The hydrostatic value on my pool failed last week, and by the time I could get it repaired the pool was down to 4' of water in a a 9' deep pool. So, I decided to go ahead and replaster it, as its been 20 years. Replasterer cant come until next Monday, so I am circulating water through the pump and salt water cell to keep the water chemistry right. Monday I started the pump- main drain only as it was well below the skimmers, and it ran fine. Took about 5 minutes to prime, but no other issues. I noticed a leak around the main housing of my Hawyard superpump. so took it apart, and noticed the gasket on the diffuser was in bad shape, so replaced it, and the main housing gasket where the motor part of the pump meets the part that attaches to the debris basket. I also replaced the debris basket gasket. Used spa lube on everything. Reassembled everything, and now the pump will not prime. I've taken the following steps:
(The skimmer valve is shut off)
Used soapy water on the suction side valves and fittings with tea pump running to see if I had a leak.. Nothging apparent.
inserted the garden hose into the debris basket and tried to fill the main dorian line, as there is alit of suction head that needs to be overcome , as the water surface level is now about 8 ' below the pump.
Once it was full of water, closed off the basket lid and screwed it shut, turned pump on.. Water immediately drew down into the impeller, but then nothing happened in term of water flow.
I tried repreating this procedure with the main drain valve closed, then slowly opening it to try to create a suction.. Nothing.
Closed the main drain valve, and filled the skimmer lines up with water through the skimmers, and turned the pump on with the skimmer valve open to see if I could get it to prime with water from the skimmers. It did not draw down the skimmer level an inch. The only connections/ fittings on the suction side that I think could be leaking a re separated from each other on tea main drain and skimmer pipes, so one of tea two (skimmer or main drain prime) shield have worked if the connection fitting is leaking.
In desperation, opened up the sand filter from the top and filled it with water to try to induce flow on the discharge side. Didn't work.
I took the pump motor off, set it on its end and started it. The impeller is turning like crazy, humming along as it should.
Putting a piece of paper against the external portion of the impeller, it is pushing air out.
Disassembled the pump motor again, checked that the diffuser is in its proper location and there was no debris, etc anywhere.
Back to the main drain only open, but tried it both with the air relief valve on the filter open and closed.. No luck either way
So, I'm thinking there are 3 possible issues, understand that the pump was not designed to pull water 8' up into the air (Although it has done this all week- only difference now that I see is the pump was completely de-primed):
There is a leak on th esuction side I can't find
The impeller is moving but not pulling water.(Physically impossible??)
There is some sort of air lock somewhere.
I am out of ideas short of waiting till Monday to call a mechanic. Everywhere I have checked no one is available today, and are closed for the holiday the rest of the week.. But i need to have the pool drawn down by then for the plasterers to start work.... Any help. thoughts would be REALLY appreciated!