Suction side air leak- basket drain plug

libelula456

Member
May 21, 2020
10
Pennsylvania
Pool newbie here. I've been struggling with a suction side air leak, and using the dish soap bubbles trick I think I finally found the source is the drain plug behind the basket of the pump. I have replaced the O-ring, replaced the drain plug itself, made sure it is well lubed, made sure it is tightened, and it still seems to be sucking in air. Am I missing something? TIA!
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
I have replaced the O-ring, replaced the drain plug itself, made sure it is well lubed, made sure it is tightened, and it still seems to be sucking in air. Am I missing something?
Welcome to TFP! :wave: Well, it sounds like you've done all you can at the drain plug area. Are you positive that is still the source of the problem? No chance it could be under the clear lid, a 3-way valve, or something else on the pad before the pump? It might help for you to update your signature as well so we know what you have there.
 

libelula456

Member
May 21, 2020
10
Pennsylvania
It definitely could be somewhere else other than the drain plug. I guess I was just hoping I had found it and that there would be some magical solution I hadn't thought of! I'm fairly certain it's not the clear lid as I've changed and lubed that O-ring as well, but I will get back to my dish soap bubbles to see if maybe it is somewhere in the line before the pump.
 

libelula456

Member
May 21, 2020
10
Pennsylvania
I’m back to beg for more help with my suction side air leak! I cannot identify it for the life of me. Today I tried putting shaving cream on all the joints, hoping it would perhaps reveal something I missed with the dish soap bubbles, but nada!!! I’ve included a pic of my set up in case I am simply looking in the wrong place... I’ve checked all the joints where the red circle is plus the clear filter top and the drain basket plug. I am losing my mind- we’ve been looking for it since last year!! Any suggestions?13C9918B-414C-4952-84A5-E7EFBA0EA92D.jpeg
 

libelula456

Member
May 21, 2020
10
Pennsylvania
What symptom makes you think you have a leak? Did you check the o ring under the valve body before the pump in your picture?
I suspected an air leak due to seeing bubbles under the clear lid of the filter basket, small air bubbles coming out of the return in the pool, and the most irritating problem is that when the pump is off (such as overnight), the water level in the pump falls and the basket needs to be filled with the hose for the pump to prime the next morning. However, this morning while doing research I began to think that maybe there is another problem since it seems to mostly happen when the pump is off? Do you have any suggestions of what the issue might be if not an air leak?

I am assuming by “valve body” you mean the black cased valve in the white PVC piping. I wasn’t aware there was an o-ring. We have opened the casing and removed a tiny bit if debris that we thought may have beeb preventing the valve from closing all the way, but that didn’t seem to help. Is there something else I could try doing in there? Thanks so much for your help!
 

libelula456

Member
May 21, 2020
10
Pennsylvania
Symptom was my thought, too. Poor priming? Maybe it's an above ground pump on an in-ground pool and it doesn't like to lift. It also looks like there may be a seal between the pump and the basket.
It is an inground pool, and the pump you posted does look like mine. We recently bought the house with the pool already in, so I am not sure if the pump is not well suited to our pool situation. I hope that is not the case! Everything else about the pool seems very well thought out so I would be surprised if the previous owners scrimped on that, but it’s not impossible!

I am glad you mentioned this- I think there is a small amount of water leaking out between the pump basket and the actual pump- basically that threaded joint on the left of the pump image you posted that connects to the basket. Could that be the issue? If so, how can I fix that? I am not very experienced in pool upkeep but want to learn, and am afraid to start jiggling things around and making matters worse! Thank you for your help!
 

libelula456

Member
May 21, 2020
10
Pennsylvania
I also wanted to add that I have no noticed any water loss from the pool or any significant leaking in any visible areas, so I hope there is not an active leak somewhere. When the pump basket empties overnight, it never completely empties no matter how much time elapses. The water level may go down two inches or so but then it stays there.
 

PoolNewb2020

Well-known member
May 7, 2020
158
Lathrop, CA
Do you have any leaks on the pressure side or did you check the pressure side? The reason I ask is because with the pump off, a leak at either suction or pressure side can cause water to drain back to the pool.
 

libelula456

Member
May 21, 2020
10
Pennsylvania
Do you have any leaks on the pressure side or did you check the pressure side? The reason I ask is because with the pump off, a leak at either suction or pressure side can cause water to drain back to the pool.
I have not checked the pressure side at all. I convinced myself it was on the suction side and (perhaps shortsightedly) neglected everything else! What should I be looking for on the pressure side- an air leak or a water leak? Is the pressure side everything after the pump basket, through the filter and heater and back into the pool?
 

PoolNewb2020

Well-known member
May 7, 2020
158
Lathrop, CA
Yes, everything after the pump basket is pressure or return side. With the pump running you should see water dripping or seeping if you have a leak. With the pump off you may hear hissing or gurgling as the air enters the system.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
33,724
Sebring, Florida
I have only skimmed this thread but the drain plug(s) in the pump strainer basket should have 2-3 wraps of teflon tape for a good seal. Maybe you have already covered that.