Hello All, First time pool owner. Been lurking here for a few weeks and learning tons. THANKS!! Now the problem:
Just like another poster, I vacuum through the hole in the bottom of the skimmer. After 10 minutes suction goes to nil. Not vacuuming debris, just dirt.
Two weeks ago when I first moved in and started messing with the pool (clear but very low chlorine), I could get the water to return to the spa and it would flow heavily over the fall. If I returned to the pool, I would notice the ripple from the jets and see a whirlpool start. Vacuuming was strong.
But now the return pressure has gone way down. Don't see ripples when drawing from the skimmer and/or main drain and returning to the pool. Doing the same but returning to the spa gives me light waterfall, but not like it was.
I messed with the valves not knowing what I was doing for the first ten days. I may have starved the pump or shut off return at some point and it may have gone more than a couple of days that way.
Only today when I pulled a valve apart (put it back correctly with no leaks) did I really understand how it works. The labels were worn off and my conventional knowledge of how ball valves work was incorrect in this case. I was able to take the screws off the top of the valve (single return that comes from the heater/tablet dispenser where it splits off to spa/pool return) and turned on the pump and expected a geyser. There was only a moderate flow at about 3-5 gallons per minute. I could leave the valve off and watch the water flow by. But 3-5 gallons/minute doesn't seem like enough to push the pool jets. The pressure from the jets is really weak even when that's the only return selected.
Have cleaned the skimmer basket, filter, pump basket.
I didn't notice this when I first started working with the valves (back when pressure was strong), but now there seems to be an intermittent "bad bearing" noise coming from the impeller housing. Intermittent meaning 3-4 out of 10 seconds at 1 or 1.5 second bursts. Pump noise is what I would expect and steady.
Here's what I have:
In-ground pool, approx. 12000 gallons.
marathon electric pump, 1.5hp
Hayward C1200 cart filter (runs at 35 psi when clean)
3 inlets (main drain, skimmer, cleaner)
Water comes in from pool, through pump, through heater (haven't tried it), past tablet dispenser, then a T valve that allows me to return to the spa alone or spa/pool (two on one side of the T, spa on the other).
That's about all I know and have witnessed. Anyone want to take a crack at troubleshooting?
Thanks a ton for everything so far!!