New to Pools - Question Regarding Pump

rkyee

Member
Jan 8, 2021
10
Los Angeles, CA
Hi all - first time posting here, and a new pool owner as of two months. I've had to do a couple of maintenance items around the pool, but still learning my way around.

My pump has two settings for high- and low- pressure, which run on a timer throughout the day. Initially, both pressures would allow the vacuum to work - however, I've noticed the low setting no longer works for the vacuum. I've put my hand over the pump when removing the hoses, and there is suction but apparently not strong enough to run the vacuum. Do I need to clean the pump filter?

Secondly, which I think might be related, I started to notice that debris like dust, etc. was becoming more common frequent on the surface of the pool. This was not an issue previously - and I think it's because the pressure of the pump is not working. In the skimmer, there are two filters (? - see picture attached), but the one of the left with the blue attachment is the only one that is working. This is where the vacuum is typically attached. Should the other also have a suction to act as a skimmer for the surface layer of the pool?
Apologies if i am not utilizing the correct terminology, etc. - if there is more information that is needed- I'd be happy to provide, but greatly appreciate any insights and advice the group has.

Thank you!
 

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Dirk

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Is there normally a basket in the skimmer, that you removed for the picture? Or do you not have a basket? Let's start with that.

Yes, decreases in suction can be attributed to a dirty filter. But if you're missing your skimmer basket and your skimmer has been sucking in big leaves, then your problem could be a clog in your plumbing, or a filter full of leaves.
 

Dirk

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Many skimmers have two holes like yours does. Those are called ports. One, for sure, is a suction port that connects to your main pool pump, or "filter pump." The other port might be unused, or it might be attached to your pool's drain. If you post several pics of your equipment pad, from several angles, we can help you sort out how your system is plumbed and how it all works.

And BTW, welcome to TFP! Don't be shy about asking questions here. Every one of us started out here the exact same way. Stumbling on this site because we were looking to figure something out about our new-to-us pool. You've come to the right place and you're now in good hands. Stick around, you'll be an expert in no time!!
 

Dirk

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If you want your pics to appear in your post, instead of as an attachment, use the button that looks like this:

image button.png
 

Dirk

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Oh, the dust you're seeing more of on the surface is likely a result of a lack of circulation, caused by whatever is affecting your vacuuming. The less pump flow, the less circulation, the less effective your skimmer will be and the less effective your vac will be. It's all related.
 

Dirk

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If you haven't already, you should read our Pool School section. Pool School - Trouble Free Pool

Or read it again. Most of us have been through it at least twice!

I prefer the eBook version. Same articles, but they read end-to-end, instead of hopping around from webpage to webpage. A link to the eBook is available on the bottom of the linked page I just gave you.
 

rkyee

Member
Jan 8, 2021
10
Los Angeles, CA
First, Dirk - thank you for your thorough response and super prompt response. It is extremely helpful (and gives me hope) that I can conquer this issue. I will also take a peek at the Pool School section, I've started to read and already has a lot of helpful information.

Starting at the top - no, the skimmer has not had a basket, since I've taken over the pool (new homeowner) in November. It sounds as if the filter/pump may need a cleaning especially if it has been picking up large debris. Good news - I don't have alot of foliage around my pool, but there are a couple of trees in my neighbor's yards that sometimes blow over. pool1.jpgpool2.jpg
pool3.jpg
I've attached a couple of photos of the setup of the pump.

Thank you again for your help!
 

Dirk

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My pleasure. It's very important to get a basket in your skimmer, asap. Anything can end up in your pool, not just leaves (think small animals, for one). If it floats, it's going to get into the skimmer. If there's no basket, it's going to get sucked into the plumbing. No bueno!!

I'll have to come back to take a better look at your pics. Gotta run...
 

Dirk

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Excellent. Can you post a picture of the label on your filter? Then I can point you to instructions about how to clean it. Cleaning the filter is the next step.
 

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Dirk

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Thanks for all the pics. You have a pretty simple setup. pool --> pump --> filter --> heater --> pool. EZPZ. There's one component I don't recognize. Do you have a spa?

@mknauss, @JamesW, what is that brownish-greyish gizmo between the pump motor and the heater. Is that a blower?
 

Dirk

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rkyee, does the heater work? What is that atop the heater, a solar flood light? Best not to put anything on that surface...
 

mknauss

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what is that brownish-greyish gizmo between the pump motor and the heater. Is that a blower?
Does not look any I have seen. But it is hooked up to electric.
 

Dirk

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Thanks Marty and James. I thought booster pump, but couldn't see two pipes/hoses going in and out. Maybe they're there. Maybe one has been disconnected.

rkyee, we'll have to work on that one, as it's kinda stumping us. You could help with more pics, or just let that sleeping dog lie. Are there two pipes connected to it? Or a place for one or more pipes that seems to now be unused or disconnected? If there are any connected pipes, where do they go? Do you have a cleaner system (vacuum)?

There's some other evidence that some of your system is, well, on the older side. But that's OK. We'll sort out what works and what doesn't. And what's being used and what's just left over from some bygone age...
 
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rkyee

Member
Jan 8, 2021
10
Los Angeles, CA
Thanks again for the advice. Heater does not work! I believe the old thing in the middle in from the prior setup, it does not appear to be connected at this point in time.

Here are a couple pics of the filter label.
poolpump2.jpgpoolpump3.jpg
 

Dirk

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OK, so we can ignore the gizmo, and you've got a DE filter. I don't know anything about those. But TFP does! Here you go:


So give that a thorough cleaning and see if that solves the problem. Lots of folks here have a DE filter that can help you if you have any questions about it.

Add the brand, type and model number of the filter to your signature, when you get to creating one.

 
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rkyee

Member
Jan 8, 2021
10
Los Angeles, CA
Thanks all. I cleaned out the pump filter which had a bunch of leaves and what not in it, but didn't fully fix the problem. The suction appears to be a bit better, but the vacuum is not running on "low" speed. Could this be impacted by the filter?

I've attached a picture of the filter label, but let me know if you need anything else. poolpump2.jpg
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
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Plaster
Chlorine
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SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks all. I cleaned out the pump filter which had a bunch of leaves and what not in it, but didn't fully fix the problem. The suction appears to be a bit better, but the vacuum is not running on "low" speed. Could this be impacted by the filter?
Yes, definitely. That's what I suggested: your next step is to clean your DE filter. I gave you a link that describes its care.

By "pump filter" I think you mean your pump's basket. The skimmer basket, pump basket and filter all need to be clean for optimum flow. You clean out the two baskets as needed. Check them often. How often will vary by season (falling leaves is usually the biggest culprit). I try to check mine once a day and keep if very clean.

You clean your filter based on how often it needs it. Here's how you monitor that. Once you get it clean and put back together, clean all your baskets again and then run the pump and observe the pressure reading of the gauge on top of the filter. Write it down somewhere. Note which speed your pump is on when you record your "clean filter pressure reading." (It will be different for each speed.) Periodically, when the pump is running at the same speed, you check your filter gauge. When it hits 25% higher than your clean filter pressure reading, it's time to clean the filter.

25% is a general guide. If your vac is sensitive to your plumbing's flow, indicated by your filter pressure, you may need to clean your filter more often. This is one of the many things you'll get to know as you learn your pool. No two are alike...
 
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