Air bubbles and water surging/spitting in pool return jets

jondoepoolguy

Member
Mar 8, 2021
17
North Texas
Another Texan here with damage from the freeze (+ no power for 3 days). All water leaks have been repaired (valves, heater manifold, chlorinator, etc..) and we have gotten the pool up and running (and the water chemistry back on track).

Now I'm having an issue with 2 pool return jets (closest to the equipment pad) when in Pool mode. They surge/spit water and bubbles for a few seconds, stop for a second, and surge/spit some more. In SPA mode, there is no surging/spitting in the Spa's return jets. I have 2 skimmers and 2 pool drains.

I have tried bypassing the skimmer individually as well as the pool drains to no avail (Jandy 3-way valves at the pad for each connection). I have cleaned and lubed the O-ring for the pump and the filter. Both skimmers are clean and have ample water (no sucking/vortex). I've poured water over the suction side plumping at the pad to check for leaks but didn't see any. I plan to purchase some shaving cream to check with that method next.

Any ideas?

Here's a video of the issue:

Here's a video of the pump:

Here is some information about the equipment:
  • Jandy Valves
  • Pentair Intellichlor ic40
  • Pentair Intelliflow 2 VST pump
  • Pentair Booster pump (for pool robot)
  • Pentair Clean and Clear Plus Filter
  • Pentair Mastertemp 400
  • Silencer Air Blower
 
Last edited:

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
41,784
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Welcome to the forum!
Do the bubbles coincide with the SWCG generating chlorine? The process creates chlorine and hydrogen gas. The chlorine gas goes into solution with the water quickly. The hydrogen stays a gas and shows up as bubbles at the returns.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jondoepoolguy

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
41,784
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The pump is showing a suction side air leak. Check the pump basket lid, gasket, drain plugs and orings. Lubricate them with pool lubricant (Silicone based without PTFE).

Also the Jandy valve on the suction side. The orings can be an issue there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jondoepoolguy

jondoepoolguy

Member
Mar 8, 2021
17
North Texas
Welcome to the forum!
Do the bubbles coincide with the SWCG generating chlorine? The process creates chlorine and hydrogen gas. The chlorine gas goes into solution with the water quickly. The hydrogen stays a gas and shows up as bubbles at the returns.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
Yes, thank you, I knew I forgot something. I have turned off the SWCG (disabled at the control panel and turned off the breaker) and see the same results.

I have also bleed trapped air from the filter with the air relief valve.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mknauss

jondoepoolguy

Member
Mar 8, 2021
17
North Texas
The pump is showing a suction side air leak. Check the pump basket lid, gasket, drain plugs and orings. Lubricate them with pool lubricant (Silicone based without PTFE).

Also the Jandy valve on the suction side. They orings can be an issue there.

I have installed a new clamp lid for the pump basket and lubricated it's o-ring (the o-ring and lid looked fine). I have checked the pump drain plugs previously but didn't lubricate them. I will go do that now.

I have ordered a pack of o-rings for the Jandy valves as I assumed that might be part of the problem but wasn't sure. I should have those tomorrow to try it out.

I'll go ahead an order a gasket for the pump as well. They are cheap but it doesn't look fun to replace on my pump. I'm hoping the o-rings or the drain plugs will fix it up.

Thanks for the suggestions!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
41,784
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The gasket for the pump is on the lid. Easy to get to. Be sure the surfaces are clean.

Take the Jandy valve handle off and wrap the valve with plastic wrap. See if that helps the air issue.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jondoepoolguy

jondoepoolguy

Member
Mar 8, 2021
17
North Texas
The gasket for the pump is on the lid. Easy to get to. Be sure the surfaces are clean.

Take the Jandy valve handle off and wrap the valve with plastic wrap. See if that helps the air issue.
Oh, I thought you meant the pump housing gasket. Yes, the pump lid gasket is easy.

Thanks for the tip with plastic wrap! I can go try that now.
 

jondoepoolguy

Member
Mar 8, 2021
17
North Texas
@mknauss I got a Pentair Intelliflo pump O-ring kit and replaced the Diffuser O-Ring, Shaft Seal (both front and rear), Drain Plug O-Rings, and the Pump lid O-Ring/gasket. All of the pumps O-rings/gaskets should be good now but I'm still getting the surging air bubbles. I've got the O-rings for the jandy valves now but need to research how to replace them without flooding everything. I opened a suction side valve up yesterday to check and water went everywhere.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
41,784
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The most likely source of any suction side air are the Jandy valves. After that, could be a cracked pipe.

You need to research and design a way to close off the water from your pool such that you can drain your equipment. If not for solving this issue, but so you can winterize the surface equipment if you have another freeze event.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jondoepoolguy

jondoepoolguy

Member
Mar 8, 2021
17
North Texas
The most likely source of any suction side air are the Jandy valves. After that, could be a cracked pipe.

You need to research and design a way to close off the water from your pool such that you can drain your equipment. If not for solving this issue, but so you can winterize the surface equipment if you have another freeze event.
And plastic wrap trick worked. Found the leak. It was in a junction leading from a valve to the pump.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mknauss
Thread Status
Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.