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Thread: small suction side leak?

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: small suction side leak?

    Also, are you the original owner of the pool and/or do you know how old the plumbing might be?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Never mind, I see you estimated 2008.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I read & re-read your original post, and keep going to where you said you "hear bubbling but don't see it". Makes me wonder if air isn't somehow entering your suction side from the skimmer or drain, and what your hearing are the bubbles in the pipe? Just throwing-out ideas here in case it helps you pinpoint something.
    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: small suction side leak?

    That is a very small suction side leak. I have had one about that size for maybe 6 years!! It is so small it is intermittent......some days it will leak, other days the pump basket will remain chock full of water for a day or two. I just don't have the discipline to chase it.

    If you are curious, go out after dark and. pump running, shine a flashlight into the clear lid......often you can spot the tiny bubbles under that lighting.
    Dave S.
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    Razorhog's Avatar
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    small suction side leak?

    After being off for several hours the pump basket gets to about half full. Pump kicks on and it takes about 30 seconds or less for it to be fully primed with no visible bubbles. When pumping the return closest to the pump "barks" a bit and I can see air coming out. Opening the release valve on the filter will let a bit of air out. There are no visible bubbles or pockets under the basket lid while pumping. I have it on a timer 3 hours at night, 4 hours during the day. I'm kind of worried that it is a leak and one of these times the pump won't be able to prime. I checked the filter basket lid o-ring and lubricated it. The o-ring seems very flexible and doesn't show any signs of defect, but I'm no o-ring expert lol. I also lubed the drain plug on the bottom of the basket as well as the screw in PVC fitting that I guess is a clean out. Running a hose over the fittings does not yield any noticeable difference when I turn off the pump. I can hear bubbling but don't see any bubbles under the basket lid. This is my third season with the pool (came with the house and was installed in 2008 I think). No idea how old any of the components are, but I haven't replaced any o-rings or seals so they are at least 3 years old. This has been happening since I've owned the pool. Let it be? Any advice? Thanks for any insight. I just don't want to borrow trouble and I can see breaking pvc joints or the leak getting worse if I mess with things too much.
    SLAM * Chlorine/CYA Chart * Pool Math * Pool School
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: small suction side leak?

    First thing I have to say is that your avatar pic is making me hungry. As for your suction side leak, the troubleshooting page is HERE.

    I too have battled with a similar situation. So maybe I can give you a couple other ideas. Unless I miss-read your statement about "no noticeable difference with water when turning off the pump", remember, the point is to leave everything running THEN let water free-flow over the exterior of everything. If there is a suction leak, the water will get absorbed into the space as opposed to air, thereby reducing air in the pump basket. Some people also like to try and find suction leaks with shaving cream.

    To be clear in your opening sentence, has this been happening for a long time? The part about the pump basket losing about half of its water when turned off? Is the pump slightly above pool level? Because if your system is turned-off and water drops from the basket, that would tend to tell me there may be a leak between the skimmer and the pump basket - unless you see a visible leak on the outside above ground.

    Also, do you have a "check valve" just before your pump basket? I do, and it prevents water from going backwards. Just curious. But everything you describe about the air and burping the system tends to indicate a compromise somewhere on that suction side.
    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: small suction side leak?

    Pump is slightly above pool level. I don't think it has a check valve but not sure what it would look like. I'll try to attach a pic of my setup. I'm still trying to work out suction from pressure side so bear with me.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1435617954.764942.jpg


    SLAM * Chlorine/CYA Chart * Pool Math * Pool School
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    Razorhog's Avatar
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    Re: small suction side leak?

    When pump is running there are no visible bubbles in the basket at all.


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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: small suction side leak?

    I see the pipe that comes-up from your ground in front of the pump basket. It looks like the installer made a clean-out fitting at the top that can be unscrewed for maintenance right? I do not see a check valve (not a big deal), but you can see an example on My pool pics link below if you are curious. As with the case for me, the pump basket stayed full when I had my pump on high. It's pulling-in enough volume of water to sustain the basket. I can't imagine water going any other way when your system is turned-off other than back towards the pool.

    Basically, everything "before" your pump (back towards the skimmer) is your suction side. Once the water leaves the pump and goes to the filter, that's all pressure. So if there was any problem "after" the pump, you should see a water leak. But when it's "before" the pump/basket, it is generating a suction/air leak. One thing to be really careful of, because it happened to me, was to ensure that clear basket lid is absolutely clean in the channel where the O-ring goes. Also, make sure the surface of the basket (where the clear lid screws to) is squeaky clean too. No grit, nothing. Then apply a generous amount of lube (not Vaseline) to that O-ring before reassembling.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, do you have just a skimmer(s) or do you also have a main drain?
    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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    Razorhog's Avatar
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    Re: small suction side leak?

    There is a drain at the bottom of the deep end, but it doesn't pull in water when the pump is on. Not sure what it's for really. I'm going to throughly clean and apply some super lube to the basket lid today.
    SLAM * Chlorine/CYA Chart * Pool Math * Pool School
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: small suction side leak?

    Perhaps the drain was plugged or disabled prior to you taking over? Hum. In any case, I hope lubing-up the lid does the trick for you.
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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  10. Back To Top    #10
    Razorhog's Avatar
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    Re: small suction side leak?

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Perhaps the drain was plugged or disabled prior to you taking over? Hum. In any case, I hope lubing-up the lid does the trick for you.
    I swam down to it while the pump was on and couldn't feel any suction at all. Strange...the pool guy told me to push dirt towards it so it would be sucked up. It doesn't look obstructed. I wonder if it is normal for some pools to not have suction at the drain.
    SLAM * Chlorine/CYA Chart * Pool Math * Pool School
    17.5k gal IG Fiberglass, Triton II TR60 Sand Filter, Jacuzzi Magum Force Pump 1.5 hp, 3/4 hp booster, Polaris 280, TF-100 Test Kit with Speed Stir

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: small suction side leak?

    Many times, pools with a skimmer and main drain will have a valve up top by their pump where they adjust the flow pulling-in from one or the other. Some pool owners might prefer more suction from the skimmer to catch debris, etc. From your photo however, I didn't see any such valve. The only valve I could see appeared to be your backwash valve for the filter. If that's the case, then I would assume your pool was plumbed so that equal portions of water would be sucked by the pump from each location.
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Razorhog's Avatar
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    Re: small suction side leak?

    Side question- any idea what the tall skinny pipe to the left is?


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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: small suction side leak?

    I don't. Perhaps another forum reader will chime-in with a thought.
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Razorhog's Avatar
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    Re: small suction side leak?

    Well I cleaned and lubed the pump basket lid and o-ring today, hopefully it will help. I noticed that the problem seems to be sporadic. One time I shut off the pump, and there is a whooshing noise and the filter basket nearly empties. The next time I turn it off, no water leaves the basket at all. Strange. Anyway, on to the next issue.
    SLAM * Chlorine/CYA Chart * Pool Math * Pool School
    17.5k gal IG Fiberglass, Triton II TR60 Sand Filter, Jacuzzi Magum Force Pump 1.5 hp, 3/4 hp booster, Polaris 280, TF-100 Test Kit with Speed Stir

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