I've been unable to get my self priming pump to prime on it's own. I have to manually prime it everyday by adding water to the pump box several times. So far, I've checked/lubricated the pump basket O-ring, replaced and lubricated the O-ring on the chlorinator top, checked water level on skimmers (they are above 1/2 way), and cleared all skimmer and the pump baskets of debris. I inspected the check valve for debris and inspected/lubricated the check valve O-ring. There seems to be good seals on the pump box and check valve.
I am getting some air bubbles through the returns, but a lot less since I replaced the O-ring on the chlorinator lid. Water is flowing through the system. Pressure is between 14-16 on the meter. Yesterday, after I primed it and let it run for awhile, I saw some air bubble in the check valve and also in the pump box We did the "water sprinkle test" on the left skimmer pipes and when we streamed water on those unions, the air bubbles went away in the check valve and in the pump box. When I checked the pump each morning, the pump box is usually full of water (with a few or even one large air bubble in it). When hit the power to start the pump, the water in the box drains and pump will not self prime -- causing me to prime it. Then, it runs for several hours without an issue. I've attached a pic of my pumping station. That may help to explain what we are seeing and what we have to work with.
* Could the leaks around the left skimmer pipes cause the pump's self priming issues?
* Now that we think we found the air leaks, will sealing the leaks with something like Pool Putty Epoxy fix the self priming issue?
-Or- should my husband go ahead and replace the existing plumbing pieces where we found air leaks?
Any other suggestions would greatly be appreciated.
Thanks in advance for the help!