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Thread: Pump dry when starting OK?

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    Pump dry when starting OK?

    I run my pump on a timer. I noticed that when it starts up the filter basket isn't full of water and it has to suck water in. It gets going OK. I just wanted to make sure this wasn't a problem.
    There's a sticker on the pump that says the basket should be full of water prior to starting, that's why I'm asking.
    Bill

    14000 Gal, Vinyl Lined Pool, No salt

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    Not ok. It may be priming now but if one morning it doesn't it will likely result in damage to the plumbing and the seals. Unless you catch it that is.

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    Is there enough water in the basket that it froths around in there immediately and then catches prime a little later?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    Yeah, there's some water in the basket. It does "froth" around and then starts pumping.
    Bill

    14000 Gal, Vinyl Lined Pool, No salt

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    Probably be Ok like that for a while but hopefully you can track down that tiny, tiny leak and your pump will hold prime completely and fire right up.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    Its not necessarily tiny but its definitely something that should be taken care.

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    I looked at the pump this morning. The basket was nearly empty. Just a little bit of water left in the bottom of the basket. Just to be safe, I removed the timer and am running the pump continously.

    I didn't see any obvious leaks. I'll look again tonight.
    Bill

    14000 Gal, Vinyl Lined Pool, No salt

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    For the trap to be nearly empty suggests a low leak. Does your pump leak underneath while its running?

    - - - Updated - - -

    There are also two drain plugs on most pumps and they can also cause what you are describing.

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK? - SOLVED

    I think I figured it out, I was sucking air in from the top of the basket/pot on the pump. Fixed that and now water is staying in there when the pump is off.

    Thanks
    Bill

    14000 Gal, Vinyl Lined Pool, No salt

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    It's happening again. 😞
    I replaced the lid o-ring and greased it up. The lid is definitely tight. I see no signs of water from anywhere signifying a leak. The pump basket stays completely full when running. Any ideas?

    IMG 2374 — imgbb.com
    IMG 2375 — imgbb.com
    Bill

    14000 Gal, Vinyl Lined Pool, No salt

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    I see no signs of water from anywhere signifying a leak.
    It's not a water leak.....it's air being sucked into the system. Do you see any bubbles at all passing through the pump strainer basket?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    As soon as I unplug the pump I see air bubbles coming from what seems like the bottom of the lid where the o-ring is. However, even if I rotate the lid, the bubbles still come from the same spot on the housing. That makes me think it's not the lid or the o-ring.

    The bubbles always come up from the inlet side of the basket housing. Any ideas on how i can find where the air is being sucked in from?
    Bill

    14000 Gal, Vinyl Lined Pool, No salt

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    Nevermind, I found this...

    Pool School - Leak Detection
    Bill

    14000 Gal, Vinyl Lined Pool, No salt

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    This one might be better, Pool School - Suction Side Air Leaks
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    I think I found the air is coming in where the PVC comes into the pump/basket. You can see where the previous owner globed a bunch of sealant around there. It really only seems to be a problem when I stop the pump. The basket stays completely full when the pump is running. Maybe I just leave the pump running 24/7 this year and deal with fixing it properly the next off season.

    IMG 2375 — imgbb.com
    Bill

    14000 Gal, Vinyl Lined Pool, No salt

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    Next season is fine. Most pools only need filtering (pump on) for maybe 6-8 hours daily. Your 24/7 fix for the air leak will cost you some bucks. Is that a single speed pump.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    Yeah, single speed. I think last year I figured out that I'd save a couple hundred by running it on the timer.

    I don't know, maybe I'll get ambitious and try to fix. I do have unions on the unit, so that makes it a bit easier.
    Bill

    14000 Gal, Vinyl Lined Pool, No salt

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    You might be paying $200 or so (in electric) extra for putting it off. I don't want to be a scare monger but I would fic it up nice and clean.....it'll likely stop that leak and last for years.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    Yeah, it might be a simple project since I do have a union. It appears to be a male threaded fitting that goes into the inlet of the pump.?
    Bill

    14000 Gal, Vinyl Lined Pool, No salt

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    Re: Pump dry when starting OK?

    That sounds right. At least it matches mine.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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