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Thread: Pump running dry along with lots of other problems

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    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Marietta, GA
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    Pump running dry along with lots of other problems

    So I've read lots of old threads on my problems but in most of them there is gibberish I do not understand and I have so many problems no 1 thread covers it all. And before you read this please know I suck at managing this pool, I wish we didn't have one or had enough money to pay someone else to do it.

    Problems: Came home from vacation to my pump/filter running dry and it looking like a pond (no surprise to the pond it was starting to get yellow when we left). After reading some old threads I can now say this:
    1.my pump basket is warped but has been like that since I bought the house (can you believe that I didn't realize it wasn't suppose to look like that? [insert sheepish face]).
    2. the pump runs once I refilled it and turned it on
    3. there are bubbles coming out of the returns and when pump is off small bubbles very slowly leak into the pump basket reservoir thingy (this was happening before vacation though and, no, a new O-ring for it didn't fix the problem even with pool specific goupy stuff on it). So not sure if this time it caused any new problems.
    4. there has been all season a good amount of sand at the bottom of the pool which makes me think I should check the laterals
    5. All season I struggle with getting it clear but 90% of the time it passes a OCT. It was yellow, I shocked and slammed and cleaned it till it got beautiful, had a party, checked chlorine after that and it was good (I think 6 the next morning). Within 48 hours the yellow stuff was back!


    Can anyone please list out steps in order of the most important to get this disaster of a pool back in order??? I mean I've started the SLAM, vacuumed, brushed, even removed light to brush, but will it work if I have a leak or the lateral is bad? Or should I replace the pump basket first or check other leak issues? Also when checking for damage to a dry running pump what is all the gibberish like influent and effluent fittings, etc, I need the idiots guide to checking for leaks and dry pump problems.

    Thanks in advance for anyone who has enough time to put a dent in my troubles.
    18K gal, IG vinyl, Hayward Proseries S210T sand filter, 1081 pool motor? , Installed 1997, new siding in 2006, Dolphin DX3, North Atlanta, GA

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    Re: Pump running dry along with lots of other problems

    Two issues I see here:
    1. a leak somewhere you need to identify
    2. algae/clarity issues

    The first sounds like you looked at the most likely culprit. The basket lid is where it usually leaks. If it's not there, it gets a little more complicated.

    The second issue, we need a full set of good tests results to see where the problem may be.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
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    Re: Pump running dry along with lots of other problems

    right I know you want full test results and I can give those in a minute but what I need to know is if I should bother to keep SLAMing the pool or fix the leak problems first? I enjoyed math and chemistry in college so I feel confident in the SLAMing process but if a leak could be causing my filter to suck (ha ha what a pun) then maybe I should save my bleach till I figure out the leak problem.

    Before vacation and the pool already had yellow stuff on the floor. I did not start SLAMing since I'd be gone:
    FC: 8
    CC: 0
    CYA: 40
    TA: 70 (I added baking soda just before I left to get this number up to about 100)
    pH: 7.8 (Which I assumed raised this)
    CH: 140

    When I got home from vacation (5 days) before I started to SLAM this time
    FC: 1
    CC: 0
    CYA: 40
    TA: 100
    pH: 8.2 (added the suggested amount, from the pool calculator, of muriatic acid to lower when I added the Clorox)
    CH: 140

    Now that I'm SLAMing (using Clorox concentrated)
    FC: 18
    CC: 0
    and the others aren't accurate due to the high FC levels. I"ll give you a report in the morning of my OCT.
    18K gal, IG vinyl, Hayward Proseries S210T sand filter, 1081 pool motor? , Installed 1997, new siding in 2006, Dolphin DX3, North Atlanta, GA

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    Re: Pump running dry along with lots of other problems

    Fix ALL your mechanical problems first. There is no point balancing chemistry in a non-working pool, leaking pool, or a pool that may need significant drain.

    Fix your mechanicals and get the water flowing, even if it is quite green, then tackle the chemistry of getting it clear.

    Since your mechanical issues seem pretty significant, tackly them one at a time.

    Your first post should be perhaps....

    My pump turns on fine but there seem to be little flow coming out of the returns. What steps should I take to solve this issue?

    Once that issue is solved, go to the next BUT KEEP IT IN THIS SAME THREAD as the knowledge will build on itself making it easier for more people to help.

    I may be reading too much in between the lines but I sense some urgency in your posts. Your pool has been badly neglected and can get back to perfect if you are methodical in your approach. By it's nature that will require some time and patience.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Join Date
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    Re: Pump running dry along with lots of other problems

    ok Dave. That seems to make sense to me. So I'll start a new post right now. Thank you.

    Robbie here are the results of my OCT but it sounds like they aren't worth much until I figure out the mechanical problems.

    Tuesday night just before bed
    FC: 20
    CC: 0

    Before the sun hit it in the AM
    FC: 18
    CC: 0.5

    I know this means there is algae and I would keep going on the SLAM.
    18K gal, IG vinyl, Hayward Proseries S210T sand filter, 1081 pool motor? , Installed 1997, new siding in 2006, Dolphin DX3, North Atlanta, GA

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pump running dry along with lots of other problems

    You can test if sand is leaving the filter by holding a clean, white sock over a return while the pump is on. Sometimes you will only see sand at start up so try this when the pump has been off for a little while. Hold a sock over the return while someone turns on the pump. Hold it there a couple of minutes and then pull out the sock and check inside for sand. If you do find sand in the sock then you will need to open up the filter, remove the sand and check the laterals for cracks or damage.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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