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Thread: Millions of small bubbles coming in at the return jets...how can I fix this?

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    Millions of small bubbles coming in at the return jets...how can I fix this?

    Hi,

    The surface of the pool is all foamy from these air bubbles. I can see them in the pump...and you can actually see the water / air stream blowing into the pool from the return lines. I already have a problem with the water being the wrong color (green) rather than blue, so maybe the two problems are related in some way. I read a few threads here about this bubble problem and it suggests checking around the pump - o-rings and gaskets, etc. Should I pour some water over the pump to see if I can tell where there might be an air leak? Any advice appreciated. I'm frustrated enough as it is because of the color problem.

    Thanks.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Millions of small bubbles coming in at the return jets...how can I fix this?

    Do you see any air bubbles in the pump strainer basket when the pump is on? If you crack the air bleed on top of the filter when the pump is on, does it hiss air or water? A split second of air is no biggie. If you have time to start counting, you have an air leak and you need to find it.

    If no air leak, are you in the process of trying to kill the algae? Some algaecides foam, as well as the designer bleaches like splashfree. Finally, dying algae sometimes foams up.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: Millions of small bubbles coming in at the return jets...how can I fix this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Do you see any air bubbles in the pump strainer basket when the pump is on? If you crack the air bleed on top of the filter when the pump is on, does it hiss air or water? A split second of air is no biggie. If you have time to start counting, you have an air leak and you need to find it.

    If no air leak, are you in the process of trying to kill the algae? Some algaecides foam, as well as the designer bleaches like splashfree. Finally, dying algae sometimes foams up.

    Hi Richard,

    Thanks for the reply. Regarding the air bleed.....that has ALWAYS hissed air whenever I open it. I once asked a pool repairman who did work for me about this and he indicated that I'm too concerned about that little bit of air. I think in my case the air bleed valve gets clogged with DE fairly quickly so it's kind of tough to really determine what's going on. Also, over the past few years even though I get the air from the valve I hardly ever had any foaming and / or noticeable air stream coming into the pool.

    I did a couple of things tonight....took out the drain plugs from the pump and lubed the o-rings good, put them back in and made sure both were tight. Then I took out the pump lid gasket and discovered that there was a bit of gunk all along the track underneath the gasket. Knowing that there was no glue of any kind in there being that I often had that gasket out and replaced it more than once already, I figured that something was growing in there...dug it all out with a screwdriver. Then I tightened up on one of the PVC couplings located right before the line goes into the pump. Then I also went over to the skimmer, took out the strainer, turned the diverter valve all the way to skim, and put my hand right against the hole, totally blocking the water flow...I did this since I read that any obstruction in the skimmer line could also contribute to the air problem. I took my hand on and off several times...also did it with the valve turned all the way to drain, although that was probably a useless step. So, after all this, I turned the pump back on and after a bit there were no more bubbles!!! So I'm hopeful that a combination of what I did solved the problem! I did find that working on it after it got dark outside was helpful...since with a flashlight you can really see if the bubbles are coming in the returns. It still looks a bit like there are bubbles swirling around in the pump strainer but then it has always looked sort of like that. If you have any additional suggestions, please let me know but I may have fixed it. Tomorrow will tell.

    Thanks,
    Keith
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Millions of small bubbles coming in at the return jets...how can I fix this?

    The problem still remains. I didn't notice bubbles last night but the surface of the water is foamy again today. I really believe it is a suction-side problem.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Millions of small bubbles coming in at the return jets...how can I fix this?

    You don't have a SWG do you?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Millions of small bubbles coming in at the return jets...how can I fix this?

    No....just plain water with DE filter...I'd have to say the situation is better. At least there is no foaming on the surface from the air coming in the jets, but you can visibly see the water flow (air bubbles) shooting in from both return lines...have never seen anything like that before. It looks like it always does for about 15-30 seconds right after I backwash and of course all the air has to vent from the system after having the filter tank apart. Only this is constant stream of air getting in. How do I find this problem other than what I've already done as described in an earlier post?
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    hanesian's Avatar
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    Re: Millions of small bubbles coming in at the return jets...how can I fix this?

    This is almost certainly a suction side problem that will need some patience. I just had a similar issue.

    You mentioned that you "tightened up on one of the pvc couplings right before the pump." What do you mean by 'coupling?'

    Any thing before the pump that screws in - including the actual pvc couplings that screw directly into the pump and which in turn receive other screw in couplings - ought to be unscrewed entirely, then the threads wrapped with plumbers tape and reattached firmly. Every single one. It really only takes a few minutes to go through the process for each joint or coupling that can be screwed, and it usually solves the problem.

    I don't know about you but I always tend to over-think these things and figure it must be some bigger problem, but time and time again that the easiest solution is generally the right one. So start with the easy small things and go from there.
    25,000 gallon, vinyl IG, Pentair Superflo 1 HP Dual Speed pump, Hayward S-240 sand filter, SWG, Raypak M206A heater, Polaris Pool Cleaner 280

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