Suction Leak Only When using pool cleaner

Spin2Win

Member
Nov 24, 2019
10
Phoenix, az
I just had my Hayward Eco Star replaced with a Hayward Tri Star. I had a pool repair company install pump so I will have a 4 Year warranty from Hayward. A few hours after pump was installed I noticed water in basket was low, cavitating, and lots of air in filter. I bled air and let run for another hour and same results.

i thought maybe my vacuum hoses had a leak since they were 4 years old. I purchased A new Hayward Phoenix and installed. I am having same symptoms. I switched diverter valves to only pull from skimmer and pump is fine. No cavitation codes, no air in filter, and pump basket is full. I thought maybe diverter valves we sucking air so I replaced O-Rings on both valves. When I switched Back to vacuum mode on valves and pull from cleaning port on wall the pump cavitation, basket is not full, and air in the filter.

i was running pump at 2800 RPM and even slowed down to 2000 and still have problems. I checked unions on pump but didn’t think I had a problem since it ran fine when pulling from skimmer. Pool repair guy did mention there was a big glob og glue inside the union on suction inlet of pump.

I was thinking I had a problem with suction line i hook vacuum into on the wall. Is it possible the glob of glue was sealing the suction inlet and problem presents itself more pulling through port on wall and through the vacuum versus pulling from skimmer? i did notice when I unplugged hose from wall the pool pump tone changed when I removed hose and kept suction port door open.

I am hoping you all have some suggestions for me to try. I never had this problem before pump was replaced. Vacuum worked fine and no cavitation issues. I checked unions on pump and snug but didn’t think I had a leak there because pump runs fine when pulling from skimmer. I look forward to hearing back and hopefully getting issues resolved. Thanks
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,002
Bedford, TX
S2W,

In my mind what you are seeing is pretty normal.. Your pump can just not suck all the water it needs through the vacuum hose.. I no longer use a vacuum, but when I did, I had to run so that the vacuum valve was open about 85% and the skimmer was open about 15%... This worked great, but when I tried to run all vacuum, it would cause the pump to run out of water and start gravitating.

I suggest you move into this Century and buy a Robot and give up on the suction side cleaners or manual vacuums... :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Spin2Win

Member
Nov 24, 2019
10
Phoenix, az
Jimrahbe,

I usually run mine 70% vacuum and 30% skimmer. I have always ran Hayward Navigator and just switched over to a Hayward Phoenix. I am not out there manually vacuuming my pool like I did 30 years ago when I was a kid.

It seems like anytime I draw from the vacuum port on the wall, I am getting air. Pool cleaner is not coming out if water. Does this even when I run 70% vacuum and 30% skimmer. Didn’t have this problem before I replaced pump and Tri Star pump is supposed to be direct replacement for Eco Star
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,002
Bedford, TX
S2W,

When I recommended a Robot, I was talking about a low voltage robot cleaner that does not require any pumps to be running.. What you are using is a suction side cleaner.

If it worked before and now does not, I can only assume the new pump is trying to move more water than your old pump, or maybe it has a leak around the pump lid O-Ring.. When running a vacuum, or suction cleaner, the pump is working harder to provide the vacuum pressure it needs to suck water through the plumbing.. Any tiny air leak at the pump lid, the input connection, or any valves in the water's path will be accentuated when in the vacuum mode. It is much easier for the pump to suck water from the skimmer than it is a vacuum hose.

Did you lube the pump lid O-Ring?

Have you tried running at 60/40 or even 50/50?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Spin2Win

Member
Nov 24, 2019
10
Phoenix, az
Jimrahbe,
I was wondering if pump was to big too. I called Hayward and they said the TriStar SP32950VSP is the same as my old Eco Star SP3400VSP. I removed pump lid and lubed up the O-ring partially. I need to remove o ring but didn’t have anything handy and didn’t want to chance tearing it. I do have a lid off my old pump up I can try as well. I removed both plugs from pump housing and added lube.

I tried 60% skimmer 40% vacuum and 50% skimmer and 50% vacuum and will still suck water out if basket and get lots of air in the filter. When I went lower vacuum it wouldnt move. I guess I need to remove pump and check O-rings on unions and make sure lubed and check inside of suction fitting where he broke off excess glue. The new pump and excess glue he broke off are the only things that changed. Wonder if I can tardy up inside of union and apply pvc glue or epoxy to ensure it’s sealed without having to replace fittings and piping.

I went ahead and set timer for 1800 RPM and closed off vacuum port so I can get water moving and filtered. Been 3 weeks since original pump died.

I will try to run in vacuum mode with basket full of water then shut off and see if water level drops over night tomorrow night.

I appreciate the help you have offered.
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,640
Chandler AZ
You may also want to check the o-ring in the union on the suction/inlet side of the pump. Lube it, check that the union is aligned squarely with the pump mating surface and that the union nut is secure.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,002
Bedford, TX
I was wondering if pump was to big
The great thing about VS pumps is they cannot be too big as you can just turn the speed down. The fact that when you reduce the speed the cleaner does not work means that you need to get more water through the pipe, so the pump cannot be too big...

If this were my pool, I think I would disconnect the cleaner and leave the hose in the pool.. The I would turn on the pump and run several different speeds to see if without the cleaner the pump still runs out of water. If not, then I would focus my attention on the cleaner..

If the pump still gets bubbles with just the hose, then it has to be the hose/plumbing or the pump itself.

A trick I have heard of, but have not tried, is to quickly shut the pump off and see of you notice water coming out of any of the suction lines, pump lid, valves, unions, etc..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Spin2Win

Member
Nov 24, 2019
10
Phoenix, az
You may also want to check the o-ring in the union on the suction/inlet side of the pump. Lube it, check that the union is aligned squarely with the pump mating surface and that the union nut is secure.
I was planning on breaking unions loose and checking rubber gaskets on Friday. Thanks for tips and I will make sure flanges are squared up and true
 

Spin2Win

Member
Nov 24, 2019
10
Phoenix, az
Are you running the Tristar at the same RPM you ran the EchoStar when vacuuming?
I set up for same RPM and even slowed it down. When I run pump slower and not pulling through vacuum, pump basket is full of water and no air in filter. If I increase RPM, water level drops in pump basket, air in filter, and pump cavitation/surges.
 

Spin2Win

Member
Nov 24, 2019
10
Phoenix, az
The great thing about VS pumps is they cannot be too big as you can just turn the speed down. The fact that when you reduce the speed the cleaner does not work means that you need to get more water through the pipe, so the pump cannot be too big...

If this were my pool, I think I would disconnect the cleaner and leave the hose in the pool.. The I would turn on the pump and run several different speeds to see if without the cleaner the pump still runs out of water. If not, then I would focus my attention on the cleaner..

If the pump still gets bubbles with just the hose, then it has to be the hose/plumbing or the pump itself.

A trick I have heard of, but have not tried, is to quickly shut the pump off and see of you notice water coming out of any of the suction lines, pump lid, valves, unions, etc..

Thanks,

Jim R.
Jim,
I disconnected hose from cleaner when pump was surging and pump noise changed like it was sucking water better. Didn’t get a chance to look at pump basket. I even installed old cleaner on new hose. I will remove cleaner and leave hose disconnected to suck freely and see how it responds.

Hayward Phoenix said to use small opening for variable speed pumps. I tried medium and no change. I have not tried large opening yet. Don’t think it will make a difference since I hooked up old pool cleaner.

I am hoping it’s a rubber gasket on pump unions. I will try your suggested trick of shutting off pump quickly and checking for leaks. I will get a paper towel and check connections.

Thanks everyone for all the help and suggestions. You guys Rock
 

Spin2Win

Member
Nov 24, 2019
10
Phoenix, az
Well I found out my suction line for the vacuum vacuum port is my problem. I took my Jandy Diverter valve apart and stuffed a hose with a bladder attachment to pressurize the line and blow water back into pool through vacuum port. When I plugged the vacuum port, water started bubbling up from my irrigation box.

Now comes the fun tryin to find the leak. I am thinking about hooking my air compressor up to pressurize the line and see if I can hear any air. We have been getting some rain here in AZ so maybe I will see some bubbles. I am hoping when they built the pool they didn’t run vacuum line down the wall and along bottom of pool so it’s accessible.