I just bought a Kreepy Krauly Great White and tried it out for the first time tonight. I closed the main drain and partially closed the shallow-end skimmer valves. (Vacuum hose attached to deep end skimmer). I primed the hose, started it up, fiddled with the vacuum for a while, gave it a couple hours, and decided to go check filter pressure (pool was pretty dirty with pollen). Pressure was getting high (18 psi...normally runs 11) so I backwashed. When I turned the pump back to filter, the pressure had dropped to 8 psi. Up until this point, I didn't notice any aeration in the pump filter basket, but I suppose I could've missed it. I cleaned out the pump basket, checked for debris clogs inside (none), and the psi rose to around 10, making me feel better.
Meanwhile, I'm not super thrilled with the Great White's performance. It seems sluggish....it isn't making it up the hill to the shallow end. I decided to fully close off the shallow end skimmer to see if that helped. (The instructions had said to close both Main Drain and Shallow End Skimmer, but for some reason I had left it open a little....just nervous about too much suction I guess.) So when I closed off the valve to the Shallow End, I hear a whooshing from the pump and notice quite a bit of aeration in there. Also, the psi dropped down to 7-8 again. Ironically, the Great White started getting down to business.
So....we've only owned this pool for a few years. We've only vacuumed manually until today. I feel like I have two problems:
1)Do I have a suction side air leak? Why does this present itself only when shallow-end skimmer valve is closed? This may be obvious to some of you, but I'm not reading the clues.
2)I need to decide whether to return the Great White. I wasn't happy with it's performance tonight UNTIL I closed the skimmer valve, which seemed to cause all kinds of other problems.
I would appreciate any input you can give me. I just registered so I could post this question, but TFP has been a huge help to me on many occasions and I greatly value the experience on these forums.