Hayward Pump VS900 not filling basket

Palpatine

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2019
180
West Hills, CA
Moved from this old 2018 thread.. Hayward Pump VS900 not filling basket

EDIT: Sorry for posting on such an old thread... just seemed like all the steps I've already tried were listed on that thread so it seemed reasonable and didn't want to waste anybody's time. Here's the link to the old OP's video which basically shows the same issue I'm having:

Well, this is an old but interesting thread... for me. I've got the same exact issue with my Hayward Tristar pump (my water thrashes a little harder than the OP's in his posted videos) and I've tried just about everything to fix it without any success. I actually just bought a new pump lid, with new o ring (and lubed it)... but nada.

Pump doesn't drain when not running, it actually fills up a tad bit higher than when running and just stays there until I run the pump again. Can't be an underground plumbing leak causing this as I have 3 different intakes I've tried separately (skimmer, separate vacuum line, spa). I even removed the guts from the check valve pictured in case this was causing any king of a flow issue.

I've had my own thread discussing this last year, and have since replaced the filter which I know shouldn't have any effect on this anyways... but yeah, was actually considering to replace these 2 45's with a 90 sweep and new pump union on the intake side.

Anyone think there's a chance of that improving the flow enough to fill the basket? Cause after that I'm completely out of ideas.

2 45s.jpg
 
Last edited:

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Since this has been separated for your own thread, we probably should make sure for anyone following that all the basics were covered. So let's go over a few things that you may or may not have already done to be sure:
- The pump itself (O-ring clean, serviceable, and lubed; same for the drain plugs)
- The check valve O-ring inspected? No flap restriction?
- You have a spa; same lower water height problem for both pool and spa suction?
- Weir door operating okay? Good flow in the skimmer?
- Does the water height change much between different rpms?
- Have you checked the pump's impeller area (power OFF) to ensure there is nothing interfering with its movement?
- Can't tell from the pic, but are there any other items before the pump like a 3-way valve or something?
- The Kreppy has its own suction line, but eventually it tied-in to the others near the pad right? Do you isolate it with a 3-way vale or something?
- Do you have a main drain that shares a line with the skimmer?
- Tell us what suction-side air leak detection methods you have tried so far on all the connections (water, seran wrap, smoke, something else)?

This should give us a good start on your thread to try and help you.
 

Palpatine

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2019
180
West Hills, CA
Hi @Texas Splash,

- The pump itself (O-ring clean, serviceable, and lubed; same for the drain plugs)
Brand new lid with new O-ring, lubed but not with gobs of lube. Not sure what you're asking with "serviceable". Cleaned and lubed drain plugs about 6-8 months ago (my first attempt at fixing this pump issue)

- The check valve O-ring inspected? No flap restriction?
I removed the guts from the check valve last year trying to fix this issue and never replaced them

- You have a spa; same lower water height problem for both pool and spa suction?
Same water height... same issue if suction is only coming from the spa, which is a brand new line

- Weir door operating okay? Good flow in the skimmer?
Weir door operating well and if I pull the basket out and put my fingers in the hole in the skimmer the suction is strong. I wouldn't say my pool has the best flow as I always have to manually skim by the shallow end. Can't seem to get returns to push that stuff into the skimmer in the deep end... but that's a problem for another day. not sure if that's what you're asking by flow anyways... but yeah, the suction is pretty strong in the skimmer.

- Does the water height change much between different rpms?
Not much... it's a little higher when priming... but I've been running my pump on high most of the time, level 4 3250rpms

- Have you checked the pump's impeller area (power OFF) to ensure there is nothing interfering with its movement?
I did that once, about 8 months ago, just stuck my fingers in there with pump basket removed to see if I could feel anything. Seemed fine. If there's a better way to check I'm happy to do so... but I'm not crazy about messing with electrical.

- Can't tell from the pic, but are there any other items before the pump like a 3-way valve or something?
I'll attach a zoomed out pic of equipment pad, but yes there are a couple of 3-way valves. Pic attached, but it's from before I changed my filter. I'll attach a new pic when the sun comes up.

- The Kreppy has its own suction line, but eventually it tied-in to the others near the pad right? Do you isolate it with a 3-way vale or something?
Yes, actually the Kreepy line is brand new and I can isolate it... same issue. That Kreepy suction line is scary strong if I put my hand up to it. Literally thought it was going to rip part of my hand off once

- Do you have a main drain that shares a line with the skimmer?
I have a main drain that is plumbed to the skimmer... one of the dumbest things I did when resurfacing/replumbing the pool. I wish I had read more on this forum first as I would have had it Home Run plumbed.

- Tell us what suction-side air leak detection methods you have tried so far on all the connections (water, seran wrap, smoke, something else)?
Most of the equipment and plumbing on the pad are new. The spa suction line and Kreepy suction line are brand new and pump operates the same way when isolated to either. I've ran water with a hose over every part of the intake... from the check valve to the union. I'm pretty sure I lubed up the union O-ring about 6 months ago.


Other info that may be important... I moved my whole equipment pad when I redid the pool about 8 months ago. There was a leak in the structure of the pool and most likely a suction side lead from the skimmer line somewhere under the pad (skimmer line came up through concrete). One of the reasons I wanted to move the pool equipment was to get under the old pad and replace the skimmer line because the pump basket wouldn't fill up at all... just enough water going through so that it wasn't "whining". And there were bubbles blowing out the returns. That being said, there's still a few feet of skimmer pipe that wasn't replaced... but I doubt there's a leak there as pump operates the same from any intake source now.


My next steps were going to be:

1. Disconnect intake union, re lube O-ring and use some Rectorseal T plus 2 on the threads

2. Cut pvc after the check valve, put a coupling and a slip 90 to a new union to the pump (instead of those 2 45s that are currently there)... but only if you guys think that's worth trying.

Pool Pad 3.jpg
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
18,959
Northern NJ
It looks to me like you may have used some DWV sweeps with narrow hubs instead of schedule 40 sweeps. Especially in your suction side piping.

Schedule 40 sweep below...




DWV sweep
 

Palpatine

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2019
180
West Hills, CA
@ajw22 I gotta think that at least the last 2 coming down to the check valve are sch40 as they're identical to the ones I just bought from the pool supply store. They don't say sch40 on them but they're made by Lasco if that means anything. They also say NSF - 61 and Energy Efficient... again not sure if that means anything
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Well, the only thing that I see might be a problem with one of those 3-way valves letting some air in. It's a stretch, but it does happen when those tiny seals and O-ring get worn. Not too difficult to remove the screws and check when you get time. Add a little fresh silicone too. The DWV connections are a bit of an eyesore with such a nice pad and all the work you did, but I don't know how much that would influence the air issue you're having.

Let's give Allen some time to catch-up with the thread and chime in. As a last Hail-Mary test, all I can think of trying (if you have the extra piping) is run a simple PVC line from the pump straight to the pool like a long straw. That way you're bypassing everything underground and any valves along the way. That way you will know for sure if there is a leak or something else to be concerned about. If you still have a prime or air issue at the pump with a straight line going to the water, I'm thinking there's an issue with your pump.
 

Palpatine

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2019
180
West Hills, CA
Well, the only thing that I see might be a problem with one of those 3-way valves letting some air in. It's a stretch, but it does happen when those tiny seals and O-ring get worn. Not too difficult to remove the screws and check when you get time. Add a little fresh silicone too. The DWV connections are a bit of an eyesore with such a nice pad and all the work you did, but I don't know how much that would influence the air issue you're having.

Let's give Allen some time to catch-up with the thread and chime in. As a last Hail-Mary test, all I can think of trying (if you have the extra piping) is run a simple PVC line from the pump straight to the pool like a long straw. That way you're bypassing everything underground and any valves along the way. That way you will know for sure if there is a leak or something else to be concerned about. If you still have a prime or air issue at the pump with a straight line going to the water, I'm thinking there's an issue with your pump.
Yup, that's what someone suggested last year... the long straw test. Also since my lines are 1 1/2 inch coming in that it might not be enough flow. With the new union and PVC it will probably cost about $100 to run that test.

Pump is fairly new... maybe 2 years old, but it came with the house so I can't be certain of that.

Those 3-way Jandy Valves are brand spankin new btw.
 

Palpatine

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2019
180
West Hills, CA
So, would this be considered a "prime" issue? When the pump is off the suction is maintained... basket stays full.

Also, if it is the pump... what would you suggest I do? Do I call someone out to service it?

Lastly, I know some of these posts are really long... but the pump does operate much better now that the equipment pad has been moved. It almost fills up. I seriously doubt there's a suction side leak under the ground cause there would have to be a leak in all 3 (skimmer, spa, Kreepy). And even though the check valve has no guts in it... I can see when the pump is running that the water is solid, no bubbles in it.

Just bothers me that the basket doesn't fill up all the way.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
18,959
Northern NJ
It is hard to see details from your pics. There are a few things that seem sketchy to me about your newly installed plumbing. It does not show signs of liberal use of primer. Primer is more important then the glue to solidly fuse PVC pipes together. It does not look like the pipes were painted to hide the primer.

I believe Schedule 40 PVC fittings will be marked as such. You are paying extra for the increased structure and rating.

In the pic below I circled in red fittings that look like they have short DWV type hubs. I circled in blue what look like longer schedule 40 hubs.

I would not be surprised if something is not perfect within all those connections.

Pad 2.jpg
 

Palpatine

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2019
180
West Hills, CA
It is hard to see details from your pics. There are a few things that seem sketchy to me about your newly installed plumbing. It does not show signs of liberal use of primer. Primer is more important then the glue to solidly fuse PVC pipes together. It does not look like the pipes were painted to hide the primer.

I believe Schedule 40 PVC fittings will be marked as such. You are paying extra for the increased structure and rating.

In the pic below I circled in red fittings that look like they have short DWV type hubs. I circled in blue what look like longer schedule 40 hubs.

I would not be surprised if something is not perfect within all those connections.

View attachment 149958
Thanks @ajw22 I'll inspect those further... but I don't think any of them say SCH 40 on them. It's weird cause the 2 I bought the other day at the pool supply house, not an "open to the public" store, don't say SCH 40 either. They are a reputable wholesaler and I'd be pretty surprised if they're selling the junk there. The sweep 90s I bought were $3.50 each. You can get the DWVs at Home Depot for like a dollar.

Here's a link to the Lasco sweep 90 I just bought... says it's for Pools but doesn't even say SCH 40 on their website. LASCO Fittings Products: 2 Slip x Slip Pool Spa Sweep Elbow

Also, I see what you're saying with the primer... but I saw them put everything together and believe they used an adequate amount of primer.

What's the best way to test if something is perfectly fused or not? There definitely isn't any water leaking ever.
 

Palpatine

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2019
180
West Hills, CA
Well, here's an update:

I took the lid off the pump, undid the union on the intake and pulled the drain plug.

1. I stuck my fingers in and there was a small clump of hair in the impeller, I thought, aha... gotcha

2. The union was on really tight, needed a channel locks to remove it, it had a broken O-ring, I thought, aha... gotcha

3. I took my check valve apart and put the guts back (I had removed them last year when I first tried to solve this issue)... cause why not, it obviously wasn't the culprit

4. I cleaned the threads on the union, lubed up a new O-ring, put on some Rectorseal T plus 2 and tightened up the union

5. I cleaned the threads on the drain plug, lubed up the existing O-ring, put on some Rectorseal T plus 2 and tightened up the drain plug

6. I put on a ridiculous amount of Teflon Magic lube on the brand new O-ring on the brand new Pump lid

I filled the basked with water and turned the system back on... And it's operating exactly the same way it did before.

I think I'm throwing in the towel on this one... it must be the pump. Not sure what else to think at this point.

Oh well, at least I don't have to worry about the water draining back to the pool when I clean the pump basket (guts back in the check valve).

I appreciate everyone's advice that tried to help.
 

Palpatine

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2019
180
West Hills, CA
@Texas Splash
As I'm remembering back to the first time I cleaned the drain plug, last year, I recall something odd. When the water drained out,there were these tiny little looked like lead pellets/ball bearings on the bottom of the pump under the basket. I can't remember how many but there were a bunch... not hand fulls or anything. I scooped them out, which was a pain, but I think I just thought it was from the old residents kids or something that was vacuumed up and were too small for the basked to capture.

Does this mean anything to you? Could this have anything to do with my pump issue?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
The only thing I can think of when it comes to bearing-like items would be from motor bearings. However I doubt that's a problem for you. If your bearings were missing, you'd know it (LOUD NOISES). :) Plus, those are on the motor (dry) end anyways.

Maybe they came from your Kreepy or something, got sucked-up, then just sat in the bottom of the pump basket?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Palpatine