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Thread: I'm not getting any flow

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    I'm not getting any flow

    I'm just trying to figure out if there's something simple I'm missing before I end up calling the professionals out.
    Bought a foreclosure with an in ground kidney pool & spa, roughly 14,800 gallons. The house sat vacant for about 1 year and now we're trying to open it. My brother in law and I tried troubleshooting this thing yesterday.
    We started by removing the pump lid and running water in the basket from a hose. Turned the pump on and we noticed it air bubbles coming out of the return in the pool, then we noticed water was trickling out of the spa's overflow into the pool (the spa pump was off). Never saw any movement in the skimmer and no water coming from the pool return. We let it run for a couple minutes and there was no change. I called a buddy over who has an above ground pool, but he's not too knowledgeable on this stuff either. He had us seal the lid and turn it back on. Now we had no activity at all. The filter pressure sits at 8psi, no matter if the pump is running or not.
    Any ideas? Clogged skimmer? User error?
    15k gallon IG kidney pool with attached spa
    plaster
    sand filter

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    Re: I'm not getting any flow

    The filter pressure gauge is broken. Dont worry about it.

    Can you post some pics of your setup? It'll help us work through the variables if you want to tackle this on your own.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: I'm not getting any flow

    This is all I have on me at the moment. I can take more later.

    What other pics would be helpful?
    15k gallon IG kidney pool with attached spa
    plaster
    sand filter

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    Re: I'm not getting any flow

    That pic is pretty helpful. It sounds like you are not quite achieving prime on your pump. This can be for a number of reasons. So a little trouble shooting.

    1) It sounds like your pool return is set to spa. Water is sucked from the skimmer, filtered and then re-enters the pool at the spa. This is no problem. The Spa motor is probably to run the spa jets, not filter circulation.

    2) Your Pool water level - is it low?

    3) The 3 way valve to the right of the picture - this will select Main Drain, Skimmer, etc. Try moving it so the handle points to the pump. This should open both the main drain and the skimmer

    4) Is the equipment higher in elevation than the pool?

    5) Opening the pump and filling the basket with water is actually really helpful. It's possible you just need to fill the pump basket for longer in order to fill the piping as well.

    As long as your water is not low I would start with opening up the main drain, filling the pump basket with water for quite awhile and then quickly closing it up and turning it on. If none of that works report back. Good Luck.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: I'm not getting any flow

    Quote Originally Posted by lightingguy
    That pic is pretty helpful. It sounds like you are not quite achieving prime on your pump. This can be for a number of reasons. So a little trouble shooting.

    1) It sounds like your pool return is set to spa. Water is sucked from the skimmer, filtered and then re-enters the pool at the spa. This is no problem. The Spa motor is probably to run the spa jets, not filter circulation.

    2) Your Pool water level - is it low?

    3) The 3 way valve to the right of the picture - this will select Main Drain, Skimmer, etc. Try moving it so the handle points to the pump. This should open both the main drain and the skimmer

    4) Is the equipment higher in elevation than the pool?

    5) Opening the pump and filling the basket with water is actually really helpful. It's possible you just need to fill the pump basket for longer in order to fill the piping as well.

    As long as your water is not low I would start with opening up the main drain, filling the pump basket with water for quite awhile and then quickly closing it up and turning it on. If none of that works report back. Good Luck.
    The pump not being fully primed would make sense.
    1. So in addition to the return in the pool, water should flow from the spa's overflow from into the pool? (I'm half way there )
    2. Water level is full.
    3. That pic is a couple weeks old. We actually did have he handle of the jandy valve pointed towards the pump when we were trying to get this running.
    4. Yes, the pump house is on the basement level of the house, probably 2 feet above the water level in the pool.
    5. We've dumped lots of water into that pump, maybe when we ran it with the lid open I screwed that up. I'll start over, dump a bunch more water into the pump basket, then close the lid and see what happens.


    Let's see if I understand this. If it is a priming issue on the pump, the skimmer wouldn't work either because it's a closed system and requires suction from the return to cause movement in the skimmer?
    15k gallon IG kidney pool with attached spa
    plaster
    sand filter

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    Re: I'm not getting any flow

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizaugh
    4. Yes, the pump house is on the basement level of the house, probably 2 feet above the water level in the pool.
    Hopefully this is your issue. It will make it tough to prime - so hopefully trying again will help. You dont want to run the pump with the lid open (missed that part) - that just lets the water you put in the pump fall back to the pool.

    As to the spa overflow - typically there will be a pipe that leads to the pool returns (maybe 2 in your case - hard to tell) and a pipe that leads to the spa. This way you can pump filtered water into the spa - the spa overflows into the pool - and all the water gets circulation.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: I'm not getting any flow

    You dont want to run the pump with the lid open (missed that part) - that just lets the water you put in the pump fall back to the pool.
    That's my problem right there. I'll fill the basket again after work and give it another shot. Thanks for your help
    15k gallon IG kidney pool with attached spa
    plaster
    sand filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: I'm not getting any flow

    I also notice the small line running between the suctions of the two pumps is open in the pic. it needs to be closed until you get everything primed and operating.

    Can you take a few more pics? One a little farther away and one lower so we can read the labels on the pipes?
    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: I'm not getting any flow

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    I also notice the small line running between the suctions of the two pumps is open in the pic. it needs to be closed until you get everything primed and operating.

    Can you take a few more pics? One a little farther away and one lower so we can read the labels on the pipes?
    Good to know!
    Pretty sure from left to right they are:
    Furthest left is unlabeled, but goes to the spa pump I believe.
    Then "pool cleaner" which runs to the automatic chlorinator. Then "return" Then "pool return" Then "spa main drain" which is the one that links across to the unlabeled pipe mentioned above. Then "pool main drain" and furthest right is "skimmer"

    I'll relabel the pipes more clearly and post up some more pics when I get home.
    15k gallon IG kidney pool with attached spa
    plaster
    sand filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: I'm not getting any flow

    That pretty much confirms what I thought.

    The way it's set up, you can shut the "spa main drain" (SMD) off to the main pump and open the small valve so you're pulling some water from the "SMD" when running the spa pump.
    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: I'm not getting any flow

    Got great flow in the spa. Got a little flow from the pool return, but none in the skimmer. Any suggestions?
    Edit: now water is flowing from the spa overflow into the pool. Still nothing in the skimmer
    15k gallon IG kidney pool with attached spa
    plaster
    sand filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: I'm not getting any flow

    Post a pic of how you have the valves set now.
    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: I'm not getting any flow

    Can't post a pic until tomorrow, I'm on me cell.
    15k gallon IG kidney pool with attached spa
    plaster
    sand filter

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    Re: I'm not getting any flow

    Quick question. How many plugs should there be in a standard kidney pool? We pulled 5-6 from the spa. We only found 1 in the pool for the return. The water is so green we can only see 6-8 inches deep
    Edit: we also got the one from the skimmer
    15k gallon IG kidney pool with attached spa
    plaster
    sand filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: I'm not getting any flow

    It's impossible to say. There could only be one. You would think there'd be more but you never know.
    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: I'm not getting any flow



    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
    We started off with the small connection line closed. When we couldn't get the desired flow, we opened it to see what would happen. Was I too impatient?



    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
    Another valve running from the chlorinator and spa pump to the heater. In the pic above, this valve is behind the pump on the left.

    I found this video late last night and it's leading me to beleive I didn't get the skimmer primed properly(?)
    http://www.monkeysee.com/play/13494-...ing-the-system
    15k gallon IG kidney pool with attached spa
    plaster
    sand filter

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: I'm not getting any flow

    What happens if you close off the "spa main drain" valve and then slowly close off the the gray handled valve above the pool main drain label?
    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: I'm not getting any flow

    I'm at work now, I'll try it later and post the results.
    15k gallon IG kidney pool with attached spa
    plaster
    sand filter

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: I'm not getting any flow

    I think if it was me I'd stop worrying about the flows right now and start the shock process to get the pool cleared up and then tackle the leaks after you get it clear. Since you have good flow except for the skimmer you can use the main drain to collect the stuff off the bottom.
    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: I'm not getting any flow

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    I think if it was me I'd stop worrying about the flows right now and start the shock process to get the pool cleared up and then tackle the leaks after you get it clear. Since you have good flow except for the skimmer you can use the main drain to collect the stuff off the bottom.
    I hadn't even considered that as an option. I'll retest the water again tonight and start shocking. Thanks to both of you for your help!
    15k gallon IG kidney pool with attached spa
    plaster
    sand filter

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