Pump maintaining prime?

AZAA

Silver Supporter
Apr 9, 2020
82
Gold Canyon AZ
Pool Size
5850
What are the symptoms of a pump not maintaining prime? Mine gurgles a lot when manually shut off. I usually open the relief valve on the filter housing to force out the air when manually turning the pump back on again. When it cycles on automatically it pumps a lot of bubbles into the pool.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
14,017
Pleasanton, CA
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
When a pump loses prime after it shuts off, you will see air entering the pump basket. If a filter is leaking air, you will hear it first and then eventually see it in the pump basket. They are sometimes difficult to tell apart but your issues sound more like a filter problem. What kind of filter do you have? Does the gurgling sound like it is coming from the filter or the pump?
 

AZAA

Silver Supporter
Apr 9, 2020
82
Gold Canyon AZ
Pool Size
5850
When a pump loses prime after it shuts off, you will see air entering the pump basket. If a filter is leaking air, you will hear it first and then eventually see it in the pump basket. They are sometimes difficult to tell apart but your issues sound more like a filter problem. What kind of filter do you have? Does the gurgling sound like it is coming from the filter or the pump?
I just went out and checked. I guess the gurgling is from water draining down from my solar heater. Probably not a problem. I always have a bubble under the clear plastic lid of the pump basket. The motor is new and the gasket is clean and lubed. The gasket of the cartridge filter housing seemed fine and lubed last time I took the top off.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
14,017
Pleasanton, CA
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If you have solar, when a pump first turns, there will be air in the lines that need to get purged so that is normal (even if solar does not turn on). However, it is not normal to have air continuously come of the returns. Is that what is happening?
 

AZAA

Silver Supporter
Apr 9, 2020
82
Gold Canyon AZ
Pool Size
5850
it is not normal to have air continuously come of the returns. Is that what is happening?
Yes. I'll attempt to attach a few pictures. I get continuous bubbles to varying degrees from every return port _MG_5037.jpg_MG_5022.jpg_MG_5019.jpg
that cycles on. The photo with the big bubbles is what I get when the pool starts up or any time the solar kicks on. They last less than a minute.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
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May 3, 2007
14,017
Pleasanton, CA
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As I said earlier, bubbles after the pump or solar turns on is normal but should only last a few minutes. If there are bubbles after longer time (10+ minutes), then there is likely an issue.

If you turn off solar, do the bubbles stop? If so, then it is likely a VRV issue or your are not running the pump at high enough RPM to keep the VRV closed.

If you are getting bubbles with solar off, then it is likely a suction side leak issue.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,053
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
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Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I get continuous bubbles to varying degrees from every return port
I think this has been pointed out in the past, but your SWCG generates hydrogen gas that is presented as bubbles at the returns when generating.
 

AZAA

Silver Supporter
Apr 9, 2020
82
Gold Canyon AZ
Pool Size
5850
Yes Marty, I understand about the "Champaign" bubbles generated by the SWCG. Is that what you see in those two pictures? Looks like some serious Champaign to me! :ROFLMAO: I do see that Champaign condition some of the time during the day, but most of the time it's those larger bubbles as in the photos.
And Mark, yes, I just ran a test and turned off the solar for a while. After a few minutes I got nothing but the Champaign bubbles I expect from the SWCG. Turning solar on gets me back to the larger bubbles.
My pump runs at 1288RPM in the morning before the solar kicks on. With the solar on it is overridden to run at 2243. Start-up speed is 3105.
What is a VRV and where would I find it.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
14,017
Pleasanton, CA
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
When was the last time you cleaned your filter? A dirty filter can add head loss and reduce the pressure at the VRV.

VRVs are usually installed near the solar panels. They don't fail often. More than likely the issue is with the pressure rather than the VRV.

Another test is to run the pump at a higher speed and see if the bubbles go away.