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Thread: Air bubbles coming from returns

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    Air bubbles coming from returns

    We have just recently had a saltwater gunite pool installed and are newbies. I have done lots of reading on the site and learned a great deal. I do have what I think is an issue, but my pool installer didn't seem to sound concerned when I mentioned it. There is one return that is always streaming air bubbles when the pump is running. The next nearest return has some bubbles but much less than the other. The other returns show no signs of bubbles at all. After reading posts in one of the older forums, I'm worried that I may have a leak in a pipe leading to the pump and that future problems will be encountered. Can anyone tell me if I have a problem or not??
    18' X 48" AG Vinyl - 5600 gallons (bestway)
    SWG (Intex)
    Cartridge filter (came with pool)
    Pump flow rate 1500 g/h

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    Re: Air bubbles coming from returns

    From what I can tell, you have an air leak someplace. I have a very similar problem and I tracked it down to my chlorinator lid. Actually, this is my second air leak. With the help of a coworker, he showed me how to do it. We took duct tape and tape all the places where air could get in. Once the air bubbles quit coming out, it was simply a process of removing each piece of tape until the bubbles came back out again.

    Some of the veterans here might shed some more insight.

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    DaveNJ's Avatar
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    Re: Air bubbles coming from returns

    You will also get small bubbles when the SWCG is on, producing chlorine.
    IG 18x36 oval vinyl, Spill over spa, Northstar 2hp-2spd, 2.5" piping, S310T 500lb Sand filter, 400k gas heater, AutoPilot SWCG
    http://www.tftestkits.net/

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Air bubbles coming from returns

    Do you see air in the pump basket? If so, then it could be a suction side air leak. Typical causes are the pump lid seal, drain plugs and valves.

    I assume that they pressure tested the plumbing so it probably isn't in the pipes.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Air bubbles coming from returns

    I turned off the chlorinator and bubbles were still appearing just as much. I checked the pump basket, and I do see bubbles. My pool installer is coming by tomorrow and am going to point all of this out to him. Any other advice is welcomed. My biggest fear is that the leak would be in the pipe buried underground as we have installed a deck around that part of the pool. Thanks for all the feedback.
    18' X 48" AG Vinyl - 5600 gallons (bestway)
    SWG (Intex)
    Cartridge filter (came with pool)
    Pump flow rate 1500 g/h

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    mas985's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Air bubbles coming from returns

    If they had performed a pressure test of the plumbing, then it probably isn't the pipe. Like I said before, it is usually the pump basket lid, drain plugs or valves. While the pump is running use a hose to pour water over each area and see if the bubbles go away.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Air bubbles coming from returns

    I will try out the hose method for leak detection and let you know. Thanks!
    18' X 48" AG Vinyl - 5600 gallons (bestway)
    SWG (Intex)
    Cartridge filter (came with pool)
    Pump flow rate 1500 g/h

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    Re: Air bubbles coming from returns

    Hose method didn't work well in my case, but I did manage to find a leak when we were cleaning the filter another day. We are going to fix that soon and see if the bubbles cease. Thanks for all the input.
    18' X 48" AG Vinyl - 5600 gallons (bestway)
    SWG (Intex)
    Cartridge filter (came with pool)
    Pump flow rate 1500 g/h

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    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Sarasota Florida
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    Re: Air bubbles coming from returns

    Quote Originally Posted by _scouter_
    Hose method didn't work well in my case, but I did manage to find a leak when we were cleaning the filter another day. We are going to fix that soon and see if the bubbles cease. Thanks for all the input.

    If the leak is around the filter then that is a pressure side leak and would not be the cause of the bubbles. If there is air in the pump basket it is either a suction side leak or cavitation.
    Kidney shaped ~ 10000 gallon Ig Plaster pool with pool cage. 120sf Cartridge filter. Pentair WhisperFlo WFDS-26, 230 Volt, 7.8/3.0 Amp, 1-1/2 Horsepower 2 speed pump, Solar panels on the roof. Heliotrope HelioMatic 4000D solar controller.

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