Annoying Skimmer Vacuum Problem
Posted 08 August 2007 - 01:27 PM
I can't get my skimmer vacuum attachment to work. I pre fill the hose either by holding the "up" end against a water outlet to push out the air or by carefully submerging the hose with my broom - starting with the deep end and working towards the open end. However, almost as soon as I connect the line to the skimmer, the pool pump loses its prime. No matter how long I let it run - it won't re prime itself. I can hear the water begin to flow in the hose but soon it quits and the pump runs free.
I've reversed hose ends and removed the nozzle attachment in case I had a leak near the hose ends - the other end is always completely under water. No help. The hose is 30' and 3-4 years old but gosh - 95% of it is under water anyway.
The symptoms point to an air leak in the suction side but, under normal operation I have no bubbles in the pump sight glass and when I turn off the pump at night, no bubbles are present in the morning. However - when I clean the filter basket in the pump it does take a long time to prime itself (5 minutes maybe).
some of this info is superfluous but just in case:
The pool is 20 x 40 in ground
Hayward 1HP 230v self priming pump - 3 years old
Pump system usually shows 15 psi, when it gets to 20 psi I backwash.
Pool heater Minimax 250M gas fired
Ranger sand filter - 8 years old (looked last year - no laterals broken-that's the pressure side anyway)
Spider gasket in filter just replaced.
I have one skimmer and one bottom drain - each has a shutoff valve near the pump
The entire suction side hose was replaced 3 years ago - did it myself - a ground hog chewed the old one (I know what you're thinking - I messed it up - but it was ok for 2 years - now this).
Anybody have thoughts on my problem?
Posted 09 August 2007 - 06:50 AM
Check for these issues and I think you should be good.
Posted 10 August 2007 - 10:16 AM
If I had added more info, like the part that I live in a cold climate(Michigan), you would have probably figured it out too.
Using my infinite powers of deduction (HA!), I reasoned that I obviously have an air leak somewhere in the return (suction) side. Since I had no air showing in the pump sight glass under normal operation, I reasoned that it must be caused only when the line is under a "load". In other words - caused by the added suction from 30' of hose lifting water from an 8 ft depth.
Obviously any leak would be below where I attach my vacuum plate to the skimmer. So it was either in the return line itself, or in my skimmer basket housing (Pardon me if I don't have the correct nomenclature).
As an experiment, I stuck the vacuum hose directly into the return hole at the bottom of the housing - bypassing the skimmer basket. The pool vacuum worked great - not even a hiccup.
Therefore, I reason that I have a crack or hole in my skimmer housing that only leaks under vacuum - amazingly through the underground dirt that surrounds it, and the concrete sidewalk over it (actually the dirt is mostly sand - so I guess its possible).
I looked but couldn't find anything that looked like a crack or void but I applied some epoxy pool putty to some suspicious areas. Will see if that works. It's hardening as I write this.
When I winterize the pool, I always plug the return line hole in the skimmer housing and pour in some RV type anti freeze. I'm thinking that something happened last winter - my anti freeze failed or leaked or got diluted and some water got in my skimmer housing - froze - and caused a crack somewhere.
Don't you love it when people figure out their own problems?
Posted 10 August 2007 - 12:21 PM
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