I found the source of my microbubbles!

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Max93

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Almost TWO years later, and I finally found the culprit.

My skimmer 200 INT (that is not new, already broken in) is producing microbubbles from the pump itself. How I figured it out:

I was cleaning it and noticed that as soon as I connect the Venturi with the tube that goes to the air, microbubbles blow out of the pump. Why is this happening? I don’t know what to do… am I missing an o-ring for the Venturi?

I have never noticed one there to begin with, all other o rings are there.

when I remove the Venturi, while the pump is on, the microbubbles immediately go away.

I hope someone can help me solve this mystery.

thank you
 
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Max93

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I had this issue and it was because I had my skimmer in the same compartment as my return pump, once I separated them it was absolutely fine.
I have mine in separate compartments in the sump, forgot to mention that!
However, there’s still microbubbles all over the place in the skimmer compartment that are coming from the skimmer pump itself. It only happens when I connect the Venturi line. Otherwise, zero bubbles.
 

Eagle_Steve

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Here is a video I sent to BRS.. maybe this will help.
So they are coming out of the body of the pump? Like where the impeller cover is?

Side note: you will not get any microbubbles without the venturi into the skimmer or if the pump is not sealed correctly, that is the only path for the pump to pull air.

I would suggest looking at the o-ring between the impeller cover and the pump body, if it is leaking around that area.

you can all take a small piece of plastic (like saran wrap), hold it in spots around the pump body to see if it gets blown around underwater. This may be an easier way to pinpoint a leak in the body, as micro bubbles go everywhere once they come out of a leak.
 
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So they are coming out of the body of the pump? Like where the impeller cover is?

Side note: you will not get any microbubbles without the venturi into the skimmer or if the pump is not sealed correctly, that is the only path for the pump to pull air.

I would suggest looking at the o-ring between the impeller cover and the pump body, if it is leaking around that area.

you can all take a small piece of plastic (like saran wrap), hold it in spots around the pump body to see if it gets blown around underwater. This may be an easier way to pinpoint a leak in the body, as micro bubbles go everywhere once they come out of a leak.
I’m not exactly sure where the bubbles are coming from but they do explode from that area. I will try the seran wrap idea to see. I’m going insane haha
 
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I’m not exactly sure where the bubbles are coming from but they do explode from that area. I will try the seran wrap idea to see. I’m going insane haha
Just be sure to remove the venturi when doing the saran wrap test. Will be much easier to see the saran wrap move away from the body of the pump.

You are looking for it to be shot away (not literally, as I doubt the force is that strong) and it may flutter once you hone in the spot it is bypassing the flow through the body. That is, if it is leaking from there. But the video looks like it is leaking from around the impeller cover where it meets the body.

If that does not work, remove the pump from the body of the skimmer and use your finger to slightly block the pump side that would connect to the skimmer. You do not want to block it off all of the way, just enough to create a little back pressure. This may help you locate the leak easier.
 
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I tried finding a flutter and nothing. However, this may be because the leak is coming from the bottom of the pump. I will disconnect it and see if I can locate it then. Here is a video.
 
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Max93

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Ok. Definitely coming from the skimmer pump, from the bottom, can’t pinpoint exactly where… but that’s the issue. How do I even go about fixing this? I took apart the pump and everything again and I check all the o rings etc. everything looks good..

to clarify, it’s coming from the “line” that connects the part of the pump you can remove from the motor. No idea how to correct this.
 
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Max93

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Well, the microbubbles are back again. Does a skimmer need to be soaked in vinegar every 10 days or am I missing something? It seems to be coming from the outlet this time.
 
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Update:

I measured the water level in my sump incorrectly, turns out the skimmer was at 9.5” of water which is higher than the manufacturer recommends. I ended up creating a rack from pvc and egg crate, and raised the skimmer up so now it sits at 7.5” of water like the manufacturer recommends and the microbubbles stopped again.
 
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The outlet of the vast majority of skimmers are going to release microbubbles. There are a select few recirculating skimmers that have very little airbubbles, but traditional ones there is no escaping this. You need to point the output where the bubbles have a chance to escape to the surface without going through your return pump.
 
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