Air leak update

PoolCleanerMom

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Aug 26, 2009
123
SF Bay Area (Lamorinda), CA
So here's the latest on the mystery of our pump air leak:
2 days ago we opened the air bleed on the filter and ran the pump until the air stopped hissing and water was squirting out, then we tightened down the bleed valve and things looked good.

Yesterday, I noticed the water level in the filter basket was low again (maybe 2" below the lid) so I repeated the air bleed process and ran the pump a few hours. Hubby checked on it later in the evening and said water in basket was low again so he bled the air and then shut the pump off after looking for any obvious signs of leakage.

This morning: the filter basket is still full of water after being left in the off position overnight

So it seems that the air is entering the system mostly while the pump is running? What would be some likely suspects in this case? The skimmer is plenty full so it's not likely to be sucking in air there, we thought it might be a leaky vacuum hose so we disconnected the vacuum hose and closed the vacuum port. Water level of the pool is not dropping noticeably faster than by ordinary evaporation.
 

mas985

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May 3, 2007
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Pleasanton, CA
Usual suspect is the pump lid seal. When the pump is on, it creates a strong vacuum which will draw in air from the pump lid if it is not seal properly. Try some silicon pool lube on the seal and see if that helps.
 

PoolCleanerMom

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Aug 26, 2009
123
SF Bay Area (Lamorinda), CA
I did the silicone o ring stuff a couple days ago, before we bled the air from the filter. Seemed like it had a good seal b/c we could hear the 'whoosh' sound when we opened the lid later. Guess it's worth trying it again, meanwhile any other ideas welcome.
 

Bama Rambler

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Watch your skimmer while the pump is running. It's common for the weir to stick a bit and cause it to suck a little air. If it does that a few times it'll show up in the pump basket.

If that's not it, take a pic of the equipment and post it. Maybe we'll see something that'll stand out.
 

PoolCleanerMom

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 26, 2009
123
SF Bay Area (Lamorinda), CA
Well, the water level in the filter basket was fine after yesterday's run, and it still looks fine this morning, so maybe it was just that it took a few bleeds to get the air out of the system? If it drops again, I'll be back with pictures. Thanks!
 

PoolCleanerMom

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 26, 2009
123
SF Bay Area (Lamorinda), CA
Re: Air leak update -added pics 7/22

OK, yesterday the pump basket was fine in the morning but after yesterday afternoon's filter run the water level was low again. The water level is just below where the pipe on the right enters the basket



This is what the skimmer looks like with the pump running. I put the leaf there to show the water level


top view of pump while running (after air bleed):


side view of pump:


close up of pump basket:


pump basket after air bleed - there's a little pocket of air that doesn't get dislodged by the air bleed:


I added a bit more of the silicone o ring lube from the pool store to the filter basket lid this morning just in case the leak is at the pump basket lid.
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
Is the PVC coming into your pump joined to copper pipe (based on the green possibly being corrosion)? If it is, with the corrosion present, possibly a pin hole has developed somewhere in the copper pipe?
 

PoolCleanerMom

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 26, 2009
123
SF Bay Area (Lamorinda), CA
We replaced the band clamp with a new one and still have intermittent air leak issues. It seems that if I bleed the air while the pump is running, it'll hold prime and the basket will look okay after the filter finishes a 4-5 hour run. But if I have to run it overnight, the air gets in. Basket seal is fine, I opened the lid and heard a loud "whoosh" as more water got sucked down out of the basket. The green on the pipe actually looks more like old paint than corrosion (the shed was painted that color sometime in the past)

Where else should we look for leaks, and how? is it possible for air to leak in through the filter control valve?
 

Bama Rambler

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I didn't go back and read every word but air getting in the pump basket is caused by a suction side leak so the leak has to be somewhere between the pump basket and the skimmer, or the skimmer is sucking air itfelf due to the weir sticking or some other reason.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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I would take a very long, hard look at that rubber connector between the copper and the PVC pipe.

Also, I can't tell if there is pipe dope in the threads where the PVC pipe connects to the suction side of the pump. You could try a bead of caulk around those threads......cheap, fast and might be a source.
 

PoolCleanerMom

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 26, 2009
123
SF Bay Area (Lamorinda), CA
So any tips on how to locate the air leak? The water level has been several inches above the top of the skimmer basket this whole time so the skimmer doesn't seem like a likely culprit, and the pump basket lid seems to be adequately sealed. :?: :scratch:
 

PoolCleanerMom

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Aug 26, 2009
123
SF Bay Area (Lamorinda), CA
duraleigh said:
I would take a very long, hard look at that rubber connector between the copper and the PVC pipe.

Also, I can't tell if there is pipe dope in the threads where the PVC pipe connects to the suction side of the pump. You could try a bead of caulk around those threads......cheap, fast and might be a source.
thanks, will ask hubby (man of 1000 caulks) about what he used when he replaced the band clamp with the rubber connector. would you use silicone caulk or some other type of caulk?
 

Melt In The Sun

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Oct 29, 2009
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Tucson, AZ
Have you tried the hose trick? Run a hose over all the connections, and see if the bubbles lessen or stop.

Also +1 for what Duraleigh said about the black connector. Even if you replaced the clamps, the rubber could be old and dried out. It can't be that expensive to replace, so I'd probably go ahead and do it.
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
The pipes aren't connected under the sleeve. Basically they are butted close to each other about mid-way, then the hose clamps provide the friction to hold them together as well as seal. Did whoever plumbed the piping into the filter use pipe thread compound instead of teflon tape? Tape doesn't work very well for larger fittings, and may prevent you from getting the fitting fully seated while still not sealed. Looks like you still have some space between the pump front and the screw in fitting, could be an issue. Mine is fully seated.
 

Melt In The Sun

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Oct 29, 2009
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Tucson, AZ
I agree w/ Rangeball; that clamped connection and the threaded connection into the pump are very likely spots. My pump connection is not fully seated like rangeball's, but...mine leaked til I caulked around it.

If your husband is reasonably handy, he can/should get rid of that clamped connection for good.
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
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They make fittings for just the purpose of connecting copper tubing to PVC pipe. But, I'm going to go against the crowd here right now. Since you replaced the rubber boot and I'm sure cleaned the pipes real well. That shouldn't be your problem.

P.S. I really like the white socks in the white crocs! :-D