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Thread: Pump won't prime

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Fort Drum, New York

    Pump won't prime


    Our pump was working fine up until a week ago. We flipped the pump off to backwash since we had some bubbles coming into the return directionals. Since then we can not get the pump to prime for the life of me! We've replaced the O-rings and lubed them on both pump and sand filter. We also replaced the spider gasket in the filter head. The water is 3/4 up the skimmer, we've placed a hose in the lines from the pump to the skimmer to see if there was a clogged- doesn't seem like it. We've tried on port one and port two as well as on back wash and on recirc.

    The pump will suck what is already in the pump up but it won't pull more water in through the lines. We have a pinnacle high speed pump, and an in ground pool. I am at a loss and about to pay 150 for pressure testing.. Help? Ideas?

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio

    Re: Pump won't prime

    Hello and welcome to TFP! Looking back, bubbles from the return jets points to some air getting pulled-in. This would typically happen on the suction side. So when you turned-off the pump, I suspect wherever air was getting pulled-in from appears to be too much to overcome preventing the pump from reaching full prime. Any suction-side air leak coming=in would have to be from the poolside skimmer to the pump, to include the drain plug on the pump basket - maybe even the pump seal separating the wet end front the dry-end. Here is the Pool School - Suction Side Air Leaks page in case you haven't already seen it. Check closely any 3-way valves or fitting before the pump. Try the running water trick or even wrapping an area with plastic wrap to see if that helps to ID a suspected air leak.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    TFP Guide

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Chandler AZ

    Re: Pump won't prime

    How long are you letting the pump run to try to prime it? Sometimes it may take 2-3 minutes to get it to prime.

    If that doesn't work, you may want to review this Pool School article: Suction Side Air Leaks

    EDIT: I see Pat has you covered!
    ​12,300 gal IG play pool - Pebbletec - built 10/1999 || Hayward S360SX 36" sand filter || Hayward Ecostar SP3400 VSP || A&A In-Floor cleaning system || Quik Water Leveler || Quik Dek-clor (limited use)
    TF-100 testkit / Speedstir - A good test kit is not an expense, it's an investment

  4. Back To Top    #4

    TFP Guide

    Catanzaro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Monmouth County, New Jersey

    Re: Pump won't prime

    How is your pool set up? Try priming the pump from one area in the suction side. For example, I have 2 main drains and 2 skimmers. When I loose prime because I lift the vacuum out of the pool, or for any other reason, I go back and close off the skimmers and prime from main drain. I use the same method for opening the pool. As you build pressure, then slowly open up other suction areas.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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