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Thread: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

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    Question Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    IMG_0275.jpgI have the pool for 13 yrs now and have done all of the maintenance required. The Power-Flo Matrix motor was replaced two years ago. The Strainer housing, cap, and thru-wall skimmer were all replaced this year. The union was also replaced as well. I am not seeing any visible leaks and have used plumbers tape for each connection. When I open the cap of the strainer housing, it fills and will start to overflow within seconds. Once I close the cap (that has been lubed and has a new O-ring) and start the filter, the water drops halfway down and stays there. I keep reading that there is an air leak on all of the similar posts. But, I am not seeing bubbles coming into the pool. I've also done the small plastic bag test to see if there's a block from the thru-wall skimmer to the strainer housing, and there isn't. The bag appears in there within a couple of seconds. Now even though the skimmer housing is about half full, the pressure from the filter return is great, not as good as previous years, but still great considering. When I go to vacuum, there is no pressure there at all. I called up Hayward to speak with a troubleshooting rep, they believe it's a plugged up filter since it is a DE. They recommended getting Alum and waiting overnight with that in the pool and then vacuum with the backwash drain open. Does anyone have any recommendations? Have you tried Alum? The pool was completely green and had scum and now is crystal clear with some dark algae spots on the floor of it. The only thing is, the pump had the issue as soon as I plugged it in, not after filtering for hours.

    Thanks

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Have you ever opened up the filter, removed the fingers, and cleaned out all the old DE?
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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    Hi, thanks! I haven't this year so far, but the guy thats been opening my pool the last couple years hasn't either. So I would say its been a few years since its been cleaned well. When I backwash though, it will get completely clear after a few seconds. They also opened it completely when they repaired the union parts just this week. And they didn't mention if it needed to be cleaned.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    DE does not completely backwash out. You should open the filter at least once a year and clean it out. It is also good to soak the fingers in a solution of 1 cup dishwashing powder to 5 gallons of water. Mix it up in a big trash can and let it soak over night, then rinse the fingers well. They may have drained the filter when they were working on the union, but I doubt they had to take the top off the filter to do it. Open it up and have a look.
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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    Okay, I will do that and come back with an update. Thanks!

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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    Hi again, I was preparing to take apart the DE filter today. So I turned on the filter, the water was much more clear today and i moved the return into the water so i can see if there are air bubbles. It was filled with them. Its not a constant water, its just pressure full of bubbles. I took an image to see what you think about that. Does that mean there is an air leak? Still unable to vacuum again today also, but the vacuum attachment was attached and there was some pressure for the first time.

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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    I'm a newbie. Not sure what you mean by "water level drops". Responding becasue I received a similar symptom because I hadn't tightened (rotated) the strainer clear lid enough, so air was being drawn in through the pump-strainer lid and the water level as viewed thru the strainer compartment lid of my pump dropped pretty quickly.

    Essentially, I just purchased a Power flo Matrix 1.5 pump and 18" Hayward sand filter for my 18 ft x 52" fake (metal framed ultra pool). Sick of the under powered pump/filter that came with that pool. Pump and filter were purchased (used for 1 year). Installed and used them for 1 week, no problems. At the first start up after installation, I opened the strainer compartment top, and all the air came out. Retightened the top and used for one week. Just installed a timer a couple fo days ago. Went out to check the system today, and noticed some debris in the pump strainer basket. Shut off the skimmer and return lines, removed the pump strainer lid, removed the debris, and replaced the cap. Becasue the cap is domed, I couldn't remove 100% of air, and when starting the pump (after opening intake and return lines), I noticed the pump strainer compartment empty within 10 seconds. I was searching on the internet to see why, and someone at another site with a similar problem solved their problem by tightening their strainer compartment clear lid (i.e. air was leaking into the strainer compartment through the lid). This stopped air from creeping into the compartment for me (and thus stopped my water level from dropping). I came across your post when I was searching o see if anyone had added a bleed-valve to the domed lids to get all the air out.
    Tightening the lid is pretty basic and you probably have already considered it (and checked) but just thought I'd throw it out there (since my pump skimmer compartment looked 'empty' like yours in the above photo). Good luck!

    Edited: To replace "skimmer" with "strainer"- Thanks! I also believe it is important to use the appropriate terminology to avoid any confusion, and appreciate the correction!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    Welcome to TFP, pb940072!!!

    Very often air gets into the pump via the pump strainer lid (it is not a skimmer ). You should always be sure the o-ring is clean and well lubed and the mating surface is clean before putting the lid back on.
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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    Yes, that is exactly what I have been experiencing too. The water level dropping quickly in the strainer housing. Unfortunately for me, I tried tightening the cap, replaced the O-ring, applied new lubrication, etc. No changes.

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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    Thanks for the correction, so checking my strainer housing lid, it is on there tight, well lubed and clean on the O-ring as well as the mating surface. I pumped it again, started it up. Same situation, within seconds, the water level in the strainer is half. While that happens, the return has great pressure with bubbles that slowly becomes a decent pressure. I also notice when I shut off the filter, the hose attached to the DE (for the return) makes a gargling type of sound. There was originally a leak there, but I put enough plumbers tape and there is no longer a leak.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    pump strainer
    The skimmer is the hole and basket by the pool not at the pump.
    Avoid confusion this way.

    With the lid off, the pump fills with water from the pool right? At that point the pump is effectively primed. When you turn on the pump if the water disappears it has to be because it is not getting a solid flow from the pool and/or there is a LOT of air being sucked in between the pool and the impeller.
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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    Yes it fills completely and will overflow if left uncovered. How can I find the location where the air is coming from? I read so many posts and have tried everything so far. Is there anything else you can recommend?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    There are not a lot of things between the skimmer and the pump to check. Pump drain plug?

    Are you opening the air vent on the filter when you start up the pump to purge the air out of the system?
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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    Yes I released all of the air from there as well. I do not have a plug on the backwash drain. Would I need to have that?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    What do you mean you do not have a plug on the backwash drain? Is that shown in any of your pictures? I did not think there was a backwash drain on those filters. Just a drain hole.
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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    I can definitely take a picture for you. It's where the backwash comes out, I know it comes with the cap but I don't have that attached right now.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    Then wouldn't all the water come out? Or is there some kind of valve?

    Does not matter as that is on the pressure side and not likely the problem.
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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    Yes it has a vavle.image.jpg

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    Re: Power-Flo Matrix water level drops

    Problem solved, the screw under the basket strainer was not tightened enough and was letting out so little water it could not be seen. So after tightening that, its working perfectly! Thanks for the advice and help!

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