Leaking Booster Pump

Omnipotent

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2013
97
Clarksburg, MD
All, I've had issues all season, probably longer and never really paid attention to it prior because it just wasn't a big enough problem...well now it is.

2 issues, which may or may not be related -

a) Booster pump leaking at the outlet end
b) air leak somewhere I would assume suction side, but can't seem to locate it.

OK, so the booster pump leak...seems simple enough, cut out PVC, replace PVC...however my question is where to cut in the new piece. Attached is a Pic of the setup , as you can see it steps from a 2in? size to 1in? through a "reducer" however it's all glued together. Not sure why they didn't use a coupling that could be unscrewed, but that's neither here nor there. So would you cut it right after the coupling? Before the reducer and put a coupling so it could be removed in the future? After the reducer and then add the coupling? All sorts of ways to play this, just looking for what makes the most sense.

IMG_2386.jpeg

As for the 2nd issue...I don't believe the leak on the pressure side of the booster pump is the cause for air in the lines and losing suctioning....so I have to assume its from the suction side of the pump. I have 3 valves prior to the pump, skimmer valve (shallow and deep end selectable), main drain and these both lead to the check valve and then the inlet of the pump. I've tried running water over all of the valves and joints/unions and nothing changed. I also ran the water over the drain plug(s) to see if that was the issue and nothing. Water flow at 1750 RPM is so slow that my heater won't even recognize the water flow and gives me a "switch open" status, as soon as I get the RPM up to 3000 or so, heater comes on and stays on, as soon as I kick it down to say 2500 RPM it fails again. As well, when the system is off, I hear a lot of the water drain back out of the plumbing and into the pool (I assume thats where its going). The pump basket never fills completely, usually about an inch or so below the cap, unless I have the RPM at 3000 or so...even then air is still inside the skimmer basket even after purging the filter, so clearly something isn't right, just not sure where to go next on this one.

Any assistance is appreciated.
 
Last edited:

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,640
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
OK, so the booster pump leak...seems simple enough, cut out PVC, replace PVC...however my question is where to cut in the new piece. Attached is a Pic of the setup , as you can see it steps from a 2in? size to 1in? through a "reducer" however it's all glued together. Not sure why they didn't use a coupling that could be unscrewed, but that's neither here nor there. So would you cut it right after the coupling? Before the reducer and put a coupling so it could be removed in the future? After the reducer and then add the coupling? All sorts of ways to play this, just looking for what makes the most sense.
The booster pump has threaded 3/4" connections. Is the leak in the threaded connection or on the glued PVC coupling above it? Regardless, appears you can cut on either the 3/4" pipe (appears to be 6 inches long) or on the 1 1/2" pipe on other side of reducer. You use the word "coupling" do you mean a union? That is a good idea - most plumbers don't put them in so you can definitely add if you wish. My only concern is that a booster pump tends to vibrate more so just ensure you hand tighten the union good.

So if you cut on the 3/4" straight piece of pipe, then unscrew the remaining "L" pipe from the pump, buy all new parts to make the connection back up to the pipe you cut from. A threaded piece for pump, a short nipple, an ell, another short nipple and a union if you choose. If not, then substitute the union with a coupling that will connect the straight pieces of pipe together.

You will need some PVC glue to do all of the connections. Also, best to dry fit all first to ensure it all fits then do the gluing. See the following for that.
 

Omnipotent

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2013
97
Clarksburg, MD
Thanks for the feedback...and yes I meant union...essentially if it needed to be done again, I would have to keep cutting pieces and those pieces get smaller and smaller and eventually you run out of pieces to cut :)

Now onto the suction side leak...hopefully someone can chime in there...going to try using soapy water bubbles and see if that can't fund the leak, but I'll worry about that after I fix this booster leak just in case they are one in the same.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,640
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Now onto the suction side leak...hopefully someone can chime in there...going to try using soapy water bubbles and see if that can't fund the leak, but I'll worry about that after I fix this booster leak just in case they are one in the same.
The suction line for the booster pump is hard to see in the picture but it should be on the downstream side (pressure side) of the main pump. That main pump feeds the booster pump. The downstream side of the booster pump goes directly to the pool. So none of this creates air in the suction side of your main pump.

Where is your main pump relative to the water level of your pool? Maybe post a better picture of your suction side valves and piping. Can you turn off your main pump, fill the pump basket with water, put the lid back on and then start the pump - does that maintain the basket full or does air come into the basket?
 

Omnipotent

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2013
97
Clarksburg, MD
Thanks for the feed back, problem resolved. Turns out not only was the pressure side leaking out of the booster pump, but the suction side as well, and this is what was leading to air in the system. All is well now, and as always thanks for the support from the site.
 
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