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Thread: Pump basket not catching full prime?

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    Pump basket not catching full prime?

    I was already was having some problems with air getting through the suction side somewheres. My pump basket appears a few years old and when I take it off the original falls right off. Is this normal? Also, the lid only turns about halfway and then tightens up instead of turning all the way and locking in. Could this be the problem? My pump basket is only catching about a half prime now all of a sudden, but it did have some air bubbles in the top before this, but was catching pretty much a full prime. I was going to check and clean out impeller, maybe that's the issues. Only other thing I did different since, was I added some Biogard Backup to kill the water bugs. How many days can you go without running pool pump? Is one day OK? It's Mother's Day and I don't want to take time away from the wife and kids for this. Will one day not running it mess up the chemistries or allow the pool to dirty up? Thanks!
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Pump basket not catching full prime?

    Have you tried Lubing the O-ring with pool lube?
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    Re: Pump basket not catching full prime?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
    Have you tried Lubing the O-ring with pool lube?
    No I sure haven't...only thing I've tried was pressing down on the top if the lid and holding it down for a little while to see if that would help and it didn't.

    - - - Updated - - -

    You think it could be that the impeller is clogged? We have a lot of landscaping and debris falling in the pool early this spring.
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pump basket not catching full prime?

    The Oring should stick in the pump strainer lid with pool lube. If it's falling out, it's too dry. It also runs the risk of getting dirt and grit stuck to what lube is left, which messes with the seal. The rubber also gets hard and stiff and doesn't compress and seal well. Buy a new one and a tube of pool lube this week and be done with it. Also give the pump drain plugs a twist to ensure they're still tight.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Pump basket not catching full prime?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    The Oring should stick in the pump strainer lid with pool lube. If it's falling out, it's too dry. It also runs the risk of getting dirt and grit stuck to what lube is left, which messes with the seal. The rubber also gets hard and stiff and doesn't compress and seal well. Buy a new one and a tube of pool lube this week and be done with it. Also give the pump drain plugs a twist to ensure they're still tight.
    Hey thanks man! I'll get a new lid and Oring setup tomorrow. Where exactly are the drain plugs on the pump? It's a Pantair Whisper Flo pump. Is it OK if I don't run the pump today? Don't want to mess anything up?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Wait should I buy a whole new lid setup since it isn't locking in all the way when I turn it? Or only a new oring and some pool lube?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
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    Re: Pump basket not catching full prime?

    Quote Originally Posted by CajunGuy View Post
    Hey thanks man! I'll get a new lid and Oring setup tomorrow. Where exactly are the drain plugs on the pump? It's a Pantair Whisper Flo pump. Is it OK if I don't run the pump today? Don't want to mess anything up?
    The drain plug is down low. Part 24



    And if the pool is otherwise clean and balanced, a day without filtering is hardly going to be noticed. Just like a healthy person can fast for a day without much problem but a sick person might get worse without eating.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Pump basket not catching full prime?

    I'm thinking the air getting into the system must have something to do with my main pump, bc my spa pump basket primes up perfectly when I had them both on last night. My main pump basket was only priming about halfway. Hopefully it's something simple like a clogged impeller or the main bump basket lid/oring. How hard is it to clean impeller using the coat hanger method? Is there a better way to clean or clear an impeller?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
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    Re: Pump basket not catching full prime?

    Update:

    I noticed today that when I turned the suction valve to skimmer turned off (only suctioning from main drains) the pump caught a full prime immediately! When I switched it back and tuned the main drains off (only suctioning from skimmer) the pump basket immediately lost almost the entire prime and barely any water was coming into the pump basket. Does this mean there is most likely an issue with the skimmer?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pump basket not catching full prime?

    Quote Originally Posted by CajunGuy View Post
    Update:

    I noticed today that when I turned the suction valve to skimmer turned off (only suctioning from main drains) the pump caught a full prime immediately! When I switched it back and tuned the main drains off (only suctioning from skimmer) the pump basket immediately lost almost the entire prime and barely any water was coming into the pump basket. Does this mean there is most likely an issue with the skimmer?
    Yes. Check for a stuck weir or low water level first. Then worry about leaks. Pool School - Suction Side Air Leaks
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Pump basket not catching full prime?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Yes. Check for a stuck weir or low water level first. Then worry about leaks. Pool School - Suction Side Air Leaks
    I don't have a weir door. Was in the process of getting one once I realized it SHOULD have a door. Water level is about an 1.5-2" from bottom of skimmer. I have a few pictures I'm going to attach.
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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    Re: Pump basket not catching full prime?

    Do you see a vortex/whirlpool when the pump is on?
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Pump basket not catching full prime?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Do you see a vortex/whirlpool when the pump is on?
    A very small one at best when I have it suctioning from skimmer, but I'm assuming that's bc the pump is only priming a fraction of what it should be.
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pump basket not catching full prime?

    Water level looks a little low, it should be about halfway up the waterline tile/skimmer opening.
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    Re: Pump basket not catching full prime?

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Water level looks a little low, it should be about halfway up the waterline tile/skimmer opening.
    I did waste a good bit of water last week (pulling only from the main drain) in anticipation of a HUGE downpour that we had for several days. Just a thought/theory but could a large amount of air gotten in the suction skimmer pipe and now is kinda just stuck in there and not enough water flow to blow it through? Maybe I should try adding some water and open up the skimmer suction? Not sure what else to do now? Pump kept a strong prime and ran good all day today suctioning only from main drains. I even tried it in "spa mode" suctioning only from spa and returning back only to spa and it kept a great prime without any problems. So it's making me believe that it's something strictly with the skimmer/skimmer suction line.
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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    Re: Pump basket not catching full prime?

    Ok so my water level was a bit lower than I thought. It still was about an inch above the bottom of the skimmer, I just figured as long as the water level was above the bottom of the skimmer it would work as it should, could it be pulling air through even if the water level is over the skimmer bottom only by about an inch? I've raised it to midline of skimmer yesterday evening, but it was too dark out to test the flow.
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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