I've been suspicious for a bit about how much water I keep needing to add to the pool and now that I am not constantly backwashing, I can see it better. We lost over an 1 inch of water level (average 1/2 a night) last night and I left this morning to come back to the skimmers barely having enough water to keep the pump running. Once I turned the pump off though, the water level went up some. There are bubbles coming out of the returns and in the pump basket. It does lose water with the pump off (seems more obvious if it is off). If I change the flow to come more from just the drains, the skimmer water level goes back up. I currently have the drains more open and the skimmer cut back to see what the difference is for a bit - although I am adding back water again now.
I have removed, cleaned, lubed and assembled back both the pump basket and the filter o-rings, in case it was from those. Any help would be appreciated for figuring this out. A suction side leak from what I was reading, seems to make sense, just don't know where it is yet. My husband has to dig up the ground around that area to fix a drainage issue that was left after the previous owners had some concrete work done, so he may need to dig that up sooner than later. Luckily, he used to do golf course irrigation, so he knows a lot about plumbing.
After just checking...there are more bubbles coming from the returns than before I switched around the suction.