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Thread: Hayward Ecostar pump prime problems

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    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Freeport, Bahamas
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    Hayward Ecostar pump prime problems

    I know this is a hot topic around here and I have read through a fair few threads to try to resolve this issue. Since my pool was built (beginning of this month), I have had an issue with the pump priming. The very first time it was switched on we had it fully primed and it ran for a couple of days and I noticed that air was in the strainer basket so I decided to re-prime! Since then it will not fill the stainer basket up at all, it basically pulls water through at the level of the inlet and no more. Bear in mind I am an absolute newbie to the pool maintenance world so all suggestions welcome. Up to now I have

    1 checked the water level
    2 checked for air leaks in suction plumbing from the exposed pipework to the pump, no joy with water running over joints
    3 checked/reseated unions to pump
    4 reseated lid on strainer basket (can't seem to get to o-ring it's set deep in the lid, how do i get it out?)
    5 cleaned filter (cartridge)

    I have isolated the skimmer the main drain and dedicated vac line to see if i could get it to prime on any of those to check there wasn't a pipe blockage but same results on each line.
    I know this may sound really stupid but when it is described to fill the strainer basket full with water is it supposed to fill right up cos I have had the hose in there a while and seems like the water just runs down into the pool. I have tried to close the valves and fill it up but when i open them as the pump starts it just sucks the water right out. Can someone describe the proper procedure for doing this if I am doing something wrong. I am also getting a "no flow" signal on my SWG and am worried this might be because i'm not getting the full pressure to the sensor.
    One more query, can I put chemicals in without worrying about them harming the plaster because they are not circulating well enough?

    It has not been the best of experiences for a newbie and I don't want to call the "Pool contractor" that installed it back for fear of him having "an accident" in my pool

    Gavin
    17,000gal IG, Diamond Bright finish, Ecostar SP3400VSP, Hayward Starclear plus C900 90sqft Cartridge filter, Aquarite SWG with T-9 Cell, Built/Completed May 2013

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    Re: Hayward Ecostar pump prime problems

    Do you have the air release valve open on the top of your cartridge filter open when priming? Need it open to let the air go out... My Hayward primes pretty quick even with no water in the strainer basket but if you fill it up pretty quick with a hose then put the cover on quickly most of the water should be trapped pretty close to the pump and make priming easier. 99% of the time if I have problems with priming or air in the system, it's because of the seal on the strainer basket. You mentioned you couldn't get it out - that could be a major issue - maybe it's not the right size.???
    16 x 32 inground vinyl pool (21000 gallons) (new liner installed 2014)
    Hayward max flo pump w/ 1 HP AO Smith motor (new motor 2014)
    Hayward C1200 cartridge filter (new 2014)
    Hayward H150 heater

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward Ecostar pump prime problems

    If the pump doesn't prime, it is because air is getting into the system on the suction side. It's often hard to find, but it remains the issue unless your impeller is clogged with debris (did you check?)

    What is your psi pressure with the pump running?

    Does it feel like you are getting much water floow out of the returns into the pool?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward Ecostar pump prime problems

    Try taking a small flat blade screwdriver and working the o-ring out of the lid.
    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: Hayward Ecostar pump prime problems

    Thanks for your responses guys,

    After getting the o-ring out of the strainer basket and reseating it and it making no difference I was just slightly leaning on the outlet from the filter and it didn't feel very much pressure at all and the gauge was at 30psi so just for experimental sake i removed the filter completely and hey presto the pump primed and my returns gushed for the first time!!! So, filter, really dirty or undersized? I have cleaned it out several times but after putting my fingers deep into the filter and running my finger down it is filled in the corners with an oil like substance, thick cream looking oil? Build up of chemicals maybe or like I suspected an undersized filter for the pump? I'm going to look into the acid cleaning process and see if that makes a difference but opinions on the filter size please.
    17,000gal IG, Diamond Bright finish, Ecostar SP3400VSP, Hayward Starclear plus C900 90sqft Cartridge filter, Aquarite SWG with T-9 Cell, Built/Completed May 2013

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward Ecostar pump prime problems

    A 90 sqft filter is pretty small for that size pool and pump. However it should work decently when it's clean. On a pool that size I'd recommend at least 200 sqft filter.
    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: Hayward Ecostar pump prime problems

    Now would it be a waste of time putting another filter (100-120sqft) in front of my existing one to give me a 200sqft+ or do i have to get a single 200sqft? On further inspection it looks like it my be calcium build up i have jet washed it up close and lots of flaky stuff comes out, still trying to level all chemicals since opening so this is probably the problem.
    17,000gal IG, Diamond Bright finish, Ecostar SP3400VSP, Hayward Starclear plus C900 90sqft Cartridge filter, Aquarite SWG with T-9 Cell, Built/Completed May 2013

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward Ecostar pump prime problems

    You could put another filter parallel with your current filter, but due to head loss differences one is always going to be loaded more than the other. If the cost difference between a 150 sqft filter and a 200 sqft filter is close I'd just replace it with a single 200 sqft filter.
    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: Hayward Ecostar pump prime problems

    I installed a Hayward SP3400VSP pump this week and had this same problem. Fortunately, I found a fix elsewhere on the web and hopefully it will work for you as well:

    1. Press the Menu button and you'll probably see Configuration Menu Locked. Press both the < and > buttons at the same time for a few seconds to access the Configuration Menu.

    2. Scroll through the menu items until you see Set Max Prime Speed.

    3. Change that from Auto-Sense to 3 Minute Mode.

    4. Exit the Configuration Menu and save your changes.

    Simple as that sounds, it did the trick for me.

    Good Luck!!

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