Tuesday, July 21, 2015

This easy mod to the AquaMaxx HOB-1 Bubble Stopper will eliminate your large bubble troubles


I am not a DIY kind of guy.

I often have (what I feel are) brilliant ideas, but making that transition from my brain to my hands doesn't always work out the way I've envisioned.

But after purchasing the new AquaMaxx HOB-1 Bubble Stopper and seeing it action, I thought, "There is a way to improve this that is simple enough even I can do it."

Let me preface by saying I didn't have issues with microbubbles. I did, however, have some larger bubbles that would exit the skimmer and cause splashing and salt creep around the outlet of the skimmer. I wanted to stop this from occurring and figured the Bubble Stopper would be perfect.



Upon receiving the Bubble Stopper, I rinsed it thoroughly and also gave my HOB-1 a much-needed cleaning. The Bubble Stopper was easy to install and only took a few seconds. When I turned the skimmer back on, I noticed the water level inside was quite high—almost to the notch in the body where the inlet tube enters the skimmer. This had me a little worried so I began investigating to see what the cause was.

I determined the new Bubble Stopper was causing some back pressure on the water exiting the skimmer. Water exits the Bubble Stopper from the top, so I could see this occurring. After inspecting the Bubble Stopper, I figured why not try drilling some holes in the cylinder to allow the water to exit from the body of the Bubble Stopper instead of just the top? Since there is a sponge that wraps all the way around the Bubble Stopper, I ascertained that any bubbles would be immediately stopped by the sponge.



I drilled multiple holes with a 3/16" drill bit all the way around the cylindrical Bubble Stopper. After cleaning up the shavings and rinsing it, I reinstalled the Bubble Stopper on my HOB-1. Perfect! The water level inside the skimmer no longer rose toward the top.  I can't believe an idea I had actually worked, but it did!



After observing the skimmer run for a while, I noticed quite a bit of water coming out of the top of the Bubble Stopper. While not really an issue, I really was trying to get all of the water to come out the sides instead of the top, so I re-drilled all the holes with a 1/4" drill bit.

At this point, almost all the water now comes out the sides with a little bit still exiting from the top, which really isn't that big of a deal.  I'm sure as the sponge gets a little dirty more water will exit from the top of the Bubble Stopper, which for me will be a great reminder to rinse the sponge out.

Most importantly, I'm no longer having those large bubbles issues. So maybe I am a DIY kind of guy after all!