PSI at 0 after vacuuming leaves. Help.

illtiger1

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2008
88
We received a storm a few nights ago and the temp dropped so we have a ton of leaves in our pool. Unknowingly, my wife vacuumed up a bunch of leaves trying to clean the pool. The gauge now reads 0 psi and when I went to backwash, the water pressure was very low. I cleaned the basket in the pump and think that some leaves got into the plumbing and is blocking the flow. I have a DE Hayward filter and Hayward pump for a gunite inground pool. I need to fix the problem before I can close my pool. Thank you.
 

illtiger1

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2008
88
I should also note that the pump now does not fully fill up with water. This seems to be causing a "hiccup" effect on the water going from the pump into the filter. This hiccup effect also occurs during backwash. I have not tried drain king. Would I use it on the line going into the pump?
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,536
SW Indiana
Before you get the drain king, try a hose inserted into the inlet side of the pump basket with a rag around it to seal it. If you have a main drain valve, close it. The hose alone may be able to flush the leaves out into the skimmer.
 

illtiger1

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2008
88
Despite the great advice here, my system is still not working properly. I used a drain king and there seemed to be no blockage issue through the line to my eyes. I hooked everything back up, powered on, and the filter still reads at 0 psi even when the water starts going through. There seems to be a decent size air bubble forming in the small pipe that connects the pump to the valve that does not go away when the pump is on. I should also note that the pump basket area never completely fills with water even when I start it full of water. It ends up about 3/4 the way filled and stays there. I did some trouble shooting cleaning out the grids and putting the pool filter back together in case it was a filter issue, but am still having no luck. Any further advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,547
Pleasanton, CA
The pump's impeller is probably clogged. Sometimes you can reach it through the pump basket but if that doesn't work, then you may need to take apart the pump to get to the impeller.
 

acroy

Well-known member
May 11, 2010
186
Dallas TX
mas985 said:
The pump's impeller is probably clogged. Sometimes you can reach it through the pump basket but if that doesn't work, then you may need to take apart the pump to get to the impeller.
Bingo, just what I was going to suggest -
I have to take my pump apart every couple months to dislodge junk from the impeller that snuck through the basket. Small twigs, hair, etc. bleh.
 

fofa

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2008
76
Houston, TX
I can usually clean the impeller with a small diameter, longish bladed screw driver through the pump basket. Along with a jet nozzle on the garden hose.
Spin the impeller with the driver (usually backwards), wash it out with the jet of water, remove debris from pump housing (by hand) that flushed out, do it again, and again, and .....
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,547
Pleasanton, CA
Another method that has worked for me is to backflush from the return side to the suction side of the pump. This will usually dislodge anything in the impeller vanes that cannot be reached from the suction side. However, this will not work for every setup since some pumps are hard plumbed and do not have couplers to easily remove the piping.

Of course if all else fails, then the only other option is to take the pump apart.
 

illtiger1

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2008
88
I'll be sure to give the impeller a shot this weekend, however, I still think that maybe the line is clogged a bit because the pump basket area never completely fills with water even when I start it full of water. It seems like the line is not delivering enough water fast enough to fill the basket area of the pump while the filter is on. My wife sucked up a good amount of leaves and there were not that many collected in the pump basket when the psi fist hit zero. Thank you all again.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,547
Pleasanton, CA
A clogged impeller can also behave that way. There is not enough flow in the pump to push out the air in the pump basket so the pump doesn't fully prime. Same reason a pump won't prime on low speed or when there is a return blockage.

However, before taking apart the pump, do eliminate a clogged line first since it is much less trouble.
 

illtiger1

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2008
88
Just took out the pump and the impeller is not clogged or dirty in any way. Feeling totally stuck here.
 

duraleigh

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Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
32,154
Sebring, Florida
Well, if I am following this correctly, you have not yet confirmed that the line from the skimer(s) to the pump is unclogged....correct?

Since your impeller is not clogged, that would seem the next place to look....i.e. drain king, etc.