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Thread: Pump suction problem

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    Pump suction problem

    Hello,

    First time pool owner and I am trying to learn as much as I can. Thank you for a great forum. I am having a pump suction problem and I would really appreciate some inputs.

    My pump won't circulate the water unless I fill up the strainer pot with water all the way to the rim, and the only way I could do that is that I have to shut off the skimmer inlets and main drain (skimmer lines have valves on them, otherwise whatever water I pour in simply flow back to the pool through the skimmer. Main drain is shut off through a diverter valve) So my manual prime involves shutting off both mail drain and skimmer inlets valves, filling up the strainer pot with water, start the pump, immediately turn on the skimmer inlets, then the pump start circulating the water with the pressure gauge on my sand filter around 20 (the pool is green now.)

    So I had this running yesterday and then went to bed. This morning, I was waken up by the loud noise of the pump. I went outside and saw the pool water is not circulating again and pressure gauge is showing zero. My deduction is that the timer must have turned off the pump at midnight, and because then the water in strainder pot flowed back to the pool, when the timer starts the pump this morning, it was sucking air instead of water.

    Does anyone have any idea what would be the cause of my pump not able to generate enough suction without filling up the pipes first (from what I read, I shouldn't have to shut off the skimmer inlets valves during prime?)

    Thank you in advance.
    36000 Gallon IG Vinyl
    Sand Filter
    Pentair Pinnacle Pump 1HP

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    Apr 2007
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    Sebring, Florida
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    Re: Pump suction problem

    Welcome to the forum. You have a suction side air leak....very common but sometimes difficult to track down.

    Somewhere between the pump and the skimmers and/or main drain piping, you are sucking air into the system. Find that air leak and your pump will never need to be primed....it'll stay full.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pump suction problem

    Hello Dave,

    Thanks for the quick response.

    Other than sealing the O-Ring of the strainer pot with silicone, is there anything else I can try to find and fix the leak without getting a pool contractor?

    Also now I have another problem with the pump, not sure whether it is because the pump was running without water this morning - there is a small black drain plug under my pinnacle pump that is dripping water. It was not doing that yesterday. Any suggestion on how to stop the leak at the drain plug?

    Much appreciated.
    36000 Gallon IG Vinyl
    Sand Filter
    Pentair Pinnacle Pump 1HP

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    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,083

    Re: Pump suction problem

    remove that drain plug and put some pipe dope on it and seal it back up.....that may solve the problem.

    You must inspect every possible place that a leak can exist. Start at the skimmer...is your pool water depth too low so air is getting sucked in at the skimmer? Then just keep working towards the pump checking each joint and valve along the way. It is almost NEVER underground pipes so don't worry about that.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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