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Thread: Adjusting Kreepy Krauly

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    Adjusting Kreepy Krauly

    I recently purchased a Pentair K60430 Kreepy Krauly Kruiser and went through all the setup process in the instructions. Being that I don't have a dedicated vacuum port I had to purchase a rubber adapter to fit the hose into my skimmer suction opening. The unit appears to be working okay (vacuuming and moving around the pool fine) but I'm concerned by the amount of cavitation in my pump basket (and in turn the pump itself).

    I'm not sure if it's normal, but in normal operation (without the vacuum hooked up) if I turn off my bottom drain suction (and just leave the skimmer open) my pump cavitates like crazy. This also happens visa versa with the valves switched. Therefore, I couldn't follow the directions of closing the bottom drain and using the adjustment fitting into the skimmer connection provided. Instead, I have adjusted the suction using my bottom drain valve (adjusted at about 25% closed) and keeping the skimmer open 100%. This brings me into an acceptable range on the suction test fitting supplied with the vacuum.

    My questions are:
    1) Is it normal that I can't close a valve without there being signifcant cavitaiton?

    2) Is it normal that when running the vacuum there will be a good amount of cavitation (to the point where my jets are constantly bubbling)?

    3) Is there another configuration I should try that may help?

    Thanks
    St, Augustine, FL / Covered Screen Enclosure
    1982 IG plaster/pebble - 18K gallon city water, Hayward C900 Cartridge Filter, Single Speed Pump 1.5hp
    Testing with TFT-100, Treated with Liquid Chlorine, Muriatic Acid, and Baking Soda

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: Adjusting Kreepy Krauly

    Good to meet you via TFP

    Best to keep things set so there is a minimum of bubbles or no bubbles visible in the pump basket. There are a few different possibilities.

    Definitely set the suction per the kreepy krawly instructions. Going higher will not improve the cleaning action and will cause the diaphragm inside the cleaner head to fail quite quickly.

    It's not normal to suck air. Cavitation isn't quite the correct word at this stage, although that may also be occurring. When the suction gets too high, your system is sucking air from somewhere. Air getting in is known as a suction side air leak. Hopefully it's just the hose going to the cleaner. You can work you way along the hose, lifting the hose closer to your ear and listen for air sucking in, especially at the connections.

    With what you have now, using your main drain to adjust the suction will work, or better yet, you can use the adjuster/bypass that came with the cleaner.

    Do you have a vacuum plate in the skimmer so you can run the cleaner with the skimmer basket in place? Some vacuum plates have their own adjustable bypass valves as well. If that makes no sense, take a picture of how you have it connected, post the picture here, and one of us can explain better.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, K-1106 and CCL test kits; Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWCG 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; Other family pools 10K SWCG and 15K on liquid; PoolMath app subscriber; | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: Adjusting Kreepy Krauly

    Hi

    I do not have a vacuum plate in place. When I put in the vacuum plate it seems like it puts in too much of a restriction and the pump begins to lose suction. At least I do have my cleaner pressured dialed in to the instructions and it's performing well.

    Good note on the use of caviation. I agree, cavitation is actually the formation of bubbles on the pump impeller blades (which I can't see) whereas this is in the strainer basket. However, I do think my issue also comes up by how the previous owner configured the piping. There is a sharp 90 deg bend and the rest of the piping all jammed into a small space at the suction of the pump. It is my experience that the piping leading up to the pump should be as straight as possible. I think my pressure loses through all this are too much when I start to throttle down the valves (also increasing pressure loss) and the pump is basically starving.

    I'll try to take a picture of my setup one of these days. However, I think the more I look into this, the more I realize I think it's just a plumbing configuration issue.
    St, Augustine, FL / Covered Screen Enclosure
    1982 IG plaster/pebble - 18K gallon city water, Hayward C900 Cartridge Filter, Single Speed Pump 1.5hp
    Testing with TFT-100, Treated with Liquid Chlorine, Muriatic Acid, and Baking Soda

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: Adjusting Kreepy Krauly

    Straight run to pump intake (4 pipe diameters and all that) is not an issue with pool pumps, because of the strainer on the front of the actual pump intake. A straight run is sure nice when you want to replace a pump, but it's not an issue once operating.

    Your cleaner should be hooked up whatever way allows the skimmer basket to remain in place to catch the junk the cleaner picks up. It should not be an issue using a skimmer vacuum plate. Sometimes you get a vortex before the cleaner is plugged in if the pump is running. It's most often a good idea to make the changes (add skimmer plate, plug in cleaner, close or open valves, etc.) with the pump off. Yeh, looking forward to pictures. One poster used a short video in a similar situation and that was helpful. Good luck with it.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, K-1106 and CCL test kits; Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWCG 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; Other family pools 10K SWCG and 15K on liquid; PoolMath app subscriber; | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: Adjusting Kreepy Krauly

    Ok. Good to know. For some reason I can't insert the image but here is a link to it:
    Dropbox - File Mar 22, 1 49 24 PM.jpeg

    It's a very old setup and
    Thanks for your feedback.pretty messy. When I replace the pump later this year I will hopefully be redoing all this.
    St, Augustine, FL / Covered Screen Enclosure
    1982 IG plaster/pebble - 18K gallon city water, Hayward C900 Cartridge Filter, Single Speed Pump 1.5hp
    Testing with TFT-100, Treated with Liquid Chlorine, Muriatic Acid, and Baking Soda

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    Re: Adjusting Kreepy Krauly

    I too use a Kreepy Krauly. Usually, when I have had a suction side air leak it is due to either pump lid leaking or a partial blockage in the suction line (leaves, etc. I have a lot of trees in my yard and sons that don't always empty the skimmer basket when I travel). I use one of those bladder attachments connected to a garden hose to backflow and clean the suction line, which in the past has worked for me to eliminate the suction side air leaks.
    40 year old pool, 35k gal w/spa, gunite replastered July 2016, Hayward Sand filter, Hayward 1.5 hp single speed pump, TF-100, Kreepy Krauly suction side cleaner Dolphin M400

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: Adjusting Kreepy Krauly

    Good tips above. Hopefully it's easy like the pump lid

    Your plumbing doesn't look bad to me. A picky criticism would be the brass valve, but when I see that, I think of some poor guy on a run to Lowes with his car breathing fumes and $20 in his pocket. They were out of 1.5" PVC valves, and he needed to fix a frost break.

    On the return side, which line is which and for what? Where does the line with the brass valve go, and where does the one with the PVC valve go? Plus, are they both normally open?

    Could you add a pic of how you hook up the KK at the skimmer?
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, K-1106 and CCL test kits; Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWCG 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; Other family pools 10K SWCG and 15K on liquid; PoolMath app subscriber; | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: Adjusting Kreepy Krauly

    Thanks. Well, in doing some more investigating, I replaced the o-ring in the strainer lid and lubed it up good and that fixed 75% of it. I then went and started wrapping each joint with electrical tape to diagnose the joints. I ended up finding a crack in the joint to the strainer basket which of course got glued by the same guy who installed the brass valve . That fixed it to about 95%. There is still some air leaking in from some other unknown location (maybe the o-rings in those union valves). But I can live with that... The brass valve and the other PVC valve are both normally open. The brass one used to go to a gas heater and then into two jets at our swim out. The other one goes to the remaining jets. On the return side, the one on the left is for the bottom drain, the one on the right is for the skimmer.

    Sure, I'll see what I can do on the KK setup. However, I bet I can use the vacuum plate now and the strainer basket.

    Thanks
    St, Augustine, FL / Covered Screen Enclosure
    1982 IG plaster/pebble - 18K gallon city water, Hayward C900 Cartridge Filter, Single Speed Pump 1.5hp
    Testing with TFT-100, Treated with Liquid Chlorine, Muriatic Acid, and Baking Soda

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: Adjusting Kreepy Krauly

    Good to hear

    In general, as long as either the skimmer or main drain intake valve is wide open, the pump will get enough water that it won't starve. All bets are off if there's a blockage of course. But your adjustment of the main drain is a good approach, with the skimmer valve wide open.

    If you need to reduce water flow, you can also partially throttle the return side without causing any problems.

    The PVC ball valve works fine for throttling. The brass valve looks like a gate valve, and they're designed to be fully open or closed. When they're used partly open, eventually a bit of the gate wears away, and they will leak a bit when closed, which may not matter, but eventually it would need to be replaced. Lots of options!
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, K-1106 and CCL test kits; Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWCG 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; Other family pools 10K SWCG and 15K on liquid; PoolMath app subscriber; | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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