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Thread: Correct way to prime Intelliflow VS pump?

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    Vinoveritas's Avatar
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    Correct way to prime Intelliflow VS pump?

    Had pool school Wednesday but we didn't go over what do to if you lose prime. Last night, I opened the pump ring to clean out the leaf basket when the pump was off and all the water in the suction side drained back into the pool. I filled the basket up with water, reattached the ring and ran the pump in Service Mode at the highest speed setting. It drained the water in the basket but never pulled any water from the pool in about 4 minutes run time.

    I have 4 suction lines: spa, far skimmer, near skimmer and main drain. My PB (on a mobile with a bad connection) thought that since my pump was so close to the pool (20') that it should be able to do it with everything open. I don't want to fry the pump so is there a better way to do it? It ran for 4 minutes with everything open and then I shut the main drain and the furthest skimmer off and still nothing after about 90 seconds. I am running the pump at the fourth button which is close to the highest the pump will go, if not the highest.

    He is coming by today but unless there is a problem, I should be able to do this, right? Any tips? Thanks.
    16,000 IGP with Spa - Quad 80 DE - WET Midnight Sea Satin surface - Intelliflow VSP (3hp) - EasyTouch 4 - TFT100 w/ Speed Stir (best thing evah)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Correct way to prime Intelliflow VS pump?

    Yes, it should have been able to prime. I would only go for 30 seconds to a minute and if it hasn't drawn in any new water in by then try turning it off and filling the strainer basket again. Running too long without any water in the basket can damage the pump.

    This isn't normally required, but priming is noticeably more reliable if you close off all but a single suction line. Often the main drain is the simplest line to get working. Then, once the pump is primed, you can open the other lines (one at a time and slowly).

    Since this is a new pool, there is some chance there is an air leak somewhere on the suction side interfering with priming. Even a very small air leak can be enough to prevent priming. Usually the leak is on one of the suction lines and if you turn that line off everything will work. If that is what is happening, some experimentation can help you quickly narrow down which line is having a problem. Or you can leave this to the builder to work out.

    How high above pool water level is your pump? That makes more of a difference than how far away horizontally it is.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Vinoveritas's Avatar
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    Re: Correct way to prime Intelliflow VS pump?

    Thanks, Jason! I shut everything down but the near skimmer and then switched to spa mode. It caught prime there and then I switched back to pool, which made me lose prime obviously but the pump was able to get it back and I then proceeded to open the other two valves in succession to get the pool back to normal. Yay for me! I probably shouldn't have needed to go into spa mode to get it done but it made me feel better knowing that it was working in some way.

    Called the PB to tell him I figured it out myself and he may not need to make the trip down but he said that the pump should be able to pull a prime with all valves open so he was still coming down to see what's what. Called him at close to 8:30 last night and when I apologized he stopped me and said to call anytime I had an issue and not to worry about it. This is just another in a long string of examples of how I know I found a good PB.
    16,000 IGP with Spa - Quad 80 DE - WET Midnight Sea Satin surface - Intelliflow VSP (3hp) - EasyTouch 4 - TFT100 w/ Speed Stir (best thing evah)

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    Re: Correct way to prime Intelliflow VS pump?

    This is just another in a long string of examples of how I know I found a good PB.
    Yeah, that's excellent! He's a good one.

    My system is hard to prime also...mainly because the pump is almost 4' above the water level of the pool. I have to do tricks similar to what you did but, once primed, I am lucky not to have any air leaks so it stays primed from that point.
    Dave S.
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    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: Correct way to prime Intelliflow VS pump?

    Yep, that's how I get my pump running much more quickly when cleaning the basket. Since the hot tub is 2' above the pool, I just keep the spa main drain open until the pump starts pumping and then slowly open the skimmers and main drain. Works every time much quicker than making the pump work for a couple more minutes.
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    Re: Correct way to prime Intelliflow VS pump?

    Are you opening the vent on the top of your DE filter when priming?
    40'x19' IG Diamond Brite 29K 4' Waterfall/Dive Rock FNS60 DE Inteliflo VS 2hp Whisperflo pumps Aqualogic(P4) SWG TF100 Tester


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    Vinoveritas's Avatar
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    Re: Correct way to prime Intelliflow VS pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxepr1
    Are you opening the vent on the top of your DE filter when priming?
    Once the pump primed each additional valve i opened I would bleed the air. Is this right?
    16,000 IGP with Spa - Quad 80 DE - WET Midnight Sea Satin surface - Intelliflow VSP (3hp) - EasyTouch 4 - TFT100 w/ Speed Stir (best thing evah)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Correct way to prime Intelliflow VS pump?

    You only need to bleed air out of the filter once at the end of the priming sequence.
    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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    maxepr1's Avatar
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    Re: Correct way to prime Intelliflow VS pump?

    Jason, I meant the top of the filter tank. If I don't open mine up during the priming of the pump it takes allot longer to prime. It's almost instantaneous, the minute the bleeder is opened water floods the pump basket.
    40'x19' IG Diamond Brite 29K 4' Waterfall/Dive Rock FNS60 DE Inteliflo VS 2hp Whisperflo pumps Aqualogic(P4) SWG TF100 Tester


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    Re: Correct way to prime Intelliflow VS pump?

    I also find it helpful in if you do not have a check valve to close all the inlets before opening the strainer basket. When you are done, fill with water (if necessary) and then start pump and quickly open one inlet (or if you cannot make it in time, open one before starting pump), let it prime, then open the others...
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