Air in gasket while pool is in "spa mode"

mitch08

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
408
Suffolk County, NY
This past weekend I noticed something odd when using my spa. I dont know if this issue has been present all along and I am just noticing it now, or if it is a new issue.

When I run my pool in "pool mode" (meaning the suction comes from the pool and the return goes to the pool) I see absolutely no air in the gasket at all.

If I have it set in "overflow mode" (meaning the suction comes from the pool but the return is from the spa) I see absolutely no air at all in the gasket.

But when in "spa mode" (suction from spa and return to spa) I see a decent amount of air in the gasket. It doesnt seem like I am leaking water anywhere...

Also, a lot of times I crack the suction just a drop in order to account for displacement. I allow just the slightest bit of suction to come from the pool which slowly refills the spa. When I do this, I see absolutely no air in the gasket. Its only when I have the suction coming 100% from the spa that I see this air.

Is this something to worry about and look into further, or could it be air that's trapped in there and really no big deal. If its been like this for 2 years since I put it in, I wouldnt think twice about it. But I dont know if its a new problem showing a leak in a pipe somewhere or something.

Thanks a million.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,391
SouthWest Alabama
First thing to try is lubing the pump strainer basket housing lid o-ring. It's probably that there's a higher suction when in spa mode than in pool mode and it's causing it to suck air in. If lubing the strainer lid doesn't work then you'll have to search for a suction side leak.
 

mitch08

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
408
Suffolk County, NY
Bama Rambler said:
First thing to try is lubing the pump strainer basket housing lid o-ring. It's probably that there's a higher suction when in spa mode than in pool mode and it's causing it to suck air in. If lubing the strainer lid doesn't work then you'll have to search for a suction side leak.
Thanks. Ill try lubing the o-ring.

If its a leak, its extremely slow. Cause I could leave the spa on all day and night and not notice any water loss. Hopefully it is what you think it might be. If not, Ill probably end up leaving it anyway since it hasnt caused any real issues.
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
Mitch, what is "a decent amount of air"? If it's enough that the pump eventually loses prime, it's a problem. If not, I'd still try to find the air leak, but not stress too much if I couldn't. I would also check the threaded pump inlet connection (that's where my leak was; took forever to find it!).
 

mitch08

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
408
Suffolk County, NY
Melt In The Sun said:
Mitch, what is "a decent amount of air"? If it's enough that the pump eventually loses prime, it's a problem. If not, I'd still try to find the air leak, but not stress too much if I couldn't. I would also check the threaded pump inlet connection (that's where my leak was; took forever to find it!).
Nowhere near that much air. Just a bunch of bubbles in the gasket. I dont get a noticable change on pressure at all. The jets run great and the heater will boil me like a lobster if I wanted it to.

Its just weird that when I crack the suction so the slightest bit comes from the pool but 95% comes from the spa, no air is visible in the gasket at all... If it was a suction side leak, why would opening the suction a drop plug it?

Thanks a million for all the help and advise given!!!
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
Your leak only "opens" when the vacuum is strong enough. So, decreasing the vacuum a tiny bit (by opening the pool suction) is enough that it won't pull air through the tiny hole anymore. I hope that makes some sense!
 

mitch08

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
408
Suffolk County, NY
Melt In The Sun said:
Your leak only "opens" when the vacuum is strong enough. So, decreasing the vacuum a tiny bit (by opening the pool suction) is enough that it won't pull air through the tiny hole anymore. I hope that makes some sense!
Thanks. It does make more sense now. I hope I find an issue at the gasket o-ring or something. Cause if its under ground, Im leaving it alone for the next 5 years. :lol: :lol:
 

mitch08

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
408
Suffolk County, NY
Well I lubed the o-ring in the pump basket and tightened everything up and no more air at all when in spa mode.

Thanks so much for all the help!!! You guys rock!!! :goodjob: