Elevated filter pressure and poor skimmer suction

Mrpartusch

New member
Jun 4, 2020
3
Cincinnati, OH
New 20x40 IG pool last summer, winterized/closed by installer company and just opened by me today after watching a couple YouTube videos. The pressure on my Hayward S244T filter is reading at 32 when it read around 22 last summer; when I turn off the pump it reads around 8. Additionally, the skimmers do not appear to have normal suction.

The details:
My wife and I took our mesh safety cover off earlier this week. Today I unscrewed and pulled the gizmos from our 2 skimmers, took the plugs off of our 3 returns, and installed the relevant hardware back. I returned 2 drain plugs to position on the pump and a larger cap to the filter. I then turned my electric back on at the subpanel, opened the plumbing from skimmers and deep end drain, turned the filter from winter to filter, filled my Hayward 1.5hp pump with water from a bucket, and turned the filter back on. It pulled from the pool and soon passed bubbles through the returns. Our water level was above the skimmers, so after a minute I turned off the pump, switched the multiport to waste, and dumped a bunch of water in the yard to drain down to mid-skimmer level. I re-engaged the filter and left it for a while. I was planning on checking my chemistry levels from there, but after coming back from some other yardwork I noticed that the filter was reading about 10 points higher pressure than I remember from last summer. I backwashed (water appeared clear, unlike what I was used to when backwashing last summer), rinsed, and returned to filter. The pressure remained unchanged. Additionally, whenever I turned the pump off I noticed that the pressure still read around 8, though I thought it had dropped to 0 when I did that last summer.

It was around this time that I looked in the skimmers (to make sure I hadn't left anything behind) and noticed that it didn't seem to have nearly as much suction as I recall from last summer - wife agrees. I know it's pulling something, because the pump still pulls when I close the plumbing to the deep drain and there's some stuff swirling around above the skimmer basket. There's definitely not the suction I'm used to though.

Any clues on where to start? Any relevant details I left out? I'm a first-time pool owner who is comparing today to the experience earned over 1 summer of use.
 

Texas Splash

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TFP Expert
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Jun 22, 2014
40,302
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
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Welcome to TFP! :wave: The two issues may not be related. For example, was the gauge removed before winter or left outside on the filter? It may have frozen and become damaged since it's not settling back to zero when off. I suspect it needs to be replaced.

As for the suction, it sounds like you have two skimmers and one main drain yes? Is there any difference in water suction to the pump between skimmers and main drain? Also, what is that line with the blue valve before the pump? I see it's all the way open as well.
 

Mrpartusch

New member
Jun 4, 2020
3
Cincinnati, OH
Thanks for the welcome! I’ve been lurking for the past year, but this is the first time I couldn’t find a thread answering my questions.

I was surprised to find that the pressure gauge and backwash sight gauge were not removed, as they were in the YouTube opening videos I watched. Your theory seems likely, particularly since the pressure differential lines up pretty well with previous pressure readings.

You are correct that we have 2 skimmers and a drain. The blue valve goes to the drain while the black joins the two skimmer lines. This is the valve orientation that we had it in all last season, best I can recall.
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
50,892
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
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Once you get things stabilized, close the valve controlling the main drain to just barely open. It is not really needed and that will increase your skimming effectiveness.
 
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