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Thread: Vacuum issue

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    Vacuum issue

    I have been experiencing problems with my automatic vacuum, it's not very new, but seemed to work last year ok. This year not so good, I've spent around $100 in misc parts trying to repair it, as I'd like not to have to go out and buy a new one for $400-$500. I'm starting to think though my problem may be in my suction lines and not my actual vacuum. On the vacuums website under troubleshooting, it says if the vaccuum is not moving, put flow guage on to measure inches of vacuum, this will determine the length of hose that you can use. My guage read 5-7 inches, now I know I have at least 30' of hose, 20x40 L shaped pool. I was getting very frustrated, so I vacuumed manually, when trying to suck up some leaves, the suction would not pull the leaves through the hose to the basket located on my pump. Is there a way to find out if I have a leak in the suction lines, or a blockage, and if so how do you go about it?
    11000 gal in-ground plaster with spa.
    36 ft2 DE (using Fiberclear)
    Sta-rite 1.5 hp pump

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuum issue

    Welcome to TFP!

    Can you provide a few more details about your pool, like pump size, filter type and skimmer and drain numbers and plumbing? Also the brand and model of your cleaner.

    The first thing to do is to compare your current pressure gauge reading to what it has been in the past. The check the pump strainer basket to ensure that there are no bubbles, either with or without the cleaner attached.
    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: Vacuum issue

    pump size : 1-1/2 hp
    filter type : DE 48 sq ft
    skimmers: (2) no main drain
    plumbing: 1-1/2 flex tubing in ground to 1-1/2 ridgid pvc above ground
    automatic vacuum : Arneson pool vac plus
    bubbles in pump strainer basket: yes
    11000 gal in-ground plaster with spa.
    36 ft2 DE (using Fiberclear)
    Sta-rite 1.5 hp pump

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuum issue

    Bubbles in the pump strainer probably indicate a suction side leak. The first place to look is the strainer basket lid. Check the O-ring for a round cross section when the lid is off, lubricate it with pool lube, then tighten the lid and check for bubbles.
    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: Vacuum issue

    I lubed the o-ring as suggested, and my strainer basket still had bubbles in it. I tried my automatic vacuum again, and still no movement. I did a manual cleaning last night, and I still have the problem of leaves not being sucked through the hose. I'm thinking at this point there must be something wrong underground. Unfortuantely I recently had concrete poured all around the perimeter of the pool, so chopping that up to find the leak and repairing it, is not going to sit well with me, especially since before I had the concrete poured, I had my pool company do a pressure test on the lines and they insured me everything was ok. Does anyone know of, or had experience with pipe lining? I'm in the plumbing industry, and I know a contractor who does it, I'm wondering would that be a better solution?
    11000 gal in-ground plaster with spa.
    36 ft2 DE (using Fiberclear)
    Sta-rite 1.5 hp pump

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    SW Indiana
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    Re: Vacuum issue

    There are still a lot of possible causes that don't require digging. Does water drip or spurt out anywhere when the pump shuts off?

    Check the drain plug in the pump strainer basket for tightness and O-ring condition.

    Try pouring water out of a hose or bucket over any valves on the suction side, and the fitting where the plumbing goes into the pump basket. Watch the basket while doing this, and if the bubbles disappear or reduce, you might be putting water on a leak.

    Another possibility is a clog rather than a leak. Using a drain king or just packing rags around a hose and flushing the suction lines backwards can sometimes help with that.
    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: Vacuum issue

    I will try all of this, thanks for the advice.
    11000 gal in-ground plaster with spa.
    36 ft2 DE (using Fiberclear)
    Sta-rite 1.5 hp pump

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