(Picture attached to show my setup.)
My question is how I can prevent my pump from losing its prime when I clean the gunk from the pump's filter basket. These days, there are a lot of small leaves which end up in the pool and make it to the pump. They are trapped by the basket. However, when I try to clean out the pump's filter basket, I constantly lose prime, and I can hear constant water flow back to the pool (my pump is a few feet above my in-ground pool's water level) whilst the cover is off the pump's basket.
My workflow: turn off pump, remove pump cover, clean out basket, replace cover, and re-start pump (on high).
Should I try to turn the valve which is just before my cartridge filter (just after the pump) OFF to the pump before removing the pump's cover? I would really appreciate any help, because it takes at least 4-5 minutes to re-prime the pump after turning it back on, and I worry a little bit about running the pump while it is dry for these 4-5 minutes.