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Thread: Tristar pump not priming at spring open.

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    Tristar pump not priming at spring open.

    Hi everyone, im a newbie here and this forum is awesome!! I'm a year old pool owner and starting to get the basics down on how the pool and pool chemistry works. Last year I bought and installed a Hayward Tri-Star high performance total HP 2.70 pump due to the old pump failed. Our pool is an inground gunite, salt water generator with spa and around 25000 gallons. We're located in Northeast and had a professional company winterizing it and opening it. This year I thought I could open it myself to save some cash. I got all the chemicals I need, pool is skimmed, raked and filled halfway to skimmer top. I have a Hayward pro grid DE 4820 filter. The filter is cleaned and I filled it before putting the lid on. I've opened the Jandy valve to main drain/skimmer-skimmer-from pool. Spa main drain is closed and I opened and lubed the valves to see if they are clogged. The O ring on the pump is looking good and it's new from last year. If anyone would be kind enough to perhaps point out what I'm missing. I filled the pump basket with water and tried to get the system going trying different combinations and tried to pull from all lines, one line only and I tried to pull from the spa as well. I let the pump run for about 4-5 minutes in some cases with no result. I even tried to close the valves and open one line halfway! No water coming in to the pump! I've been having the relieve valve opened, closed and a combination on that as well. I've been doing the fill and run procedures many times and checked and tightened the fittings and pump drains. I have no clues of what steps to take next. Im fearing that some lines are cracked under ground! There is no water movement at all in the skimmers when I run the pump. Some ideas and help is much appreciated.

    Thanks so much!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Tristar pump not priming at spring open.

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Well, I was going to suggest the pump drains and then got to the end of the paragraph that said you checked them.

    How far above the pool is your pump? Do you see any water movement in the pump? Sounds like either something is open on the suction side or closed on the pressure side.

    Can you add a few pictures of your equipment setup?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Tristar pump not priming at spring open.

    Hi Jason! Thanks so much for your reply and the welcome to TFP!!

    The pump is about one or two feet above the pool the way it looks to me. There is no water movement at all in the pump. I fill the basket start the pump and it sucks it out and keep running empty. No water coming in at all from the pool. As far as I know there is no valve to open on the pressure side, but what do I know! .

    I'll attach some picks to this post and please let me know if you need any additional info or pictures.
    Actually, the old iPad I have won't give me the option to upload pics for some reason. I have to go but I'll hope to get something up later with a computer.

    Many, many thanks!!

    Damian

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Tristar pump not priming at spring open.

    Or you can use this method with any image hosting:
    how-to-add-pictures-to-a-post-full-guide-with-screenshots-t45050.html

    How long have you left it running to try to prime?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Tristar pump not priming at spring open.

    Good morning Jason.

    I've had the pump running for around 5-7 minutes sometimes without any luck. Do you think it might be a pump problem? It is new and it is sucking or pushing the water that I fill through but it feels like there's not power enough to pull the water from the pool. Or, there's a air leak or something else that I've missed.

    Here's a link to the flickr photostream.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/69638934@N00/

    Have a great day Jason!

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Tristar pump not priming at spring open.

    Pretty sure you have an air leak (or maybe more than one) on the suction side of your pump. The O-ring on the pump basket is the most common leak but it could be anywhere from the skimmer to the pump. Find that leak(s) and your pump will prime.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Tristar pump not priming at spring open.

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you so much for your reply. I was hoping that would not be the case but it sure looks like it. So I wonder if the company that winterized the pool perhaps didn't blow the lines good enough. We had a pretty long and cold winter here. I scheduled them for a service call tomorrow to see if they have an explanation.

    Many thanks and have a great weekend.

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    Re: Tristar pump not priming at spring open.

    I have the same issue this year, but a much smaller system to deal with (Challenger pump and Sti-Rite filter). Opened the pool as normal this season, but no needle movement on the filter gauge once the pump is primed and system running. There was a leak on the PVC pipe fitting leading from the top of the pump to the filter (almost 3/4's of a turn once I cut the pipe to take it off - how the heck did that happen?) but that is repaired. I also changed out the filter sand so I had my hands on all the o'rings (waste, filter, pump) there with no issues noted.

    I did find one bolt almost completed out of its hole in the impeller housing (I think) that I tightened. Maybe there is an 0-ring in this location that fell out of its slot causing an air leak? Can there be an air leak at some points in the system without leaking water (the concrete around my system is bone dry this morning). Could there be o-rings in the pump itself that are bad (again no noticeable leaks here) or could the pump just be getting old and not producing enough force to pump? The pump makes a whirring sound as it runs, but after the initial prime there is just a trickle of water coming through the system. My gauge reads 1-2 lbs, if that, hardly any movement at all. Oh, and I changed the gauge thinking that the gauge was bad, but no luck there either.

    Thoughts? Headed out to check that impeller section now. Any other troubleshooting ideas before I dump several bills into a new pump?? The pump I believe is about 17 years old. Can someone match a serial # to a production year to verify?
    Mike
    Newbie and home improvement nut

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    Re: Tristar pump not priming at spring open.

    Hi everyone.

    This is crazy! The guys that winterized the pool actually turned the check valve around to make sure no water would come out i guess. The flap was locked so the pump wouldn't suck. So I turned it back around and the pool is running fine. I had no idea that you do that when winterizing the pool. Thank you all so much for your help and ideas. I'm just soo glad that there is no crack on the suction side!!

    Thanks again!

    Damian

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Tristar pump not priming at spring open.

    Good deal. You had not mentioned a check valve, thus the request for pictures.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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