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Thread: Pump operation affecting suction cleaner?

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    Cammer's Avatar
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    Sep 2014
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    Pump operation affecting suction cleaner?

    Owned the house / pool for a couple months now - my bro-in-law recommended TFP and I've been running my chemistry, etc. per your standards ever since - love it. That said, I've done everything possible to try to get my suction cleaner to perform reliably and I've officially run out of ideas.

    Here is the pool / pumping station layout:
    - Approx 20,000 gal, 10 years old
    - 1hp / 1.25 "total hp" Hayward single-stage pump, 2" PVC all around ("recently" replaced by prev owner)
    - Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420 filter
    - 4x brand new cartridge filters (pleatco PCC105-PAK4 - http://www.pleatco.com/product/pcc105-pak4.html)
    - hot tub heater (never used, just bought house in July)
    - saltwater generator (don't have info on me)
    - Brand new Hayward Pool Vac XL (same as Navigator Pro)
    - Suction lines (all 2", each one can be lined up independently): 1x suction cleaner, 2x skimmer (1 is plugged), 2x main drain, 2x hot tub
    - Discharge lines (" "): 2x hot tub (one main return, one for jets), 1x main return (to 2 return points)

    The root issue:
    - to get the suction cleaner to run, each of these must be done in order EVERY DAY: Line the pump up to only the cleaner and one skimmer, clean skimmer and pump baskets (spotless), and make sure pool is AT maximum water level. Oh and and not to mention pull out the suction cleaner to get TRACES of air out; i.e., when the timer turns on the system after all this the cleaner will not come until I de-air completely.

    First Question:
    The house came with 4 dirty Unicel filters; they ran at 18 psi when full, 12 psi when clean. Is this even possible? Most pool owners I talk to run at 18 inH20, 2-5psi max. The gauge says PSI on it so I'm assuming that's what it is reading... Last time I cleaned the cartridges the pressure jumped back to 18 within a day; so they were replaced. The new filters read 12 psi brand new, maybe 11.5. If I line up the discharge to only the hot tub it jumps to 18.

    Second Question:
    How likely is it the pump is undersized? I have to pray/assume there aren't any line cracks - don't see any evidence of it and I couldn't afford to dig up concrete to fix anyway. The cleaner line might be partially plugged which is my last test but I have to plumb the PVC to reverse flow through it first. Which brings me to...

    Third Question:
    The pool has a water feature that for some reason has a dedicated, identical Hayward pump just for the feature; most of the water in fact bypasses the waterfall through a 2" discharge into the pool; If I close that off the feature is more like rapids - a little overkill. If none of the other fixes work, I am planning on plumbing the water feature pump to run in parallel with the main pump when I make the changes to blow out the suction line. How awful an idea is this?


    THANKS ALL.
    Last edited by Cammer; 09-09-2014 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Added that pump recently replaced

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    Cammer's Avatar
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    Sep 2014
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    Re: Pump operation affecting suction cleaner?

    Desperation bump
    - Approx 20,000 gal, In-Ground, Plaster, about 10 years old | Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420 filter, 4x Pleatco PCC105 cartridge filters | 1hp / 1.25 SF Hayward TriStar single-stage pump (SP3207Z1M) | Saltwater Generator | TF-100 Test Kit | Hot tub w/ waterfall discharge to pool | Water feature w/ dedicated secondary pump (same as main) | Hayward Pool Vac XL Suction Cleaner

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    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Bakersfield, CA
    Posts
    155

    Re: Pump operation affecting suction cleaner?

    Have you tried turning off all the suction valves except the cleaner? This might help identify the problem. Also try opening both discharge lines to get minimum back pressure on the pump. My 3 HP pump pulls from two suction lines, one for the cleaner and one for the skimmer/main drain. I have to partially close the line from the skimmer in order to get enough flow to the pool cleaner.

    Do you know the gpm of your pump? You have a 420 sf cartridge filter and that should be more than enough for your system. At 80 gpm my 300 sf filter runs at 9 psig when clean, and can go for six months before the pressure rises to 11 psig and it needs to be cleaned.

    The size of the holes in the pool return jet eyeballs can have a big impact on pump pressure. Have you checked you are getting good flow out of every jet? Maybe try removing the eyeballs temporarily to see if that reduces pump pressure and improves flow?

    Have you checked the strainer basket immediately before the pump for air leaks? If you have a suction side air leak the air will show up as bubbles in that basket.

    The fact you have to raise pool water level to maximum must be a big clue as to what's going on but I'll have to think as to why that might be.
    Cheers, Peter
    20,000 gal, 52'x17' kidney shaped IG, Pebble Tec, IntelliPro P6E6VS4H-209L pump. Intellichlor IC40 SWG.
    300 sf Sta-Rite System 3 cartridge filter. Poolvergnuegen 4-wheel suction pool cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

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