Must bleed filter daily, leak sound at pump

GoldMember

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May 12, 2020
21
Long Beach, CA
Hi all,

I recently did an end of season filter cleaning and everything went fine. Since then or possibly before, I'm not sure, I have to bleed the air out of my filter every morning. At night, when it's quiet, I can hear gurgling at the filter. Around the pump I hear a sound like air sucking in. I have no pressure leaks, in other words everything around is dry. I have videos of both sounds. I've resealed the pump basket 2 times with lubricant. I did not put any lube on the large filter o-ring.
I suppose there's an o-ring or gasket between the motor and pump, right? Could it be that? The pump isn't even 2 years old yet. That would be a bummer.
Note: I have a connection on the far side of the pump basket for a Paramount Clear O3 ozone generator that I regret installing. I don't feel like it's leaking but it is a possibility.

Pump sound: New video by Mark Romans
Filter gurgling: New video by Mark Romans

What do you all think? Thank you!
 
Last edited:

Rocket J Squirrel

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I have the same filter and I find the big o-ring to be finicky, as in a small particle of dirt could cause a leak. I would open it back up and clean both the o-ring and both halves of the channel it sits in. And lube the o-ring.

I had the same symptom a while back and could not figure it out. So I decided to start throwing parts at it, cheapest first. It turned out I had a tiny, completely invisible crack in the transparent pump lid which was sucking air. I was lucky that it was a cheap part.
 

GoldMember

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May 12, 2020
21
Long Beach, CA
Oh, very good to know, thanks @Rocket J Squirrel . I have another pump that might have the same lid. I'll switch 'em and see.

Question, if I had a leak at the big o-ring on the filter, would it not spew water as well as suck air when off?

What is the recommended o-ring lube for that big o-ring? Magic lube seems to get good reviews. ?
 

Rocket J Squirrel

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Silicone lube. Yep, I just looked and what I have is Magic Lube II. I don't know what the II signifies. In any case, the same lube you used on the small pump o-ring should work for the big filter o-ring, as long as it's silicone.

Yes, a leak at the o-ring will usually spew, or at least drip, water. It's under pressure after all. But it sounded an alarm in my head when you said you didn't lube it. I never really understand plumbing. I understand electricity, which is easier to work with because electrons don't leak. :)
 

GoldMember

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May 12, 2020
21
Long Beach, CA
The order has been placed for Magic Lube II. Thank you.
I've got no leaks but I would like to lube it next time.

I heard no air seeping this evening but I'll keep an eye on it and try another lid if I hear it again.
 

GoldMember

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May 12, 2020
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Long Beach, CA
So I tried switching out the lid and o-ring from the other 1.5 year old pump, AND I lubed it with the Magic Lube II. Same deal. New video/audio: New video by Mark Romans

I have not disassembled/lubed my filter o-ring though because my gut tells me it's at the pump, which is where that obvious noise is coming from.

I'm a little bummed that no one else has weighed in on this, not that I don't appreciate you, @Rocket J Squirrel, I do! Maybe I'll repost. Am I in the right section of the forums with this issue? I need some new ideas. Thanks!
 

GoldMember

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May 12, 2020
21
Long Beach, CA
@HermanTX Thank you. I tried this today and heard no change in the leak sound. Excellent idea though, and I believe that if the leak was at the pump, this would have revealed it. My fear now is that the leak is further down the suction side.
I've been using a mechanic's stethoscope to help locate the "sucking sound" and I hear it all the way from where the suction lines come up out of the ground to the output of the pump.
I'm afraid to ask, what would be my next course of action? Is there any more looking that I can do before I call a leak detection guy? Thanks.
 

HermanTX

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Can you listen around your skimmer? Air can only be sucked in there, at the main drain, along the pipes and at the equipment pad. if you have isolated the equipment pad as not the issue then by the skimmer or along the underground pipes are the only other sources. I am only aware of a leak detection company if underground. Sorry that is all I can offer at this time.
I'll bump this to @ajw22 & @duraleigh if either has any options.
 

GoldMember

Member
May 12, 2020
21
Long Beach, CA
I've listened carefully at my skimmer and nothing is there. I'm afraid it might be underground between there and the pad. Do you, @ajw22 or @duraleigh have any further suggestions? Do you know a reputable leak detection company? I'm afraid that this can get expensive but I need to figure this out. Thank you!
 

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ajw22

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Post pics of your equipment and plumbing.

What speed are you running your pump?
 

duraleigh

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These leaks are almost NEVER underground.

I believe you have a pressure side leak. Here's why.

A suction side leak most always shows air in the basket when the pump is running......yours does not.

A pressure side leak allows air to seep back into the system when the pump is off but may/may not manifest as visible water when the pump is running.

Frankly, that is a small leak and it certainly isn't causing any issue with you system. I would be tempted to just ignore it.
 

BowserB

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Jul 29, 2018
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Katy, Texas
I see you have the Paramount Clear O3 ozone appliance. It is normally connected via the drain connection on your Intelliflo and it bleeds ozone and air when on, or just air when off. I found over time that the internal air relief in the filter was insufficient when the pump ran at low speeds, which was how my pump is always run. Normally at 1600 rpm, when the pump starts up and primes at full speed, there is sufficient pressure to force the air through the internal air bleed. Then the pump slows from 3450rpm to 1600, and in a short time, there is air in the top of the pump again. You can just ignore it, or you can get an external air bleed kit from Paramount. A T fitting sits on top of the filter between the filter and the pressure gauge. A small hose connects somewhere downstream and allows ozone/air to bleed into the return plumbing. I opted for the Paramount kit for about $80 (I think it's about $40 worth of parts) and had a professional install for $65. Whenever the pump is running, I can hear it when I stand hear the equipment pad. sssst ssst sst. With the slow running, quiet Pentair Intelliflo VSF pump, the air bleed is actually how I can audibly confirm the pump is running. Yes I did confirm that as the source. i capped the pump drain, and the air build up in the filter stopped.
 
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GoldMember

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May 12, 2020
21
Long Beach, CA
Thanks for your responses. I apologize for taking a week to write back.

@ajw22 Here's a picture that I took a while ago. Sorry it doesn't show more. I'll try to take some better pics this weekend and update this thread. Let me know if there's something specific you'd like to see.
The pump primes for 1 minute at 3000 and runs at 2400 from 8am to 4pm. Speed is a topic I've been wanting to address and eventually be able to run slower, more like @BowserB at 1600 . I would love to hear some comments and suggestions of what others are running.
The pump in the background is strictly for a water feature. I've switched lids and o-rings as well as lubed them with silicone to no avail. The sound really seems like it's coming from the lid though!
If I set my prime speed to 3450 and increase the prime time, would that bleed the air out of the filter every day??Pool motors.jpg

@duraleigh I hear you and appreciate your take on this. I don't want to fight it if I don't have to. The problem is that, and please correct me if I'm wrong, unless I manually bleed my filter every morning, it's full of air and the water is probably only running through less than 20% of the filter area. That is not normal and not sustainable for me.
The only reason I leaned towards the suction side is because I can hear it. If I probe around with my stethoscope on the pressure side it's far more quiet. You're right, I don't have air in the pump basket but I think the basket empties every night. I should confirm that before I speak. Shouldn't the basket stay full of water all night, as well as the filter? Would that indicate something??

@BowserB Yes! I'm sure this topic is related, if not something I would like to dig deeper on as well. I dealt with air the in filter for months before I gave up and simply closed the valve on the Paramount. Then I didn't have to bleed my filter every day. Several months ago I started getting air in the filter again overnight with the Paramount shut off. That's when I noticed the sucking sound in the video that I posted above. Now I'm here. Anyway, I'm very interested in the bleed kit and may go that route once I am done with this other issue.
Incidentally, with the system off and making the sucking sound, I removed the tube from the drain fitting on the pump basket and nothing changed. The sound continued and, to my surprise, no water came out. Is that black plastic fitting proprietary from Paramount? As such, I think I can say with some certainty that that fitting is not the source of my leak.
I would love to learn more about running my pump at a slower speed and also talk more with you about the Paramount bleed kit sometime.

Thanks again guys. Please stay with me on this if you have time.
 

ajw22

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Shouldn't the basket stay full of water all night, as well as the filter? Would that indicate something??

The basket not staying full of water when the pump is off indicates you have a PRESSURE side air leak. Leak free pool plumbing does not let any air in and water stays in place when the pump is off. It is like a straw in a glass of water. Put your finger over it and you can remove the straw and water stay in it. Remove your finger and let air in and the water flows out.

Post pics of all of your plumbing and we can try and point out areas for you to look at.
 
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