Kreepy Krauly Auto Pool Cleaner Issues
I recently went out to assist a client who was having problems with his kreepy crawly pool cleaner, the issue was poor suction and the result was the cleaner would not operate. poor suction can be a result of a number of different causes such as:
- An air leak on the suction side of the pump. (The inlet side of the pump is often referred to as the suction side as this is where suction occurs). The air leak can be anything from a poor seal on the pump lid, or a poor seal on the barrel union (The part that screws onto the pump inlet), or a poor seal on the vacuum plate at the skimmer box.
- Poor suction can also result from a blockage or a restriction on the inlet side, for example a small toy like a ball being sucked up by the cleaner or the skimmer box basket being choc a block full of leaves and also the pump basket being full of leaves. Having said that i should also mention that poor suction can be the result of a restriction on the pressure side of the pump.( The pump outlet side is often referred to as the pressure side as this is where you have pressure build up when the pump is operating.
- Restrictions on the pressure side is commonly caused by a clogged up filter, in the case of cartridge filters it might be that the filter has not been taken out and cleaned for a while or maybe it is so old that the element has perished and thus will not let water flow through quickly enough.
In the case of sand filters it could be that the filter has not been back washed, or maybe the sand in the filter is way overdue for a sand change.
The normal life of filter media be it sand or zelbrite, or glass is approximately three years. What happens is that after three years the media starts to harden up, I have forgotten the number of times I have gone out to do a sand change for a client and have found the sand so hard it cannot be pumped out and has to be taken out by hand.
A restricted sand filter is like a vacuum cleaner with an over full bag, until you empty or change the bag in a vacuum cleaner you will have poor suction.
Getting back to this client of mine, when I went out there I found that none of the above was causing his problem of poor suction. What I did find was that when i checked the suction at the bottom of the skimmer box it was as good as can be, however when I checked the suction with the vac plate on there was hardly any suction there, which led me to believe it was either a faulty seal on the vac plate or even a warped vac plate.
I returned the following day with a new vac plate confident that I had solved the problem but alack and alas when i fitted the new vac plate in we ended up with the same result, very little or no suction.
- A skimmer box usually has 2 or more suction ports (Places in the side or bottom of the skimmer box where the PVC pressure pipe is glued into)
- During construction of the pool when the skimmer box is fitted, the plumbing pipes are connected to the required ports and the unused ports are blocked off.
- What had happened in this case was one of the plugs that was blocking off the unused suction port of the skimmer box had come undone.
- This in turn caused the the suction to occur through the side port when the vac plate was fitted on and of course when the vac plate was removed the suction would occur in the bottom port of the skimmer box.
- When I refitted the plug the suction with the vac plate on returned to normal and the cleaner was operating as it was before.
- If you look at my little drawing below it is easy to understand why there was poor suction.
- The pump was sucking water from the main suction line at the bottom of the skimmer box and because the side port was unblocked it would suck water in from the side port rather then through the vacuum plate.
If you are having problems with suction, give me a call on 03 90164636 and I can arrange a time to come out and see you