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Thread: Help with changing pump strainer basket

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    Help with changing pump strainer basket

    My husband and I just bought a house with a pool two months ago. I am in charge of the pool while he is doing the lawn/garden. Luckily I found this site and have been able to figure out how to keep my pool from going green. It seemed so overwhelming but I think I understand most of the pool math so my pool is within the suggested range.
    So now I am trying to figure out how to change the pump strainer basket, which is full of leaves. I think it is affecting the pressure because the filter used to go up to between 10 and 15 and now it only goes up to 3. I took pictures of my pool equipment.
    IMG_1630.jpgIMG_1629.jpg

    Do I first turn off all the circuit breakers?
    Then do I open the filter valve (the black knob at the top)?
    Do I do anything else before opening the strainer basket top?

    The home owner before me briefly explained the pool equipment but warned me several times to be careful whenever you work with the filter because if something is attached incorrectly part of the filter could blow up and kill someone because of the pressure. So now I am a little worried about working anywhere near the filter.

    If the first part is correct, then I dump water back into the strainer basket? Do I tighten the filter first or do I start the pump and then after the air is let out then tighten the knob? There is a switch that I don't understand how it is connected to everything but it says prime.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help with changing pump strainer basket

    Welcome to TFP!

    First turn off the pump. There are several ways to do that. The best is usually to put it into service mode using the pumps control panel. Then open the pump strainer basket, clean out the basket, and close up the lid again. Finally turn the pump back on (by reversing whatever you did to turn it off).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help with changing pump strainer basket

    What he said ^^^

    That strainer lid will likely be a bear to get off. I give the ears a couple taps with a mallet to get it moving. Clockwise tightens, counterclockwise loosens. Taps, not hefty swings.

    And when you reassemble it, make sure there is no leaf residue or blades of grass on the sealing surface. After you restart it, it can take a few seconds - feels like longer - to prime and get going. Once it's going steady and the bubbles have pretty much disappeared in the lid, then crack the air bleed and vent any air that got inside the filter.

    It probably took me longer to type this than it will take you to do it. It's really not all that hard. You can minimize the amount of crud that gets in there by fitting the skimmer with a "skimmer sock". I use a queen-size knee-hi nylon like so:


    More pictures
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Help with changing pump strainer basket

    Thanks for replying so quickly. So I don't have to worry about opening the filter valve or turning off the circuits? When I tried to open it last month, I wasn't able to and my husband quickly tried. I am not sure if it was screwed on really tightly and my husband just needs to work on it or it was difficult to open because of the pressure.
    Thanks again.

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    Re: Help with changing pump strainer basket

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    What he said ^^^

    That strainer lid will likely be a bear to get off. I give the ears a couple taps with a mallet to get it moving. Clockwise tightens, counterclockwise loosens. Taps, not hefty swings.

    And when you reassemble it, make sure there is no leaf residue or blades of grass on the sealing surface. After you restart it, it can take a few seconds - feels like longer - to prime and get going. Once it's going steady and the bubbles have pretty much disappeared in the lid, then crack the air bleed and vent any air that got inside the filter.

    It probably took me longer to type this than it will take you to do it. It's really not all that hard. You can minimize the amount of crud that gets in there by fitting the skimmer with a "skimmer sock". I use a queen-size knee-hi nylon like so:


    More pictures
    Where do I find the air bleed to vent the air?

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help with changing pump strainer basket

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCal Mom View Post
    Thanks for replying so quickly. So I don't have to worry about opening the filter valve or turning off the circuits? When I tried to open it last month, I wasn't able to and my husband quickly tried. I am not sure if it was screwed on really tightly and my husband just needs to work on it or it was difficult to open because of the pressure.
    Thanks again.
    It's like a jar lid, only a quarter turn or so. But it can get really tight. As long as you don't have an above-ground pool where the water level is above the pump, you probably won't have any problem. You might hear some glugging while things are opened up. It's normal.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help with changing pump strainer basket

    The air bleed valve is normally on the very top of the filter. The only exception would be if the top of the filter is also the multi-position main valve, in which case there isn't an air bleed.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Help with changing pump strainer basket

    Thank you so much Richard 320 and JasonLion - I love this forum. My first post and my problem was immediately solved. I was on the verge of calling a pool man to come out because the pressure was so low and the Kreepy Krauly had stopped working. The basket was completely full of leaves and debris. It did end up being easy to clean out. Thanks also for the heads up that it would make a gurgling sound. The pressure is back up to where it was before and the Kreepy Krauly is making the clicking sound and vacuuming again.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help with changing pump strainer basket

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCal Mom View Post
    Thank you so much Richard 320 and JasonLion - I love this forum. My first post and my problem was immediately solved. I was on the verge of calling a pool man to come out because the pressure was so low and the Kreepy Krauly had stopped working. The basket was completely full of leaves and debris. It did end up being easy to clean out. Thanks also for the heads up that it would make a gurgling sound. The pressure is back up to where it was before and the Kreepy Krauly is making the clicking sound and vacuuming again.
    Don't forget to bleed the air out of the filter.

    There's always this, too:
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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