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Thread: Help- drawing air!

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    Help- drawing air!

    Hello Folks,

    My first post on here- it's great to find this forum. I have opened my pool for the fifth season and I have an ongoing air problem I've been unable to solve. It's an old pool (??? how old...), in ground, roughly 40,000 gallons, L-shaped, vinyl liner.

    Anyway, the pump has always had air in it, which I have typically remedied by leaving the valve on top of the sand filter open a bit (hiss, all day long, and wasted water). On occasions when I don't leave the valve open, the air builds up until eventually the pump loses prime, and when I shut it off water explodes out the skimmers from the air pressure build up.

    I've gathered that the problem is obviously on the intake side of the pump. I've done the following:

    -replaced and lubed pump gasket
    -replumbed lines from just above the ground to the pump, as advised by a pool technician
    -slathered shaving cream on every PVC joint and on the pump, looking for a telltale sucking vortex (found none)
    -caulked w/ silicone every PVC union as well as the pump connections, looking for a possible detection or temporary fix to the problem

    So... I have read that the problem could be underground. (Is there really that much air underground? We're talking a lot of air. Hiss, spray, hiss spray, all day long from the filter top.)

    Otherwise, perhaps the pump itself is sucking air between the motor and the pump? I've read that there's a gasket in there that can go bad but replacement seems pretty involved. I've considered replacing the entire pump just to rule it out. It's a big pump, 2 HP I think. Dates to 2003.

    My choices now are, replace the pump or call in the pros... Any ideas would be welcome. I do think it's unlikely one of the obvious culprits, as I've been fiddling with it for four seasons now with lots of reading and trial and error.

    thanks for any help-

    Ben

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help- drawing air!

    Welcome to TFP!

    One simple thing to check, make sure there is enough water in the skimmer so no vortex forms. A vortex in the skimmer can draw air down into the system causing symptoms like those you describe.

    Underground leaks can certainly let in enough air to cause the problems you report, though that isn't an especially common thing to happen.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Help- drawing air!

    Thanks Jason- Water level is quite high, def. no air thru skimmers.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Help- drawing air!

    I've never had to track down a suction leak. We do see quite a few underground leaks between the skimmer/drain and the pump. Broken elbows, under skimmers is fairly common. Just in case you haven't read this article from Pool School - Suction Side Air Leaks
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    In the Industry

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    Re: Help- drawing air!

    Old copper plumbing often has pin holes corroded in it, sometimes when it rains or the pool overflows and the ground is saturated the air leak will go away.... Not a very good way to test but it does happen from time to time.

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    Re: Help- drawing air!

    Thanks pooldv- that was a good article.

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Help- drawing air!

    After four years, figured it out. Jandy valve is missing the grease plug and it was filled w/ some kind of caulk that has given out. Little piece of duct tape got rid of the leak 100% for now. I can't believe it took me that long to find...

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Help- drawing air!

    Hey, better late than never!
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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