I have recently replaced my pump with the 1.5 hp utilitech pump sold at Lowes and it always requires me to "prime" the pump by removing the cover to my waste basket and sticking the garden hose in it to add water. When I turn my pump on it will suck the water out of the skimmer line. Sometimes it will be enough water to give the pump enough pressure to circulate the water it should and sometimes it doesn't, requiring more patience and eventually the pump will prime. After about 20 minutes of operation air bubbles start to come out of the return.
Before I remove the pump and take it back to lowes I am going to replace the valves for the vacuum and the skimmer lines in the hopes of resolving my air bubble issues. I was wondering if putting a check valve somewhere in the skimmer line could prevent me from having to add additional water to get the pump to operate without any additional help from the garden hose. Should I just take the pump back to the store and go get a "legitimate" pump from a pool dealer?