Pressure gauge reads 0? Help!

jessindfw

Member
Oct 2, 2018
17
Arlington, TX
So pool was working just fine yesterday. We had a storm with a lot of wind yesterday, we lost power briefly twice. . Tons of Crud in the pool (because I just vacuumed and backwashed and everything 2 days ago, so of course...) Anyway a couple hours after the pump comes on this morning I go out to test the water and empty the skimmer basket which was super full and clogged up with leaves and stuff. I empty the basket and notice that the pump just sounds odd - I chalk it up to getting reduced water from the skimmer and figure it'll be okay. Go inside, test, come back about 30 minutes later to add bleach and notice it still sounds off.

Everything looks okay. The pump seems primed. There doesn't appear to be a lot of air in the pump basket - I can see down through the lid to the bottom of the basket, so I don't think it's clogged up.

Water is coming out of the returns, and there is some suction in the skimmer basket but it does seem reduced. Typically if I put my hand into the skimmer basket I can feel the suction immediately - now I have to put my hand all the way at the bottom before I feel much of anything.

I tried turning off and turning back on. I tried backwashing for a minute and then turning it back on. Water came out as usual. Pressure is still showing zero after I turned it back on.

I'm guessing a clog somewhere??? Any other ideas? Any ideas how to clear the clog on my own if it is a clog? Hoping not to have to call the repair people.

Thanks in advance.
Jessica
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
You may have sucked-up something into that suction line. Try shutting eveyrthing off. Remove the pump basket clearl lid and (with power off) reach into the basket where the small impeller is (fan-like item that spins). Make sure it's not clogged or wrapped-up with something. Then take a garden hose and place it into the pump basket hole whre water enters from the pool. You want to push water "backwards" to the pool. Turn on water and try to push it backwards to see if anything releases. You can wrap a small rag or shirt around the hose in the pump basket to help get a seal if you wish. Let us know how it goes.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
980
Arizona
Jessica
Not sure if you have pine trees around your area, but I think pine needles are notorious in mixing up with leaves and other debris and creating a clog in the suction line when vacuuming directly to the pump. My friend has pine trees in the vicinity of his pool and he has experienced once or twice, exactly what you are describing. He performed pretty much the exact same procedure that Texas Splash recommends, and that has worked very well for him.
Good luck with that potential clog.
Take care...
r.
 

jessindfw

Member
Oct 2, 2018
17
Arlington, TX
Ugh - yes pine trees in the front yard, but still on windy days they find their way into the pool, but I'm pretty careful not to vacuum them up. I clean the pool pretty well before vacuuming so I'm mostly just vacuuming the find dirt and sand that seems to collect no matter what I do.

Anyway - so when I came home from rounding up the kiddos. There was a lot more air in the pump basket and bubbles coming out of the returns.
Tried what Texas Splash recommended anyway. I did not feel anything in the opening to the impeller. Put the hose in the pool to pump pipe opening and ran at full blast which is pretty strong with the hose nozzle I have. I think I got a decent seal on the pipe, but I couldn't really tell if anything went back into the pool...
Then I cleaned the pump basket really well and put a little lubricant on the lid gasket - just in case it wasn't getting a good seal possibly.
Closed everything up - turned it on. And it got going and started showing a little pressure (about 5 probably - when it usually runs around 8). I was encouraged. When water and air started coming out of the returns I used the manual release to bleed the air.
It let out air but when it gets to the point where it shoots out water - it didn't. It just kind of dribbled. And the pressure is back to zero. :poop:

So now I think there is an air leak somewhere. :cautious:
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
980
NY
What about something clogging the release valve before the pressure guage, like on the inside of the filter housing ? If you have enough pressure to make the returns work the valve should spray crazy unless it is clogged itself.
 
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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
376
Spring Valley, NY
As far as where the the problem is I couldn't help without being there but I do have a recommendation to make here. I've been down the road years back with a similar issue where the pool owner vacuumed through the filter and clogged up some where due to a combination of white pine needles and debris such as leaves. Vacuuming the pool through the plumbing systems are safe only when it's small dirt. Anything larger isn't the best as we can see why. This Amazon.com: Buying Choices: Zodiac Cyclonic Leaf Canister. Canister is a life saver and time saver after a rain or wind storm where large debris end up on the pool floor. It catches all matter that doesn't belong in the pipes. I have one myself and have had many buy it too.
 
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jessindfw

Member
Oct 2, 2018
17
Arlington, TX
What about something clogging the release valve before the pressure guage, like on the inside of the filter housing ? If you have enough pressure to make the returns work the valve should spray crazy unless it is clogged itself.
I'd suppose that is entirely possible, but I don't feel qualified to open up the filter and start poking around.

your sig shows a drain and a skimmer. I'm hoping they are plumbed desperately to the equipment pad. If so, does anything change when you change a valve position to use only drain or only skimmer?
I believe they are.... there are multiple pipes that connect up to the valve handle. How would I know for sure?
I have never adjusted the valve handle because it is not labeled and I don't know what it's set on currently and or where the different settings are, and up until now if seemed like a leave well enough alone situation. That's an interesting idea though. Maybe I will experiment with that tomorrow.

Also, are you using a skimmer sock in the poolside skimmer?
No. But if it turns out that stuff getting past the skimmer basket has caused a clog - I will start.

I broke down and called they guy I've used to clean the filter, but he can't come until Tuesday. :confused: Apparently I'm not the only one having pool problems.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oh boy. A skimmer sock is a must! Do a quick search here or on Amazon. They are cheap and save your main filter from lots of tiny debris. You'd be surprised what can slip through those skimmer basket slots. I use a 1 gallon paint strainer net from Home Depot and I just clean it (beat it) everyday. Others like the nylon type since they are disposable. Either is fine, but you need one.

For the valves, post a pic of your equipment pad and the valves there. Maybe we can help tell you which valve(s) to manipulate.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
980
Arizona
Oh boy. A skimmer sock is a must! Do a quick search here or on Amazon. They are cheap and save your main filter from lots of tiny debris. You'd be surprised what can slip through those skimmer basket slots. I use a 1 gallon paint strainer net from Home Depot and I just clean it (beat it) everyday. Others like the nylon type since they are disposable. Either is fine, but you need one.
For the valves, post a pic of your equipment pad and the valves there. Maybe we can help tell you which valve(s) to manipulate.
Of all the "tips and tricks" that I have seen (and incorporated in my pool care regimen) here on TFP, I have to admit that this one ranks way up there on the list.
I found these on Amazon and started using them several months back.
Disposable, Bouffant Cap, White, 100 pcs by AEC Group
It's amazing to see all of the small "junk" (mostly organic) that is trapped by these disposable hair nets and knowing that without the hair net, all of that would have gone through the pump and into the filter and then just sat there in the filter (decomposing and probably using up some chlorine) until the next backwash. I'm convinced that my backwash cycles have been reduced since using them. I really like the fact that they are so cheap that you can just toss them in the trash.
Thanks again,Texas Splash for the great suggestion.
r.
 
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jessindfw

Member
Oct 2, 2018
17
Arlington, TX
Of all the "tips and tricks" that I have seen (and incorporated in my pool care regimen) here on TFP, I have to admit that this one ranks way up there on the list.
I found these on Amazon and started using them several months back.
Disposable, Bouffant Cap, White, 100 pcs by AEC Group
It's amazing to see all of the small "junk" (mostly organic) that is trapped by these disposable hair nets and knowing that without the hair net, all of that would have gone through the pump and into the filter and then just sat there in the filter (decomposing and probably using up some chlorine) until the next backwash. I'm convinced that my backwash cycles have been reduced since using them. I really like the fact that they are so cheap that you can just toss them in the trash.
Thanks again,Texas Splash for the great suggestion.
r.
In my cart!
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
980
NY
Right now you are only sucking approximately 20 percent from the one side. If you are drawing more from the main drain then that could easily answer the percieved lack of suction from the skimmers. Turn the handle each way to check which one pulls from the skimmers. If you get good suction from the skimmers at 100% and the return flows well on both settings, then its probably not a clog in the pipes or pump.
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
980
Arizona
Excuse me for speaking up, but it appears to me that the 3-way valve in the photo controls returns (not suction or intake). It appears the only intake to the pump is from the skimmer. Am I missing something here? :)
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
980
NY
I saw that too. I guessed (probably incorrectly) that this pump flows backwards from mine. Upon closer inspection i dont see how thats even possible. So the diverter valve is for the returns ?
 

MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
980
Arizona
I saw that too. I guessed (probably incorrectly) that this pump flows backwards from mine. Upon closer inspection i dont see how thats even possible. So the diverter valve is for the returns ?
Well, that's what I see anyway. I'm wondering if that diverter valve controls maybe either two sets of returns OR one port is plumbed to the returns and the other port is plumbed to an aerator or some other kind of water feature??
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
980
NY
Jessica,

Are you able to spin the pressure gauge off of the filter ? Sometimes they are siezed and wont budge but other times they come right off. Turn everything off and give it a shot. If it comes off, turn the pump back on and if water comes out the hole like niagra falls through a coffe straw, your pressure is fine and its a bad gauge / housing/ turn-y screw things. (Bonus points for anybody who gets the Niagra Falls references)
 

jessindfw

Member
Oct 2, 2018
17
Arlington, TX
Well, that's what I see anyway. I'm wondering if that diverter valve controls maybe either two sets of returns OR one port is plumbed to the returns and the other port is plumbed to an aerator or some other kind of water feature??
There are no water features or aerators. So if I understand (and I'm getting way out of my league here) you are saying the pipe on the right side of the pump basket is the only thing bringing water FROM the pool (the skimmer) through the pump into the filter. And the horizontal pipe coming from the backwash handle is taking water AWAY from the filter through that handle thing and down the two pipes going into the ground and presumably out the return jets.
So what is the drain or whatever it is at the bottom of the pool for???