issue.

    Changing the multi-port probably had little to do with your problem.....I believe it was your clogged skimmer.
    That's what I originally thought but after the recirculate cycle the chamber was completely full of water (I had also emptied the basket) and the skimmer was clean. So I switched back to filter and the water slowly drained out of the chamber until it was only half full again and stayed there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    You might also look into using a skimmer sock
    I just bought some, actually! They do work very well.
    22,000 gallon in-ground kidney-ish shape: 1 HP pump and Triton TR60 sand filter. NEW: Dolphin Nautilus robot! :)

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    Re: Pump chamber was only half full this morning

    I have no idea why the "recirc" position on your multi-port fixed the problem.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pump chamber was only half full this morning

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    I have no idea why the "recirc" position on your multi-port fixed the problem.
    That's why I was wondering if the filter could cause this problem. As far as I'm aware the recirculate position just bypasses the filter, right? If it works with the filter out of the loop and doesn't when it's in, I would think the filter being clogged up with debris is the culprit. I'm just not sure why it would cause this problem.

    I had to leave for work so I couldn't try and fix it - figured I would ask here in the meantime. It's been running fine for weeks now until last night when I had to vacuum up tons of stuff from the previous day's high winds. I guess I should have backwashed right after but I didn't think one vacuuming - even as dirty as it was - would clog the filter. I just backwashed a few days ago...
    22,000 gallon in-ground kidney-ish shape: 1 HP pump and Triton TR60 sand filter. NEW: Dolphin Nautilus robot! :)

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    Re: Pump chamber was only half full this morning

    Do you think that debris can bypass the skimmer screen and the pump filter screen both?? That's the only scenario that would clog your filter.

    A thorough backwash and rinse will likely give you the answer
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pump chamber was only half full this morning

    Probably. Last night I was vacuuming a lot of dirt and small plant... umm... seeds? from the bottom. I just now saw the sticky for deep cleaning your sand filter so I think I'll do that tonight. Judging by all the other pool equipment it probably hasn't been cleaned well in a very long time. Maybe it has lost a lot of its capacity for filtering and that one heavy vacuuming was enough to clog it.

    I'll get that done tonight and report back!

    Hmm... I wonder if you could put a skimmer sock on the pump screen...
    22,000 gallon in-ground kidney-ish shape: 1 HP pump and Triton TR60 sand filter. NEW: Dolphin Nautilus robot! :)

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    Re: Pump chamber was only half full this morning

    Tried the deep clean procedure but this thing was in the way:



    That plus a super flexible hose meant I couldn't really get down in the sand. I also found out the sand is only filled up to below the input line. Is that normal?

    Anyway, I tried the deep clean, backwashed and rinsed and so far, it's working perfectly. Guess it was the filter.
    22,000 gallon in-ground kidney-ish shape: 1 HP pump and Triton TR60 sand filter. NEW: Dolphin Nautilus robot! :)

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    Re: Pump chamber was only half full this morning

    The piece inside your filter on top is the diffuser. It is normally easy to simply twist up and out.....it will come off the standpipe and I don't know but I think most are not threaded.

    I understand it's a hassle but you really should re-open, remove the difusser so you can get your hand and hose both down in there and get out the imbedded dirt.

    Virtually all sand filters fill to about 2/3 of the filter body. Some even have a line that would help you.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pump chamber was only half full this morning

    Hmm... yea I wiggled and twisted it a bit but I didn't want to break anything. It's so old I'm concerned the plastic is brittle. I backwashed for a good several minutes and rinsed after that. Now the PSI is about 14 again. If it seems to clog up fast again I'll try removing the diffuser.

    On a related note... I went to a local pool store to get the wrench for the dome and they said that if the sand is all hard and crusty it should be replaced. They also said you should replace your sand every three years! I assume this is just more "pool store" thinking? I mean sand doesn't go "bad"... it's just small bits of rocks!
    22,000 gallon in-ground kidney-ish shape: 1 HP pump and Triton TR60 sand filter. NEW: Dolphin Nautilus robot! :)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Pump chamber was only half full this morning

    Lots of different theories but 3 years is "pool store" thinking - after all they sell sand...
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
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