Losing Water at Pump Basket

GreenTerrorPool

Well-known member
Jan 4, 2017
107
0
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL
#1
Hello All, been a while since i posted. I couldn't get pump to prime today was taking a while, so I came here and searched and of course came up with some good advice and got her going. I have a bigger issue i think. I cant seem to keep water in the pump basket area and it just drains down to about empty. Obviously i must have a leak somewhere. When pump is primed and pool pump is running all is good (although basket is only 3/4 full, but i seemed to have that a lot even when pool was new). But when turn off pump. I get a slow drain of the water all the way down. Of course pool is just over 1 year old and out of warranty. I never really did like my pipe installation as they always looked just a tad out of alignment. Not perfect , but i lived with it. But I bet they have moved a little more perhaps causing some stress and perhaps a leak somewhere.

My question would be where to start?
1. Could there perhaps be a leak right at the pump area since that is where im losing water


Any help would be appreciated thanks!
GTP
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jul 7, 2014
10,194
3
Bedford, TX
#2
GTP,

What you are describing, most likely, is a suction side air leak... The reason your pump drains back into your pool is because air is getting into the system. Remember when you were a kid and you would put your thumb over the end of a straw and when you took the straw out of the glass, the water would remain in the straw... until you released your thumb.. Your pool pump works in the same basic manner. No air leak and the water will remain in your pump.. If you have an air leak the water will drain back to the pool because of that old gravity thing...

The most likely place for an air leak is the O-Ring under the pump lid... I'd lube it up and try it again.. also if the pump was installed without pump unions, then the threaded connections into the pump are always suspect.

See this video on how to use a garden hose to find an air leak... Find an air leak in your swimming pool. - YouTube

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

GreenTerrorPool

Well-known member
Jan 4, 2017
107
0
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL
#3
Jim R thanks so much. And I think I have had this issue for most of my new pool. Im starting to think my pool guy didnt do a great job. Oh right time to do some investigating. but one question. What exactly are "Pump Unions"?
thanks again!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jul 7, 2014
10,194
3
Bedford, TX
#4
GTP,

Here is a link... I use it for the pics, so not necessarily the cheapest... Custom Molded 21063-200-000-2PK Union Threaded 2 inch MPT x 2 inch Slip for IntelliFlo, 2 Pack

If you look at the back side you can see where it screws into the pump, but it has an O-Ring to seal it rather than relying on the threads to seal it...

I find it makes assembly easy, you can always take the pump out, and I have never had one leak... the only down side is cost, but compared to the pump, or the pool, we are not talking about a lot of money..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jul 7, 2014
10,194
3
Bedford, TX
#6
GTP,

Possible I guess, but most leaks that are on the pressure side of the pump, spray water when the pump is on... But not always.. I had a filter air valve once that would allow air in but did not leak any water when the pump was on...

Do you have any wet spots on any of your pressure side (after the pump) connections or valves???

I assume the hose trick did not work and that you lubed the pump lid O-Ring...


Jim R.

- - - Updated - - -

I am assuming the you have already verified that your water level is in the middle of the skimmer and that the Weir door in the skimmer is floating and not stuck up...
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
Oct 25, 2015
557
1
Stuart/FL
#7
Hello All, been a while since i posted. I couldn't get pump to prime today was taking a while, so I came here and searched and of course came up with some good advice and got her going. I have a bigger issue i think. I cant seem to keep water in the pump basket area and it just drains down to about empty. Obviously i must have a leak somewhere. When pump is primed and pool pump is running all is good (although basket is only 3/4 full, but i seemed to have that a lot even when pool was new). But when turn off pump. I get a slow drain of the water all the way down. Of course pool is just over 1 year old and out of warranty. I never really did like my pipe installation as they always looked just a tad out of alignment. Not perfect , but i lived with it. But I bet they have moved a little more perhaps causing some stress and perhaps a leak somewhere.

My question would be where to start?
1. Could there perhaps be a leak right at the pump area since that is where im losing water


Any help would be appreciated thanks!
GTP
GTP,

Here's a trick I've used for this. Start your pump with the suction basket level down. Then start at the basket with a hose. Cover it with water dribbling over it, not a hard spray. You want to cover as much as you can with a film of water. If you can't cover it all at once move it around slowly so you get the entire surface. When this changes the sound your pump is making it means you've started sucking water in instead of air. Work your way back to all piping connections. You may need a helper for this since somebody needs to listen for changes in the pump sound as you move back... it's amazing where you can get an air leak. I had the same problem as you. Lubed and replaced the O-ring which didn't help then did this and found a hair-line crack in the lid! Super-glued it for a few days while the replacement lid was delivered. Failed again before delivered. Once lids crack it grows a tiny bit each day. The things we learn working on our pools!

I hope this helps.

Chris
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jul 7, 2014
10,194
3
Bedford, TX
#10
Jim,

My apologies, I didn't read back your response. Your video was a way better way to explain!

Chris

Actually... I stole that video from a recent post... I think it was a post by Az.. Rob above... but to be honest, it was a day or two ago so I have no real idea who it was... :p

Jim R.
 

GreenTerrorPool

Well-known member
Jan 4, 2017
107
0
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL
#11
OK tried the video but no luck there. But now my water level seems to be holding but, I still have a bunch of bubbles and air in pump basket when running. I think it may be that the lid is not securing correctly. I will try to lube the O ring up at the lid (the first suggestion by Jim R) I bet he is correct!
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
Oct 25, 2015
557
1
Stuart/FL
#12
GTP,

When you get air in it takes a while for all the bubbles to disappear. If you start up with the water level in the bottom and you're able to draw sufficient vacuum to fill up the basket almost to the top within a few minutes it is usually OK in my experience. Until it fills sufficiently that you are filling the opening to the pump you will not pump at normal rates.

I hope this helps.

Chris
 

GreenTerrorPool

Well-known member
Jan 4, 2017
107
0
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL
#13
So here is a follow up:
1. I think originally i just did not have a good seal when i put the pump cover cap on and that led to my original post
2. But I have never really had the pump stariner basket area all the way full the entire life of my pool (1 1/2 yrears) UNLESS the pump is running at very high speeds.
3. For the most part the basket area is about 90% full of water when running at 1750 RPM to about 2600 RPM. I have tried the hose trick at this speed to see if any leakage of air getting in, esp at the lid cover and no luck,
4. So my question is do I need 100% water full all the time, or is it ok to have air bubbles at 90% full?
5. If i need to change i would suspect the O ring at strainer lid is first place to start but i have found no videos anywhere how to change that, seesms simple but a video would be nice, perhaps i will do on!
 

pookiesunshine

Gold Supporter
May 12, 2016
504
0
Cincinnati, OH
#14
So here is a follow up:
1. I think originally i just did not have a good seal when i put the pump cover cap on and that led to my original post
2. But I have never really had the pump stariner basket area all the way full the entire life of my pool (1 1/2 yrears) UNLESS the pump is running at very high speeds.
3. For the most part the basket area is about 90% full of water when running at 1750 RPM to about 2600 RPM. I have tried the hose trick at this speed to see if any leakage of air getting in, esp at the lid cover and no luck,
4. So my question is do I need 100% water full all the time, or is it ok to have air bubbles at 90% full?
5. If i need to change i would suspect the O ring at strainer lid is first place to start but i have found no videos anywhere how to change that, seesms simple but a video would be nice, perhaps i will do on!
Green, do you have a bottom drain valve that you can close to see if that will allow the pump basket to fill completely at low pump speeds? btw, i used the water hose trick to detect a leak in a union upstream of the pump; did you check all of the fittings and joints you can get to before the pump inlet? easy for me, they are all within 5 ft of where they come out of the ground.