Suction Leak Diagnosis Tips

Suction leaks can be a common issue with pool pumps. They can cause a decrease in pressure and prevent the pump from running properly. Some common causes of suction leaks include a cracked pump lidcracked pipes or valveslow water level, or issues with the o-ring of the strainer basket drain plug or pump lid 1. If you suspect a suction leak, you can follow these steps to identify and fix the problem:

  1. Check for air bubbles: If you see air bubbles in the pump strainer, it could be a sign of a suction leak. You can also check for low PSI or weak flow from the return jets 2.
  2. Inspect the pump lid: Check the pump lid for any cracks or damage. Make sure the lid is screwed on correctly and seated as it should be 3.
  3. Check the fittings: Inspect the fittings, valves, and plumbing joints for any signs of water coming out when the pump is turned off. This could indicate a leak 4.
  4. Use the smoke trick: You can use the smoke trick to locate the source of a suction side air leak. With the pump running, light an incense stick and slowly scan it over any PVC joints, valve ports, and covers, and pump housing. If the smoke gets drawn in, that will pinpoint the source of one of your leaks 5.
  5. Fix the problem: Once you have identified the source of the suction leak, you can fix it by replacing any damaged fittings or cracked pipes or valves. You can also use a sealant to repair any cracks or leaks 1.

I hope this helps you understand how to identify and fix suction leaks in your pool pump. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask!

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Keeping the cyanuric acid (CYA) levels in check

Keeping the cyanuric acid (CYA) levels in check is crucial for maintaining a healthy and clean pool. CYA, also known as chlorine stabilizer or pool conditioner, is a critical chemical that stabilizes the chlorine in your pool. Without CYA, your chlorine will quickly break down under the sun’s ultraviolet rays. But having too little or too much CYA in your pool can inhibit your chlorine’s effectiveness and even damage your pool equipment 1.

To maintain the right CYA levels, it’s important to test your pool water regularly and adjust the CYA levels accordingly. The ideal range for cyanuric acid is between 30 and 50 ppm 1. If the CYA levels are too low, your chlorine will break down under the sun’s UV rays, leaving your pool unprotected and unsanitized. On the other hand, if the CYA levels are too high, your chlorine’s effectiveness decreases, and you may experience “chlorine demand,” or the inability to maintain chlorine levels 12.

To add cyanuric acid to your pool, fill a bucket with warm water, add a dose of stabilizer to the bucket, and pour the contents of the bucket into the pool 1Always make sure to wear proper safety gear when handling cyanuric acid 2.

In summary, maintaining the right CYA levels is essential for keeping your pool clean and healthy. Regular testing and adjustment of CYA levels can help ensure that your pool is properly sanitized and protected from the sun’s UV rays.

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VARIABLE SPEED PUMP REGULATION FOR POOLS

In 2021, variable-speed pumps will become mandatory for pool/spa filtration.

After working with manufacturers, utility companies and energy-efficiency advocates, the U.S. Department of Energy finalized a federal regulation setting minimum efficiency standards that pool pumps must meet to enter commerce.

“Energy Conservation Standards for Dedicated-Purpose Pool Pumps” states that pumps past a certain horsepower must meet a performance standard currently only met by variable-speed pumps.

A different unit of measure will determine a pump’s compliance. Rather than traditional motor horsepower, the rule applies to filtration pumps rated more than 0.711 hydraulic horsepower. This translates to roughly 1 or more motor horsepower.

Variable-speed models are the fastest-growing pump category, said Scott Petty, global product manager of pumps and filters for Hayward Pool Products in Elizabeth, N.J. This speeds up the process. “The industry will have to become more familiar with variable speed pumps, even markets that have been slow to adopt them.”

The regulation also removes a loophole seen in California and other states that already regulated pump efficiency. “There have always been questions of enforcement in California: With the internet, you can buy product and it can ship from someplace else,” Petty said.

Pumps less than 0.711 hydraulic horsepower can be single-speed, but even these will likely be held to higher standards.

The regulation applies to residential and commercial applications. But most large-scale commercial facilities already comply because of existing regulations.

The rule takes effect July 18, 2021.

It differs from the Energy Star program, which is voluntary. If anything, Farlow said, Energy Star likely will change so its test standards and rating system better resemble the new regulation.

Additionally, the federal rule will supersede state regulations, such as California’s Title 20 appliance standard.

Pumps dedicated to powering waterfeatures, automatic pool and spa cleaners and certain other features will not be affected.

Officials worried about a loophole in the rule — the lack of regulation for replacement motors. Whole-pump manufacturers feared this would place them at a disadvantage. “Manufacturers expressed concern that this may shift the market, that more replacement motors would be sold than complete pumps,” said Ray Mirzaei, vice president, technology and quality assurance for Waterway Plastics in Oxnard, Calif.

With the price of variable-speed pumps going down, cost isn’t expected to present such an obstacle. The DOE decided that the incremental cost … is now low enough that there shouldn’t be anybody that ought not to want one, because the payback is so quick.

However, when 2021 approaches, the regulation may mean fewer rebates for energy-efficient pumps, since the perceived need for an incentive may vanish.

In the meantime, the manufacturers are waiting for DOE to release the test procedures for determining compliance, so they can begin assessing their products.

WAYS TO SAVE ENERGY HEATING YOUR POOL

Running a pool in the summer takes a lot of electrical energy to maintain desirable cool temperatures in the face of extreme heat.

This year, we’re spilling all the swimming pool energy-saving tips so you can feel better every time you take a dip: 

POOL HEATING OPTIONS CAN REDUCE COSTS AND ENERGY

We know it’s hot, but pool water can still be cold! A solid pool water temperature ranges from 78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. But, when the pool temperature rises, so do costs. Obviously, in warmer climates, costs won’t increase as much. However, either way, costs vary depending on the location and keeping in mind the increased percentage can save energy and money!

By integrating an energy-efficient pool heater, you can start your journey to pool savings! 

GAS VS. ELECTRIC POOL HEATERS

Gas-fired pool heaters use natural gas or propane to warm the water. On the other hand, electric pool heaters don’t generate heat on their own- instead, they capture heat and circulate it from one place to another through electricity. When it comes to cost, electric pool heaters do cost more. Therefore, gas pool heaters are more cost-efficient. 
Electric pool heaters work the best in cooler temperatures, ideally, 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The colder it is outside the more air the electric pool heater pulls in and the more energy they use.

Becoming aware of pool heating options can help decrease pool operating costs and save energy this summer!

WHY DOES MY POOL TURN GREEN EVERY WEEK?

WHY DOES MY POOL TURN GREEN EVERY WEEK?

We receive calls daily from pool owners who are frustrated by their pool turning green every week, and the corresponding need to constantly shock their residential swimming pool. While there are several reasons and/or combinations of reasons why a pool turns green — poor water circulation, improperly balanced chemicals, contaminants, etc. — for the purpose of this article we are going to focus on improperly balanced chemicals, specifically chlorine stabilizer, also known as conditioner, cyanuric acid, or CYA, levels.

WHY DOES MY POOL NEED STABILIZER?

Chlorine stabilizer has an indirect relationship with your pool’s cleanliness and sanitation. Free chlorine is needed to sanitize your pool, however, it is easily broken down and lost due to sunlight. Chlorine degradation in sunlight is surprisingly high. How fast does chlorine evaporate from a pool? Just two hours of sunlight on a beautiful day can reduce the chlorine level in your pool by as much as 90 percent. For this reason, chlorine stabilizer is needed and it acts as a sunscreen for the chlorine preventing, it from being burned up prematurely.

We receive calls daily from pool owners who are frustrated by their pool turning green every week, and the corresponding need to constantly shock their residential swimming pool. While there are several reasons and/or combinations of reasons why a pool turns green — poor water circulation, improperly balanced chemicals, contaminants, etc. — for the purpose of this article we are going to focus on improperly balanced chemicals, specifically chlorine stabilizer, also known as conditioner, cyanuric acid, or CYA, levels.

HOW DOES MY POOL GET STABILIZER?

If you’re using dichlor or trichlor sanitizer (stabilized chlorine) through tabs, sticks, or granular form, you probably won’t need to add any extra chlorine stabilizer to your pool water. Whenever you add either of those sanitizers, you get a little boost of stabilizer (CYA) along with them. That being said, unlike chlorine, CYA is never used up and accumulates in the pool water as a waste product. Once you have added it to the pool water, it will, for the most part, remain in the water. If you wish to avoid the problem of rising CYA levels, you can use unstabilized chlorine and add the CYA separately so you have a little more control over the levels. If you are using dichlor or trichlor, CYA levels should be tested at least once per week.

HOW MUCH STABILIZER DOES MY POOL NEED?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends an upper limit of 100 parts per million (ppm) of CYA in a swimming pool. They arrived at this number based on the assumption that children will likely swallow some water while swimming, and if they ingest too much CYA, it can make them sick. That said, as CYA levels exceeding a threshold of 70 ppm can significantly reduce the effectiveness of a pool’s chlorine and the ideal CYA level for optimum pool sanitization has been determined to be 30‐50 ppm, to achieve the best balance between health and sanitization, prevailing recommendations are to maintain CYA levels around 50 ppm. Remember, more CYA doesn’t necessarily mean more protection for your free chlorine from UV rays.

HOW MUCH STABILIZER IS TOO MUCH?

At CYA levels >70 ppm (almost always at levels >100 ppm) you will likely begin experiencing algae growth, some difficulty maintaining balanced chemistry, cloudy pool water, and decreased sanitizing. Once this begins happening, you will want to take a water sample into your local pool supply store for more accurate testing and to determine whether your CYA level is the cause of your pool turning green every week.

HOW DO I REDUCE EXCESSIVE STABILIZER LEVELS?

Despite the hopes and desires of those affected by high CYA levels, there is no chemical on the market today that you can add to your pool water to lower the stabilizer (CYA) to the desired levels. The stabilizer can be added, but in order to lower it, the pool must be diluted with fresh water. As a rule of thumb, for a CYA level of >50 ppm, you should drain the percentage of your pool to match the percentage you want to reduce CYA to get the level down to 50 ppm. Examples of the formula are as follows:
· On a 20,000 gallon pool, if you want to reduce a CYA of 90 ppm down to 30 ppm (67%), you should reduce the pool volume by 13,400 gallons (90-30)/90*100=67%
· On a 15,000 gallon pool, if you want to reduce a CYA of 120 ppm down to 50 ppm (58%), you should reduce the pool volume by 8,700 gallons (120-50)/120*100=58%

For assistance with calculating your pool’s water volume, click here!

If all this seems like too much for you to take on yourself, hire a local, trusted pool care company to handle all of your pool care needs! For help with cleaning your pool, correcting algae or CYA levels, or for routine maintenance, contact the experts at Admiral Pool Services  today!

TIPS TO KEEP KIDS SAFE THIS SWIM SEASON

THE STATS

Let’s talk about the not-so-great numbers first: Last summer at least 163 children under the age of 15 fatally drowned in swimming pools or spas, according to media reports compiled by the USA Swimming FoundationNearly 70 percent of those victims were children under the age of five. During the same time period in 2016, 205 children under age 15 drowned in swimming pools or spas. Nearly 70 percent of those victims were children under age five. And now for the good news: Learning to swim can do more than save a child’s life. A four-year study by the Griffith Institute for Educational Research found that children who were taught to swim by age 5 experienced a number of cognitive and physical advantages over children who did not know how to swim. They were also more advanced in mathematics, counting, language, and following instructions. A recent national survey commissioned by Swimways, a pool and outdoor recreational products manufacturer, revealed that parents were largely unaware of the fact that teaching a child to swim had such benefits. “We believe that teaching a child to swim is one of the single most important things you can do for your child,” says Monica Jones, vice president of marketing at Swimways. “Just as you would teach them to read and write, we believe that every child deserves to be able to know how to swim…[its] not only important for their safety but [it] also opens up a lifetime of joy and discovery that only swimmers can experience.” Swimways celebrates National Learn To Swim Day, the third Saturday in the month of May, hosting an annual Learn to Swim Day event focusing on the importance of swim lessons.

RESOURCES

If you haven’t signed your children up for swimming lessons yet, or perhaps you’d like to check out some adult classes for yourself, there’s still plenty of time to get water-ready for the summer. The Red Cross has classes available nationwide. You can also find lessons via The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative, which aims to offer free or low-cost swim lessons to 1 million children this year.

KEEPING KIDS ENGAGED

But don’t go thinking that water safety simply begins and ends with a few swimming lessons. Elizabeth Beisel, two-time Olympic medalist and USA Swimming Foundation ambassador, offers up the following tips to keep kids safe and happy in the water:

  • Once your children have learned to swim, create consistent practice time to enhance their skills and increase their confidence.
  • Consider using water toys, pool floats, pool games and swim training gear to make learning to swim fun
  • Swimming uses a ton of energy. Remember to take breaks and keep kids hydrated to maintain their level of confidence in the water.

HOW PUMPS CAN SAVE MONEY

Today, there are technologically advanced options that enable your pool to use far less energy and save you money, starting with highly efficient variable-speed pool pumps.

Variable-speed pumps run at up to eight different speeds, adjusting energy usage to the pool’s needs at different points in the cycle. This adjustment adds up, to say the least. How big is the difference? Variable-speed pumps are known to cut energy use up to 90 percent.

Variable-speed pumps can also be run for much longer, even for 24 hours per day, and still save thousands in energy costs. They also run much more quietly, allowing for overnight use without too much noise.

The new Jandy® Pro Series VS PlusHP variable-speed pump offers high performance in a compact size, making it an excellent choice for both new construction and renovation projects. Other applications include in-floor cleaning systems, spa-jet boosters, and solar energy heating systems, particularly for small equipment areas.


Pool-friendly features include:

  • ENERGY STAR certification enables savings of up to 90 percent on energy costs
  • Compliance with energy-efficiency standards such CA-Title 20 and ANSI/APSP-15 qualifies home owners for energy company rebates where available
  • Up to 70 percent quieter operation than single-speed pumps for a more enjoyable poolside experience
  • Oversized strainer basket holds up to 40% more debris, delivering more consistent flow even under real-world, heavily loaded conditions

To see if the VS PlusHP can save you even more money through utility rebates, click here.