Mysterious possible skimmer blockage, the saga continues...

twhitehouse

Member
Mar 15, 2015
18
San Diego, CA
My continuing saga, the exploded pipe and burnt out pump motor have been replaced with a new variable speed motor and strainer pot setup (the old filter was okay and is still in use). But, like before, when the motor is run, it seems to prime just fine, and at low speeds there's a little bit of air at the strainer pot lid. At higher speeds, there's more air, and turbulence. Couldn't be a clogged impeller since it's brand new out of the box. Still very low pressure in the tank, and the tank eventually gets air in it after running the pump for a while (open the air relief valve and a hiss comes out, followed a few seconds later by water.) The damndest thing is, there's no air bubbles coming out of the return jets. The guy who installed everything came back today to check and believes (as I do) that there is still a possible blockage in the skimmer line. He gave me a number for another company that can send a camera through the skimmer line to look for a blockage, but I'm still left to wonder: what the heck is the deal with air getting into the strainer pot and the tank, but not coming out of the return jets? (The water stream coming out of the return jets also seems nice and normal). Has anyone ever dealt with anything like this before? TIA!
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
13,228
Pleasanton, CA
If the air tube in the filter is clogged, air will not come out of the returns until the filter fills mostly with air. How long are you running the pump to determine if air comes out of the returns? It may not come out right away. Also, if the flow rate is very low, then it may take a very long time for the filter to fill up.

From the symptoms, it does sound like a suction side blockage.
 

twhitehouse

Member
Mar 15, 2015
18
San Diego, CA
If the air tube in the filter is clogged, air will not come out of the returns until the filter fills mostly with air. How long are you running the pump to determine if air comes out of the returns? It may not come out right away. Also, if the flow rate is very low, then it may take a very long time for the filter to fill up.

From the symptoms, it does sound like a suction side blockage.
Hey mas985, thanks for getting back to me on this; The last time I let it run for a while and checked for air bubbles it had been going for maybe 5 or 6 hours when I looked (it was on a low speed setting, if that makes any difference). The filter seems to fill up with water quickly at the beginning, like if I clean the filter the filter tank it's nearly empty of water and once reassembled, I can turn the pump on and it fills with water in about 30 seconds or so (rough estimate), so I think the flow is okay. So far blockage seems to be the concenus so I'm moving towards having a company with higher power equipment than I have to help out. Thanks!
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
13,228
Pleasanton, CA
Yes, low speed makes a big difference. Generally, on low speed, the pump does not have enough flow rate to push the air out of the pump basket so the filter will take a very long time to fill with air or maybe not all. if you leave it on full speed, eventually you should see air out of the returns if there is an air leak.