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Thread: Losing Prime

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    tcat's Avatar
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    Losing Prime

    Not sure how I lost prime... but... my pool had about 6" too much water in it (not sure if my auto-fill is leaking or acting up), so I drained to proper level (turned off pump, lever to waste). I turned off pump, lever to filter, and I ignored it. I happen to glance at the pool an hour later and level was down 6". I noticed water slowly pouring from drain in yard (pump not going). I turned pump on and took me 30 minutes to get it to prime (turned pipe to pool halfway off, skimmer off). What's the best/fastest way to get prime? My pump bowl is always drained after the pump shuts off, but it takes less than a minute to prime on a normal start.
    IG pebble, 15,000 gallon
    48 PentAir DE Filter with backwash valve
    PentAir Whisperflo pump with 1hp 2-speed motor
    Aquabot 4WD, Poolskim
    Intermatic Dual Timeclock with freezeguard
    DIY chlorine feed
    BBB

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    Olney, MD
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    Re: Losing Prime

    Your pump bowl should not be draining every time the pump shuts off. This indicates a leak in the plumbing somewhere. Could be a bad valve gasket and so your pool basically was siphoning off water to your drain in the yard.

    Is there air in your pump basket during normal operation?

    BTW, I hope you are filling the pump basket with water prior to priming, this is always a good idea to prolong the life of your pump.
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    tcat's Avatar
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    Re: Losing Prime

    Thanks for the suggestions. Being a new pool owner, it's the little things that are not obvious at "pool school" that cause problems. Every time my pump starts (automatically at 11:00 AM each day, when I am typically not home), the pump bowl is empty. Water "gurgles" about 30 seconds, then finally starts moving. There is a small pocket of air at top of bowl. No visual leaks. Is there a good way to check for leaks on suction side? No air is coming out of jets.
    IG pebble, 15,000 gallon
    48 PentAir DE Filter with backwash valve
    PentAir Whisperflo pump with 1hp 2-speed motor
    Aquabot 4WD, Poolskim
    Intermatic Dual Timeclock with freezeguard
    DIY chlorine feed
    BBB

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    tcat's Avatar
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    Re: Losing Prime

    Went out to see how empty the pump bowl is this morning. It is halfway up the large opening into the pump (very low, 2-3" from bottom). The inlet pipe from the pool to the bowl is about 3" above this, so totally "open". I can't figure out how the level is that low since the pipe out of the pump goes straight up. That would tell me the leak is in the pump, but I see no dampness outside the pump.
    IG pebble, 15,000 gallon
    48 PentAir DE Filter with backwash valve
    PentAir Whisperflo pump with 1hp 2-speed motor
    Aquabot 4WD, Poolskim
    Intermatic Dual Timeclock with freezeguard
    DIY chlorine feed
    BBB

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    Re: Losing Prime

    Siphoning, as the water returns to the pool, it "pulls" the water from above your pool waterline into the pool. You can use this principle to drain your pool if you ever need to. Just put one end of the hose in the pool and the other end somewhere downgrade to drain to, a little suction on the output end and the hose will siphon off the poolwater until it reaches equilibrium with the waterlevel of the hose in the pool.

    There are many places the leak could be, but I still think you have a valve gasket issue since you had water draining through the waste line when the valve was in "filter" position. If possible, try plugging the waste line port, turn the pump off, and see if you are still seeing the pump pot drain.

    How old is your multiport and other equipment?
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    tcat's Avatar
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    Re: Losing Prime

    4 years. I assume they sell rebuild kits for these valves... I need to make sure of model then I'll search (once I conclude that's where the issue is). Thanks!
    IG pebble, 15,000 gallon
    48 PentAir DE Filter with backwash valve
    PentAir Whisperflo pump with 1hp 2-speed motor
    Aquabot 4WD, Poolskim
    Intermatic Dual Timeclock with freezeguard
    DIY chlorine feed
    BBB

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    Olney, MD
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    Re: Losing Prime

    One thing to make sure is that your o ring on your pump basket is well lubed as well as the drain plugs there. Sometimes that is the cheapest and easiest fix, but I still would guess more likely it is the multiport valve gasket.
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    tcat's Avatar
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    Re: Losing Prime

    Appears to be the big o'ring. After it ran and filled up, I turned it off and watched/listened. A faint "hissing" sound, then a "gurgle"... I had siliconed the gasket, but appears to still not be a perfect seal. I twisted it a few times back and forth and finally the hissing stopped. Guess I need a new o'ring, since I has cleaned both surfaces well and applied silicone grease.

    When I turn the pump off "something" in the Multi port valve (or filter) area, "screeches" to a halt, like rubber on rubber, for a second or two. Any clue what that is?
    IG pebble, 15,000 gallon
    48 PentAir DE Filter with backwash valve
    PentAir Whisperflo pump with 1hp 2-speed motor
    Aquabot 4WD, Poolskim
    Intermatic Dual Timeclock with freezeguard
    DIY chlorine feed
    BBB

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    Olney, MD
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    Re: Losing Prime

    Well, change out that o'ring and see if that solves your problems. If it doesn't, I would definitely take the cover off the multiport to see if there is anything noticeably bad going on... maybe there is something loose in there that it responding to the sudden change in pressure and causing that noise?
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    tcat's Avatar
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    Re: Losing Prime

    Ordered the o'ring and the Valve gasket... for under $20 I can do both. I did take a look under the valve cover, and the gasket does appear to have some issues; looks like epoxy or "something" leaked over one area... some sort of thin hard layer of material (maybe PVC cement). I was able to peal it off, but gasket is obviously breaking down. Can't seem to get the pump lid to stay sealed, hopefully the o'ring will fix it.
    IG pebble, 15,000 gallon
    48 PentAir DE Filter with backwash valve
    PentAir Whisperflo pump with 1hp 2-speed motor
    Aquabot 4WD, Poolskim
    Intermatic Dual Timeclock with freezeguard
    DIY chlorine feed
    BBB

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