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Thread: Sucking air with vacuum attached

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    Sucking air with vacuum attached

    I have an 18'x48" Intex Ultra Frame pool with an Intex Krystal Clear 1600 GPH sand filter. I also use the Hayward Wanda the Whale automatic pool cleaner. This has worked great till recently we noticed the water in the strainer basket on the pump going low when the pump came on with the whale attached. The problem quickly got worse. Now it sucks enough air that the pump loses all pressure/prime after about a minute of running the whale. We have positively determined the air is being sucked in through the vacuum release valve on the plunger valve that's on the side wall of the pool. We had two more of these plungers (new) swapped them out, same problem. Three bad vacuum release valves? I'm guessing not! Any ideas what would be causing this valve to start sucking air when vacuum is attached. Pump works fine otherwise. We even took the Whale in for service, nothing wrong with it, no blockage. Backwashed filter (we're using Zeobrite ...) I took the strainer basket off the pump to see if there was anything trapped beyond there, nothing. Not sure where the impeller is on this pump. Can't seem to find a diagram anywhere showing the inner works so I'm a little hesitate to start taking it apart without some direction. Any ideas?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Sucking air with vacuum attached

    If you know that it's the valve that's leaking air into the system you can try lubing all the o-rings in the valve good with pool lube and see if that helps.

    If the suction truly is opening the vacuum relief, then you need a vacuum regulator on the suction hose to the vacuum. If it's never done this before, and you have a vacuum regulator, then I'd suggest checking the regulator to make sure the setting hasn't somehow gotten changed.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Battle Creek, MI

    Re: Sucking air with vacuum attached

    If you have the idiotic vacuum relief feature on those Intex valves, as I do, you have to have the clear rubber cap that goes onto the nipple to stop air from entering the system. They are easy to lose and I almost threw mine away when installing the pool, not knowing exactly for what they used.
    18'x4' AG Intex Ultra Frame, 6,700 gal., assembled new 2013; Mods: Hayward EC50C90 Perflex filter & 1 h.p. PowerFlo Matrix pump, Fiber Clear cellulose D.E. substitute, Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU NG heater, a pair of 2'x20' Sungrabber solar heaters via the original Intex 635T pump, grey Hydro Tools through-the-wall skimmer, Confer steps/ladder system & Cover Free chemical pool cover. The Summer of Mods!

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    Re: Sucking air with vacuum attached

    Thank you both for your responses. I called Intex and they are sending me the transparent cap to cover the valve that is sucking air. It has ran for months with no problem at all. In fact I love the whale, it's been an excellent pool cleaner! Made my life so much easier! I just don't understand why it's doing this now, and it wasn't before. That's what makes me think something else is causing greater pressure on the system. When we take the intex plunger valve off the wall and just hook the hose to the wall and the whale hose to that, everything is fine! Hopefully this cap will take care of the problem. Thanks again for your time. I really appreciate it!

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