Air Bubbles In Pool Fixes – Pool Pump, Skimmer Door and Gaskets Checklist

Air bubbles coming out of the return jets seem to be a frequent problem for many pool owners. Let’s go over a few possible causes and fixes and hopefully teach you how to fix air bubbles in your pool.

Usually, the air comes from the suction side of a swimming pool which means any parts or components of your pool the water comes to the filter.

The first thing to do is to check the following three places to see if air is getting into your system there so that you can fix the problem.

1. Check the skimmers first

To start with, take a look at the water level. If the level is below optimal, the pool needs more water so that the pool skimmer doesn’t pull in air. Make sure that the water level is in the middle of the skimmer’s opening.

water level needs to be in the middle of skimmer's opening

If you have a concrete pool, there may be cracks around the edges of the skimmer so check for those as well. If there are, you’ll need to call in a specialist. If the skimmer and the pool area around it look normal, let’s move on to the next possible issue.

After this, check your skimmer basket. Look for any damages to the skimmer baskets and make sure that they are seated properly. This allows for good water suction.

You should also check the weir (the skimmer flap). This is the door that flaps in front of your skimmer with the purpose of preventing large debris from getting back into your pool. It also regulates water flow into your skimmer.

As it occasionally gets jammed, you need to make sure it’s moving back and forth freely.

2. Check your pool pump

You should check the pool pump lid first. If it’s cracked, then there you go, simply replace the lid.

More often, you will find that the problem may have to do with the lid’s O-ring, so if the lid is intact, check the O-ring next.

To do this, you need to turn the pump off first. Then, remove the lid, and check the O-ring for damages such as cracks or tears. You can bend the O-ring between your fingers and make sure you check the whole O-ring.

cracked pool pump lid can cause bubbles in your pool

If you find cracks or tears or if you notice that the O-ring is dry-rotted or splitting at one or more spots, you will need to replace the O-ring.

If there are no signs of damages, now that you have the lid open you may as well apply O-ring lube to get a better seal. The next place to look for the cause of air bubbles in your pool is the pump basket

It can crack sometimes so it won’t be seated properly in the housing. If this is the case, you need o replace the cracked filter basket. While you’re at it, make sure it’s cleaned and properly seated so that the lid can be sealed well.

The next thing to do is to check the drain plugs. On the pump housing, you will find one or two drain plugs. If the drain plugs are not leaking or loose, you’ll need to look for the cause of the problem elsewhere but this is the chance to apply some Teflon tape to the drain plug threads in order to get a tighter seal.

3. The unions

Unions are threaded connectors between the piping. They allow you to conveniently replace the filter equipment without having to cut any pipes. If you have an inground pool, you probably have some unions in your plumbing and you need to check them next.

You will need to turn the pump off for the inspection of the union. If the union looks fine on the outside, unscrew it in order to check the inside O-ring. As may be the case with the lid O-ring, the union O-ring also may have cracks. If it does, just replace it.

unions are connectors between the piping

Another thing to check is that the O-ring is properly seated inside the groove where it should be. If the union O-ring is not in its groove, it cannot create a proper seal and it will allow air to get into your system.

What you need to do is put the O-ring back into the corresponding groove and close the union. You will need to make sure that the flange which tightens the union is flush with the back of the nut. If it isn’t there’s something obstructing it and letting the air in, like the displaced O-ring as we mentioned.

And that would be all! We hope you’ll find these steps and the tutorial useful and fix your problem with the air bubbles in your pool.

Here’s a great video illustrating the 3 possible causes of air bubbles and how to fix them:

Laurie S.

As a multi home owner for 15 years I've tried out a ton of pool products and methods and have found out the best ones that work for me. I love helping out other people with real, honest advice and spending time with my family. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me in the about or through a comment.

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