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Thread: suctiion air leak

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    aussieta's Avatar
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    suctiion air leak

    about two weeks ago i was very busy and didnt empty the skimmer basket for a week
    anyway the basket became overfilled and then floated and settled side ways
    the excess leaves then went through to the pump strainer basket and filled that too
    after cleaning everything i now seem to have a suction air leak
    continuous flow of small bubbles and lines all drain back when pump off
    i have checked and double checked and lubed the strainer o-ring
    i am thinking there are leaves/twigs blocking the pipe from skimmer to pump causing a prior air leak to be more noticeable
    or the seal between motor and pump may have gotten hot and damaged
    any thoughts???
    SWG inground peanut shaped eco-bright concrete pool
    50,000 litres 13,000 gallons
    Lincoln Salt Chlorinator, 25 gram cell Sand Filter with glass media
    Taylor K2006-C test kit, Taylor K-1766 salt test, Dolphin M500 pool cleaner
    are you taking care of your pool or is the poolshop taking care of you

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    Re: suctiion air leak

    Have you read the article on suction-side leaks in Pool School?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    aussieta's Avatar
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    Re: suctiion air leak

    i have read the article several times
    i am wondering how common is an input seal damaged from overheating
    water level is halfway up skimmer
    all pvc connections appear good
    nothing changed except the leaf blockage and opening and closing pump strainer lid
    which i inspected and relubed
    (several times now as it is most common cause)
    SWG inground peanut shaped eco-bright concrete pool
    50,000 litres 13,000 gallons
    Lincoln Salt Chlorinator, 25 gram cell Sand Filter with glass media
    Taylor K2006-C test kit, Taylor K-1766 salt test, Dolphin M500 pool cleaner
    are you taking care of your pool or is the poolshop taking care of you

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    Re: suctiion air leak

    Suction side leaks can be hard to find. Often, it is simply an issue that llooked good at first, but the leak was found on closer inspection.

    Without physically being at your pool, the only advice is to remember that leak is somewhere between the skimmers and the pump.........they don't happen anywhere else so don't spin your wheels looking on the pressure side.

    It's there, you just have to keep searching.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    aussieta's Avatar
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    Re: suctiion air leak

    yeh i know,
    i am a forklift mechanic and am used to suction side air leaks
    none of the pvc pipes were disturbed, and are glued except for union before pump
    i have checked the pump basket o-ring so many times and can't see any faults, i may replace it anyway
    the pump may have been starved for several days so am concerned for the input seal
    SWG inground peanut shaped eco-bright concrete pool
    50,000 litres 13,000 gallons
    Lincoln Salt Chlorinator, 25 gram cell Sand Filter with glass media
    Taylor K2006-C test kit, Taylor K-1766 salt test, Dolphin M500 pool cleaner
    are you taking care of your pool or is the poolshop taking care of you

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: suctiion air leak

    By input seal do you mean shaft seal?
    Did you check the o-ring in the union before the pump?
    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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    Re: suctiion air leak

    I recently ran my pump dry by closing off the valves to it. It must have exploded, because it blew the 2" threaded PVC pipe off the top off the pump by a few inches. It also popped the skimmer lids and the cap on the main drain safety valve. I had to fix a number of suction side leaks after that. The hardest to find was the drain on the strainer basket. That o-ring was falling apart. I have no more bubbles and I didn't have to pull the pump apart. I'd recently replaced the shaft seal in spite of my stupidity it doesn't seem to be leaking.

    I found this post and the one I liked above, because I was worried the leak was in the shaft seal. Based on my own experience on my pump shaft seals are pressure side. Before I replaced that seal, it was leaking water, not air.

    The best thing I found was to run your pump on high, then quickly shut it off. The momentum of the water will push water out the leak. That trick didn't help me, but it looks like a good idea.
    20,000 gal in-ground plaster pool with sand filter. Replastered recently. Mostly adding bleach and acid. CYA was high when I took over.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: suctiion air leak

    Quote Originally Posted by SwimAustin View Post
    The best thing I found was to run your pump on high, then quickly shut it off. The momentum of the water will push water out the leak. That trick didn't help me, but it looks like a good idea.
    My previous pump ALWAYS squirted water out of the pump lid seal when it shut off. But, it never sucked air in. So, this method will not always identify the 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
    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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    Re: suctiion air leak

    If its a pool only and the pump ran dry you may have warped the male adapter coming into the pump. Can you take a few photos of your configuration? Are there any valves prior to the pump?

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    aussieta's Avatar
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    Re: suctiion air leak

    well the goodnews,
    after dismantling and lubing every union
    i made it worse, to the stage the pump couldn't prime
    which allowed me to find
    one pvc pipe fitting had never been glued from 15 years ago
    SWG inground peanut shaped eco-bright concrete pool
    50,000 litres 13,000 gallons
    Lincoln Salt Chlorinator, 25 gram cell Sand Filter with glass media
    Taylor K2006-C test kit, Taylor K-1766 salt test, Dolphin M500 pool cleaner
    are you taking care of your pool or is the poolshop taking care of you

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    Re: suctiion air leak

    one pvc pipe fitting had never been glued from 15 years ago
    Nice work.

    This is a good example to all of us that suction side leaks CAN be tough to find, but always remember that if you are accumulating air in your system, it is coming from the suction side of your system and that helps narrow the search.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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