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Thread: Suction Side Pool Sweep Inadequate Water Flow

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    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Apple Valley, CA
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    10

    Suction Side Pool Sweep Inadequate Water Flow

    I have a Barracuda Beta pool sweep running through the skimmer to a 1.5 HP pump. My problem is the Barracuda's diaphragm is so small it doesn't allow enough water flow to satisfy the pump requirements and so it cavitates and fills with air. I have three possible areas where a suction side air leak can occur: two unions and the pump strainer basket lid. I have checked the o-rings and tightened the two unions and have inspected and cleaned the strainer basket o-ring. I can run just the Barracuda hose in the water and everything works fine, as soon as I hook the hose to the Barracuda, the water flow immediately drops significantly and the pump starts cavitating seconds later. After about 10-15 minutes the Barracuda stops working and the pump is just about running dry. According to the pump curve chart, a 1.5 HP pump is more than adequate to turn over 12K gallons of water several times in 24 hours. My question is, should I replace the 1.5 HP motor with a smaller one to lessen the amount of water the pump requires or is there another suction side pool sweep that will allow more water flow than the Barracuda?
    15x30 13,500 gallon AG Cameo Oval Pool. Pentair 1 1/2 hp OptiFlow pump. Pentair SD40 sand filter. Hayward 75 sqft cartridge filter. Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    Location
    Midland TX
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    15,001

    Re: Suction Side Pool Sweep Inadequate Water Flow

    Welcome to TFP!

    I can't suggest a replacement for these, but I would suggest another cleaner versus changing my pool pump. There has to be something out there that will handle you pump.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
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    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Safety Harbor, FL
    Posts
    4

    Re: Suction Side Pool Sweep Inadequate Water Flow

    My suction side cleaner came with an adapter for the skimmer to allow more flow (Zodiac W60050 - Flowkeeper Valve). It looks like this would work for your cleaner as well.

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    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Apple Valley, CA
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    10

    Re: Suction Side Pool Sweep Inadequate Water Flow

    shoeboo, my cleaner came with an adapter for the skimmer as well, but when the flapper valve opens to allow more flow to the pump, the Barracuda gets robbed of the flow necessary to work the diaphragm and it stops moving. Yes Patrick, I was leery of changing the pump motor as well. The pump/filter set came with it and I'm sure there was some sort of engineering reason why they sized the motor as they did. I did find another type of suction side cleaner, the Hayward 2025ADV Pool Vac XL- Vinyl. This sweep doesn't appear to be propelled by a diaphragm and looks like it would flow more water. Is anyone familiar with this cleaner? Would it solve my problem?
    15x30 13,500 gallon AG Cameo Oval Pool. Pentair 1 1/2 hp OptiFlow pump. Pentair SD40 sand filter. Hayward 75 sqft cartridge filter. Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Apple Valley, CA
    Posts
    10

    Re: Suction Side Pool Sweep Inadequate Water Flow

    Just a quick update if anyone is interested. I completely disassembled my suction line and retaped all the threaded connections, sealed them with thread sealant and retightened as tight as I dared without cracking the plastic. I inspected and cleaned the o-rings from the two unions and tightened them as tight as I dared to. I purchased a new o-ring for the suction strainer basket lid. So I think I've done all I can do to address any suction-side air leaks. I did purchase a Zodiac MX8 pool cleaner which propels itself with a turbine instead of a diaphragm. I hooked it up according to the instructions and the exact same problem reoccurred although more slowly since the Zodiac allows much more water flow than the Barracuda, but still not enough to satisfy the pump as it's still starving for water. I am now convinced that a suction-side vacuum is just not going to work with my pump. Since the pump works beautifully with nothing hooked up to the suction, I will research robotic pool cleaners. Anyone have any thoughts/insights on these?
    15x30 13,500 gallon AG Cameo Oval Pool. Pentair 1 1/2 hp OptiFlow pump. Pentair SD40 sand filter. Hayward 75 sqft cartridge filter. Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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