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Thread: Pump not pulling water threw main drain

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Crystal Lake, IL
    Posts
    2

    Pump not pulling water threw main drain

    Ok this is gonna be a little wordy so hear me out.

    First of all the pool is located in Chicago suburbs.... (cold winters)

    I used to work at an apartment complex as a maintenance supervisor have my certified pool op.... have opened and closed this pool every year since 2014 (not that long I know) and have never had an issue..

    The first time I opened it it had been emptied the fall pervious completly and the lines filled with anti freeze filters drained had about four - six feet of water in the deep end from the snow melt ( I did the same thing in 2015)

    So as the story goes I no longer work there and there have been a few maintenance guys in between now and then and every year I have to go teach some new guy how to open and close the dang pool and maintain it threw the summer. ( my significant other is the property manager there)

    So last week I had the guy turn the pump on and turn to backwash to drain down the pool of course I instructed him to close the three skimmers and leave only the main drain open. Due to weather I was finally able to get there today to code down the pool figuring it would take two hours to completely close the pool and pool house down as it has in the past few years. When I got there there was about 18" of water in the deep end and he was about to start draining the rest of the water with a 1/2 hp water pump (Sump pump) I then told him let's just use the pool pump because what i have done in the past is use the pool pump to drain the pool then also pull antinfreeze throughluy threw all four (main drain and skimmer) lines into the pump house skimmer.... now this may be over kill but it has kept the pool running for years and I'd rather be safe then sorry... any how the guy then informs me that he had already tried the pool pump and it wouldn't take a prime... I call b.s. And start to mess with it my self.... three hours later still not taking a prime...

    1- use hose in pump house filter to back fill the main drain for five mins or so... pull out hose cover lid start pump I backwash nothing.....
    2- same thing only this time fill all four lines up trying to use skimmers to help water flow - no use
    3- close all four valves in pump house take hose fill filter houseing up to the absolute brim close the top rightly have the guy flip the witch to on as I hold on to the main drain shut off to open it as soon as the pump kicks on going that the amount of water will be enough in the pipe to generate suction no go
    4- try ten different variances of 1-3 including a constant hose running in deep end strainer as to make sure water is inthere and not running dry I realize it's not enough to create the syphion but its water moving threw.

    In the mean time I think possibly the shut off for the skimmers may be sucking in air so going to the absolute
    Definite I cut the line coneting the three skimmers to the main drain and cap it

    Fill the main drain up again for a veriable amount of time... maybe didn't go long enough possibly still no go....

    Water seems to be moving about four feet certainly up the line but not going any further

    Now the things I know for sure....
    with the skimmer lines cut off and capped so it is literally just the main drain when I shut the main drain while simotaniosuly shutting the pump off there is litlerly zero movement until I open the main drain or the pump filter cap then the water that has built four feet up comes rushing backwards....

    I went as far as installing a shut off valve with a hose hook up 8inches in front of the pump so when I turn the pump on I can have constant water going in..... still no go....

    Any opinions or advice would be appreciated....

    I do have a few more ideas or tricks I should say that I'm gonna try in the morning how ever if you have any advice I'd greatly read it and try to put it in action....

    Seriously if you have read this far I am so very sorry for the book but I wanted to try to be as detailed as I could from
    Memory

    Thanks
    Richard,
    50000 gal inground pool3ft-10ft depthmain drain 3" pvc(3) skimmers 2" pvcpump house about 25' away from pool 3 barrel sand filters can't remember pump type off hand but will update tomorrow when I get to work and find out...

  2. Back To Top    #2
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    11,302

    Re: Pump not pulling water threw main drain

    Welcome to the forum!

    Pool pumps aren't made for that kind lift (water level to pump height). I doubt it would ever prime that high. It might have worked if you didn't shut of the pump but right now, you are better off with a sump pump.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Crystal Lake, IL
    Posts
    2

    Re: Pump not pulling water threw main drain

    So the weird thing is for the last four years the pump would prime with a foot or less of water in it... this year mid summer they replaced the pup motor with a different Motor and now it won't take a prime added about two inches of water in and boom take. Aorone like a champ then got down to two inches shut it off cause was getting nervous about Running dry and again wouldn't prime sucked the balance out poured anti freeze in 15gals in pool and ten gallons backwards threw the pump house used a shop vac to blow its out and sypon it back in and I feel a little better about the whole situation....

  4. Back To Top    #4
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    11,302

    Re: Pump not pulling water threw main drain

    8' is about the limit of most pool pumps for priming although most would have difficulty at that height unless you can prime the suction pipe with a shutoff valve and then open the valve after the pump is running.

    The motor should not of affected anything unless they caused an air leak somewhere. That would make it even harder to prime
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  5. Back To Top    #5

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Gilbert,AZ.
    Posts
    123

    Re: Pump not pulling water threw main drain

    Always use a submersible pump to drain a pool, period, end of story.

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