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Thread: Waterfall pump not waterfalling

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    Waterfall pump not waterfalling

    Hi-

    I have a secondary pump for a waterfall feature in my pool. Following a deep freeze this winter (in Dallas) the feature hasn't been working correctly. I've primed it and when I turn it on a little bit of water will start to flow down the rocks, and then it stops. Everything else in the pool is working fine.

    Just wondering if this is some sort of blockage in the line? American Home Shield won't cover secondary pumps, so before I call a pool person I wanted to see what kind of troubleshooting advice I could get?

    Thanks
    Pool: 12.4K gal, IG plaster (Crystal Stones), Spa

    Equipment: Pentair 200 sq. ft. Cartridge, 1x2HP pump and 1x1HP pump (for Polaris), Polaris 280 sweep, Built 2003, CP-3400 Pool Controls, TF100 Kit w/ speed stir

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    May 2015
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    Tucson, AZ
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    14,098

    Re: Waterfall pump not waterfalling

    Can you access the discharge side of the pump easily such that you could put a Drain King into the line running to the water feature? You could then use a garden hose + the drain king to see if you can force water out of the feature. It also might possibly unclogged the line.

    Do you see any wet spots where the line runs underground? Could a pipe have burst and the water is going elsewhere? A picture of the water feature and the pump/plumbing supplying it would help.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Sacramento, CA
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    Re: Waterfall pump not waterfalling

    When you say it stops, do you mean the pump stops or the water flow stops. Can you post a picture of your equipment pad showing your pumps? Have you checked all the valves to make sure they are in the correct position?
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    sacramento CA
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    147

    Re: Waterfall pump not waterfalling

    Like they said. Pics please. It sounds to me like you have a broken pipe on the return side. I had a sprinkler pipe that did something similar. The sprinkler at the end of the run would go on for a bit then stop. Then I saw the leak coming up through the dirt. When I dug up the pipe it was split down the side. Parallel with the pipe. So I guess what happens is it works for a bit. Then builds some pressure. And the pressure opens the split pipe and allows more water to come out. Then your sprinkler stops.

    Hopefully it's in the dirt and you don't have to saw cut the deck to get to it. Sorry to hear. Good luck.



  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Jul 2016
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    Dallas, TX
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    Re: Waterfall pump not waterfalling

    Sorry, I've been out of pocket. I'll take some picture this evening and then upload.

    The pump continues to run. There's just a trickle of water that comes out of the feature (about the amount I primed it with) and then it stops. I've tried dumping water into the reservoir as it runs and it sucks the water down, but it won't continue to flow. Not sure if the water that's supplying the feature is blocked...

    Pictures will explain, but my equipment runs underneath a concrete slab patio which is connected to the pool area. Not much "non-concrete" anywhere between the pool and the waterfall feature.

    Thanks
    Pool: 12.4K gal, IG plaster (Crystal Stones), Spa

    Equipment: Pentair 200 sq. ft. Cartridge, 1x2HP pump and 1x1HP pump (for Polaris), Polaris 280 sweep, Built 2003, CP-3400 Pool Controls, TF100 Kit w/ speed stir

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Jul 2016
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    Dallas, TX
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    26

    Re: Waterfall pump not waterfalling

    IMG_1878.jpgIMG_1880.jpgIMG_1882.jpg

    So the pump pump towards the top of the first photo is the waterfall pump. The waterfall is at the top of the photo (backside of the pool). As you can see, the pipes probably run under the patio and the pool. Nowhere to tell if the ground is wet I guess? The last time photo is the backside of the waterfall. There is no pvc pipe on the exterior of the stone so it's somewhere inside of there. The ground has not been noticeable wet, and I haven't seen puddles anywhere.
    Pool: 12.4K gal, IG plaster (Crystal Stones), Spa

    Equipment: Pentair 200 sq. ft. Cartridge, 1x2HP pump and 1x1HP pump (for Polaris), Polaris 280 sweep, Built 2003, CP-3400 Pool Controls, TF100 Kit w/ speed stir

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    sacramento CA
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    147

    Re: Waterfall pump not waterfalling

    I'd do what the first guy said. See if you can shoot some water through the feature with a hose. Maybe check the gasket on the pump and lube it up.




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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
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    Re: Waterfall pump not waterfalling

    Have you tried the Drain King yet? What you're describing sounds more like a suction side air leak or a blocked intake and not so much a break on the return side. Open the pump strainer and remove the basket and stuff the drain king into the pipe coming in the front. For that matter, a wadded-up rag you hold in there and a second person to turn the water on would probably do for the test. If water flows, you can have the helper find out where it's coming out. If you have to fight to hold the hose in place, the suction line is blocked somehow. Then a drain king is called for.

    If you have water available and the pump wont prime, look for air leaks. Could be as simple as the pump strainer basket lid gasket has some cracks, or one of the pump drain plugs came loose. Here in SoCal we don't winterize, so we never touch 'em, but there will be one somewhere.
    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.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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