Pool chlorinator leaking in spa mode

aknpool

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The chlorinator is squirting water from a tube when put in spa mode. I don’t see this in pool mode. Does this look like a leaking tube that needs replacement or is there some kind of clogging in the chlorinator?

I just fixed the spa inlet valve after the Texas winter storms cracked my older one. I started see the leak after the spa fix. So it is possible that the chlorinator valves were also damaged then but just surprised that I only see it happening in spa mode.
 

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HermanTX

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It is strange that it is leaking when only in SPA Mode however my pressure increases when in Spa Mode because of the spa jets creating more back pressure on the system. That could be the reason you see it in SPA mode and not in Pool Mode. Look at your filter pressure in each mode. Also, it appears to be a check valve because it has an arrow on it and a larger body. It looks like you need to replace it.
 
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aknpool

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The pump definitely seems to be running at the higher speed in spa mode and is noisier. I will try replacing this part.

The tube connecting to the intellivalve also keeps popping out and I have to stick it back in, usually when I am working near it and accidentally yank at it. There is no leak at that end but I was wondering if this is normal or if something broke off.
 

HermanTX

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The tube connecting to the intellivalve also keeps popping out and I have to stick it back in, usually when I am working near it and accidentally yank at it. There is no leak at that end but I was wondering if this is normal or if something broke off.
I think you are referring to the chlorinator tube that is connected to the short nipple between the valve and the 45deg elbow held in place by a clamp. If that is popping off then the part where the clamp is on the pipe has maybe broken. It is hard to see in the picture and there are several ways to hold that hose in place with the clamp. It may have been knocked several times and now not able to hold the hose. Suggest you turn off your pump at main breaker, undo the clamp and determine if anything is broken. You may need to replace that as well. Best to do it all at the same time to get it working correctly.
 
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aknpool

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Here are some pictures of that part. I took it out and saw a small black part on the floor that seemed to have broken off. I am heading to the pool supply store and see if I can find replacements. I didn’t have to undo the clamp , just needed to unscrew it so at least that part was easy.
 

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aknpool

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So I replaced the check valve and it no longer leaks. Now I see two other leaks, one tube feeding the chlorinator that is dripping (looks like a small tear) and also the pump itself leaking at the lid.

I will replace the chlorinator tube, I have a spare one.

For the pump itself, I will try to lube the lid oring and re-tighten it.

I still dont understand why this is only seen in Spa mode, the pump is very noisy when it switches into this mode and running at its highest speed. The filter pressure is at 20 on the dial (in pool mode the pump is running at a much slower speed and the filter pressure hovers around 1). I recently changed the check valve on the SPA input side and wondering if something isn't right there. I can see the spa input side check valve open and water flowing.
 

HermanTX

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In Pool Mode, your return water is going through several pipes and eyelets into the pool that are large diameter so minimal backpressure to the system. In SPA mode, your spa returns have small diameter jets in them. They are about 6 inches inside the pipe so don't just look at the eyelet that is visible in the spa. This causes a lot more back pressure to the system. Thus the higher pressure in SPA mode on the pipes makes the leaks, if any, more visible.
This is proven by 20psi on the filter gauge in SPA mode vs. 1 psi in Pool Mode. Also, since the pump is running at higher speed in SPA mode that also creates more pressure vs in Pool mode when pump speed is much lower.
 
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aknpool

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The chlorinator tube fix worked - no leaks there. But pump lid still leaks - tried lubing the oring and tightening the top cover. Should I try replacing the oring? I don’t see any damages on the oring but it fits loosely in the the lid and does slips out easily. No cracks on lid or pump housing that I can see. The leak is always on the top of the lid near the pump.
 

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mknauss

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If the pump lid leaks you would not be getting water out of it you would be getting air into the pump.

Are you sure it is not the union/connection on the pressure side?
 
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aknpool

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By union/connection , do you mean the white tube with the black ring around it in the picture. That would make sense since that’s where I see the water. Let me take a closer look - I could never spot the exact leaking point. How do I take it apart ? Try unscrewing the black ring?
 

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mknauss

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The black ring is the pump union. There should be an oring in it. Check it for cracks too.
 

HermanTX

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By union/connection , do you mean the white tube with the black ring around it in the picture. That would make sense since that’s where I see the water. Let me take a closer look - I could never spot the exact leaking point. How do I take it apart ? Try unscrewing the black ring?
Based on your overview picture of your equipment pad in the first posting, it appears you have some flexibility in that pipe leading out of your pump. You will need to unscrew the union and lift ever so slightly to separate the junction to expose the seal between them. It is hard to say how it will look as not every union is made the same way. So you just need to figure how the seal is sitting and if that is the part that is leaking. Look for a small cut or if it was trapped incorrectly. You may be able to salvage it by lubing it up before you place it back. Ideally you would want to replace the seal so you may want to make a trip to a pool store to see if they have one before you unscrew the union.
 
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aknpool

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So the union looks good - I unscrewed it , the seal is good, I lubed it, put some plumbing tape and screwed it back in.

So looking at it more closely, it does look like the pump lid is leaking, it is also pulling in air and I can see bubbles as well in the spa. Any idea on how to fix this? Should I just order a new oring? I don’t see any cracks or such in the lid - did notice that the oring didn’t fit tight.
 

mknauss

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Typically the oring for the pump basket lid does not fit 'tight'. Check the mating surfaces to be sure they are clean.

You should not use plumbing tape on a union connection.
 

aknpool

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Ok, cleaned the lid mating surfaces and closed again. Adding a few more pictures of the leak , pool bubbles and nearby surfaces.

It is always leaking at the same spot - near the union area ( but no wet trails leading from union). I don’t see any cracks on the lid. Any ideas on how to find the leaking spot?

Here is a video link of the leak as well - Streamable Video

Ps - removed the union plumbing tape ...
 

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Last edited:

mknauss

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Bubbles in the returns imply a suction side leak. But a suction side leak will not leak water when running.
 

HermanTX

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@aknpool Thanks for the video. This is baffling because a suction side leak does not push water out (it sucks air in). So there are 2 options 1) rotate your the pump lid 180 degs and determine if the leak is in same place - if it moves with the lid rotation then you know it has to be the lid 2) if it continues to leak from same place after the rotating the pump lid - look from the inside (pump off) and try to determine any crack at that place. If that looks good, then place a paper towel around the bottom of the union (but above where it lays on the pump) - ensure it is dry before you put it on. Then turn on pump and see if it becomes wet. sometimes a very small leak is hard to visibly see so you need to completely rule out the connection of the union to the pump and the union itself. Water coming out has to be on the pressure side so you only have 3 connections at that point - the lid to the pump basket, the union connection to the pump and the union itself.

If you had a second pump you could switch lids and completely rule out the lid. Alternatively go buy another complete lid (or temporarily borrow one from a neighbor).
 

HermanTX

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I had a second (third, fourth) look at your video. I notice that your lid seems to hit that little protruding notch that is on bottom of the pump exit tube. Your pictures show the lid off but the video shows that the lid could be hitting that little protruding notch. It is a longshot but maybe look at that. rotating the lid 180 deg may alleviate that lid hitting that protrusion.
 

aknpool

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I tried sandpapering the notch so that it fits the lid but didn’t help - can’t rotate 180 as the handle hits the pipes. Also made sure there is no wet leaks from union.

After taking a closer look at the pump housing,
I noticed what looks like a small hairline crack inside the housing, I can feel it when I run my finger over it . Still not sure how water seeps outside. Is there a way to seal this or should I start looking at replacing the pump housing/pump?
 

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HermanTX

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Is this where the leak is occurring? This is could be it because pressure would put force on it and try to widen it.
Several people gave feedback that epoxy or JB Weld was successful. At least for short term and you can monitor it.
 

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