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Thread: My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

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    My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

    Like the title says, my Aquabug sucks air. Every 10 minutes or so, air accumulates in my filter and I have to vent it by opening the valve on the top of the filter. It's done this ever since I first used it. I assume it's because the sectional hose you need to use with an Aquabug sucks in a little air at each joint as it floats on the water. Does anyone else have this problem? And if so, did you find a way to fix it? Or do you just live with it?

    I've been dealing with it by leaving the filter valve open slightly, enough to let the water just dribble out, so that it lets the air bleed out instead of accumulate.

    So two questions:
    1) I know the pump itself has to always have a flow of water, or it will burn itself up. But is there any problem with air in the filter? Other that the fact that, as I imagine it, if there is air at the top there is less water in contact with the filter element, and so less filtering going on. What I'm asking is, will it cause damage to the filter if there is air accumulating in there.
    2) Is my idea of leaving the valve slightly open to bleed the air a good idea or a bad one?

    Thanks all...
    24x16 Doughboy Intrigue: 9,800 gallons
    Hayward 1.5hp Power-Flo Matrix pump
    Hayward Xstream CC1500 cartridge filter (120gpm)
    Sunny So. Cal

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

    Hi,
    I don't have an aquabug, but my cleaner does have sectional hoses. I have never had a problem with those sucking air, but if my water level is a touch low it sucks all kinds of air! Look in your skimmer basket while the aquabug is running and see if you have a kind of whirlpool effect going on. That can suck air into the system too.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

    criz (great username ),

    The air coming into your system will not cause harm to the filter but it really hurts the efficiency of your pump and, long- term, can conceivably do some damage to your pump impellor....(tho not a very high chance, I think)

    Secondly, your idea to let the filter bleed out the air is neutral, IMO. You're fixing the symptom but not the problem.....meaning your pump is still somewhat inefficient.

    You have it diagnosed correctly, so with a little detective work, I'll bet you could find and fix the leak in just a few minutes. If you suspect the joints of the hose, hold each one in a bucket of water (they wont all be leaking) and see if the bubbles stop. Sometimes you can hear the leak by holding the hose to your ear.

    If that doesn't work, see if the pump basket lid gasket gives you a nice seal.....that's a common place for a leak and the little extra resistance of the cleaner could cause it to suck air.

    I'll bet you find it in one of the hose connections or perhaps a pinhole in the hose itself.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3
    Hi,
    I don't have an aquabug, but my cleaner does have sectional hoses. I have never had a problem with those sucking air, but if my water level is a touch low it sucks all kinds of air! Look in your skimmer basket while the aquabug is running and see if you have a kind of whirlpool effect going on. That can suck air into the system too.
    Thanks for the answer... It's not that the water level is low. I start off getting all the air out of the hose and the skimmer basket is full. But then it's as though over 10 minutes or so air somehow gets into the system and I see something like you're describing going on in the skimmer basket. Not a whirlpool exactly, but you can see that there is air in there and turbulence going on. I should clarify here that I have the kind of skimmer basket with a port under the main mouth of the basket, where I plug in the bug's hose. I take the top off the skimmer and place it down inside so it blocks the usual water path and instead pulls the water in through the port. So the turbulence I see is underneath that cover.

    As I see it, the water has to be coming into the system from the hose, and since the hose is sectional, I assumed that to be the most likely place.
    24x16 Doughboy Intrigue: 9,800 gallons
    Hayward 1.5hp Power-Flo Matrix pump
    Hayward Xstream CC1500 cartridge filter (120gpm)
    Sunny So. Cal

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    Re: My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    criz (great username ),
    Thanks!..

    The air coming into your system will not cause harm to the filter but it really hurts the efficiency of your pump and, long- term, can conceivably do some damage to your pump impellor....(tho not a very high chance, I think)
    Secondly, your idea to let the filter bleed out the air is neutral, IMO. You're fixing the symptom but not the problem.....meaning your pump is still somewhat inefficient.
    Yeah, I assumed it would be less efficient. And I would love to find a real fix for this. Am I right in the idea that you can't run the pump totally dry, without burning it up? That's what I've been told.

    You have it diagnosed correctly, so with a little detective work, I'll bet you could find and fix the leak in just a few minutes. If you suspect the joints of the hose, hold each one in a bucket of water (they wont all be leaking) and see if the bubbles stop. Sometimes you can hear the leak by holding the hose to your ear.
    I don't understand exactly what you mean. I don't see bubbles coming from the joints, and if it's sucking air in, I don't see how there would be bubbles. Maybe, though, if I held the joints up out of the water, like you say, I might hear something like a sucking sound. I'll try that.

    If that doesn't work, see if the pump basket lid gasket gives you a nice seal.....that's a common place for a leak and the little extra resistance of the cleaner could cause it to suck air.
    I was pretty sure it's not the pump basket, or the hard-plumbed supply line. The only time I seem to have a air leak is when the bug is connected. Otherwise, there's not a bubble of air to be seen in the pump basket. So you're saying the extra resistance might be what makes it start to leak? Hmmm. I'm going to test the hose theory first and then move on the the pump basket if I don't find anything.
    I'll bet you find it in one of the hose connections or perhaps a pinhole in the hose itself.
    I'm thinking you're right. It might be a problem with just one of the hoses. I'll have to experiment around with this. Maybe start off with 2 or 3 hoses, see if I have a leak, then keep adding hoses until I find the bad one.

    Thanks for your ideas. The main point of this post was to see if it was a common thing with the Aquabug. From the first two answers, looks like my problem is unique.
    24x16 Doughboy Intrigue: 9,800 gallons
    Hayward 1.5hp Power-Flo Matrix pump
    Hayward Xstream CC1500 cartridge filter (120gpm)
    Sunny So. Cal

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    Re: My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

    and see if the bubbles stop.
    I meant the bubbles that you can see in the pump strainer basket.

    However, are you saying you see turbulence (bubbles) at the skimmer?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

    Yeah. I have a Doughboy pool, and it came with the type of skimmer where you remove the cover and place it down inside, to block the normal path of the water. Then the skimmer draws water from a little port located just under the main opening with the hinged flap. (Not describing it very well, but....) You plug the Aquabug's hose into that port.

    When I first start the pump, the area under the shimmer's cover is full of water, but over time air starts to accumulate in there, and then I will see some turbulence under the cover. And at that point, yes, I will also see turbulence down in the pump strainer, which is then only about half full of water.

    By the way, you can also run the bug by removing the skimmer basket and plugging the hose directly into the hole at the bottom of the skimmer, but I've found that when I do it that way, the hose tends to bend and collapse where it bends 90 degrees to exit the front of the skimmer. And it doesn't matter which way I do it as far as my problem goes: either way and I still get air in the filter. So that again points to a leak(s) in the sectional hose.
    24x16 Doughboy Intrigue: 9,800 gallons
    Hayward 1.5hp Power-Flo Matrix pump
    Hayward Xstream CC1500 cartridge filter (120gpm)
    Sunny So. Cal

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    Re: My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

    When I first start the pump, the area under the shimmer's cover is full of water, but over time air starts to accumulate in there, and then I will see some turbulence under the cover.
    I have not seen that type skimmer but I can envision how it works, I think.

    However, that has me puzzled....if there is air in the system at the skimmer. I can't figure how a leaky hose could be supplying that air as it (the air) would have to move upstream to get to the skimmer. I think I must be missing something but, nevertheless, you will still be happy you got your detective hat on and tracked down your leak.....it'll be very convenient not to have to shut the relief valve off and on each time you vacuum.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

    Is the pump potentially too large for this pool? It sounds like the flow of water into the pump is slower than the flow of water out of the pump. This causes the pump basket to partially empty and introduce air into the system. I know on my pool, if there is some sort of flow restriction such as a full skimmer basket or a clog of leaves in the vacuum line my pump basket will partially empty and the vacuum won't work as well. The pump basket will also partially empty if the filter is really dirty but then you would also see reduced flow out of the filter. Maybe the design of the Aquabot restricts the flow too much trying to create extra suction to be an effective pool cleaner. I don't know, just throwing stuff out to see if anything sticks!
    TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

    I have a sectional hose on my vacuum and I've never had a problem with any of the sections leaking at the joints. I could see how it could happen.

    I read the owners manual for the Doughboy Skimmer and I can see that a leaking hose would do what you describe. Is this what your skimmer looks like?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    However, that has me puzzled....if there is air in the system at the skimmer. I can't figure how a leaky hose could be supplying that air as it (the air) would have to move upstream to get to the skimmer. I think I must be missing something but, nevertheless, you will still be happy you got your detective hat on and tracked down your leak.....it'll be very convenient not to have to shut the relief valve off and on each time you vacuum.
    No, the skimmer is first in line after the hose itself, so the air must be leaking somewhere in the hose, then a bubble of air develops in the skimmer.
    24x16 Doughboy Intrigue: 9,800 gallons
    Hayward 1.5hp Power-Flo Matrix pump
    Hayward Xstream CC1500 cartridge filter (120gpm)
    Sunny So. Cal

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    Re: My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3
    Is the pump potentially too large for this pool? It sounds like the flow of water into the pump is slower than the flow of water out of the pump. This causes the pump basket to partially empty and introduce air into the system. I know on my pool, if there is some sort of flow restriction such as a full skimmer basket or a clog of leaves in the vacuum line my pump basket will partially empty and the vacuum won't work as well. The pump basket will also partially empty if the filter is really dirty but then you would also see reduced flow out of the filter. Maybe the design of the Aquabot restricts the flow too much trying to create extra suction to be an effective pool cleaner. I don't know, just throwing stuff out to see if anything sticks!
    I think you have just hit the nail on the head. I do have a pump that's a little large for the pool (see my signature). And the relatively small diameter of the hose must be restricting the flow somewhat. And then maybe the the suction is so strong in the hose that it sucks a bit of air at the joints. Or there also might be a leak in the hose.

    If it's a hose leak, I'll be able to fix that. If it's just that the pump is too big, I guess I'm s*** out of luck!
    24x16 Doughboy Intrigue: 9,800 gallons
    Hayward 1.5hp Power-Flo Matrix pump
    Hayward Xstream CC1500 cartridge filter (120gpm)
    Sunny So. Cal

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    Re: My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    I have a sectional hose on my vacuum and I've never had a problem with any of the sections leaking at the joints. I could see how it could happen.

    I read the owners manual for the Doughboy Skimmer and I can see that a leaking hose would do what you describe. Is this what your skimmer looks like?
    Close... Here's a pic of mine. You remove the cover and place it down inside to block the normal entrance for the water. Then it draws from the small port underneath.

    You can also remove the skimmer basket and plug the hose in to the main hole beneath it, and bypass the above procedure. But I find the hose can collapse where it bends 90 degrees to exit the front of the skimmer, due to the suction.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    24x16 Doughboy Intrigue: 9,800 gallons
    Hayward 1.5hp Power-Flo Matrix pump
    Hayward Xstream CC1500 cartridge filter (120gpm)
    Sunny So. Cal

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    Re: My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

    Don't bend the hose 90 degrees to come out the front of the skimmer; rather, remove the cover and basket and go in from the top of the skimmer. That will keep your hose from kinking up. If you want to come out from the front of the skimmer, buy a vac plate that has a 90 degree attachment, then hook your hose up to that. btw, if you go in from the top as I mentioned above, you might need a cone adapter for the hose to get a good fit in the exit opening of the skimmer (the hole in the bottom).

    FWIW, I have an Aquabug, and have no issues whatsoever with it (except I prefer to manually vac the pool...a nice, mindless task ). I use a vac plate as I mentioned above.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
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    Re: My Aquabug sucks.... literally sucks air. How about yours?

    That vac plate sounds like just the ticket. I'll get one this weekend. Do I need the cone adapter with that? Or does the hose fit as is?

    So far, looks like I'm the only one with a airsucking bug. I'm hoping when I check out the hose that I do find a leak that explains all this....
    24x16 Doughboy Intrigue: 9,800 gallons
    Hayward 1.5hp Power-Flo Matrix pump
    Hayward Xstream CC1500 cartridge filter (120gpm)
    Sunny So. Cal

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