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Why do I have air bubbles in my Pool? A Troubleshooting Guide


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Good morning, 
We have just had a concrete pool installed. We have been using the pool for around 3 weeks now. On Saturday our pool was loosing water but stopped at the bottom of the skimmer box. We topped the pool up and again the next day the same thing happened. We got our pool man back and he has dug up all our newly planted back garden around the pool trying to find the leak. There is no apparent place where over 30,000 litres of water has gone. The pipes aren't leaking the actual skimmer box is not leaking and we are all at a loss as to where all this water has gone. Last night we again topped the pool up and this morning the water level hasn't moved an inch. We have come to the decision that we have a gremlin in our pool. How can a pool leak so much water and you can't find where from and then overnight stop leaking. Please help me with anysuggestions you may have as we are all at a loss and don't want to fill in the garden to have to dig it up again.  
Thank you 
Posted @ Wednesday, September 16, 2009 8:07 PM by Charmaine Collins
Yeah, I've encountered several pool gremlins myself:)  
Question: Was the pool pump running both when you lost water and when you did not? If the pump was running when you lost water but not running when you didn't it sounds like you could have a leak on the pressure (discharge) side of your plumbing. Water is sucked in through the front of the pump and discharged out of the top. If you have a leak on the discharge side you will loose water quickly when the pump is running as a result of the pressure on the line, but loose little or no water when the pump is off. The reason the water level may have stabilized at the bottom of the skimmer may be because the pump began to draw air when the water level became too low and lost prime. 
Conversely, if the pump was not running when you lost water and running when the water level remained stable then the leak could be in the skimmer line. This is the case because when the pump is running a suction line leak will not loose as much water (typically) because the suction from the pump draws air into the line, but when the pump is off the line if free to leak. If the leak is in the skimmer line the water level would have naturally held at the bottom of the skimmer. In this case, if the pump was running when your pool guy was searching for the leak he would not have seen it because it does not leak with the pump running. If you do indeed have air bubbles returning into your pool then there's a 99% chance it's in the skimmer line. 
Question: Do you have any water features or other plumbed features of the pool that were running at the time of water loss, but not running when the water stabilized? If so that's an indicator that there may be a problem there. 
Here's what needs to happen Charmaine: Someone needs to pressure test your entire plumbing system if they have not done so already. If no leak turns up there the pool needs to be checked for a structural leak (dye test). Between these two tests the leak should turn up. If the leak is structural (probably not the case) then the repair is straight forward. If the leak is in your plumbing, the pressure test will indicate which line is leaking, but not necessarily where it's leaking. Your pool guy can try to find it the hard way or there are companies that can pinpoint the leak within 6" even under ground or under concrete (hopefully not) with precision equipment. Try to be patient with you pool guy though; unfortunately these things happen to the best of us. Let me know if there's anything else I can do to help. 
Take care and good luck, Jason  
Posted @ Monday, September 21, 2009 7:07 AM by Jason Hughes
Thanks! You solved my air bubble problem. It was the junction connecting the intake to the pump.
Posted @ Monday, September 06, 2010 4:28 PM by Michael
we installed our inground pool about 4 weeks ago. over the weekend i found our liner has a big bubble looking section about 12 inches long x 8 inches wide at the water level. please help.
Posted @ Monday, September 20, 2010 8:10 PM by bernardo
Re the pool leak stoping at the Skimmer my guess is that the water is leaking around the Skimmer, you see when the pool is sprayed with gunite there is often a void under the skimmer then along comes a tiler (who dosent know much about pools)he covers this void with lovely tiles the result a leak slowley but surely this leak will become bigger as the matric is taken out of the cement. 
In all my years of fixing leaks this is quite common and to prevent this in New Zealand most pool builders place Epoxy around all the through wall fitings. 
Ther is another problem that also happens leakage via the light cable conduit it can cause the water to siphon and the it stops at whatever level breaks the siphon. 
Along comes the exspert he checks this and that fill the pool and it has stoped the leak or untill the water level rises in the next heavy rain and it happens again. 
Leaks are simple to find when you now what to encounter but more than often it waws the result of poor workmanship on day one.
Posted @ Saturday, January 15, 2011 9:04 PM by Norman
I have a vinyl in ground pool. I cannot get my pool pump to run without bubbles and I am losing about an inch a day in water. I have plumbing that leads out to my street for waste water and I am noticing that there is a lot of water at the street. Any ideas for troubleshooting?
Posted @ Monday, October 24, 2011 11:40 AM by Kate
I have an Hayward 50 pound sand filter with a 
hayward 710 vari flow valve. two days ago I began 
seeing air bubbles on the surface of the pool. checked 
and found that the valve had water on top of the 
plate tat screws to the body ot valve. Tightened all screws and small bolts at last check, still had bubbles. 
Can you please advise via air mail if valve the problem, or something else. TUVM AL ROSS
Posted @ Saturday, May 05, 2012 12:21 PM by al ross
There are bubbles coming out of the one suction outlet, and i have a serious loss of water...  
How do i fix my problem.. the bubbles are not from the sides where it is attached to the wall of the pool... its in the middle... if i keep my finger where the bubbles are, they just pop out on another spot, also not where the skrews are.. everywhere... Do the also have a gasket???? 
Plzzzzz help....
Posted @ Thursday, August 23, 2012 3:55 PM by Nanet
I need help! Just bought a house. It has a huge 30,000 gallon pool and it is leaking. I for the life of me can't find the leak. It has two skimmers but one is shut off. We think the reason for this is that skimmer line had an electronic chlorinator that quit working so they just cut it out. We have done the dye test. We had three cracks in the pool wall, all now patched with perma patch. When doing the dye nothing pools water except one return jet in the spa. There was a small leak in the plumbing right before the pool pump and we replaced all the plumbing for that. (Minus the 3 lines that were cut). We lose 2-4 inches per day which is a lot when you are talking about such a big pool. No major wet spots around the pool in the yard. I can't figure it out!
Posted @ Wednesday, September 26, 2012 8:03 PM by Kim
Sorry you're having these problems...sounds like you have a lot going on there. The best bet is for you to call a leak detection service company out to look at these issues. American Leak Detection is a franchise that services many areas throughout the US...I'd start there. 
Good luck!
Posted @ Thursday, September 27, 2012 8:25 AM by Jason
I closed my pool and blew out all the lines my water level is below the lowest return,so my level is low . I put antifreeze in my skimmer and over the last week I have noticed my skimmer filling with water and it is pink so I know their is antifreeze in the water ,it has not rained so how is the water getting into the skimmer,also the pool water level is 6 inches below the skimmer. Any one have this problem 
Thanks Robert r
Posted @ Tuesday, February 05, 2013 6:08 PM by Robert ranoia
Thanks. Excellent instruction! My issue was the pump connection and problem was solved. Thanks again
Posted @ Wednesday, March 06, 2013 11:42 AM by Bob
I started up my pool and ran it overnight to filter through the winter water and clean it up a bit. I noticed it had been sucking air mostly from the Skimmer line (the skimmer line and the main drain line each have their own valve before they T and come into the pump housing) I have a Hayward system with a 1 year old replacement A.O.Smith 1 hp motor. I thought I had fixed the problem or at least gotten it under control as the system has leaked some air for all 13 years I have been at this house. This morning the pump motor was silent and I checked the basket chamber in front of the motor and it was dry. 
I cannot get the motor to go on and the circuit breaker is on. Did I burn out my pump motor or does it have an auto shot off and I need to follow a procedure to restart it? 
I can get another motor for about $170 but I did not realize until seeing this video that air bubbles are not normal. I have owned this hose for 14 years and the it was built in 1988 so to replace a motor after 24 years last summer did not seem to be a big deal, but I expected it to last longer than 1 year! Time to check for leaks.
Posted @ Sunday, April 14, 2013 7:15 AM by Jonathan Holljes
Sucking Air is as a rule caused by air being sucked into the pump, this can be from the pipe to the pump or the Hair and Lint Pot not sealing as well as the Union from the pie to the pump. One cause of water loss from a pool is from the Multi Port Valve on the Filter which causes the water loss to go down the backwash line, always check to see this is not dripping when the pump is filtering. 
Pump has run dry: Bad news when this happens the impellor that pumps the water has without water has overheated and melted. ANSWER= NEW PUMP and fix the pipe from the skimmer to the pump before you do any thing.
Posted @ Sunday, April 14, 2013 2:40 PM by Kiwi Norman
We have an inground pool and the pump basket runs fine when the main inlet valve is open but as soon as I open the skimmer inlet valve air comes pouring in causing the outlet to start shooting air out also. We have ran a fish tape thru the skimmer pipe and doesn't seem to be any clogs. Any help would be appreciated
Posted @ Thursday, May 23, 2013 8:08 AM by Cathy
From what you say you seam to have a bottom drain (If it is one it is very dangerous) however when you go to the skimmer you start to suck air that comes out the return jets. 
This air is most likely caused by air being sucked into the system in the pipe from the skimmer to the pump. I can also happen if you have a pool cleaner hose that allows air into the system. A pump can suck up to 7 tons, if the pool is not losing water it would indicate that there may be a unglued pipe fitting somewhere and even a pressure test will not reveal the problem try this first if nothing do a vacuum test and be prepared to replace the pipework. 
Kiwi Norman
Posted @ Thursday, May 23, 2013 2:45 PM by Norman
Bubbles occur when you turn the pump on without releasing the air you should have small release screw st the top of you pool pump...loosen it a small bit the turn on the pump... Water will spurt out then u have even flow wNo air...tighten release screw backup and u r good yo go. If u don't release air ur t pump will be working very hard.
Posted @ Tuesday, June 18, 2013 5:48 AM by toni
when the solar heat too the pool automaticly comes on, bubbles continually flow. can you tell me the problem .thank you
Posted @ Saturday, June 22, 2013 6:13 PM by Bob Valente
Most solar systems have a Check Valve at the top high point in the system to allow the water staying in the system(it drains down to prevent scalding with boiling water) 
So the air bubbles are common until the system fills up and displaces all the air. 
Posted @ Sunday, June 23, 2013 2:07 AM by Norman
Hello, We have a 16X32 inground vinyl pool when we turn the pool on there is not any air bubbles coming from the return after about 10 min we do get bubbles coming from one return. We are not losing water when the pool is off or on. My husband has tightened all the hoses on the filter(the filter is a Sta-Rite) can you suggest anything. Many Thanks for you help.
Posted @ Monday, June 24, 2013 11:50 AM by anne gillooly
As demonstrated by the Video Bubbles are caused by suction. A swimming pool pump can pull up to 7 ton so any join in the pipework that is faulty can let in air and of course the pool will not leak. Even the method of pressure testing will not show sings of a leak. Then ther is the Vacuum Cleaner Hose they can be a cause. Solving the problem can be difficult one case i had was caused by there being porosity in the moulded plastic in the Skimmer box, this only happened when the vacuum hose was fitted in this case the pool had 2 skimmers so the other was used and the pool never leaked. 
Kiwi Norman
Posted @ Monday, June 24, 2013 2:05 PM by NORMAN TYREE
I have a concrete/tiled swimming pool about 12 years old. For a few hours each day a series of bubbles rise from between 2 tiles on the floor about 1/2 meter from the pool wall. This usually happens after cleaning but more recently it can occur at any time. Its been occurring for about a month now. There may be a small leak but regular rain recently has made it difficult to confirm. Can you advise the best process for repair please. 
Regards Ralph Walker
Posted @ Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:22 AM by Ralph
I have bubbles of air around the skimmer cover outside on top of and inside the skimmer. I have replaced gaskets, screws, and tried all sorts of methods to no avail. I am loosing water any suggestions/
Posted @ Friday, June 28, 2013 12:07 PM by Howard
Ralph and Howard, 
From what you are explaining it is impossible to answer correctly. Howard what type of Skimmer is it a Aquagenie because the return on them is located as part of the skimmer face plate and it may be the problem. 
Ralph, after cleaning maybe it is a small hole in the vacuum hose or a small leak in the pipes from the skimmer. Read my other comment it will explain what happens. but the air coming from under the tiles has me puzzled it must have a source. 
Good luck. 
Kiwi Norman
Posted @ Friday, June 28, 2013 2:31 PM by Norman
Hey- Love the video, but unfortunately my problem is that I have bubbles coming from the jets, but the basket before the pump has no bubbles! I feel like the suction for the vacuum is not at all what it was last year. Dealt with Super Storm Sandy so had to have the filter motor replaced and it seems to be working OK. No water leaks anywhere that I can see and the water level has been fine. Any other ideas where the air could be pulling from? The dial that switches from filter, recirc, waste etc was new last year, but don't think it was under water like the filter motor was. Thanks so much!
Posted @ Monday, July 15, 2013 8:35 PM by sarajane
I searched the web to find out why my jets were blowing bubbles like crazy but didn't find a solution to my problem. I discovered the o-ring on my chlorinator cover was shot. I replaced the o-ring and had no more bubbles!
Posted @ Tuesday, August 06, 2013 1:19 PM by GailB
I read every word in this article. I think (maybe) not having enough pressure or suction is solved. My neighbor tried to help me, but.... Thanks to you & your staff, hope I can now vac. the pool with some results. Thanks, Pat 
Posted @ Monday, September 02, 2013 8:41 PM by Pat Piotrowski
my swimming have dimension 14m*6m*1.4m, what size of pool pump i have to use and size of filter?
Posted @ Wednesday, October 16, 2013 8:58 PM by sor chhaya
I recently drained my vinyl pool to convert to fiberglass, ever night I shut off the sump pump and every morning I have about 3-4 ft. of water back in the pool, I noticed last night there were bubbles coming up I took a pole and there is a hole about 3" in diameter but not very deep maybe 4" could this be a natural spring (I live in FL)if so how do I plug it so that they can lay the concrete bottom?
Posted @ Sunday, October 27, 2013 10:37 AM by donna
Stop work right away, you have a water table. 
This if not looked at by someone who knows what they are doing will become a nightmare to you. 
Is the replacement a factory made Fiber Glass pool or one that someone (as a rule a cowboy)builds on site? Take my advice of 30 odd years if it is the later don`t waste your money, get some one in who knows what they are doing. Or is it DIY attempt to save some money. There is every possibility your pool could float. 
Kiwi Norman
Posted @ Sunday, October 27, 2013 2:10 PM by Kiwi Norman
Thank you for your video which was very well done. My problem is air bubble coming from the jacuzzi when we are trying to heat it. It used to be calm and serene as it heated, but now two valves are sending out lots of bubbles--this causes a slow down in the heating time as well. I don't know where to begin checking. Can anyone advise me? Thanks again.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 15, 2014 6:31 PM by Lita
I have a vinyl in ground pool.Thanks! You solved my air bubble problem. It was the junction connecting the intake to the pump.
Posted @ Saturday, February 08, 2014 12:08 AM by Alene199@Process Alarm
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