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Thread: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

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    Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    Hi,

    I bought the house with an existing dirty pool 2 months ago. It had a working SVRS Pentair pump, approximately 3.5 years old. I got the pool clean and everything worked fine, including the creepy crawly. I had been told by several pool guys that the SVRS is not meant for residential use or creepers, but that is what I inherited and it seemed to work ok. I have a Purex Triton 2000 DE filter and a Hayward salt chlorinator (T15) for an in ground plaster pool of approx. 35,000 gallons. The filter needed, and received new filter grids and DE.

    Bad things started to happen a few days after the pool was drained. It was empty for 3 days while a new main drain was installed and the world's sloppiest tiler replaced the waterline tile. Once the pool was refilled and all the proper startup chemicals were added, the creeper sucked up a lot of broken tile chips and grout into the pump basket. Then I began having problems with the pump. It began to shut itself off intermittently, occasionally restarting itself, but the error message was "clean drain before restarting". Also, it completely rejected the poor innocent creeper, shutting off 15 or 20 seconds after the priming completed. The only other diagnostic tidbit I can offer is that the filter pressure went from under 20 (at 3000rpm) to 30 and remains there now.

    I cleaned the only skimmer, the pump's basket, the filter (first backwashing then cleaning the grids with a hose - putting the lid back on was no fun). I had the Leslie's pool supplies repair guy out to fix the situation. A very nice guy, he reiterated that the SRVS was not designed for a creeper, but he adjusted the sensitivity to try to compensate. He was also on the phone to Pentair for an hour, as he could not keep the pump going, even with the creeper detached. Finally, he got the pump to stay on by keeping the rpm's over 3000, and told me not to use the creeper.

    So, the water is clean, but the bottom is not. When I try to vacuum the pool manually, without using my creepy friend, the pump shuts off after 15 seconds. That is, if I plug the hose into the skimmer's hose port, the pump shuts off. There is, however, plenty of suction in the hose for that 15 seconds. If I try to set the rpm lower without the hose attached, the pump shuts off.

    That's it. I'm sorry this note is so long winded, but I tried to give you all the info and anticipate your questions. However, I'm new to pool ownership and know very little about pools, so I look forward to your responses and questions, and will give you whatever info you need so you might help me. I am trying to avoid replacing the pump or jackhammering up the concrete to look for blockages.

    Thanks in advance.

    Foghorn

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    That the pool guys say it is not meant for residential use is ignorance on their part. This style pump is designed to make the pool compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. Now their are other methods to be in compliance including anti entrapment drains.

    Check out this post from 2013 which has a method that may work for your pump.

    In any case this pump is a safety feature that should nto be removed unless other means are used to provide anti entrapment protection.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    I recall a thread where a member contacted Pentair with similar problems and Pentair themselves were surprised that the the SVRS pumps were being installed on residential pools.

    Given all the reports I have seen on this forum, I would never put a SVRS pump on my pool and would look for other methods to be safe.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but does the Virginia Act actually only apply to public pools? That is not to say that the same safety efforts should not be made on a private residential pool of course.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong, but does the Virginia Act actually only apply to public pools? That is not to say that the same safety efforts should not be made on a private residential pool of course.
    Many building codes now incorporate the act into residential pools.

    I read the SVRS manual cover to cover and there is no mention of restrictions as to public/residential pools. There is also no restriction as to a vacuum or creeper. Now, neither of these being in the manual might just mean an engineer at Pentair never thought someone would install it on a residential pool.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    Welcome to TFP.

    Quote Originally Posted by foghornleghorn
    It had a working SVRS Pentair pump...
    ...I got the pool clean and everything worked fine, including the creepy crawly...
    ....a new main drain was installed...
    Those statements makes me think something happened during the main drain install or shortly after. It apparently worked fine before.

    Then you said.
    Quote Originally Posted by foghornleghorn
    ... the creeper sucked up a lot of broken tile chips and grout into the pump basket. Then I began having problems with the pump.
    I would start trying to figure out if the suction line got partially blocked by either tile chips or grout. My suspicion is that it did.
    Since the svrs part of that pump senses a blockage in the suction line, a partial blockage in the line would cause the pump to think something got stuck over the drain(s) and would therefore shut the pump down. Hooking up the vacuum would increase the restriction and it would shut down even quicker.

    As for the increased filter pressure. Check to make sure it isn't just a bad gauge first.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    Thanks, Bama.

    You said, "...figuring out if the suction line got partially blocked...". Do you have any tips as to how I could do the figuring? I made a poor attempt to get a garden hose down the suction line in the skimmer, but it didn't make the first turn.

    I appreciate all the responses so far.

    I think Tim5055 hit it right for the Virginia Act, because my local town council told me that they would inspect my pool for compliance with the Act if they came to my house for any other inspection purposes, such as requiring a permit for a room addition.

    Best,

    Foghorn

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    Re: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    I've got an SVRS for my main pump running at 2,750 RPM as well as for my sheer descents. I prefer to control flow via RPM for the purposes of noise reduction, rather than using mechanical valves. Not sure why they wouldn't be specified for residential use.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    Quote Originally Posted by cobix View Post
    I've got an SVRS for my main pump running at 2,750 RPM as well as for my sheer descents. I prefer to control flow via RPM for the purposes of noise reduction, rather than using mechanical valves. Not sure why they wouldn't be specified for residential use.
    I am not sure what you are getting at. Why is the SVRS helping you? You go on to describe the advantages of a VS pump, but that has nothing to do with the SVRS (Safety Vacuum Release System).
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    Due to the sharpness of the design of most PVC elbows, it's very hard to get anything through them. A plumbers snake might work.

    You could try and force water backward through the line, but that may not relieve the problem. Maybe even try blowing air backward through the line with a leaf blower, etc..
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I am not sure what you are getting at. Why is the SVRS helping you? You go on to describe the advantages of a VS pump, but that has nothing to do with the SVRS (Safety Vacuum Release System).
    I see. Apologies. I misunderstood. I thought we were talking about a variable speed pump.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    Quote Originally Posted by cobix View Post
    I see. Apologies. I misunderstood. I thought we were talking about a variable speed pump.
    No problem. It is a VS pump, but with an added safety feature that is in question.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    Hi gang,

    Well, I hit the skimmer vacuum line with a water hose and then compressed air. Unfortunately, I could not get either hose more than a foot into the pipe because of the 90 degree turns. For s**ts and giggles, I did the same from the pump side as well. As you experienced guys can probably guess, I ended up with a boatload of air in the line and had a bugger of a time getting the pump to prime again. However, something must have dislodged a little, as the creepy worked for 15 minutes before shutting off. Now it runs for 5-10 minutes before shutting off, and this is like heaven for me, as it is cleaning the bottom during those minutes.

    Now, I would like to snake the pipe all the way along, but have those right angels to deal with. Does anybody have a suggestion for the type of line (wire, special hose, etc) that might make those turns yet be rigid enough to clear the (presumed) blockage?

    Thanks again for all you help.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    Did you wrap a towel around the water hose to try to pressurize the line from the pump side? Or use a Drain King from the pump side as well. You want to try to push whatever is causing the possible blockage backward toward the pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    You might be able to take a wet dry vac and hook it to the skimmer line and suck the water and pluggage out of the line.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    Pull a vacuum on one side, and put pressure on the other side. I can't imagine what could coupe a blockage in a pool line that wouldn't come out easily.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Svrs won't vacuum and shuts off below 3000rpm

    Hi,

    I wanted to finish this thread with my happy ending.

    As the home purchase came with a home warranty, and I thought that the pump might need replacing, I called the warranty company. They sent out a local contracted pool service company to take a look. The pool girl listened to the whole story and said I had a dirty filter. We took it apart, pulling out all the grids this time (as I had only sprayed it down with them in place the last time I did it) and, voila, the thing was caked with muck and DE 6 inches thick at the bottom. We had backwashed it first, but that had not cleared this deep layer. So, after cleaning it and replacing everything, the struggle to recover the filter ensued. She and I couldn't do it in half an hour.

    Later that day I called another local guy who said to run the pump to fill the filter, then place the lid evenly on top and turn off the pump. Earlier, I had already put a few gallons of water in it and tried the backwash valve to create suction, but that had not worked. So, I tried his method and it worked like a charm. So now I can clean my filter without dreading replacing the cover. It is amazing to me that at least 5 other pool guys I had tried had no idea about this method and confessed to spending hours on doing this for their customers.

    Anyway, with system intact, I started the pump and creeper at 1800rpm. It shot around the pool like a scalded ape, sucking up everything in its path. SUCCESS!

    Thanks for all of your suggestions and consideration.

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