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Thread: Pump Priming Problem

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    Pump Priming Problem

    I am having an issue with my pump not priming from the pool, but it primes just fine from the spa. Let me give you the full story.

    Back in late February the pump kicked on overnight due to it's freeze protection activating. When I awake the next morning, the pump motor had burned itself out.

    Due to a combination of lack of time and money it had to wait until last weekend to get repaired. Now I have a new Motor on my pump, but it will not prime from the pool. If I set my suction to the SPA, the pump primes fine, then I switch the valve to the pool and it continues pumping fine. Turn the pump off, and restart it and it pumps just fine from the pool. But if the water drains back out of the filter/pump for any reason (like cleaning the filter, or the strainer basket in the pump) then I have to swotch back to the SPA to prime the pump, then switch back to the pool.

    My concern is that if something happens again and the pump loses prime I'll burn up another motor.

    I have begun shocking the pool, but can't quite see the bottom yet, is there any test I can do to verify it is actually pulling water through the main drain (i.e. is there a way to block the skimmer basket as I can see it is sucking in water fine)?

    Thanks,

    Bryan
    18K Gallon In Ground Gunite Pool, Quartz/Plaster Finish, 8' Spa with Spillover, 1 Grotto/Waterfall, Hayward/Goldline PS8 controller, 1.5 HP Two Speed Pump, 1HP Booster Pump for Grotto/Waterfall, Cartridge Filter,400K BTU Nat Gas Heater, Ozonator,3 Multi-Color LED Lights (Spa, Grotto, Pool).

    Ozonator is not functioing, evaluating my options, either fix it or get a new one or drop it completely.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    Re: Pump Priming Problem

    Do you have a raised spa? The higher water level in a raised spa would make it easier to prime the pump. The pump should still prime from the pool, but a minor problem could interfere with priming just enough to prevent priming from the pool.

    I would start by checking under the pump strainer basket and see if there is any debris under there. Debris there could be interfering with priming. Another possibility would be an air leak on the suction side of the pool plumbing. Even a very small air leak could cause problems priming. If there is an air leak, you should see some air bubbles in the pump strainer basket while it is drawing from the pool.

    You can verify the main drain by turning off the skimmer. If you don't have a valve that does that, you can block the skimmer with a winterizing plug or gizmo.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Pump Priming Problem

    I never thought of the raised spa having an effect, but yes the spa is raised. I guess I will go see if the pool store has one of those gizmos to block the skimmer. I live in houston and we don't do much winterizing of the pools down here.

    As for suction side air leaks, there have always been bubbles in the straine basket from the ozonator, both on the pool side and the spa side. When I flip open the air valve at the top of the filter (without the pump running) all the water drains from the filter back to the pool. Then if I turn the pump back on, I get nothing (no aire flow or water flow) but if I switch to the spa suction it immediateley begins pushing air out the valve at the top of the fiilter, once I see the pump strainer basket fill completely, I switch to pool suction and it continues to pump fiine. Once I close the air valve (as soon as it starts spewing water) everything continues to run fine.

    I had/have noticed that if I leave everything off and the suction valve set on pool, it slowly seems to drain water from the spa to the pool (only noticable after a day or two without the pump running) could the Jandy valve be the problem?

    Thanks.
    18K Gallon In Ground Gunite Pool, Quartz/Plaster Finish, 8' Spa with Spillover, 1 Grotto/Waterfall, Hayward/Goldline PS8 controller, 1.5 HP Two Speed Pump, 1HP Booster Pump for Grotto/Waterfall, Cartridge Filter,400K BTU Nat Gas Heater, Ozonator,3 Multi-Color LED Lights (Spa, Grotto, Pool).

    Ozonator is not functioing, evaluating my options, either fix it or get a new one or drop it completely.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Pump Priming Problem

    The spa draining down could be a slow leak in either the three way valves that select between pool and spa or the check valves that prevent the spa from draining down. Normally all of these can be opened up and examined for debris or breaks, but that does take a little work.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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