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Thread: Where's my leak?

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    Where's my leak?

    First time poster. Take it easy on me.

    PROBLEM:
    - Air in pump basketAttachment 29480

    WHAT I KNOW:
    - Been running without water loss for nearly a week
    - When I close the skimmer line (main drain line open) the system performs perfectly
    - When I close the main line (skimmer open) I see about 50% water in the pump basket, send air into pool through jets
    - When I open both lines I see about 75% water in pump basket, send air into pool through jets
    - The skimmer valve is terrible. Turns way too easily.

    WHAT I THINK:
    - Skimmer valve is shot. I'm pulling air just before I get to the pump basket.

    QUESTIONS I HAVE:
    - Am I hurting my motor right now running at 3/4 full of water?
    - Can I replace the valve by plugging skimmer and closing main line valve?
    - Is one valve better than another, the one I have is old and I don't like the style...single union ball valve.

    Thanks!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Where's my leak?

    Welcome to TFP!

    I think your assessment is correct. Likely the skimmer valve is leaking (assuming your water is high enough in the skimmer and the weir is not sticking.)

    I would highly recommend getting a Neverlube type 3 way pool valve or two 2 way valves.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Where's my leak?

    Oh, a three way valve would work? That would be cool. It would still allow me to close one line or the other?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Can you make a recommendation on a valve? I don't want to go cheap, like I feel my current ones are...

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Where's my leak?

    Jandy Neverlube or similar.

    Best to have the common pipe use the middle port of the valve. Gives you better control. So you may need to make adjustments your layout.

    Yes can turn off either suction line. Do you ever need to turn off both?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Where's my leak?

    Which is the "common" pipe? Is that the same as the "inlet"? Or, in my very uneducated brain, the "main drain"?

    #1 shown above is my inlet (main), #2 is obviously the skimmer.

    Don't you have to turn off both to empty the basket and winterize the pool? I just watched a youtube video on the Jandy, I think I understand how it works now.

    Next question, how do I do this with a full pool? Seems I wouldn't be able to stop the water rushing to the pump from the main drain...

    Thanks a ton for your help JBlizzle.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Where's my leak?

    I call the "common" pipe the one that always has water in it ... in your case it would be the pipe entering the front of the pump.

    Based on you response, am I to infer that you have an above ground pool and the pump is below water level? {Please add your pool details to your signature as described HERE as it will help us help you}

    If so, you will have to plug the skimmer and floor drain to prevent water from coming out.

    Also, If you get the Pentair version of the 3-way valve, there are external stops that you can remove and it will allow the valve to rotate 360, then you would be able to close the common pipe so you can open up the pump. The Jandy would require modification to allow the handle to rotate to the common pipe. Just make sure you never run the pump with the common pipe closed.

    Or like I said before, you could just get 2 of the Jandy/Pentair/Hayward 2-way valves.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Where's my leak?

    It's actually inground but the pump is below water level. Does this make it perform more like an above ground pool?

    I think I will probably stick to the 2-way valves. Since the skimmer is causing the problems I'll just replace it for now and worry about the main at a later time. Maybe once I drain next Spring and don't have to worry about water pressure!

    Again, thanks for all your help. I'll let you know the results of my upgrade.
    35k Gallons, IG Gunite, Sand filter, 1980's build

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Where's my leak?

    Looking at your picture, there is not likely enough exposed pipe to replace only one of the valves with a Jandy type 2-way. So you may end up having to dig down some and cut out both. How close is the pump? Zoom out your picture.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Where's my leak?

    I think you're absolutely right. I got home at lunch time and took some measurements. There's just not enough places to chop PVC and still fit a new coupler in on top of the new valve. That being said, is a three way valve definitely the way to go then? I am still confused about how I would completely close both lines to allow for emptying the pump skimmer and such...

    I am having trouble uploading pictures right now for some reason. Tried to make them smaller but it won't go. I'll put them on in a bit if you still want to see them.
    35k Gallons, IG Gunite, Sand filter, 1980's build

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Where's my leak?

    How To Post Pictures

    You would just turn the handle so the closed portion was pointing to the pipe going into your pump. You may have to modify the valve depending on which one you get.

    3-way vs. two 2-ways does not really matter, other than the cost.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Where's my leak?

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    35k Gallons, IG Gunite, Sand filter, 1980's build

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Where's my leak?

    hummm.. dont think you have enough room in there.
    If it were me, I would dig down 7 or 8 inches and cut both pipes and replumb both of them. It wouldnt be hard to do that.

    Cut the No 2 pipe in front of the Pump right at the end of the T.
    Install a 3 way where the T is at.
    Then plum 1 and 2 inot the T.

    Note: With a Jandy valve, you dont need any additional PVC couplings.

    The 3 way Jandy valves can be configured by taking the top off and rotating the assembly to wherever you want it to be.
    Like jblillze says it can be configured to block off both 1 and 2 at the same time by turning the handle to point toward the pump

    Me being like I am though, I want ALL the configurability I can get. Ya never know what you might need some day. So optionally, putting a 2 way on pipe 1 where that valve is, and a 3 way on pipe 2 will provide for "whatever in the world" might pop up.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Where's my leak?

    Thanks Divin Dave. I purchased the Hayward PSV3S and was planning to do exactly as you said, almost. I wasn't planning to put a redundant valve on #1, but I suppose it couldn't hurt, especially since that's the main drain. If something were to go wrong with the 3 way, it sure would be a lot easier to fix with a second shut off available.
    35k Gallons, IG Gunite, Sand filter, 1980's build

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Where's my leak?

    Again note it would be best for the center of the 3 way to go to the pump, although that makes for more plumbing required with your setup.

    You could put it like the existing tee, but would result in partial blockage when both suction lines are not completely open ... not necessarily a big deal.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Where's my leak?

    Is there any downside to putting additional 90's in to a line? I'm going to have to get creative with #2 to have the center lead to the pump. Might be time to cancel the first purchase and go back to the separate valves...
    35k Gallons, IG Gunite, Sand filter, 1980's build

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Where's my leak?

    I repeat my second paragraph in my last post.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Where's my leak?

    For me if your pump is below grade I wouldn't trust jandy valves for winterization. I prefer spears ball valves for that below water level install. Never had good luck with Jandy in that situation.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Where's my leak?

    Valves have been replaced. This post will look a lot like my first, but without any idea where to go next...

    PROBLEM:
    - Air in pump basket (& return jets)

    WHAT I KNOW:
    - Been running without water loss for two weeks
    - When I close the skimmer line (main drain line open) the system performs perfectly
    - When I close the main line (skimmer open) I see about 50% water in the pump basket, send air into pool through jets. Amount of water fed into pump is very sporadic, like it's coming in waves.
    - When I open both lines I see about 75% water in pump basket, send air into pool through jets. Amount of water is still very sporadic.
    - PVC and valves are perfect, just replaced this week and tested to be tight.

    WHAT I THINK:
    - Leak is above ground since I'm adding air and not losing any water.

    QUESTIONS I HAVE:
    - Everything. Where should I start? I know my lines are tight, and my seal on the pump basket is new. Besides, I just don't see how the problem could be near the pump since everything works great when only the main line is in use. I have plenty of water in the pool, so I'm not pulling in water through the skimmer. Can I be pulling air into the line underground even though I'm not losing any water? That doesn't seem possible.

    Any and all recommendations welcome. Thanks.

    35k Gallons, IG Gunite, Sand filter, 1980's build

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Where's my leak?

    Surging with skimmer open usually means low water level or stuck weir. You prime, it gets normal for a second, then it really gets going and empties the skimmer well, draws air, loses prime, and starts to slow down. Water rushes into skimmer well now that suction has slowed. Repeat.
    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.
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  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Where's my leak?

    I upped the water level just to ensure that wasn't the problem. It's not. I just went out and checked the weir and everything seems to be in good working order. I'm getting a steady flow of maybe 1" of water over the top. I am not seeing any sort of struggle from the drain to gather water. I'm so confused!

    Thanks for the suggestions, Richard320.
    35k Gallons, IG Gunite, Sand filter, 1980's build

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