Water loss(?), air leak, and pump SHHH sound

JulieMorris316

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2017
58
McIntosh FL
Hey guys. I’ve been chasing around a few issues all summer and hoping someone can help me out. When I first opened the pool this spring I noticed I was losing some water, but dealing around the entrance to the skimmer seemed to fix that (at least to where I didn’t notice it anymore). I’ve also been battling an air leak since last summer. I found a crack in the priming spigot line where the spigot screws into the PVC, and that fixed my priming issues but I still had an air leak. Changing the o-rings on the pump diffuser and main pump housing o-ring seemed to help a LOT. I had a small bit of water coming from where the motor and basket housing meet but haven’t seen that in a while. Otherwise I don’t see any water around the equipment pad. E381ECA3-E840-402D-9B94-EA9A9A6144E3.jpeg

I have metal stain issues from either my fill water or an old heater (removed now) so I’ve been using metal magic, and the white cloud it creates seemed to be enough to plug up whatever remaining air leak I had for most of the summer.

But now I’m back to a super small water loss and also a bigger air leak again (bubbles in the strainer basket). I’ve done a bucket test off and on for a couple of weeks now and sometimes I lose more water from the pool than the bucket and sometimes it looks the same, so not sure if that’s negligible or not.

The air leak seems to be worse when the vacuum is plugged in. When I’m not using it there’s enough unrestricted flow that it’s fine, but when I plug the vac in the bubbles in the strainer basket grow to where there’s a couple of inches of air in the basket and also some making it to the filter (pressure release blows air for a minute before water starts coming out).

On top of it all my pump is now making a sound I haven’t heard before, sort of like a higher pitched “Shhhhhhhhh”.

I thought I might have an underground air leak, but I should mention also that I’ve tried closing off the main drain/skimmer valve and the side port valve separately (without the vac in use) to see what that does to the air in the strainer basket and both seem to have the same result. I’d think that if it was one of the lines then one of the valves would show it? At the same time, when the vac is plugged in for a while and the pump is shut off, I can see some air bubbles coming from the inlet line into the basket, but this doesn’t happen without the vac plugged in so I’m not sure what to make of that.

Sorry this post is so long but if anyone has any thoughts or advice I’d greatly appreciate it!
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,899
NY
Vacuum hoses are leak prone. Some of your problem list could be that simple. They leak where the flexible hose meets the solid connector at the skimmer. the vacuum side probably does also but it’s underwater so it only sucks in more water instead of air. I started with a quality brand hose and I could hear it sucking air within a year. I would splash some water into the vertical connection and it would stop long enough to get most of my vacuuming done. I bought a new hose this season and it was doing the same thing after only a few uses. It probably has to do with the flexible hose pulling from the weight of the hose stretched out in the pool. I saw on amazon that they make a right angle hose adapter plate so the hose goes out the weir door and not up and over the skimmer. It seems it would stress the hose a lot less and I will be buying one over the winter.
 

JulieMorris316

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2017
58
McIntosh FL
OMG my head hurts....
Thanks for the help, and the compassion. I’m a single woman trying to do all this by myself, but at least I’m trying. I don’t know what parts might matter and which ones don’t, so I felt like it would be best to summarize it all.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
4,076
Damascus, MD
Thanks for the help, and the compassion. I’m a single woman trying to do all this by myself, but at least I’m trying. I don’t know what parts might matter and which ones don’t, so I felt like it would be best to summarize it all.
Ha no sorry not a dig on you your plumbing is a mess. I have seen worse but I tried to follow it and see what was going on and gave up.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude

JulieMorris316

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2017
58
McIntosh FL
Vacuum hoses are leak prone. Some of your problem list could be that simple. They leak where the flexible hose meets the solid connector at the skimmer. the vacuum side probably does also but it’s underwater so it only sucks in more water instead of air. I started with a quality brand hose and I could hear it sucking air within a year. I would splash some water into the vertical connection and it would stop long enough to get most of my vacuuming done. I bought a new hose this season and it was doing the same thing after only a few uses. It probably has to do with the flexible hose pulling from the weight of the hose stretched out in the pool. I saw on amazon that they make a right angle hose adapter plate so the hose goes out the weir door and not up and over the skimmer. It seems it would stress the hose a lot less and I will be buying one over the winter.
First off, thank you for the helpful response. I have a dedicated side suction for the vacuum so it doesn’t have to come out the skimmer, but I did have a hose connection that was leaking but replaced it and it seems fine now as far as I can tell, but I do find it weird that it only seems to be a problem when the vacuum is plugged in..
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude

JulieMorris316

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2017
58
McIntosh FL
Ha no sorry not a dig on you your plumbing is a mess. I have seen worse but I tried to follow it and see what was going on and gave up.
Then I apologize. I read that differently than you meant it. But yes, the plumbing is.. well, a mess to put it mildly. I had to dig it out to follow it around and that’s why I labeled the pic because I couldn’t even keep it straight and I knew where it all went.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,899
NY
With a dedicated suction line it’s much easier to prove to said line. Replacing the guts of the valve if you have one would be a inexpensive attempt at fixing. If that didn’t work it would be in the pipe somewhere and much more expensive to prove and go after.
 

JulieMorris316

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2017
58
McIntosh FL
With a dedicated suction line it’s much easier to prove to said line. Replacing the guts of the valve if you have one would be a inexpensive attempt at fixing. If that didn’t work it would be in the pipe somewhere and much more expensive to prove and go after.
That’s what I’m afraid of :/. I did replace the valve last year. I think it’s odd though that replacing the diffuser o-ring and main pump o-ring seemed to improve it a lot, so I’m wondering (especially now with the hissing sound coming from the motor this week) whether it’s still all related to the pump somehow. I couldn’t get the impeller off to replace the shaft seal, but that will be one of the only things left that I can think of before calling someone to come troubleshoot it for me. I just can’t afford to dig out the concrete so I’m saying a prayer that it’s something else 😬
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,899
NY
This place is chock full of experts and people who genuinely enjoy helping to problem solve. I’m beyond my expertise here so all I can do is salute you for getting knee deep by yourself. Bravo and with any luck somebody(s) will chime in with more help.