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Thread: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

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    Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    I am new to the pool world, having bought a house with a pool that may have been built in the 1940s. I am trying to untangle what is working and what is not.

    My skimmer has a top that says Hayward 1082,1084,1085. The skimmer has two holes at the bottom, one which seems to lead back to a hole in the pool that is a few feet below the skimmer and the other to the pump, which is located down a hill and about 20 feet away from the pool.

    If I reach down to the bottom of the skimmer, where the line joins the skimmer, the suction from the pump is really strong. (There is no suction at the other hole which i assume is some sort of safety line for the pump.) However, there is very mediocre suction at the level of the basket. There is no cover over the two holes, only the basket.

    I need to run my pump 24-7 to keep the pool clean. I have repaired a few cracks in the skimmer and this helped a little.

    Any ideas as to why the suction is so poor at the basket level? Am I missing a piece to my skimmer maybe? Or are there gaskets that I should replace? I'd appreciate any help you can give me.
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Sounds like you have an equalizer line plumbed into the pool. But are missing the float diverter that is needed for the safety function to work. The idea is that is the pool level drops below the skimmer, the float diverter would close and the pump would still be able to pull water from the equalizer line and not damage the pump. It is not required, but a nice back-up.

    I do not see anything that says the skimmer is not working like it should. Do you have a weir door on the skimmer? That helps the skimmer to work more effectively and prevents the junk from floating out when the pump turns off.
    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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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    Is is normal for the suction to be really strong at the place it joins the skimmer and then about half that strength at the bottom of the basket? When we moved in, the basket was sucking down into place strongly enough so I bought a new basket with a handle (the old handle was missing and it was hard to get the basket out when it was full). Now it sort of floats into place or I push it down after I empty it. Also, I wish I didn't have to run the pump 24/7.
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    The diameter of the pipe is 2", the diameter of the basket is like 6"+ ... so of course the velocity you feel is going to be significantly less as it is a function of the area.

    I have a rock in my skimmer basket to hold it in place (make sure it is larger than the pipe )

    Why are you running the pump 24/7? Get a timer.
    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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  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    I have a timer and I used it at first, but after a while it didn't feel like my pool was really getting clean, so I turned the timer off. I understand the velocity thing. I guess i have just noticed a real difference in the way the suction felt at the basket at the beginning of the season and now. I cleaned my filter, replaced seals, repaired a few obvious cracks in the skimmer that had been puttied before and located/repaired a new crack. But that didn't take the suction back to what it was.

    When we bought the house, we were told that the pool had a small leak that no one could detect. I noticed some PVC drips and seal drips around the multiport and fixed those, so I don't really know if that took care of it. (It is amazing how much the pool company charged us at first and what crummy work they did.) I was just thinking that maybe an undiscovered crack in the skimmer might be the cause of low suction and the leak...
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    What kind of PSI are you seeing right after backwashing? Where is it now? Is he suction changing at all? What you are describing sounds normal to me. I have a 2 speed pump that I run on low, and the suction is basically nonexistent in the skimmer basket (but I know the filter is doing its job).

    Yo shouldn't need to run the filter 24/7 to keep it clean, which indicates that the filter/pump is working properly, but you might have an underlying chemistry issue. Can you post a full set of test results, and tell us how you got them?
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    Last year, when I started this process (without this website), I raised my CYA way too high with tablets. So this year I was probably too conservative and need to add more. We do go out of town several weeks in the summer, so I don't want it so high that I can't use a chlorine dispenser during that time, but I'm guessing this may be the problem. Am I right? And how high should it be if I want to use tablets now and then?

    TC: 6, but falls to 3 or less by morning
    TA: 90
    CYA: 25
    CH: 200
    PH: 7.5

    I use the kit recommended on this site. Also, I have well water with metals, which I've been trying to mitigate with Jack's Magic blue and ascorbic acid. Last summer my "algae problem" was really staining. So I'm learning, albeit slowly.

    Thanks for your help.
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    What about the filter pressures?
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    Of course, like almost everything else, the gauge is broken. I'm hoping to get the replacement today. I'll let you know if I'm successful. What does the pressure tell me exactly?
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    It tells you when you need to clean the filter.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    I did just clean the filter at the beginning of the season and I backwash every week.
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    Well that backwashing may not be often enough or might be overkill ... the gauge tells you when to do it. When the pressure rises 20-25% over the clean pressure.

    You are asking about a variation in flow from what you expect ... the pressure can help diagnose if there is actually a problem.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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  13. Back To Top    #13
    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    We need good pressure readings to help diagnose a filter issue.

    To rule out a chemistry problem, run an OCLT tonight. That will tell you if you have anything living in your pool.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    New pressure gauge is in! Along with a new o-ring for the top of the filter. Because this is a very old pool with an old set up, the pool hut (Do not confuse this with a pool house. It is a dank dark basement with a filter, some pipes and two huge old rusty water tanks! ) is down the hill from and about 10-15 feet below the surface of the pool. I say this, because I'm guessing this may make a difference in the pressure readings. There is a lot of gravity involved. When I cleaned the filter and when i replaced the o-ring and the pressure gauge, we had to block off all of the returns and skimmer holes to keep the water from escaping the pool. It seems that none of our valves actually work. (Next week's question/project.) My pressure reads 10 with the pump off. With the pump on, it reads 30. I had just backwashed the filter. So, is this good or bad and what do i do with it?
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    I did run the OCLT and did have a problem. Slammed for two days and now am back up. However, this is the third time I've had to do this. It seems like i just can't keep the normal levels high enough for long enough. I put in another jug of liquid CYA and am now up to about 30. It seems to be holding a little better. If I want to be able to go to a regular chlorinator for a week or two when I'm on my vacation, is there a target CYA I should aim for? As I said, last year I think I went too high. Reading through our old pool records, it looks like the pool guys maintained the pool by shocking with lithium hypochlorite and then having the rainbow chlorinator run during the week. (They also used Jack's Magic Blue for the metals and put in a lot of calcium, which we seem to be low on. Once in a while they adjusted akalinity.) We only have the pool open for 3.5 months and this worked for them.
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    With CYA at 30 you should be fine using tablets for vacations. Recommended range is 30-50. What is your current FC target?
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    I just saw your post on needing a pressure gauge. Did you get one from TFTestkits ?? Same folks who sell the TF-100 test kit. http://tftestkits.net/Flow-Meters-and-PSI-Gauges-c12/
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    I got the original part from pentair. Thanks, tho.
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    I ran the filter with the new pressure gauge for weeks without back washing and it only went up to about 32 (from 30). When i shut off the gauge, it still drops to 10, then back to 30 once it is backwashed. Is this normal or is there still something wrong with my pressure gauge?
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Is there something wrong with my skimmer?

    If the gauge does not go to zero when you turn off the pump, then there is something wrong with it. I would highly recommend the liquid filled gauges like tftestkits.net sells.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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