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Thread: Very High psi! Help

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    Very High psi! Help

    I just went out back to do a vacuuming on our pool since it seems like Spring in mid-February here in Austin, TX. The pressure on my filter is reading WAY HIGH, like 50+psi. The pool is pretty dirty, and I backwashed it for about a minute and the pressure still didn't come down.

    I'm also getting intermittent suction from the skimmer and output from the jets. With the pump off, the pressure is about 38psi.

    Should I do a longer backwash until the pressure comes down?

    Never seen this before.

    Thanks
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Very High psi! Help

    Your pump probably can't produce 50 psi, so you probably have a bad gauge. If it doesn't zero when you shut it off, it's for sure the gauge. Usually mid-30s is about all a pool pump can produce, even with the multiport valve closed.

    A minute isn't long enough to backwash a very dirty filter. 2 or 3 or even 4 minutes may be needed. If you have a sight glass, backwash until it is clear.
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    Re: Very High psi! Help

    Well that's good to know. It's hanging out in the 30's when it's shut off, so I guess that's an easy fix. And the water is now pretty clear when I backwash.

    This is an older pool which we inherited when we bought the house a few years ago and the issue of intermittent flow from the pump is still a bit of a mystery. We've got a new sand filter and I got a new pump motor last year, so I'm guessing there might be a leak or something in the pipes... which of course are buried deep underneath the concrete. Might just be stuck with that problem.

    It seems to occur mostly when vacuuming.... you can get really good suction for a couple of minutes, and then it drops down to nothing... but during regular operation the flow is pretty consistent. It's kind of always been that way since we've owned the house.
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Very High psi! Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Chappy
    It seems to occur mostly when vacuuming.... you can get really good suction for a couple of minutes, and then it drops down to nothing... but during regular operation the flow is pretty consistent. It's kind of always been that way since we've owned the house.
    During vacuuming it could either be the filter getting dirty and needing backwashing, or not enough water getting to the pump causing it to lose prime. Do you have a main drain or another skimmer that allows flow while you vacuum?
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    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Very High psi! Help

    We have one skimmer (which we use to vacuum) and one main drain. But when vacuuming, the 'manhole cover' on the skimmer basket is turned so that it blocks the main drain. I though it needed to be in that position in order to get the maximum suction for vacuuming, but you're saying it might not allow enough inflow into the pump to sustain a prime?
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Very High psi! Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Chappy
    We have one skimmer (which we use to vacuum) and one main drain. But when vacuuming, the 'manhole cover' on the skimmer basket is turned so that it blocks the main drain. I though it needed to be in that position in order to get the maximum suction for vacuuming, but you're saying it might not allow enough inflow into the pump to sustain a prime?
    You may want to allow some flow to the drain if you can and see if that improves things. I have a separately plumbed main drain and skimmer, and if I close my drain all the way the pump will lose prime when I vacuum. I close it about half way and get good suction.
    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: Very High psi! Help

    Thanks for the tip. This board rocks!
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

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    Re: Very High psi! Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Chappy
    Thanks for the tip. This board rocks!

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    Re: Very High psi! Help

    Well, I tried your suggestion this weekend but still had no luck vacuuming. I can only get good suction for about 5 minutes before it goes to almost zero. Running w/o vacuuming it will run all day, but I guess with this older pool... who knows what's going on underneath the concrete, right?

    Anyway, I've pretty much made up my mind to get a robotic cleaner this year instead of trying to deal with the headache of manually vacuuming or using an ineffective Kreepy Krauler. Even on it's best days when I can vacuum the entire pool, it seems like it just stirs up more dirt that reappears the following day.

    Since finding the forum last year, I'm pretty sure I can keep the pool algae-free, now I'm concerned with keeping it clean. Seems like the robot would be the "trouble free" choice for me.
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

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    Heckpools's Avatar
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    Re: Very High psi! Help

    50+psi??

    HIT THE DECK!!!!!! this thing is gonna blowwwwwwwww : :P
    [center:3gj9kdnn]Matt Heck
    "HECK OF A POOL SERVICE LLC"
    Serving Ocean co. NJ
    COMPANY INFO BELOW
    http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en ... 2995187987[/center:3gj9kdnn]

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    Re: Very High psi! Help

    Yeah... well I now know that the gauge is bad. It sits on 35 psi when everything is shut off. So we're not in danger of the filter exploding into space!

    And although I'm toying with getting a robotic cleaner, I'm wondering what would actually cause this problem that I've always had? Why do I only get suction with the vacuum for a very short period of time? I guess I should really address that.

    Anybody know what could be at the root of this problem because I guess if I could get nice, constant suction, vacuuming wouldn't be that bad on this small pool.
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

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    Re: Very High psi! Help

    If you're looking at Aquabot/Dolphin type robotic cleaners you should go all out and get the remote controlled version, IMO. Clean the pool AND drink a beer at the same time!

    As for the vacuum, does it lose prime even if the cover for the main drain is completely off? If so, listen closely for air leaks in the vac hose, especially around the cuff where it sticks up out of the skimmer (assuming you're using a skim-plate). Attaching a vacuum hose adds a lot of suction pressure to your system and will make any existing suction leaks worse. Is there usually air visible in your pump basket when filtering?

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    Re: Very High psi! Help

    I'm kind of diagnosing my problem as I both post and read through the board - and I think I have the problem and a possible solution. Perhaps you could confirm this with a photo that I can take when I get home, but I think all of my problems stem from how I'm using my vacuum hose.

    I just found a post where someone had similar vacuum problems and the piece of the puzzle that he was missing was a vac plate for the skimmer. Currently, I use the standard skimmer plate with a hole in it (which can be closed with a rubber plug) and I have this 'contraption' that is like a rubber cone which you stick down in the skimmer cover hole and has another piece that attaches to the vacuum hose.

    I think I now realize that this setup that the pool store sold me last year is the culprit for most of my problems - it's definitely not air-tight at the skimmer end, and the rubber cone doesn't even fit that snugly into the hole.

    If there's such a thing as a vac plate for the skimmer that I could simply use and connect my vacuum hose directly too, I think that would solve the problem of air getting in and destroying my prime all the time.

    Does this sound like I'm on the right track?

    Maybe I don't need that $1000+ robot after all.....that would sure buy me a lot of beer instead
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Very High psi! Help

    Sounds very likely. If you hear any sucking noises around the hose when you attach it at the skimmer that = air in your system = eventually losing prime.

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    Re: Very High psi! Help

    Oh yeah, I hear it alright. Sounds like someone's drinking a slurpee right out of the skimmer. Sometimes we try and mask it by sticking a garden hose in the skimmer basket so it covers up the whole rubber cone contraption. I don't know why it didn't click before - it seems so simple, right? Ah well, I'm learning that being a pool owner is full of "ah-ha" moments, most of them unearthed right here on the board.
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

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    Re: Very High psi! Help

    Here's a pic of what could be the culprit that's letting in air when I vacuum.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

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