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Thread: Hi Everyone, Paul in Phoenix Valley with a new-to-me home and pool

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    praz's Avatar
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    Hi Everyone, Paul in Phoenix Valley with a new-to-me home and pool

    Hi Everybody!

    I just bought a house in the Phoenix valley and have become a first-time pool owner. Lots of problems already, and I'll post a followup on this thread in a minute, but I already lost two attempts one due to user error and the second by getting auto-logged out for taking too long!

    My pool: Spa/hot tub cascading into 12K gallon in-ground pool with rock water fall and spraying water feature, Hayward Super II 2HP pump, some model of Hayward Swim Clear filter, and H-400 Hayward heater for the spa.

    Awesome forum, I've already learned a lot just from reading through some of the threads. Thanks everyone for sharing your advice and expertise, hope some of you can help me out with my issues as well!

    - Paul

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    praz's Avatar
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    Re: Hi Everyone, Paul in Phoenix Valley with a new-to-me home and pool

    And here is my followup with all (most?) of my problems and questions!

    Problems/Issues: Pump lost prime last week (actually the one day I didn't come home in time to see it running). It ran for several hours without moving water, but luckily didn't burn out. Warped the plastic strainer basket (new one ordered). Followed the advice here for finding air/suction leak, but still not having much success.


    Additional Information: Two weeks after closing on my house, I was told I am being laid off at the end of May, so as much as possible I'd rather not indiscriminately replace pieces without definitively identifying them as problematic.


    This is what I've done so far in attempting to identify the air/suction leak:
    1) Replaced (and lubed) each of the 3 o-rings in each of 3 Jandy 3-way valves [that's a lot of 3's!]
    2) Cleaned threads on strainer housing and lid, removed, inspected (looked fine), lubed and replaced the strainer lid o-ring
    3) Completely submerged vacuum hose in the pool (didn't seem to change the amount of air in the system)
    4) Ensured pool water level is appropriately high
    5) Confirmed no water/air vortex at the skimmer


    I've been able to get the pump to prime, and it is again starting and running each night, however there is a good bit of air being introduced into the system. Each night I bleed off a ton of air from the filter valve until water comes out, but once I close the valve within about a half an hour I need to do it again (but can't afford to sit and babysit the pool through the night, so I haven't done it more than a time or two).


    Questions:
    1) Tonight after bleeding the air off twice, I decided to leave the filter air valve just slightly open to try to allow the incoming air from the leak to escape and prevent my pump from losing prime again, understanding of course that I will lose some water as well. Is this OK (temporarily until I can find the leak), or a bad idea?
    2) Unless someone has a better suggestion, is my next step to replace the strainer lid? Is there any good way to check if it is indeed allowing air to be pulled in at the lid without simply purchasing a new lid (about $30 - $40)?
    3) Is there any easy way to check the PVC around each of the Jandy valves and other connections on the suction side of the pump? This is air going the opposite direction, but something like the trick of putting soapy water on a tire to see where bubbles form...
    4) How can I identify which Hayward Swim Clear filter model I have? There is an informational label on it, but it covers multiple Hayward Swim Clear models without specifically saying which one mine is: C2025, C3025, C4025, C5025. There are no other labels that indicate which model I have. Secondly, does each model of Hayward Swim Clear filter have a different size cartridge? Third, does each model of Hayward Swim Clear filter have a different size body/housing?
    5) My Hayward filter is missing the spring that tells you how much to tension the clamp on the filter body housing connecting the top to the base. I carefully marked the existing location of the nuts, and took the filter apart to clean the cartridges replacing the nuts to the same position afterward, but someone told me horror stories about the pressure the filters are under and the tops blowing off of them. I've searched, but can't find just the spring, and the entire clamp and band assembly costs ~$40. How important/dangerous is it to not have that spring?
    6) My cartridges are in very bad shape. The plastic on almost all of them is cracked and broken, and one of the cartridges completely comes out of the plastic "holder", and almost all of the bands wrapped around the pleats are broken. Suprisingly the pleats themselves don't look horrible. There are no holes and the pleats seem to be relatively tight, and not "fuzzy." However I also don't really have anything to compare them to...so maybe they are "horrible." I have no idea what "normal" filter pressure is as I just purchased the home and was not left any pool information. Do the cartridges need to be replaced now, soon, or later?
    7) The plastic piece at the bottom of the filter housing that the cartridges sit into is cracked. Is this critical, bad, or not an issue?
    8) I have a line on a 8 - 9 year old used C4025 with cartridges that are old (3-years) but in significantly better shape then mine, and the plastic cartridge "spacer" is not broken. If my filter is not a C4025 (see question above to help me identify it) can some/all/none of the parts from a C4025 be reused on whatever model my filter turns out to be, without completely re-plumbing this newly purchased "old" filter into the system and removing mine? Would purchasing this "better but used C4025" filter be smart given all of the issues above, or should I try to replace only the existing cartridges with new and purchase a replacement cartridge spacer, and not worry about the spring?
    9) As I understand it, air in the system has to occur prior to the pump...so, even though the filter is in bad shape, none of that should be a cause of the air leak, correct?
    10) My pool had to be drained and re-filled just 2 weeks ago due to excessive dissolved solids and (I think) CYA's. I had a pool guy come out the first time and add the appropriate chemicals. Now, just 2 weeks later (due to no filtration because of the pump not running for about 5 days?), my water is murky green. Even though I ran the pump 24-hours straight after getting it to prime, and I've let it run about 6 hours every night since then (3 additional nights), the water does not appear to be clearing up. Is this most likely because of the filter/cartridge issues described above, or is this a chemical issue? I can have the water tested for free at the local pool store, but given all the problems with the pump prime, air/suction problem, and filter, should I even worry about trying to chemically balance everything right now? I don't want to get too far behind the curve, but at the same time I don't want to spend money and throw chemicals into it and have the pump fail to run again for a week or whatever if I still have trouble solving the air issue. Yes, I should get a TF-100, and yes, I will get one as soon as I can afford it. In the meantime...Thoughts?


    Thanks everybody, sorry for so many questions and issues, but hopefully your answers can help me personally and also continue to build the body of knowledge here for others on the forum!


    - Paul

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Hi Everyone, Paul in Phoenix Valley with a new-to-me home and pool

    Paul,

    Welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all pool owners that have been "surprised" in Surprise AZ...

    I'll try and cover at least some of your questions..

    When pumps run dry they get very hot as confirmed by your warped strainer basket. This can also deform the area where the lid makes a seal and worse the threaded areas where the plumbing screws into the pump.
    While Jandy valves can have air leaks, it is most often the pump that is the culprit.

    I suggest that you use saran-wrap and carefully wrap the pump lid and pipes in a effort to make them air tight. This is just a test of course, this is not a fix. With the wrap applied, see if the pump primes ok.

    Another trick is to run water from a garden hose over all the possible areas of an air leak with the pump running. The water will seal the air leak causing the pump to prime. This may help you locate the air leak.

    I would remove any vacuum hose and get your priming issue solved first. It is much harder for a pump to prime when sucking through the hose.

    I don't have your specific filter, but generally you can tell the model by the size of the top. Each size has larger cartridges and needs a larger top. Google the filter's manual.

    There is no way you are going to be able to turn your green swamp around until you get your filter up and running. But, as long as it is not leaking water, I would fix one thing at a time and get your pump running first.

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Hi Everyone, Paul in Phoenix Valley with a new-to-me home and pool

    Coating suspect areas with shaving cream may also help identify the air leak. You may see the foam develop a hole as it's being sucked in, or you might see the pump strainer go white and foamy, or you may even see suds out the returns. If you do them one at a time and are patient, you should be able to identify which one triggered it. If you coat everything at once, you will have just confirmed a leak without isolating where.
    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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    praz's Avatar
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    Re: Hi Everyone, Paul in Phoenix Valley with a new-to-me home and pool

    Thanks for the shaving cream and saran wrap tips. Of course, I switched to shaving oil from shaving cream about a year ago, so I'll need to run out and get some...but I also don't have saran wrap, since I just moved into the house, so two birds with one stone!

    Thanks again!

    - Paul

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    praz's Avatar
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    Re: Hi Everyone, Paul in Phoenix Valley with a new-to-me home and pool

    Any thoughts on the cracked and broken cartridges in the filter? Is this something I need to take care of immediately, or can it wait until I get a new job?

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