Air in the system causing aeration at the returns - Ideas on locating the source?

Technigogo

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 28, 2011
97
Austin, Texas
If memory serves, air in the system is from a leak in the intake side before the pump. That leaves two skimmers, main drain and all the connecting plumbing before the pump as suspect. I have unions on all three of those lines and I suspect those first. I lubed up the o-rings thoroughly but it did not solve the problem. Does anyone know of any tricks that they have used to locate source of leaks like this? It's not a lot of air, the system does not lose prime when it is off. Thanks in advance.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
774
Katy TX
It takes 2 people. Put water from a hose (no nozzle) on each connection and then have 2nd person watch the return. If the bubble stops then that may be the air leak. The goal is to have the water from the hose replace the air being sucked in. Can put it around your pump basket tops, the drain plugs on your pump, any union, etc. You may have to wait a minute or 2 because you are looking for it travel the length of your return line to indicate any change.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,456
Bedford, TX
Tech,

Are you sure this "aeration" is not from your SWCG?? It is normal for saltwater pools to have champagne bubbles out of one or more pool returns.

Tell us more about what is coming out of your returns and when...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Technigogo

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 28, 2011
97
Austin, Texas
Did you read the article on suction side air leaks in Pool School?
Good suggestion. I just went there and read. I feel like this is more than from the SWG because the pump basket never fills completely with water like it has before. I have decided to replace the o-rings in the Unions. I just recently made changes to the plumbing and had to open those unions. When I put them back together, I lubed them up well but afterwards, I found an unused union in one of my boxes of fittings and I noticed how round and full the o-rings are on this new one compared to those in my system which are much more flat from compression. I will report back after I replace those.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
1,577
Spring Valley, NY
A suction side air leak will also present itself at the pump cover with bubbles swirling around. You say you pump basket doesn't fill completely with water, this tells me it's not your SWCG but between your skimmers and the pump.
 

Homebrewale

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2020
305
Apex, NC
Homebrewale, did you intend to include a link in your reply? I don't know the technique you are referring to.
When I was responding, I thought I was posting right after HermanTX's post but duraleigh snuck his post in there. I was talking about the technique that HermanTX uses. But if you want a link, here is one to a video on using water to find an air leak.
 
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Technigogo

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 28, 2011
97
Austin, Texas
Jim, I get air regardless of the speed of the pump. I clean the filter regularly. I am still trying to find replacement o-rings for the unions in the plumbing but that has proven harder than expected. sill looking.
 
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Technigogo

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 28, 2011
97
Austin, Texas
Just did the water hose test and it's the stupid Hayward Super Pump II lid. It has a crack in it again. This is the third one in 9 years. I will likely replace that wet end of the pump soon just to get away from these $40 lid replacements. I'll order another one. Thank you to everyone for your help.
 
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duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,431
Sebring, Florida
Not sure this will help but the lid should only be hand tight.....often you can leave them almost loose and the suction from the pump will pull them tight.
 

Technigogo

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 28, 2011
97
Austin, Texas
Not sure this will help but the lid should only be hand tight.....often you can leave them almost loose and the suction from the pump will pull them tight.
Thanks. I have been pretty careful and this last one lasted for about 4 years but I got a new employee that helps to tend to the pool and ...

I will be sure to cover that with them. Still, at $40 a whack and x4, it's exceeding it's value.