Air leak and equipment

TRUK71

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
156
Indianapolis, IN
I have air that is in my return lines. Pool is 1 year old. 7000 gallon, swg. Pics of equipment below. I have had builder out multiple times over course of the past year to try to find the leak. So far no success. They've tested the 3 return lines via pressure test and came back ok. They tested equipment at pad and found no leak there, but they said they didn't test for leaks below pad. Pool has 2 bubblers that do not appear to have any bubbles in them. The bubbles only appear in the 3 return lines. So being that the pressure tests came back ok I can only assume the leak is back at the equipment pad. Ive been told by multiple people my equipment is too big for the size of my pool. The main skimmer basket always has a air bubble in it unless I run VSP at max speed, but have been told not to do that as pump is too strong for plumbing and it might do some damage. So I run it between 1700-2700. The higher the speed the finer the air bubbles, the lower the speed the bigger and more visible are the air bubbles coming out of the return lines. Amy thoughts as to where this air is getting into system. Extremely frustrated about the pool builders lack of effort and ability to solve this issue. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Attachments

  • 20210526_174905.jpg
    20210526_174905.jpg
    484.4 KB · Views: 48
  • 20210526_174902.jpg
    20210526_174902.jpg
    634.5 KB · Views: 45
  • 20210526_174855.jpg
    20210526_174855.jpg
    260.4 KB · Views: 39
  • 20210526_174850.jpg
    20210526_174850.jpg
    461.1 KB · Views: 40

fOxdiddy

Member
May 27, 2021
5
Ottawa, ON
You and I have a very similar issue. I don't have an explanation, however my pump doesn't have THAT much air, like ever. When I backwash, it goes away for a few days. I know it's not the lines ... someone just told me to a certain extent this is normal.

I've been going nuts trying to figure it out.
 

TRUK71

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
156
Indianapolis, IN
Everyone I speak with says the main skimmer basket should be completely full of water. The pool builder says otherwise, but their idiots. When I backwash and start it back up it goes almost 100% full but by 2 days it's back down a couple inches. Only other way I can get it to go that full is to run VSP at full speed, but I've been told not do that as it will damage the plumbing.
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
2,395
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
The main skimmer basket always has a air bubble in it unless I run VSP at max speed
I think you may be referring to the pump basket...is that correct?

Air in the pump basket points to a suction side leak. The most common causes are low water level, stuck weir door, and pump basket seal/o-ring. The water level should be about half way between the top and bottom of the skimmer. Looks about right in the photo and it looks like your weir door is open. How does the water look in the skimmer? If there's too much much turbulence or vortex, air can get sucked in.

Next, remove your pump lid. Clean the o-ring and mating surfaces. Use a silicone based lube on the o-ring and reinstall. Tighten the lid hand tight. Start the pump and bleed the filter.

If you still get air in the pump basket, check the suction side lines in front of the pump. Examine the fitting with the threaded plug closely. Try shaving cream for leak detection and wrap Saran Wrap around the fittings/couplers to see if bubbles decrease.

Let us know how it goes.
 
Last edited:

TRUK71

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
156
Indianapolis, IN
I think you may be referring to the pump basket...is that correct?

Air in the pump basket points to a suction side leak. The most common causes are low water level, stuck weir door, and pump basket seal/o-ring. The water level should be about half way between the top and bottom of the skimmer. Looks about right in the photo and it looks like your weir door is open. How does the water look in the skimmer? If there's too much much turbulence or vortex, air can get sucked in.

Next, remove your pump lid. Clean the o-ring and mating surfaces. Use a silicone based lube on the o-ring and reinstall. Tighten the lid hand tight. Start the pump and bleed the filter.

If you still get air in the pump basket, check the suction side lines in front of the pump. Examine the fitting with the threaded plug closely. Try shaving cream for leak detection and wrap Saran Wrap around the fittings/couplers to see if bubbles decrease.

Let us know how it goes.
I am referencing the pump basket. The water in the skimmers do not look too much turbulence nor too much vortex. Looks normal. The water in the pump basket is very turbulent. I will clean and apply lube and see if that helps. When u say to bleed the filter I'm assuming you mean bleed the air off with some type of valve. My pump nor basket doesn't have that. I've tightened all the fittings myself and had pool builder out to check them as well and all seem to be ok. It appears that when I turn VSP up to 3500 the air stops coming out for returns (going to confirm this evening) but also the main basket fills 90% vs the normal 80%-85%.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sjvele

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
2,395
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
When u say to bleed the filter I'm assuming you mean bleed the air off with some type of valve. My pump nor basket doesn't have that.
I guess that's a sand filter thing. Ignore this step unless someone else can advise a different procedure for bleeding off air.
It appears that when I turn VSP up to 3500 the air stops coming out for returns (going to confirm this evening) but also the main basket fills 90% vs the normal 80%-85%.
This is not normal. Keep trying to track down a leak on the suction side. Check the drain plug(s) on the pump for tightness.
 

TRUK71

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
156
Indianapolis, IN
Turning pump up to 3450. It still creates air in the returns, they're just finer bubbles so harder to see. The basket does fill up more but not 100% or even close to 100%. I'd say 90% full at max speed on VSP. On 2500 it's about 80% full.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

TRUK71

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
156
Indianapolis, IN
And the pool company says that it's normal for main basket to not be full of water (even though I know that's wrong). But I feel the basket is way too big for my pool. I see others equipment that is much smaller than mine and they have much bigger pools.
 

reggiehammond

Gold Supporter
Oct 4, 2020
356
Fort Worth, Texas
I found the plug. I will check it and the main basket lid tomorrow when it's day light again.
There’s two drain plugs on my pump, make sure you don’t miss one.

I found my suction side leak using this method with a water hose.
It’s dead simple; found my issue in a bad PVC bond at the check valve.
 

reggiehammond

Gold Supporter
Oct 4, 2020
356
Fort Worth, Texas
And the pool company says that it's normal for main basket to not be full of water (even though I know that's wrong). But I feel the basket is way too big for my pool. I see others equipment that is much smaller than mine and they have much bigger pools.
If your filter or heater is oversized, that only works in your favor. Perhaps you could have some money upfront, but more filter and more heater is a good thing. Your variable speed pump is also very handy; if anything you could lower rpm and save on electricity.

A bubble in the pump pot is normal with a VS pump; it shouldn’t grow over time and you shouldn’t see air in the returns, except for the SWCG generated bubbles.
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
2,395
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
But I feel the basket is way too big for my pool. I see others equipment that is much smaller than mine and they have much bigger pools
There's really no such thing as a VS pump being to big for your pool. You simply run a VS pump at lower RPM/flow to accommodate your pool's plumbing.

A couple things to check tomorrow:

Remove the skimmer cover on your pool deck and pull out the skimmer basket. check to make sure there's nothing blocking flow to the suction line running to the pump. There was a recent thread in which the OP found a winterizing plug partially blocking the port.

When you remove the pump cover, take the basket out and reach your hand in towards the back of the pump to check for obstructions at the impeller.

This is a good time to complete your signature. It's good to know what type of equipment we're working with.

Hopefully you'll get this sorted out tomorrow.

Lets see if @Jimrahbe may have any input...
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,783
Bedford, TX
Truk,

Show me a pick of your Skimmer basket area with the pump running... It should be full of water...

The pump basket might have a few bubbles and that really should not make much difference...

Turn the SWCG off and want 5 minutes and see of the bubbles go away.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,783
Bedford, TX
Truk,

Show me the pipes coming into your pump.. What in the world is the capped off pipe on the left for???

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support
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.