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Thread: Above Ground pool skimmer suction

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    Above Ground pool skimmer suction

    I have an above ground pool with a Heywood Power Flo Matrix pump and Sand Filter. The problem is it's not filtering properly as I have a lot of small debris (dead bugs, pollen, small pieces of leaves, etc) that just stays a float on top of the water. I thought maybe I had an air leak or maybe this was caused by tiny leak or drip in hose connections, but I have pretty much tightened all those up. I have one small drip I can't seem to stop on hose that goes from pump to filter. If I have an air leak, I can't seem to find it. It looks like debris floats into the skimmer, but stays on top of the water inside the skimmer and after a while, nothing else floats into it. My skimmer basket should be filled with how much stuff is in my pool, but really isn't (just minor stuff). A lot of the debris sticks to the top wall of the skimmer itself and also the linear wall near the skimmer (at about same height on wall as skimmer). Interesting enough, if I shut the pump off and then put it back on, you can see the debris flow faster into the skimmer, but like I said it only does it for a little period. I've stuck my fingers a little bit down the skimmer hole and I don't feel a lot of suction, just minor, so thinking that could be the problem. The pump, filter and sand are only 3 yrs old. My next step was to try and change out the sand. Could that be the problem? Also, the pressure is around 20 and it does go to 0 when pump is off. I also can feel water being blown in from the return as well. Lastly, at times I've seen cloudy type water blowing in from the return. I've run out of ideas to try, hopefully someone has something. Sorry for the long post, but trying to provide as much info as possible.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Above Ground pool skimmer suction

    Welcome to TFP!

    Where is the water level on the skimmer opening, and is the weir swinging freely but staying just below the water level while the pump is running? Pressure reading on the gauge and strength of return flow?
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Above Ground pool skimmer suction

    Hi Susan,
    have you backwashed the filter lately? Often times a dirty filter is the culprit.
    If not, I would recommend doing that, and then see how it goes. After backwashing, your psi on the gauge should also go down.

    It also would help if you will point the eyeballs of the returns so that you create a ciruclar current in the pool. This current will help float the debris on top of the water to the skimmer.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Above Ground pool skimmer suction

    Water level is about 2/3 up skimmer and the weir is moving freely. I've even taken the weir off to see if that made a difference. As for pressure reading on gauge it's about 20-21. The strength of return flow is good when pump is first turned on but after a while it definitely is not as strong and I would say weak. When I just went out and checked on it, all the leaves and stuff where floating on top of the water in the skimmer and barely anything was in the basket in skimmer. So it seem like it seems like it's a suction issue within the skimmer?

    I did try backwashing but that didn't lower the PSI to much, only by 2 or 3 and the eye is pointing toward the right which is the way the water flows.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Above Ground pool skimmer suction

    20psi is a lot of pressure for an above ground pool. What size filter and pump do you have? Try backwashing for 3 minutes or so and see if you get a bigger pressure reduction. You are a little high with the water anyway probably, and that can cut down on skimmer performance too.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Above Ground pool skimmer suction

    Ok, so I backwashed yesterday for 3 mins and did notice an increase in suction at my skimmer. Putting my fingers down there it was definitely a lot stronger. In addition the PSI went down to 16. It was definitely picking up the debris a lot more. Now about 24 hrs later there was still debris in the pool (not as much, but still more than what should be) and the PSI was back up to 20 and suction in skimmer had decreased some again. So again today, I backwashed for about 3 mins and same thing as yesterday, PSI went down to 16 and you could see the pressure increase and more debris being picked up. So based on this, is it possible I really need to change the sand or is something else the issue? Also, I really never use Rinse or any other setting on my port, other than backwash, close and filter. Should I?
    Finally feeling like I'm starting to make a little progress towards figuring this issue out! Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Above Ground pool skimmer suction

    Rinsing after backwashing lets the sand settle and washes the crud out of the filter. 30 seconds is usually plenty.

    You may need to do a deep clean on your sand filter. There are instructions in Pool School. Maybe even a longer backwash or just follow the current cycle for a few days to see if it improves.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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