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Thread: Has my pump failed or on the verge of failure?

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    Has my pump failed or on the verge of failure?

    I'm relatively new to TFP and have gladly embraced the BBB concept. No more dragging my "urine sample" down to the local pool supply store and having them convince me to spend $$$$$ on treatment products that never really worked anyway. Now, instead, I drag home cases of Chlorox bleach from the local Costco!

    A little background before my question...... The pool and equipment are roughly 15 years old. I have lived here for 5 years and have had no pool equipment issues (with the exception of replacing a light and housing).

    I have a Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas II 1.5 hp main pump feeding a System 3 filter. A seperate booster pump feeds the pool sweep. The main pump also supplies water to the built in hot tub which is elevated above the main pool. 19,500 gal. total capacity.

    I recently noticed that the pump is starting "dry" when it shifts on........ When the timer shut it off this afternoon, I noticed water flowing back into the pool via the skimmers. I know little to nothing about the operations of my main pump but would assume when the unit shuts off that the impeller (assuming it has one) would not allow the water in the system to backflow to the skimmers. No other pump related issues to report.... overheating, louder than normal operations, etc.

    Do I have a pump problem that needs closer inspection? Thankfully, all of my pool equipment is covered under a home warrantee policy in case repair / replacement is required........

    Your thoughts and advise is much appreciated.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Has my pump failed or on the verge of failure?

    Unless there's a check valve in the line there's nothing in the pump or any of the other equipment that will stop the water from flowing either way.

    Usually when you get water flowing back into the skimmer when you shut the pump off it means you're getting air into the system somewhere on the suction side of the pump and it gets trapped in the filter and forces the water back out once the pump stops.

    Common places for air entering the system are:
    Skimmer, check the water level to make the skimmer isn't creating a vortex and sucking in air.
    Check the skimmer weir to make sure it operates freely and doesn't stick.
    Clean and lube the pump basket lid and o-ring.
    Check the pump strainer basket drain plug(s).

    Let us know if this doesn't work and we help you figure out where it may be.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Has my pump failed or on the verge of failure?

    Many thanks Dave for the prompt reply...... It all makes perfect sense.

    No skimmer weir issues related to water level / air inflow..... I have an automatic water supply that takes care of evaporation / water overflow and pool levels remain constant.
    Pump basket lid recently cleaned and lubed (roughly 2 weeks ago) and appears to be holding pressure well.
    I unscrewed the pump basket drain valve screw (barely finger tight), removed, lubed and tightened. Repressurerized the system with the pump running and confirmed no air in the filter "egg". Pump is now off and appears to be holding pressure just fine with no visible backflow from the skimmers when shut down. I will monitor over the next several hours to confirm the pump basket retains a full supply of water and report back........ I'm hopeful we found the problem....... Hard to believe such a small item (basket drain plug) could create so many potential problems!

    Thanks again Dave

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Has my pump failed or on the verge of failure?

    Sometimes it's the little things.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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