Potential suction side air leak?

BlueWRXPride

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2020
96
Syracuse, NY
I have a new pool that was built last fall. I had it opened a few days ago by the pool company, and I've noticed that it seems like there is air coming from the return jets. If I look at the strainer basket window, when the pump is running on high speed there is no air at all in the pump basket (that I can see). If I run the pump at a lower speed, then the basket does start to have more air in it, to the point where at a low speed the basket isn't filled up. Regardless of the speed I still see some air coming from the jets. Any suggestions on where for me to look first?
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,445
NY
Hey Blue !!

The easy fixes are the water level which will suck air at times if a hair low, Occasionally sticky / stuck weir doors and the pump basket seal or any union O-rings before the pump in this case.

Make sure the moving parts move freely and the tight parts are tight/lubed.

Keep us posted.
 

BlueWRXPride

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2020
96
Syracuse, NY
Definitely not the water level. Up until last night, I hadn't lowered the water level yet since opening so it was over the top of the skimmer frame. I have now drained some so it's still at least 2/3rd of the way up the skimmer. I'll check for those quick fixes this afternoon and check back. Thanks!
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,445
NY
I have now drained some so it's still at least 2/3rd of the way up the skimmer
Too high is a potential problem as well. 2/3 is probably fine but if it stops the weirs from dropping, the pump empties the skimmer in a flash and you suck (a gallon or two ?) of air before the pool water weight opens the weir door. If it happens one out of every 5 (or 10) times it can lead to a lot of air trapped in the filter and eventually blowing out the returns.

Fill/drain for halfway up the skimmer faceplate or as close to it as reasonably possible. A half inch either way won’t matter.
 

BlueWRXPride

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2020
96
Syracuse, NY
Ok I'll tweak the levels a bit. I also should mention that I've opened the bleeder valve on the filter to let the air out there but I hasn't seemed to impact anything.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,445
NY
It’s great to let the air out but if it keeps coming in it won’t solve anything.

Most systems pick up a little bit of air and need a real quick bleed every week or two. If it’s needing it daily or hourly, something bigger is going on.
 

BlueWRXPride

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2020
96
Syracuse, NY
Well I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that I found the air leak; it was coming from the drain plug closest to the front of the pump. I took the plug out and made sure the threads were clean and the gasket was seated well. I then put the plug back in, went to tighten it so it wouldn't leak again, and I snapped the head of the plastic drain plug off. I was able to "fix" it for the night so I could still do some vacuuming of the pool and I could let the pump run as normal by sticking some duct seal over the reminder of the plug. And I did some searching around to find suggestions for removing the broken one, like using a hot screwdriver to melt a notch with. Where do I get a replacement? I don't want to remove what is left until I have a replacement since the duct seal seems to be working pretty well.

A slightly more concerning thing is that when I took the cover off the pump basket, I found an O-ring in the basket! I checked all the places I could think of for o-rings; namely the connection into the pump, the connection out of the pump, and the connection into the filter, but they're all present. I'm not sure where it could have come from...maybe it fell out of the pool guy's pocket and into the basket.... Any other suggestions on that mystery?
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,445
NY
Where do I get a replacement? I don't want to remove what is left until I have a replacement since the duct seal seems to be working pretty well.
Google your manual if you don’t have it handy / lost it. You can get the part # and call inyopools. Or find it online easily anywhere like inyo. Just search the part # on their website.
maybe it fell out of the pool guy's pocket and into the basket.... Any other suggestions on that mystery?
As long as your unions before the basket have their o-rings....... may it be a great unsolved mystery :ROFLMAO:
 

BlueWRXPride

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2020
96
Syracuse, NY
I spoke with my pool company this morning. They said to just come in and they'll give me a replacement plug for free. I was able to get the broken one out just by pushing a screwdriver against it. Didn't even need to heat it up.

He also suggested that when they took the winter plugs out, the O-ring probably came out of the plug and then got sucked through the pipes. So they're going to give me a new plug too for next year. So I think I should be good to go!
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,445
NY
I think the last time I looked up a plug it was $3.something. It’s worth far more in good will for them to just give it to you and make your day. But still. Good on them.
 

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