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Thread: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

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    First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    Hey everyone,

    Just came across this forum and it looks like it could be a huge help for me down the line. I've never owned a pool before but the house we just moved into has a 25,000 gallon 18x36 pool. It needed a new liner as it was neglected for years which we had done this year but now that everything is up and running there is a constant stream of air in the return jets. It seems like the water coming out of the returns almost pulses in a steady stream with air but you can feel water is constantly being pushed if you are in the pool and leave your hand in front of it. The pool company that did the liner said that it was probably a problem below one of the skimmers as it basically not pulling a vacuum into it. They said the cause of this was the previous owner using the skimmers to place the chlorine tablets so we had a chlorinator installed. The company said that the concrete slab around the skimmer will need to be dug out to get to the skimmer to do the repair. Do you guys think this is the case or are they just trying to get money out of me? I've noticed that the top of the D.E. filter leaks a very very trace amount of water so I was wondering if that could be an issue. Right now I'm having a hard time even vacuuming because the amount of suction is minimal even out of the working skimmer. Any additional information that you need or pictures can be provided and thank you in advance!

    Pool info
    25,000 gallons
    18'x36' vinyl in ground pool
    Chlorinator
    Haywood D.E filter

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    Welcome to TFP!

    Your problem could be a lot of things from low water level to a cracked pipe. The leak in your filter isn't a cause. You have a lot of things to eliminate before breaking any concrete. Check out the article on Suction Side Air Leaks for more information.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    Thank you for the quick response! I checked the water level and it is definitely not too low so I know it is not that. I will start going through the article checking for leaks and will update with any questions or (hopefully) solutions to the problem.

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    Welcome to the forum

    Are you also seeing air through the clear cover of the filter basket on the pump itself ??
    When you go to vacuum do you turn off the other skimmer(s) and floor drain so you're only pulling from the one skimmer ??

    Chlorine tablets left in the skimmer baskets can cause damage to the plastic pipe where it starts to crack or even crumble over years of exposure.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUMJdNyQM5o
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    Through the clear cover on the filter basket its very difficult to tell if it is air bubbles or not as everything is churning around alot but I think there are air bubbles in there. I was plugging the skimmer that is furthest away from the pump and using the skimmer that is closest to the pump but I did not close the floor drain as I don't know how to do that.

    - - - Updated - - -

    My air bubbles look almost exactly like the ones in the video you posted by the way and after watching the beginning of the video I do have air in the pump cover. After going out and looking at the pump (in the dark so i couldnt see that well) it does look like a pretty terrible connection. Here is a picture of it

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    That picture link didnt seem to work. Here it is again http://oi58.tinypic.com/33fdxds.jpg
    25,000 gallons
    18'x36' vinyl in ground pool
    Chlorinator
    Haywood D.E filter Model Number DE3620
    Pump Model Number. AO Smith UST1152 1.5HP Thread Shaft Motor 115/230V

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    I tried updating my post but it didnt seem to work. After viewing the video you posted there is definitely air in the pump visible through the clear cover. I went out and looked in the dark at the union prior to the pump and it is a pretty terrible connection here is the picture of it (http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=33fd...8#.U8R6HvldU8o)
    25,000 gallons
    18'x36' vinyl in ground pool
    Chlorinator
    Haywood D.E filter Model Number DE3620
    Pump Model Number. AO Smith UST1152 1.5HP Thread Shaft Motor 115/230V

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    When you have a chance can you please add your pool info to your signature as outlined here --> http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...etting-started

    I know some of it's in your first post but as the threads get longer it's a pain to have to keep going back to square one. Easier on you, easier on us.

    Can you post a picture of your pump/filter and valves for the plumbing. One should be for the floor drain.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    Thanks for your help! I updated my signature but I'm unsure of the pool build date and the test kit I am using is whatever strips they had on sale at the store. You dip the strip in the water and compare it to the bottle I think it might be this brand after searching online (http://www.bjs.com/poolmaster-basic-...?dimId=2003546).

    Here are the pictures of the pool equipment
    http://tinypic.com/r/2ij1dw6/8
    http://tinypic.com/r/o768fs/8
    http://tinypic.com/r/30rv1nk/8
    http://tinypic.com/r/20l1hsp/8
    http://tinypic.com/r/257fxqc/8
    http://tinypic.com/r/vgls2/8
    25,000 gallons
    18'x36' vinyl in ground pool
    Chlorinator
    Haywood D.E filter Model Number DE3620
    Pump Model Number. AO Smith UST1152 1.5HP Thread Shaft Motor 115/230V

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    Another question- Is my dial-a-flo valve set in the correct position? I dont know much about these but I'm guessing 1 is the skimmers and 2 is the bottom drain? Shouldnt it be split evenly or is this set this way because 1 skimmer is getting more suction and the other is not to try to compensate for the suction lose? When I'm vacuuming what position should this valve be in? Thank you again and sorry for my ignorance!
    25,000 gallons
    18'x36' vinyl in ground pool
    Chlorinator
    Haywood D.E filter Model Number DE3620
    Pump Model Number. AO Smith UST1152 1.5HP Thread Shaft Motor 115/230V

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    Ok guys thanks to the advice here I found the air leak which was right before the pump at the union. I will be fixing it friday! Question I have now is one skimmer still has no suction while the other works. Why would this happen if the air leaks at the union?
    25,000 gallons
    18'x36' vinyl in ground pool
    Chlorinator
    Haywood D.E filter Model Number DE3620
    Pump Model Number. AO Smith UST1152 1.5HP Thread Shaft Motor 115/230V

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    Fix that air leak first and then report back what happens. I think your skimmer flow(s) will change.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    Hey everyone!

    Thanks to the help on here I no longer have air in my returns! The new issue is that the skimmer farthest away from the pump is still not pulling any vacuum what so ever. I just verified that the skimmer closest to the pump is still pulling a good amount of water through it and has excellent suction. What should my next step be? This is the image of my valve on the tee http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=20l1...8#.U8lO9vldU8o Any help would be great as I'm at a complete stand still now!
    25,000 gallons
    18'x36' vinyl in ground pool
    Chlorinator
    Haywood D.E filter Model Number DE3620
    Pump Model Number. AO Smith UST1152 1.5HP Thread Shaft Motor 115/230V

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    Take the baskets out of the skimmers and look at the bottom of the skimmer. You should have two holes in each, with the hole closest to the pool having a plug in it.

    Anything else in there? What you probably need is a way to restrict some of the flow into the skimmer that is working so the other draws water, or turn your valve to pull more from the skimmers.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    Nothing else is in the skimmer hole it appears clear and I can reach my fingers down into it fully. I have those gizmo winter plugs that I could put into the working skimmer which screw in and would plug the working skimmer. How long should I let it sit this way if i put one in? My fear was if i plugged that up and the other skimmer didnt start pulling water through it the pump would begin running dry.
    25,000 gallons
    18'x36' vinyl in ground pool
    Chlorinator
    Haywood D.E filter Model Number DE3620
    Pump Model Number. AO Smith UST1152 1.5HP Thread Shaft Motor 115/230V

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    JohnT,

    As you recomennded I closed off the flow into the work skimmer and the other skimmer was drawing a large amount of water. The valve is turned one notch back from being all the water towards the skimmer so it has the maximum amount going to the skimmer without closing off the floor drain. My filters pressure gauge is at 20 right now and it increased from 15 when I fixed the air leak. Is that too high? This filter has not been taken apart since we reopened the pool but it was back washed and more DE was added after back washing. Could the problem be that it needs to be taken apart and cleaned?
    25,000 gallons
    18'x36' vinyl in ground pool
    Chlorinator
    Haywood D.E filter Model Number DE3620
    Pump Model Number. AO Smith UST1152 1.5HP Thread Shaft Motor 115/230V

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    The pressure isn't too high, though it could indicate a dirty filter. Fixing your air leak increased the flow into the pump, so a pressure rise would be normal.

    Many times the skimmer closer to the pump will have a small plate at the bottom that can slide over the pipe opening so you can adjust how much water is pulled from that one. Trimmer plate, slide plate or diverter plate are some of the names for them. Google those and maybe you can either figure out something that will work or buy a replacement if your pool is missing one.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    I don't think the filter is a part of your concern with the skimmer but that pressure does sound like it's time to clean it. Clean it throughly and then you will know your "clean" pressure.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    When you say clean it thoroughly you mean taking it apart and cleaning it correct? The filter has been back washed but i believe this filter has not be dismantled and cleaned in about 6-7 years (the pool has been closed for a very long time). I saw in the owners manual about buying haywards lube, is there anything I can pick up locally so I don't have to wait for it to be shipped to me? I have a leslies pool store, a target and a home depot within 5min of my house so I assume one of these stores would have what I need
    25,000 gallons
    18'x36' vinyl in ground pool
    Chlorinator
    Haywood D.E filter Model Number DE3620
    Pump Model Number. AO Smith UST1152 1.5HP Thread Shaft Motor 115/230V

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    Re: First time pool owner low vacuum pressure and air in return line

    Leslies carries "Pool & Spa Lube". That is what you want.
    12000 Gallon IG Plaster built 2/15/2014. Jandy 340 sg ft 127 gpm filter, Jandy 1 HP stealth pump. Circupool RJ-45 SWG (overkill). TF-100 with Speed Stir.

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