stripped pump plug and weaker flow in shallow returns

George D

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2017
219
Bellmore, NY
#1
One of the plugs on my Hayward pump (the one that almost sits on the ground opposite the pump) is stripped and there is a slow leak coming from this plug.
Any ideas on how to remove the plug? I have a replacement plug with the small o-ring and some lube.

I had to replace my Tagelus filter with a Hayward S244S. The flow rating for both is 62GPM. With the Hayward filter, the shallow returns flow is weaker. When I adjust the valve, the flow becomes only a bit stronger but then the deep returns stop flowing. Is it more important that the deep returns flow normally and let the shallow returns flow with less power?
Duraleigh Dave, mentioned this Hayward filter may be too small in a different thread. Is that it? There were no issues with the flow returns in my old filter.
 

Pool_Medic

Well-known member
Apr 1, 2018
436
Bangor Maine
#2
Heat up the head of a flat head screw driver with a lighter, use that heat to help it make its own groove in the plug. Allow to cool, then with firm pressure remove it.

A 24” filter for 35,000 gallon pool can in theory work, but imo, it should have a 30” filter. Did you put to much sand in it? There should be room for about a foot of water once the sands in. Too much sand can restrict flow. What happens when you use recirculate?
 
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George D

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2017
219
Bellmore, NY
#3
I placed the lighter over the plug and after about 10 seconds, it caught fire. I forgot that I applied lube around the plug a few weeks ago. I was able to remove the plug using plyers. I placed the o ring in the new plug and applied some lube around it and screwed it in. I turned the pump, filter back on. I turned pump off after a few minutes and I hear some air escaping from the pipe assembly before the pump. Should I use Marine glue, epoxy or lube around the pipe connections? There are small bubbles coming out of the returns.
should I keep the pump on so the lube can cure?

I put the filter in Recirculate but it didn't make a difference. I adjusted the returns valve again and 5 out of the 6 returns are working. There are two returns by the steps. One return by the steps is weak and the other one isn't flowing at all. When I adjust to get those shallow returns to increase flow, the two medium level returns don't work at all. I will check the level of sand as soon as it's safe to turn the pump off.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,207
Monmouth County, New Jersey
#4
I placed the lighter over the plug and after about 10 seconds, it caught fire.
Pool Medic recommended you heat up the screw driver (tip), not the screw and it caught on fire? Luckily, everything worked out.

If there are bubbles in the pump basket, you have air on the suction side. Small bubbles out of the returns is air escaping. Look at your plumbing near the pump for leaks. Do you have unions? Are the adapters threaded in properly with Teflon tape? Check your gasket underneath the housing cover?

Pictures are helpful (from all angles). Snap and upload.
 
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George D

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2017
219
Bellmore, NY
#5
The air sound is from one of the pipe connections before the pump. Is this air leakage causing bubbles out of the returns? Can I apply permatex or Marine glue at the pupe connections?
I connected a union between the pump and the filter. There is a very slow leak from this connection. Should I have wrapped Teflon tape around the threads of the union?
Are the pipe connections slowing down the flow?
 

Attachments

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,207
Monmouth County, New Jersey
#6
George:

Dry everything up, and it looks like you are inside a shed. The union black gaskets (O-Ring) should be free from defects. You will need from Teflon Lube for gaskets and usually no need for Teflon tape. check around for leaks everywhere after this.

A few questions:

1) What is your pressure on the gauge?
2) Are you receiving adequate flow back into the returns of the pool?

Make sure everything is balanced and no valves are shut off. What exactly is the issue?
 
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George D

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2017
219
Bellmore, NY
#7
1) The gauge reads 17 PSI.
2) 4 out of 6 returns are getting adequate flow back into the pool. One of the shallow returns by the steps is weak and the other return by the steps doesn't work at all.
I adjusted the valve several times and this seems to be where I get the best flow.

Where are the union black gaskets located?
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,207
Monmouth County, New Jersey
#8
Sorry, I meant O-Ring (corrected in my thread). On the pipe that the nut screws into there should be a black washer/O-Ring. I would close off the 2 returns closest to the filter to determine if the flow increases. Also, the one that does not work may be turned off somehow. If possible explain the 6 returns and where they are located.

With a little bit of experimentation, you can figure this out. If this was my pool, I would close off the 4 returns that are fine and blow air through the system (with MPV on recirculate). You will need to close off the suction side with a black plug, use an NPT fitting where the drain plug is on the Hayward pump and use an air compressor to move air through the plumbing. Air will travel towards the areas that are in question.

Some information is below in the my thread below. You may even want to purchase the plugs that are in the thread that a compressor can be hooked up to.

The concept of closing an in ground swimming pool

Winter Rubber Pool Plug with Valve for 1-1/2 Inch Fitting, with Blow Thru Valve - # 10 AQWPV-10
 

PoolguyinCT

In The Industry
Jul 21, 2014
2,781
Connecticut
#9
Heat up the head of a flat head screw driver with a lighter, use that heat to help it make its own groove in the plug. Allow to cool, then with firm pressure remove it.

A 24” filter for 35,000 gallon pool can in theory work, but imo, it should have a 30” filter. Did you put to much sand in it? There should be room for about a foot of water once the sands in. Too much sand can restrict flow. What happens when you use recirculate?
Hot blade— old school buddy, attaboy!
 
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George D

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2017
219
Bellmore, NY
#10
Catanzaro, to confirm, the nut screw is missing a black washer/O-ring. I attached a photo to make sure this is the right part. I could not find the right size plug to cover it.
After I turned off the pump today, I heard the slight air leak again and I slightly turned the valve pictured here, to the right toward the MD and the air suddenly stopped. Does the valve itself need tightening? Seems like the pipe connections are not the source of the leak.

I will try troubleshoot more tomorrow or Monday. When you mentioned close off the suction side, that's everything before the pump. Should I remove the pump basket first and place the plug in there? A #10 plug as in your attachment or is that where the air compressor hose gets attached?
Do I also plug the skimmers lines?
I do not own an air compressor. I see their strength is measured in Gallons, HP and PSI. what are the minimums if I were to buy one?
Only one valve controls the flow for the 6 returns.
 

Attachments

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,207
Monmouth County, New Jersey
#11
George:

Your picture shows a shut off valve. Look at the plugs with the blow thru valve as these will accomplish what you are looking for. A pancake compressor is fine, unless you want to start closing your own pool. You do not need to much pressure and yes, you must remove the basket to place the plug. 20-30 PSI is fine. Again, you are merely troubleshooting here. Please read the post in its entirety to get an idea. In addition, there are many videos on You Tube you can learn from.

If you do not want to purchase the plugs, than an NPT fitting will work. Just close off the suction side (Before the pump), which could only be the skimmers, and main drain.
 
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George D

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2017
219
Bellmore, NY
#12
IMG_0935.jpg
About the 6 returns and where they are located:
The pool is rectangular with an L in the shallow area with the steps. It is 40 ft long.
The first return is in the deepest corner, the 2nd one at the 15 ft mark, the 3rd one is where the pool is about to shift right, before the L, the 4th and 5th returns are at the steps and the last one is past the steps but to the right, almost facing the skimmer in the shallow area. The pic is from last year. There is no Poolskim device attached to the shallow returns.

Is it possible that my current filter, Hayward S244S is not as strong as my old Tagelus TA60D and that may be one reason for the weaker flow to the steps or not because it is all pressurized? The flow rates of the 2 filters are about the same.

Where exactly is the missing o-ring in the gaskets? I read your thread but I still don't know what to look for. Can you send a pic?
I touched the pvc pipes all around and some were totally dry and some were a bit moist, like from condensation. Shouldn't they be totally dry? I don't see any leaks yet the floor is just a bit wet.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,207
Monmouth County, New Jersey
#13
George:

Dry every pipe up with the pump off and then turn on. Look closely at all the plumbing, where put together and also where there are unions. I wish I could be more help. The O-Ring in a union is on one side where the nut is not (that simple).

Regarding your pressure issue, close off 2 of the closest returns to the pump and then run to see if pressure increases towards the end. Then close off the next 2. It is possible that the filter is not the problem, but the plumbing and pump could be undersized. You have a large pool. Look at my specs, my system is overkill, but works great (I just run the filter less each year).

This is the only way you will figure out what is going on. Thank you.
 
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George D

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2017
219
Bellmore, NY
#14
Yes, I noticed your filter and pump specs in your signature. We should make a trade and I'll give you my first round pick. :D

I tested the pressure on the returns by the steps and one of them has good pressure while the other one does not.
I also placed my hand inside each one. I noticed that there is something narrow inside the 2 returns by the steps. Instead of the 1 1/2 inch opening it seems like it's only about 1/4 to 3/8 inch.
Could this be restricting the flow?

Catanzaro, you've been a great help and I'm understanding different aspects of the system more and more. Thanks.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,207
Monmouth County, New Jersey
#15
I tested the pressure on the returns by the steps and one of them has good pressure while the other one does not.
I also placed my hand inside each one. I noticed that there is something narrow inside the 2 returns by the steps. Instead of the 1 1/2 inch opening it seems like it's only about 1/4 to 3/8 inch. Could this be restricting the flow?
All depends on what is back there as this is hard to tell. Did you shut off all 6 returns and only work with the steps? Last step is to close off one step and see what happens with the last return. Only run the pump for a few seconds and quickly shut off not to build backpressure as the system will not be balanced. Have a 2nd hand to shut off pump when you give the go! Something may have broken in the line, like an old eyeball. If you lower the water, you may be able to get a better feel, although this would take a lot of water removal and then adding back in, loosing chemicals, etc.
 
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George D

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2017
219
Bellmore, NY
#16
I have an update on the 2 returns by the steps. I was advised by the pool company that the returns by the steps are different from the others and it is fine that they have tiny internal openings inside the returns. The pressure was stronger after I removed the directional 3/4" opening fittings.
Then I tried several ways to adjust the returns and now they're both working with very strong flow. The returns needed to point straight out, not left or right. Some tiny rocks were pushed out also.

I may have another issue. When the pump is off, the pipe from the waste port is wet but I don't see water leaking out. Shouldn't the pipe be dry? I checked the spider gasket and it's in good condition and I replaced the o-ring and added lube. Could there be something wrong with the multiport valve? It's a used Hayward S244S filter.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,207
Monmouth County, New Jersey
#17
I may have another issue. When the pump is off, the pipe from the waste port is wet but I don't see water leaking out. Shouldn't the pipe be dry?
The waste/backwash/rinse port are all basically the same. Where exactly tis the "wetness"? You have Teflon Tape with your fitting and then your hose (at least for most people) with a clamp.
 
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George D

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2017
219
Bellmore, NY
#18
The waste port consists of PVC pipe only. No hoses or clamps attached. At the end of the pipe run, there is water but it's not leaking out. It's wet even with the pump on.