New Pump, Air in System, Bubbles Coming Out of Returns, I Can't Figure it Out

Joe Garcia

Active member
Apr 9, 2020
29
Ft. Myers, FL
I recently switched from an old 1 hp pump to a Hayward 1.5 hp model. Things seemed to be working fine but my water pressure was very low coming out of the returns. Pressure at the gauge was 25 psi. I then changed filters 4 days ago and now the water is coming out of the returns at max velocity. All was well until this morning, where I see lots of bubbles coming out of two of the three returns. The bubbles don't come out constantly, but seem to cycle every few minutes.

I don't see water drip coming out anywhere on the basket cover, pump housing, filter cover, valves, nowhere. I get no water spritz anywhere when shutting down the system. I put silicone gel on the basket o-ring anyway.

What I do see is a pressure drop on the filter gauge from normal 10 psi to 5 psi. At 5 psi the bubbles come out of the returns. Simultaneously, I hear a whooshing sound inside the basket area during the pressure drop. The pressure cycles up and down from 10 psi to 5, and back again. When the pump goes back to 10 psi, it purrs like a kitten and no bubbles appear from any return. I'm so scared that I'm going to fry the pump motor that I have shut down the system entirely. Might the extra pressure going from 1 to 1.5 HP maybe caused a leak somewhere underground?
 
Last edited:

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,355
Laughlin, NV
The drop in filter pressure is due to air build up in the filter housing.

Check the skimmer weir door, be sure it is not sticking. Check your water level, so that no air is being pulled in at the skimmer.
 

Joe Garcia

Active member
Apr 9, 2020
29
Ft. Myers, FL
To my surprise, I have no weir door. I don't think I've ever had one, yet I've never had this problem of air in my system. I want to eliminate the weir door as a possible reason. I also know that it is better to have one installed to keep my system healthy. I don't see any brand names or serial numbers on my skimmer so should I just measure the opening and try to find a match? My water level doesn't look low enough to contribute to the problem, but I'm adding some water anyway just in case.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,355
Laughlin, NV
You should be able to get a universal weir door. Helps a lot with skimming. Measure it and call Inyopools and see what they have.

Water level should be close to the mid point of the skimmer throat.
 

andysousa

Well-known member
May 14, 2018
53
Salem MA
For whats it worth... i am having a similar problem and it seems to be the seals in the motor pulling in some air. I can see the air in the pump basket. My pump was seized when i opened and I took it apart to free it up and when I put it back together this is happening. I am guessing one of the seals was dried up and I moved enough to case a problem. Might be worth looking into.
 

Joe Garcia

Active member
Apr 9, 2020
29
Ft. Myers, FL
Weir door just brought me more bubbles. The ultimate solution was needing more water in the pool and the skimmer was sucking air. A little water from my hose plus a little rain and poof! Bubbles gone...
 
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