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Thread: Returns "spitting air"

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    Join Date
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    Returns "spitting air"

    I wondered if this is normal. The returns tend to occasionally "burp" and spit air bubbles...almost like there is air in the system. Wondered if this is normal, or if I may have an air leak somewhere I need to address...
    In-Ground, Vinyl Liner, Sand Triton II (Pentair?), 1HP Whisperflo?, approx 25K gallons. There is a separate spa (non-functional). Heater is new last year, 250,000 BTU Hayward propane. Pool built in around 1996, liner replaced in last 5 years.

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    Re: Returns "spitting air"

    Quote Originally Posted by mjb62676 View Post
    I wondered if this is normal. The returns tend to occasionally "burp" and spit air bubbles...almost like there is air in the system. Wondered if this is normal, or if I may have an air leak somewhere I need to address...
    This happened to me and I was losing pressure on my pump. Air was being introduced into my system through a drain plug that was not on quite right.

    I found a video on youtube of someone demonstrating how lighting 3 sticks on incense to create a cloud of smoke and bringing these sticks close to every point where air can sneak in on the suction side. When I did this, I saw the cloud of smoke being pulled to where my problem was. Quick and easy fix using this method.

    Hope this helps
    12' x 18' Oval Above Ground Pool (buried 2')
    Manufacturer states ~5,000 gallons
    Pentair CC75 Cartridge Filter System 1-HP Opti-Flo Pump
    Bleach Chlorination Method
    Aquabot Junior Vacuum

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    Re: Returns "spitting air"

    Thanks...we had trouble priming the pump at start up because we think one of the intake lines has a small air leak so I suspect this is the culprit.


    I'm going to work on the assumption that we shouldn't be seeing these burps and bubbles.... I appreciate your help.
    In-Ground, Vinyl Liner, Sand Triton II (Pentair?), 1HP Whisperflo?, approx 25K gallons. There is a separate spa (non-functional). Heater is new last year, 250,000 BTU Hayward propane. Pool built in around 1996, liner replaced in last 5 years.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Returns "spitting air"

    Air in the returns is normal only if you have a solar system or the pump was primed recently. Otherwise it usually means there is a suction side air leak.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Returns "spitting air"

    I have had to remove the filter basket from the pump several times in the last 2 weeks to clean it....I wonder if this may have something to do with it. Hopefully have some time to mess with it this weekend and figure it out.


    SLAM is nearly complete. We could see the drain this morning.
    In-Ground, Vinyl Liner, Sand Triton II (Pentair?), 1HP Whisperflo?, approx 25K gallons. There is a separate spa (non-functional). Heater is new last year, 250,000 BTU Hayward propane. Pool built in around 1996, liner replaced in last 5 years.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Returns "spitting air"

    Quote Originally Posted by mjb62676 View Post
    I have had to remove the filter basket from the pump several times in the last 2 weeks to clean it....I wonder if this may have something to do with it. Hopefully have some time to mess with it this weekend and figure it out.


    SLAM is nearly complete. We could see the drain this morning.
    Very possibly. Rule one with mechanical work: the last thing you worked on is the first thing that leaks. So check that pump basket cover O-ring. Even a blade of grass can cause problems. Make sure it's lubricated good, too.

    A sticking weir (flapper) in the skimmer or low water level allowing a vortex in the skimmer can also produce what you describe.
    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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    Re: Returns "spitting air"

    Thanks Richard. I'll check it out. Don't have any "flappers" on the skimmer inlets.
    In-Ground, Vinyl Liner, Sand Triton II (Pentair?), 1HP Whisperflo?, approx 25K gallons. There is a separate spa (non-functional). Heater is new last year, 250,000 BTU Hayward propane. Pool built in around 1996, liner replaced in last 5 years.

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    Re: Returns "spitting air"

    The skimmer baskets appeared to be "Stuck up" allowing water to vortex, and this was causing a lot of air in the system.
    In-Ground, Vinyl Liner, Sand Triton II (Pentair?), 1HP Whisperflo?, approx 25K gallons. There is a separate spa (non-functional). Heater is new last year, 250,000 BTU Hayward propane. Pool built in around 1996, liner replaced in last 5 years.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Returns "spitting air"

    Quote Originally Posted by mjb62676 View Post
    The skimmer baskets appeared to be "Stuck up" allowing water to vortex, and this was causing a lot of air in the system.
    Find a rock too big to fall in the skimmer pipe and drop it in the basket. Problem solved.
    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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