New Solar Air Leak?


Well-known member
Jan 22, 2020
Henderson, NV
I had a solar system installed on Tuesday and the installers told me I had an air leak which was causing the bubbles in the return jets. They pointed to a few leaks1) SWG unions, 2) pressure gauge on the filter 3) the drain valve. They said whoever is servicing your pools sucks , to which I responded I Anyhow I have done my own trouble shooting and think it is the solar causing the issue , but I could you some help confirming this before I call them to come back.

1) I lubed all my o-rings at the SWG, pump basked lid, pump drain valve and tightened the air pressure valve on the filter. I feel pretty confident that I do not have an air leak in this portion of the system, based on the following facts.
2) If I isolate( close the solar valve) while running my pump at 3,450 hp there are no bubbles coming from the return.
3) If I open the solar valve the bubbles immediately return
At this point I am thinking it is the solar because if I look at the check valve for the return coming from the solar I see air bubbles
4) If I turn my return to my waterfall instead of the return jets and I look at the check valve I don't see any bubbles and the waterfall appears smooth with not noticeable air. I guess I was thinking no matter what I should see some air in waterfall and the check valve. Is it possible there is some pressure issue that is restricting flow when the solar is returning from the return jets. which might be causing the air bubbles?

I had noticed one separate issue that I don't want to complicate my troubleshooting the solar, but even before the solar was installed if I turned my valve to be 100% skimmer my pump basket does not stay primed. I am not sure if this may be related or is something different. I typically do not turn my pool to 100% skimmer so this is not usually and issue.

Any help confirming my troubleshooting process and anything you might recommend would be appreciated, as I am still a newb when it come to pool equipment.



Silver Supporter
Jan 15, 2021
Redwood City, Ca
Pool Size
Liquid Chlorine
Sounds like the vacuum breaker on your solar system is partially opening letting air into the return line from the solar system.

Your waterfall may have more restriction that your main return so it increases the back pressure on the system, and also increases the pressure at the solar vacuum breaker allowing it fully close.

Air will get into the system when the pressure isn’t high enough at the vacuum breaker.

Your solar installer should know about this.



Well-known member
Jan 22, 2020
Henderson, NV
Thanks Mark, I will ask them to come back out, I just didn't want to waste their time if I was having other issues. Mow that I am confident those are resolved I feel better.
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