Poor Skimmer Suction

by Pamela

Opened my pool and was running the filter (24' above ground with a msand filter) after a couple of days the pressure on the the gauge was 0 even with good pressure on the return and great suction on the skimmer. Took the valve to the pool store and the replaced the handle spring, gasket etc. inside. they said the gauge was broken but didnt have one handy so as long as I had good pressure and return it didn't atter for the moment. got home and changed the sand since the filter was open and it was a few years old. everything is running but now i have very little to no pressure in the skimmer when before it was so strong I could barely remove the basket. any thoughts?

Hi Pamela. If you had good skimmer suction before changing the multiport valve ( I will assume that's what happened with the info. I have) and changing the sand, then I would start there. Those would be the newest variables to consider. Be sure the MPV is seated correctly. It must be put back EXACTY the way it was removed. If you're off by one section it can compromise the filter system. some MPV have a notch that can be matched to the underneath housing that it sits upon.

Next would be the amount of sand, either too much or too little. Check your owner's manual for the correct amount.

This page can also give you a good run-down of troubleshooting tips for low skimmer suction:


Low Skimmer Suction


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Suction At Pump Starts And Then No Suction

by Elaine
(Chandler, AZ)

What's wrong? I turn pump on, great suction at 1st pull and then no suction. I have cleaned cartridge filter, emptied the leaf basket, checked for debris in propeller, took pool Barracuda apart no blockage or tears, Barracuda will not move. Please help!

Thanks for the question Elaine

I will first direct your attention to these posts:

Pool Pump Won't Circulate Water..No Prime

How Do I Fix Low Skimmer Suction?

Here are some things you can look for:

Be sure the water level is between 1/3 - 1/2 up from the bottom of the skimmer. Water level below the skimmer and your system will draw in air. Check the pressure gauge. High pressure means a clog somewhere or a blocked filter. Low pressure means a suction side blockage, an air leak, or pump problem.

If air bubbles are coming out of the returns, it could be a suction side issue. One of the more common places for this to happen is the pump lid. Be sure it's seated correctly and the gasket is in good shape. If you have a weir for the skimmer, be sure it's working properly. Skimmer basket should be clean.

Clogged pump motor impeller.

Pump motor basket needs cleaning.

Be sure all valves are in correct positions.

Also check the diffuser in the pump motor. This is the part that sits next to the impeller. These tend to warp and/or melt with high heat.

You can try to narrow it down. If it is an inground pool, close the bottom drain and open the skimmer valve all the way. If you lose pressure, the problem is with the skimmer.

Do the opposite. Close the skimmer and open the bottom drain. If you lose prime in the pump motor, the problem is with the drain. If you have 2 skimmers, you can do this test as well.

Close one skimmer and open the other. Does the system lose pressure? Open the closed one and close the open one. What happens? If you lose pressure from one of the open skimmers, you have a leak somewhere on the suction side.

You can narrow it down this way, but for repair, you'll need to call in the professional leak detectors.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post (Suction At Pump Starts And Then No Suction) on the Q&A page in the "Pool Pump Problems" category.

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

Check back to this post for answers.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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