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Thread: Can bubbles in return be caused by leak in return side?

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    Can bubbles in return be caused by leak in return side?

    I have bubbles in the pool return. No air in the pump tank w/strainer. No "extra" air in filter when I bleed it. I've already replaced the o-ring in the pump basket and water level is fine.

    I do have a small leak on the return side in my water clarifier that I've never used. Could a leak cause air to be pulled in? What else should I be looking at? I'm stumped!

    Hesitant to call a professional just yet.
    - In ground ~26k gallons
    - Southeastern PA
    - Built approx 2003

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    Azgirl71's Avatar
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    Re: Can bubbles in return be caused by leak in return side?

    Welcome to TFP! Are you noticing any water loss?
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Re: Can bubbles in return be caused by leak in return side?

    Good question. I don't believe so. Loss I've experienced to date seems normal for early and late season with warm days and cooler nights. There is no visible signs around the pool or the equipment except for the one leak I've mentioned.
    - In ground ~26k gallons
    - Southeastern PA
    - Built approx 2003

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    Azgirl71's Avatar
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    Re: Can bubbles in return be caused by leak in return side?

    I would just continue to monitor it then. If you are not noticing water loss then it is probably fine.
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Can bubbles in return be caused by leak in return side?

    dm8, the bubbles you are referring to (from the return), are they like champagne-sized bubbles from your return jets? I have those, mainly from either one or two of my 6-total returns. Normally when we think of air entering the system, it's from the suction side since a compromise on the pressure side should result in a leak externally. Anyways, I have yet to pinpoint any real problem. I've finally decided (tried) to put my own personal OCD to rest for a little bit and figured, as long as my pump is not losing prime, the system is running well, and I'm not seeing any outrageous changes in my system, it's just fine. If curiosity continues to get the best of you, you can always continue to check your suction-side external parts/plumbing with the shaving cream and/or water test.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Can bubbles in return be caused by leak in return side?

    Do you have a salt system? If so, then they could be coming from the SWG. I can see small bubbles coming out of the closest return to the pump when the pump is on low and the SWG is running. Turning off the SWG makes the bubbles go away.
    23K gal, 38' x 22' irregular, gunite, StoneScapes Mini Pebbles, 2 HP TriStar 2spd pump, 525 sqft cartridge filter, TurboCell SWG, ProLogic controller, The Pool Cleaner 2 Wheel

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can bubbles in return be caused by leak in return side?

    It would take a very odd circumstance for air to be drawn in on the pressure side.

    While I do not see it in your signature, I will mention it for any future readers. A SWG can cause air bubbles to come out of the jets, but only when the cell is generating and usually only if the return line is pretty short to the pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Can bubbles in return be caused by leak in return side?

    If you don't use the clarifier you might consider removing it. Also suggest that you check plumbing connections. I had mystery bubbles in my supply that I traced to a bad plumbing joint. I applied generous amount of PVC glue and temporarily solved problem. Ultimately I replaced inline chlorinator and plumbing lines between filter where return entered the ground. I am not a great DIY type but PVC plumbing is pretty easy to do. Leak detection is a trail and error process. I also had an unrelated underground water leak on the return side but that is a different tale. Hope this is helpful.
    16 K gallon, IG, Concrete pool built approx 1970. (Resurfaced with plaster May 2015) 9 ' deep approx 17'x 33'. (1) skimmer, (1) bottom drain, (2) jets. PUMP: Hayward Max-Flo XL 2 speed 1 HP (installed May 2015). Sta-Rite T240BP-1 Crystal-Flo sand filter (installed 2007), Pentair 320 in-line chlorine /bromine feeder (2007 & 2012). TFPC with Borax/Bromine. taylor K2006 test kit. Mellen, Dallas TX

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Can bubbles in return be caused by leak in return side?

    Another possibility is solar. If you have solar on top of a roof with a VRV installed and your filter gets too dirty (i.e. high pressure rise), air can enter the VRV.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Can bubbles in return be caused by leak in return side?

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    dm8, the bubbles you are referring to (from the return), are they like champagne-sized bubbles from your return jets?
    Yes, mostly they are champagne sized (assuming the pool is a giant glass). But them do remind me of that now that you said it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    If curiosity continues to get the best of you, you can always continue to check your suction-side external parts/plumbing with the shaving cream and/or water test.
    Can you provide a link to those tests? Hadn't heard of either. Thanks in advance!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by tcm0116 View Post
    Do you have a salt system?
    No, we don't a have salt water system.
    - In ground ~26k gallons
    - Southeastern PA
    - Built approx 2003

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can bubbles in return be caused by leak in return side?

    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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