Pool Pumps

My pool pump motor is running -- the air is blowing out of the pipe in the deep end and making a noise -- but it is not coming out at the shallow end -- don't know the name of the pipe but its an aerator... circulating the water. Anyway I think it means the pump is going bad ... but not out altogether since its trying to work at the deep end. I have the motor turned off now.
Is there anything else that would make it act like that? I know we have replaced the pump motor in the past -- but don't think we had to replace the pump. My late husband took care of that....I have a call in to the company that I usually use but haven't heard back. Went online to a local company that sells equipment and all I could find was pumps with motors .
Any help in diagnosing the problem would be welcome.
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Air coming out typically means there is a leak in the suction side of the pump system. Possible places include seals on pump strainer, seals on filter, valves, piping, etc.
Anyway I think it means the pump is going bad ... but not out altogether since its trying to work at the deep end. I have the motor turned off now.

See above. Unless the seals in the pump are shot, in which case I'd expect water to be coming out at the pump, how could air get in there?
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wrote:

end and making a noise -- but it is not coming out at the shallow end -- don't know the name of the pipe but its an aerator... circulating the water. Anyway I think it means the pump is going bad ... but not out altogether since its trying to work at the deep end. I have the motor turned off now.

replaced the pump motor in the past -- but don't think we had to replace the pump. My late husband took care of that....I have a call in to the company that I usually use but haven't heard back. Went online to a local company that sells equipment and all I could find was pumps with motors .

Look in the top of ther strainer basket on the pump with the pump running (it is usually a clear plastic cover). See if you see air flowing around in there. Try venting the air out of the filter to see if it gets better but if you are still seeing air come in, you have a suction side problem. Is the skimmer still under water? Basket clean? With the pump off, are you losing water from the pool? If so you may have a broken pipe or fitting,
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If you have solar collectors on the pool it is pretty normal to see bubbles in the return water. There is an air admittance valve at the high point of the collector array that allows them to drain down more readily and not freeze if it gets cold.. The real test is to see if the pump stabilizes and does not develop an air pocket after it has been cleared. The easiest place to bleed the air is the filter.
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On Monday, December 10, 2012 5:52:00 AM UTC-8, Dottie wrote:

I added water -- and it is working normally. We have had a very dry year and a lot of fine sandy dirt had blown into the pool. I cleaned the filter -- and that is when I noticed it wasn't right. By adding water at the clean-out basket -- it made it build up pressure so the pump was working again. I know that sounds crazy ... but I also talked to the man who works on my pool when it needs it and he walked me through it. So far its o.k. No signs of leaks anywhere.
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On 12/11/2012 7:45 AM, Dottie wrote:

a lot of fine sandy dirt had blown into the pool. I cleaned the filter -- and that is when I noticed it wasn't right. By adding water at the clean-out basket -- it made it build up pressure so the pump was working again. I know that sounds crazy ... but I also talked to the man who works on my pool when it needs it and he walked me through it. So far its o.k. No signs of leaks anywhere.
Yep. The water level should be above the skimmer level by a couple of inches to prevent the pump from sucking air.
Add water to the deep end, since that's where the skimmer is located.
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Right, that'll make it too deep. A child might drown!
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On 12/10/2012 7:52 AM, Dottie wrote:

deep end and making a noise -- but it is not coming out at the shallow end -- don't know the name of the pipe but its an aerator... circulating the water. Anyway I think it means the pump is going bad ... but not out altogether since its trying to work at the deep end. I have the motor turned off now.

replaced the pump motor in the past -- but don't think we had to replace the pump. My late husband took care of that....I have a call in to the company that I usually use but haven't heard back. Went online to a local company that sells equipment and all I could find was pumps with motors .

How old is the impeller housing? It's common for them to develop leaks. Is the pressure building up properly? Does the pump start-up quickly or does it take a long time to prime? It's usually fairly easy to remove the pump housing and take it to a pool supply store and let them inspect it.
From what you're saying, it sounds to me like, you're not building pressure. You should have a pressure gauge. See if the pressure is building like it used to. Mine runs anywhere from 19 to 28 psi, but I have a sand filter and a 2 hp pump. Your system will depend on your equipment.
Could be a lot of things but check the obvious. O-rings, valves, leaks, housings, couplings. Someone said to make sure the pump basket o-ring is clean, lubed and in good working order. That's where I'd start. Occam's razor.
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That sounds awful high to me. Mine is about 6-7 PSI with a clean filter and if it gets to 10 I know I have a problem. The solars add about 3 PSI when I am pumping water up there tho.
It sounds like your piping is too small or it has too many bends.
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On 12/11/2012 5:07 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

What filter medium are you using?
This is the only pool I've ever owned. The plumbing looks normal. Not sure of the exact diameter but I think it's 2" reduced from 2.5 or 3". at the pump outlet. That might account for the higher pressure.
Works fine. Simple system. Good pressure. Primes real fast. Sand filter works well for being 29 y/o. The old 2.5 (maybe 3) hp pump ran on 2" pipes but when they put the 2 hp motor in I think the pressure went up a little. I figured it was because of the new housing.
When this pump gives out I'm getting a DC variable speed pump. I'm sold on them and the city gives a rebate on them.
It normally runs at about 18 or 19 psi and builds to around 30 when I backwash. I'm always asking pool techs if that's right and they say it's different on different systems but sounds about right. It usually jumps up to 30 or 32 when it needs to be cleaned.
I need a new Polaris booster pump and housing. The housing just developed a leak and the pump sounds pretty weak.
I just fired up the hot-tub. It's going to be cold tonight.
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I have a paper cartridge filter. When I built the pool I was looking for the lowest head possible to make it more efficient so all of the trunk lines are 3" pipe, necked down to a 2" ring for the returns and separate 2" lines feeding the 3" from the suctions. With the cartridge removed the head is about 2-3
I have a spa too. If you have solars, i figured out a trick. I put in some extra valves so I can switch the collectors from the pool to the spa. Even on a fairly cool day, I can get 85-90 degree water for free. Then that extra 10-15 degrees is pretty cheap.
My next pump is going to be DC too but I am getting one that runs on solar power, This StaRite just won't die.
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On 12/11/2012 7:15 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Sounds reasonable. Your plumbing and medium is probably why your pressure is lower than mine.
I don't have solar heaters. I have a big Raypak Nat Gas heater that kicks ass. I got it for half price. They made me an offer I couldn't refuse. For most of the swimming season I have to shade the pool to cool it off, so heating isn't much of a problem. Or, in the summer at least.
Nat gas is so cheap now. This whole year my bill is under $300 and I have a gas stove, heat and water heater. We heat the spa up about 1 or 2 times a week. With cheap nat gas I don't think solar heating is in my future but who knows? I've been thinking about getting a nat gas generator for back-up.
I just put in my new pump so it's going to be awhile before I worry about that, and then it maybe something completely new. I've never heard of a DC solar powered pool pump. Sounds interesting. Right now I'll bet they are not cheap. Isn't just a var speed dc pump/motor about $1600?
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On 12/11/2012 4:47 PM, gonjah wrote:

Those pumps have a very short lifetime. You're better off getting a two speed regular pump. No real advantage to variable speed versus a high/low speed pump.
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On 12/11/2012 11:36 PM, sms wrote:

Is this from personal experience? Are there some statistics out there somewhere?
thanks
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I don't know of any statistics, but you can do the math and the rest is common sense. The big savings in running a pool pump come from running it at lower speed. It then takes longer to move the same amount of water, but by decreasing the pump speed the power drops by the cube of the speed. You get that benefit with either a two speed pump or a variable. The variable may have some more advantage in regard to speed because you could slow it down even more than a two-speed pump, but you still have to run it at some reasonable speed to get enough water moved to do the filtering, so I don't think it has much additional advantage with regard to speed reduction. The variable speed pump may also be a little more efficient in using electricity in general too.
Now, the downsides are that the variable speed pump costs a lot more than a two speed pump. So much more that it would take a long time to recover the difference. And also, the variable speed motor has electronics, something I'd prefer to stay away from, unless there is a big benefit, particulalry in that environment. If the two speed motor goes on you, they are readily available from many motor companies for a couple hundred bucks. The variable speed one is likely only available from the pump manufacturer and you can check out what that will cost......
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On Wed, 12 Dec 2012 04:50:00 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Why a 2 speed pump? Why not just use a smaller pump and run it longer on a timer. You are just looking for a 100-150% turnover each day. That is the theory of the solar pool pump. They are typically only 1/2-3/4 HP but they run whenever the sun is shining. In the summer, when sanitizing is the hardest the pump runs the most
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On 12/12/2012 9:38 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

You need the extra suction for your vacuum if you use one. Plus you turn it on high during periods of high use.
I'm not certain a motor running longer on a lower speed is going to wear out faster than a motor running on high speed. I'd think it would be the other way around. Heat destroys engines and the higher the speed, the faster the motor wears out.
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Also, in the part of the country where you close the pool for winter, it typically takes several days of filtering constantly to clean it up. Could take 4x that at low speed. And how about backwashing? Would low speed have enough umph to knock the DE off the filter? Or when the pool chemistry is out of whack, you have people wanting to use the pool, you need to add chemicals and have them circulate quickly.....

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