Having some issues with my pump -- old filter?

adrian300

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Sep 27, 2021
15
California
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25000
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Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I'm having a few issues with my Intelliflo VSF pump. The first issue is that I am unable to get a complete prime on the pump. I've troubleshot everything, and I believe the issue is either an underground suction side leak, or a issue with the filter (which is quite old).

This brings me to the second issue. Even while running the pump at high RPM, the pressure gauge on the filter reads zero. I thought this was just due to a broken gauge, but when I replaced it I received the same reading. If I open the release valve, air escapes and eventually begins pumping water through the valve, but the pressure gauge still reads zero.

The filter is pretty old and beginning to come apart a bit, could this be related to either issue?

Thank you!!
 

Newdude

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TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,260
NY
Yo Adrian !!!!!

You’re new so you get a free pass here. Take a minute and fill out your signature with your specs and model #s. Click the hamburger menu in the upper left and click signature. All the details help us help you. Pics of the filter or anything else relevant are always helpful too.

I would have guessed your valve was clogged with pine needles or such. Mine was the bristles of the pool brush, as the new Hague reads 0 too. Take it apart and get all up in the valve from the underneath. It’s promising that air and water shoot out, but it could still be mostly clogged.

And belated Welcome !!
 

HermanTX

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May 20, 2020
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Not sure what you are screwing your gauge into so post a picture. You could have a plugged port below your gauge. Do you have any other place to screw in your gauge just to verify it is operational? You may need an adapter from 1/2" to 1/4" . Post a picture of your set up. Depending on your set up, when you open your relief valve, the gauge will drop to zero but should pressure up when you close the relief valve. It has to be a bad gauge or you have a stoppage in the port below where you have screwed in the gauge. Suggest you ensure your pump is also on 2000 rpm or higher when checking your pressure.

When you say the pump is not priming, are you indicating it has mostly water but some air or is it mainly air and little water?
Have you opened the cover of your pump basket and filled it with water then close it then start the pump. What happens.

Also, need to know what type of filter you have.
 

adrian300

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Sep 27, 2021
15
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Not sure what you are screwing your gauge into so post a picture. You could have a plugged port below your gauge. Do you have any other place to screw in your gauge just to verify it is operational? You may need an adapter from 1/2" to 1/4" . Post a picture of your set up. Depending on your set up, when you open your relief valve, the gauge will drop to zero but should pressure up when you close the relief valve. It has to be a bad gauge or you have a stoppage in the port below where you have screwed in the gauge. Suggest you ensure your pump is also on 2000 rpm or higher when checking your pressure.

When you say the pump is not priming, are you indicating it has mostly water but some air or is it mainly air and little water?
Have you opened the cover of your pump basket and filled it with water then close it then start the pump. What happens.

Also, need to know what type of filter you have.
Sorry guys. Got I've attached some pictures of the set up.

Crazy thing for the gauge is that I tried a brand new one and still nothing. I can try disassembling it and putting back together.

For priming, when I run it at 2850 rpm without the booster pump, there is about 2 inches of air in the container. But when I run the booster pump along with the main pump its mostly air. I tried manually priming the pump, but as soon as I open the lid there is a huge amount of suction and I can’t fill to container completely.
 

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adrian300

Member
Sep 27, 2021
15
California
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Yo Adrian !!!!!

You’re new so you get a free pass here. Take a minute and fill out your signature with your specs and model #s. Click the hamburger menu in the upper left and click signature. All the details help us help you. Pics of the filter or anything else relevant are always helpful too.

I would have guessed your valve was clogged with pine needles or such. Mine was the bristles of the pool brush, as the new Hague reads 0 too. Take it apart and get all up in the valve from the underneath. It’s promising that air and water shoot out, but it could still be mostly clogged.

And belated Welcome !!
Thanks so much, didn’t see that about the signature! Updated that with some info on the setup and posted some pics below. I’ll try taking the release valve apart and looking for anything blocking it!
 
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HermanTX

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Sorry guys. Got I've attached some pictures of the set up.

Crazy thing for the gauge is that I tried a brand new one and still nothing. I can try disassembling it and putting back together.

For priming, when I run it at 2850 rpm without the booster pump, there is about 2 inches of air in the container. But when I run the booster pump along with the main pump its mostly air. I tried manually priming the pump, but as soon as I open the lid there is a huge amount of suction and I can’t fill to container completely.
Well it is confusing about your gauge. Do you have an air compressor or some other way to test it?
Alternatively, you can remove the whole relief valve from top of the filter and just put in the gauge (you may need an adapter for the threads). Another way is to remove the spigot that is on top of your pump output and screw the gauge there. Again, you may need an thread adapter.

You must have a suction side leak to draw air into the main VS pump. Have your put a running hose over your suction side pipes to determine if you can find a leak?
Suction Side Leak Testing

https://youu.be/eweIDTnJCUw

Your pictures are not clear where the booster pump suction is connected. It is normally connected to the return side of the pump because water should constantly flow through the pump whether running or not. So it is confusing why it would cause more air bubbles in the suction of the main pump. Maybe provide some more pictures where the booster pump suction and return lines connect.
 

adrian300

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Sep 27, 2021
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I’m mess with the gauge, good call with an air compressor.

Here’s a few more pictures. Booster is on the return side. I took all the suction side leak remedy steps, tried putting a hose down the skimmer line, used dish soap bubbles on all the suction pipes to look for a leak. I replaced the o ring and lubricated, replaced pump lid completely. I covered the skimmer to see if maybe there was an air leak in the skimmer but no luck. Either it’s an underground air leak, or something to do with the filter I think.
 

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HermanTX

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So is the gauge working? Do you have any pressure in your filter?

What I am thinking is that you have a possible blockage on the suction side. Basically you are starving the pump. I see you have 1 pipe leading to the pump. Is this from your skimmer? Is it functioning properly and is it full of water?

Verify that your skimmer weir door is not stuck down, the skimmer is full, etc.
 

adrian300

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Sep 27, 2021
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Gauge still isn’t working but there is pressure in the filter. When I open the release valve water shoots out.

Could be blockage. I also tried cleaning out the impeller but could try that again. There should be two points of suction, one from bottom of the pool and one from the skimmer. Skimmer and weir seem to be working fine and bringing down water. Also when I plug the skimmer the pump still runs fine with 2 inches of air. Was hoping for an east fix like replacing the filter but doesn’t seem to be that.

Also just want to say thank you. I really appreciate your replies and thought on this.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,133
Spring Valley, NY
I'm not sure you understand. You have only one pipe going to the suction side of the pump so your main drain is coming through the second hole in the skimmer. If you correctly plugged the skimmer you would have NO water coming to the pump. You may have plugged the main drain line and that isn't helping you eliminating process. Are you sure the pump lid has no debris on the gasket surface and did you lube the lid gasket as this is a common issue too.
 
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adrian300

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Sep 27, 2021
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I'm not sure you understand. You have only one pipe going to the suction side of the pump so your main drain is coming through the second hole in the skimmer. If you correctly plugged the skimmer you would have NO water coming to the pump. You may have plugged the main drain line and that isn't helping you eliminating process. Are you sure the pump lid has no debris on the gasket surface and did you lube the lid gasket as this is a common issue too.
Yeah I completely cleaned out the pump gasket and I purchased a new lid and lubed the o ring and ensured there is a tight seal.

The only think I can think of is if there is an underground air leak. I spoke with the old owner and he just said that the air was a condition of the pool which is worrisome.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,133
Spring Valley, NY
There are one possibility two drain plugs on the pump wet end side. Perhaps one of them have a minor air leak causing your priming issue. Any air getting in to the suction side will cause the same issue and may not be the suction line itself.
 

adrian300

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Sep 27, 2021
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There are one possibility two drain plugs on the pump wet end side. Perhaps one of them have a minor air leak causing your priming issue. Any air getting in to the suction side will cause the same issue and may not be the suction line itself.
I had seen one of the drain plugs and tightened that down quite a bit but no luck. I’ll look to see if there’s another.
 

adrian300

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Just so you understand overtightening makes it worse. The o ring may be deformed and not doing its thing anymore. Get new orings and use lube to just snug it ever so slightly.
I tried replacing the o rings already and used lube. Also tested using dish soap bubbles to see if there was an air leak around the lid but didn’t look like it.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,133
Spring Valley, NY
Adrian
This is the suction side of the pump we're talking about. I don't think the soap bubbles work the way you think because it's vacuum issue not an air leak like a tire where the air comes out therefore you won't see bubbles. That's where the shaving cream, cellophane rap and water hose come into play. These three options will fill the gap temporarily and may see a difference through the cover. The easiest is a water hose with a slow flow covering each of the suspected zones. A minute crack in the pump housing can cause issues similar to yours.
 

adrian300

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Sep 27, 2021
15
California
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25000
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Adrian
This is the suction side of the pump we're talking about. I don't think the soap bubbles work the way you think because it's vacuum issue not an air leak like a tire where the air comes out therefore you won't see bubbles. That's where the shaving cream, cellophane rap and water hose come into play. These three options will fill the gap temporarily and may see a difference through the cover. The easiest is a water hose with a slow flow covering each of the suspected zones. A minute crack in the pump housing can cause issues similar to yours.
I'll give shaving cream and a water hose a shot. But I am not sure where to even begin. I replaced the lid completely, and there is not much visible piping. Could it be an underground leak or is that unlikely?
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,133
Spring Valley, NY
I'll give shaving cream and a water hose a shot. But I am not sure where to even begin. I replaced the lid completely, and there is not much visible piping. Could it be an underground leak or is that unlikely?
Yes underground is a likely as anything else. If all above ground failed then next would be to start digging. It will be between the pump and the skimmer somewhere in the line. Not sure how far the pool pad is from the pump but you can do a test/temporary line from the pump to the pool above ground. Cut the pipe near the pump and run the line hard piped inch and half pvc to the pool edge then a 90° elbow with a length 18" into the water against the wall. At the pump use a pump union so the rework is easier. As this is a new pipe it should get the pump working IF there aren't any other problems such as filter......
 

adrian300

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Sep 27, 2021
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California
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25000
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Chlorine
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Yes underground is a likely as anything else. If all above ground failed then next would be to start digging. It will be between the pump and the skimmer somewhere in the line. Not sure how far the pool pad is from the pump but you can do a test/temporary line from the pump to the pool above ground. Cut the pipe near the pump and run the line hard piped inch and half pvc to the pool edge then a 90° elbow with a length 18" into the water against the wall. At the pump use a pump union so the rework is easier. As this is a new pipe it should get the pump working IF there aren't any other problems such as filter......
Its about 6 ft, but all concrete and pool deck. Would not be an easy project if it were an underground air leak.

You mention other problems such as filter, the filter is old, could that be causing any of the issues I'm seeing? Or totally separate set.
 

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