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Thread: Suction far too strong, can't figure out how to lower it.

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Glendale, AZ

    Suction far too strong, can't figure out how to lower it.

    Hello everyone. I was having a serious problem with my Zodiac Barracuda G3 automatic cleaner and upon inspection I found that the diaphragm inside had a small rip. The cleaner would move, but barely at all and it would just circle around the deep end. I ordered a new one and installed it today, but now I have a new problem. Without that small rip, the automatic cleaner is working too well. It's sucking so hard that the cleaner stays at or close to the water line in the pool, and doesn't want to move around on the bottom. I used the pressure gauge that came with my cleaner, which states the PSI should be at about 3 but it's reading at 5 - 6 with the FlowKeeper valve on the lowest setting!

    Here is a picture of my pump/filter station:

    As you can see, the water comes from the pool through the pipe on the far left coming out of the ground. From there is goes into the pump basket and to the pump where it is pumped up and into the filter. There are 3 red knobs. The little one on the right is for the aerator, the middle one is for the fountains, and I am not sure what the far left one does. You can turn it from all the way counterclockwise to almost clockwise without any noticeable change to anything, however the last 1 turn or so causes the filter to start groaning and the pressure instantly jumps from 10 PSI to about 25 - 30. :S If I turn the aerator and the fountains on, you can turn that knob all the way and the filter/pump seem fine so I think it has something to do with the returns.

    The skimmer has 2 holes in the bottom, one has suction (the one farthest from the pool which is where the G3 is hooked up) and they other has no suction at all.

    There is no valve or anything between the skimmer intake and the pump, so how would I go about reducing the suction? The only thing I could think is to add another Flowkeeper valve. Oh and one more thing, I believe it was working fine about a week ago before I backwashed the filter. The pressure in the filter went from about 13 PSI to about 9 PSI.
    25K Gallon, IG Pebble, Triton or Triton 2 sand filter, Barracuda G3 suction cleaner, TF100

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Benton, KY

    Re: Suction far too strong, can't figure out how to lower it.

    The valve on the left is definitely for your returns from what you said about its operation. When you close all three of those valves you are dead heading the pump. It sounds like your main drain, if you have one, is being pulled through the second hole in your skimmer. By running the cleaner you are bypassing it and pulling everything through your cleaner. When the filter pressure was higher it was restricting flow and thereby limiting the amount of flow getting pulled through the cleaner. When you back washed the filter you freed up the flow through the whole system. I'm not sure if there is an adapter that let's you hook up your cleaner to both holes in the skimmer or not. That would let the main drain pull some too, and reduce the flow through the cleaner. I would think you could cut back the return valve to limit the flow through the system. I wouldn't think that's the optimum solution though. That's just my thoughts on the situation. Someone should be along soon with more insight into the problem than I have.
    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Bastrop, Louisiana

    Re: Suction far too strong, can't figure out how to lower it.

    What about getting a 3 foot piece of pool hose and install a tee in the center, on the 3rd leg of the tee install a plastic ball valve. Install this "vacuum adjuster" into your skimmer hole and install the cleaner hose onto this hose. To lower the vacuum, just open the ball valve. The only requirement is that the ball valve must always be below the water level or it will inject air into your pump. I think the short peice of pool hose is $3, the tee can be gotten from the irrigation seciton of the home imprvement stores for $2 (this can be a reducing tee also, the third leg of the tee being 3/4" to reduce the cost of the ball valve). A short peice of hose to connect the tee to the ball valve, and the ball valve, a 3/4 is like $7 or a 1 1/2 is like $14. I know its not a complete fix, but it is a workaround for now.
    Randy H.

    Intex 18' X 48"
    G.A.M.E. Sandpro 75 Sand Filter (Single Speed 3/4 HP, 75 lbs sand, 2650 GPH, 7-way valve)

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    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: Suction far too strong, can't figure out how to lower it.

    When you close off one or more of the returns and the filter pressure rises, that is an indication of reduced flow rate through the entire system and that should also reduce the suction from the skimmer. If the cleaner worked fine when the filter pressure was 13 PSI, then simply close one or more of the valves until the filter pressure reads 13 PSI again.

    What is the make/model of your pump?
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: Suction far too strong, can't figure out how to lower it.

    Some brands of suction side cleaners come with an inline vacuum adjustment bypass valve that plugs into the skimmer, I assume this is the flow keeper valve you mention, you might try adding another one of these inline if there is room below the water line that would probably be the easiest solution.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from
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