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Thread: My first pool experience - getting the pump running

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    My first pool experience - getting the pump running

    I bought a new house last Fall with a 25k gallon pool. In the Fall I paid a local pool company to close me down for the winter. I thought they did a good job (I know nothing), so I hired them to ďopenĒ me this last weekend. They took off the cover, removed the plugs and dumped in a bag of shock. 2 guys, 30 minutes, and $500 later. Total rip off. Iíve decided Iím doing this myself. I started looking online and found this website.

    At this point Iíve read the entire pool school. I donít think Iím ready to start with the chemicals yet, I just want to get the pump running and get all the leaves / dirt out of the pool. Hereís what my setup looks like:



    A top down view of the pump setup:



    The ďbig valueĒ (not sure what the technical name is):



    The two values coming out of the pump. Iím not sure what controls what:



    Chlorine feeder and heater. There is a value in this image too, but Iím assuming thatís just to let water into the heater when itís turned on (although I donít know). Iíve read the bad stuff about the 3Ē tab chlorine feeders and Iíll need to make a decision on this at some point, but Iím not ready for that yet (I did load it up with tabs for now):




    I think my next step is to get the pump running. The first thing I did was remove the clear plastic cap, fill it with water from a hose, close it, and turn on the pump. The ďbig valueĒ was set to filter (6:00). The other values were in the same positions they are shown in the above pictures. The water got sucked out immediately and it was all air. I tried that about 6 times, but no lock. I them moved the ďbig valueĒ to the position shown in the image above (I think itís recirculate) based on a youtube video I saw. It sounded like that would draw water into the pump, but no lock. At this point Iíd spent an hour on it with no progress and my wife started getting mad and told me to come in for dinner.

    I think my questions are:

    1. Whatís the proper procedure for getting the pump running?

    2. Based on the image above, whatís the general direction water is flowing through the system? I think understanding that would help me get grounded on whatís going on.

    3. In the first picture the pump is on the bottom. There are two valves to the right side of the pump. Any idea what they do and what positions are open/closed? This must sound like a stupid questionÖIím not very mechanically inclined so this is going to be a challenge for me. Once I get it Iíll mark up the pipes with black sharpie arrows showing which direction the water flows, what value is what, etc.

    Am I missing any information thatís required for any of the experts here to provide support?

    Thanks

    Jason

    Edited to remove all the extra "spam-like" URLs ... not sure about that hosting site. Moderator, jblizzle
    Jason

    30k IG plaster pool w/attached spa, Hayward Old school Jacuzzi Magnum Force 2HP single speed pump w/AO Smith motor (UST1202), Hayward 6020 DE filter, Poolskim, Polaris 380, Raypak natural gas heater, TF-100 test kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: My first pool experience - getting the pump running

    You are on the right track, what you tried is exactly what we would have told you to try first.

    The main pump is on the bottom of the first picture. It draws water in from any of several sources, controlled by the valves to it's right in the picture. Going from the pump to the right there is a check valve, then an automated valve that selects between pool and spa (appears to be in the pool position right now), above that valve is another which chooses between two water sources in the pool, presumably main drain and skimmer(s).

    In the same general area as the pump there is either a blower or an SVRS system (tan with an electrical outlet on the side). I can't quite recognize which it is from the picture.

    In-between the pump/filter area and the heater area there is a second pump which appears to be a booster pump for a pressure side pool cleaner.

    From the pump water goes through the main valve, and usually through the filter. It then appears to drop underground briefly, and pop up over by the heater. After passing through the heater it goes to another automated valve, which again picks between pool and spa. The pool side then goes through a manual valve, which selects between two different returns to the pool, perhaps two sets of returns or an in-floor system and regular returns. In that same area is a round vaguely mushroom shaped thing which is almost certainly part of an in-floor cleaning system.

    In the same general area as the heater there is a cylindrical tablet feeder sitting atop an arch of pipe.

    I suggest turning the manual valve near the pump 180 degrees and then trying to prime again just as you did before. Also, make sure that the pool is full enough that there are at least two inches of water above the bottom skimmer opening (but below the top of the opening).
    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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    Re: My first pool experience - getting the pump running

    Thanks for the reply. I think I generally understand how the water is flowing.

    Is the main value in the right position for priming? I have it set to recirculate right now...should it be on that or on filter? I assume I still need to do the hose thing and fill the pump manually before turning it on?

    Jason
    Jason

    30k IG plaster pool w/attached spa, Hayward Old school Jacuzzi Magnum Force 2HP single speed pump w/AO Smith motor (UST1202), Hayward 6020 DE filter, Poolskim, Polaris 380, Raypak natural gas heater, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: My first pool experience - getting the pump running

    Real quick - never move that main valve (called a multiport) while the pump is running.

    Recirculate just moves the water from the in to the out without moving through the filter. Filter is the same, but of course the water is directed through the filter medium. For getting the pump started either is fine. If your pump basket filled with water quickly via a hose when you tried to prime then that likely means the input is closed somewhere. In your first picture the input of the pump is on the right, the output is the pipe going up and to the multiport.

    When you prime the pump you're filling the input pipes with water, fill so that it's practically overflowing and above the input opening. It can't pump air, it can pump water. Also when priming wait a bit with the pump running and looking through the sealed lid, there will be a short time (5/10/15 sec depending on how well primed) where it looks like some air and then you should see/hear water rushing in and the pump running smoothly and water exiting the returns in the pool.
    18x36 inground vinyl lined, Hayward sand filter and tablet chrolinator, approx 18k gallon

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    Re: My first pool experience - getting the pump running

    I'm back at it...

    I rotated the manual value 180 degrees and filled up the pump with water. It immediately overflowed. I think that's because the check value is closed. SO I took and hose and stuck it into the pipe so it opened the check value. I can actually hear (and feel) the water flowing flowing through the pipe where the manual value is. I figured eventually the pipe would fill completely, and then I could start the pump. I let the hose run for 5 minutes so as shown in this image:



    You can see the hose is into the pump and pushing water past the check value. Water continued to flow through the pipe, but did not back up into the pump. I got impatient after 5 minutes, closed the lid on the pump and turned it on. It ran, but did not full up with water.

    How long should I let the pump run for it to fill up? II probably let it go a minute max and shut it off.

    What do you think I'm doing wrong?

    Jason

    Edited to remove all the extra "spam-like" URLs ... seriously, find a less shady image hosting site. Moderator, jblizzle
    Jason

    30k IG plaster pool w/attached spa, Hayward Old school Jacuzzi Magnum Force 2HP single speed pump w/AO Smith motor (UST1202), Hayward 6020 DE filter, Poolskim, Polaris 380, Raypak natural gas heater, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: My first pool experience - getting the pump running

    Was any water flowing through the pumP at all? If so you can let it run and watch it will prime and no air.

    Provided youre not sucking air from an input.
    18x36 inground vinyl lined, Hayward sand filter and tablet chrolinator, approx 18k gallon

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    Re: My first pool experience - getting the pump running

    No water at all when i shut it on...just air.
    Jason

    30k IG plaster pool w/attached spa, Hayward Old school Jacuzzi Magnum Force 2HP single speed pump w/AO Smith motor (UST1202), Hayward 6020 DE filter, Poolskim, Polaris 380, Raypak natural gas heater, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: My first pool experience - getting the pump running

    The saga continues...

    I now understand what all the valves do, so that's some progress. I have it setup to pull through the filter. I cleaned out the filter and made sure there is nothing blocking the water flow coming into the pump. I put the hose into the pump and past the check value. The water flows all the way through the line and back into the filter...if I look at the filter I can actually see there is water flow coming up through the hole in the bottom.

    I filled up the pump with water and closed it off. I have the main value on recirculate. I turned on the pump. It takes about 10 seconds, but all the water in the pump gets sucked out, but after that it's just air. It's not bringing in any water from the filter.

    Any thoughts?

    Jason
    Jason

    30k IG plaster pool w/attached spa, Hayward Old school Jacuzzi Magnum Force 2HP single speed pump w/AO Smith motor (UST1202), Hayward 6020 DE filter, Poolskim, Polaris 380, Raypak natural gas heater, TF-100 test kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: My first pool experience - getting the pump running

    My firewall blocks your image hosting site so I can not see the pictures ... that says something.

    Anyways, this sounds suspiciously like a different recent thread where the check valve before the pump was turned upside down for winterization. The flapper inside (assuming that is the style you have) should be AWAY from the pump not on the side closest to the pump.

    I think you need to flip the check valve over.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: My first pool experience - getting the pump running

    OK...that totally makes sense. When I put the hose in the pump and past the check value I actually push open the value with the tip of the hose. The value flaps open AWAY from the pump. If the pump is creating a suction it will (obviously) pull the value closed, blocking the water flow. Too bad it's dark...I can't want to try this...I think you nailed it.

    I'll pose back tomorrow.

    Jason
    Jason

    30k IG plaster pool w/attached spa, Hayward Old school Jacuzzi Magnum Force 2HP single speed pump w/AO Smith motor (UST1202), Hayward 6020 DE filter, Poolskim, Polaris 380, Raypak natural gas heater, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: My first pool experience - getting the pump running

    I couldn't resist, so I turned on the lights and went out with a few flashlights. I flipped the check value around, filled up and pump and turned it on. SUCCESS!

    Now I'm onto my next issue...

    In the first picture, leading into the main value from the pump, is a grey joint. When I got the pump running I had a decent leak coming from that joint. The joint was disconnected for the winter and I had to reconnect it myself sometime this past week.

    I disconnected the joint and it looks like there is an o-ring inside that's all stretched out to the point where it doesn't really fit in the groove. Here's what it looks like:



    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    Is this something I can just bring to a local pool supply store and get a replacement?
    Jason

    30k IG plaster pool w/attached spa, Hayward Old school Jacuzzi Magnum Force 2HP single speed pump w/AO Smith motor (UST1202), Hayward 6020 DE filter, Poolskim, Polaris 380, Raypak natural gas heater, TF-100 test kit

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    SkyKid's Avatar
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    Re: My first pool experience - getting the pump running

    You can probably get it at you local hardware store like Ace, True Value or even Lowe's
    14600gal, In-Ground Fiberglass, Haywood s244t Sand Filter, Jandy Apure35 SWG,
    Haywood 2 speed 1hp pump, Haywood Pool Shark, TF-100 Test Kit http://tftestkits.net/
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    Join Date
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    Re: My first pool experience - getting the pump running

    If its a screw joint with an o ring that's called a union and yeah first thing is get a good o ring in there. It sits in a groove and should be snug for a good seal.

    I'm guessing it's the grey one on your filter output near the pump.
    18x36 inground vinyl lined, Hayward sand filter and tablet chrolinator, approx 18k gallon

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    Re: My first pool experience - getting the pump running

    I picked up the o-ring today. Success. My issue now is with the Polaris cleaner...I'll post it in a new thread. Thanks cerybody for your help.
    Jason

    30k IG plaster pool w/attached spa, Hayward Old school Jacuzzi Magnum Force 2HP single speed pump w/AO Smith motor (UST1202), Hayward 6020 DE filter, Poolskim, Polaris 380, Raypak natural gas heater, TF-100 test kit

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