Suction Side Leak with Vacuum head attached

CincyDools

Active member
May 18, 2017
44
Cincinnati, Ohio
I have three valves Shallow Skimmer (SS), Deep Skimmer (DS), and Main Drain (MD).

Started getting a lot of air when attaching my vacuum head and closing the other two valves. So I put the vacuum head on three sections of my automatic cleaner on the SS. While air bubbles were present, I ran water over the Basket Drain Plug and then the Basket Lid - air still present. I then ran water over all of the suction side valves and joints air still present.

With the Vacuum Head on the SS (only 3 sections of hose from my automatic cleaner)
When all valves are open - no air in basket
Close only the DS valve - no air in basket
Close only the MD valve - I get a fair amount of air but do not lose prime
Close MD and DS valves - same as above, some air but don't lose prime

Moved Vacuum Head to DS
When all valves are open - no air inbasket
Close only the SS valve - no air in basket
Close only the MD valve - no air in basket
Close MD and SS valves - I get a fair amount of air (not quite as much as when on the SS) but do not lose prime - air goes away after I open the SS valve

Observations
I only get air when the vacuum head is on
I only get air when the MD valve is closed
Air problem is worse when Vacuum head is on SS

Questions
Why would closing the MD valve cause problems?
Do I likely have leaks in one or both of my suction lines?
How do I locate a leak under ground?
Is there a make-shift device or phone app that might help me find an underground leak?

Note - several years ago Fire Ants had eaten holes in my DS line. I was able to easily find the leak because I could hear where the leak was. That was fixed with a section of soft pvc and has not been a problem since. But that line is less of a problem if a problem at all.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,130
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Get a robot cleaner which will be easier and clean better then what you go through to vacuum.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,518
Sebring, Florida
I am having a hard time following your scenario so let me start by saying the primary cause for an air leak when you are running the vacuum is the hose that goes from the vacuum head to whatever skimmer you are plugging it in to. Where you insert this hose shouldn't draw any air because it is underwater. The air leak is normally in the hose.

What is your basis for wanting to close some of the valves to vacuum? If I can follow what you are saying, I see no need to restrict the intake.

All valves open, you suck in NO air, right?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,143
Bedford, TX
Bryan,

Years ago, before I got a Robot cleaner, I used to use a manual vacuum. I found it impossible to get the vacuum to run when I tried to suck all the water through just the vacuum hose. I always had to crack open another source of water so the pump would not run out of water. I usually ended up with about 90% vacuum hose and 10% from another source.

Looking back now, I suspect that Dave is correct and that the problem was the hose.. The bigger the pump, the harder it is to suck all the water through just the hose.

An air leak in the MD or skimmer lines, while possible, is not the first place I would start looking. If the vacuum works well with 90% hose and 10% skimmer or MD, I would use it that way and not worry about it.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

CincyDools

Active member
May 18, 2017
44
Cincinnati, Ohio
Get a robot cleaner which will be easier and clean better then what you go through to vacuum.
I got tired constantly having to repair my Auquabot every year not to mention the high cost of replacement parts. I don't mind manual vacuuming. If I could fid a robot for less than $1000 and that would operate for more than a swason without costly repairs I might consider it. Thanks.
 

lungs414

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 18, 2012
122
Eastern Long Island,New York
Buy one from costco. They take everything back. Bought a cantilever umbrella 4 years ago, While at the store I saw someone returning the same one. He had the same problem I had with mine. The slightest wind and it would rotate. The worker said just return it we take everything back. No worries. So I did, but not before having the put it in writing, took my a half hour to take it apart and bring it back.
 

CincyDools

Active member
May 18, 2017
44
Cincinnati, Ohio
I am having a hard time following your scenario so let me start by saying the primary cause for an air leak when you are running the vacuum is the hose that goes from the vacuum head to whatever skimmer you are plugging it in to. Where you insert this hose shouldn't draw any air because it is underwater. The air leak is normally in the hose.

What is your basis for wanting to close some of the valves to vacuum? If I can follow what you are saying, I see no need to restrict the intake.

All valves open, you suck in NO air, right?
Correct, all valves open, no air. I close both the other two valves to get the most suction - I thought that is what everybody does.

I figured that there might be a problem with my vacuum head hose. That is why I attached the vacuum head on three sections of hose from my Zodiac G3 and let it sit on the bottom right by the skimmer. Only about 24 inches of hose is exposed to the air - from the surface of the water, over the coping right to the skimmer plate. I kinda ruled out the hose as the issue because I minimized most of the hose exposed to air and the fact that I get noticeably more air on the shallow skimmer than the deep skimmer. Maybe that is a bad assumption.
 

CincyDools

Active member
May 18, 2017
44
Cincinnati, Ohio
Bryan,

Years ago, before I got a Robot cleaner, I used to use a manual vacuum. I found it impossible to get the vacuum to run when I tried to suck all the water through just the vacuum hose. I always had to crack open another source of water so the pump would not run out of water. I usually ended up with about 90% vacuum hose and 10% from another source.

Looking back now, I suspect that Dave is correct and that the problem was the hose.. The bigger the pump, the harder it is to suck all the water through just the hose.

An air leak in the MD or skimmer lines, while possible, is not the first place I would start looking. If the vacuum works well with 90% hose and 10% skimmer or MD, I would use it that way and not worry about it.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks Jim. I used to be able to close both valves with only a minimal amount of air. I is much worse now so I thought there might be a problem starting to develop. In my case, I have to crack one about 75% to eliminate the air. I guess I will just do that and if the suction is good enough I will just live with it. I will also buy a new vacuum hose to see if that helps.
 

CincyDools

Active member
May 18, 2017
44
Cincinnati, Ohio
Buy one from costco. They take everything back. Bought a cantilever umbrella 4 years ago, While at the store I saw someone returning the same one. He had the same problem I had with mine. The slightest wind and it would rotate. The worker said just return it we take everything back. No worries. So I did, but not before having the put it in writing, took my a half hour to take it apart and bring it back.
Interesting. I would not think they would take stuff back after several years. Also would not expect them to take something back that was broken from normal wear and tear as opposed to manufacture defect. I guess it might be worth checking out. Maybe next year because I just dropped a bunch of cash to replace my safety cover! ;-)
 

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CincyDools

Active member
May 18, 2017
44
Cincinnati, Ohio
Interesting. I would not think they would take stuff back after several years. Also would not expect them to take something back that was broken from normal wear and tear as opposed to manufacture defect. I guess it might be worth checking out. Maybe next year because I just dropped a bunch of cash to replace my safety cover! ;-)
Just looked at Costco and it appears they only sell a robotic skimmer - no other pool cleaners.
 

lungs414

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 18, 2012
122
Eastern Long Island,New York
Just looked at Costco and it appears they only sell a robotic skimmer - no other pool cleaners.
I have seen them in the store near me in NY. And i know they have been in BJ's, but I don't know about returning there. I would have never thought to return something that big after so many years, but when I saw someone returning the same thing it was pretty lucky for me. My brother in law said he saw someone returning a real christmas tree once in January and the customer made a fuss and they gave him his money back. Insane
 

CincyDools

Active member
May 18, 2017
44
Cincinnati, Ohio
I have seen them in the store near me in NY. And i know they have been in BJ's, but I don't know about returning there. I would have never thought to return something that big after so many years, but when I saw someone returning the same thing it was pretty lucky for me. My brother in law said he saw someone returning a real christmas tree once in January and the customer made a fuss and they gave him his money back. Insane
Haha, some people have no shame! (talking about the Christmas tree)
 
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