Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Pump damaged due to water level below skimmer

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Pump damaged due to water level below skimmer

    I just bought a house with an inground pool and have been using BBB for pool maintenance. While that is working out well, I am having a host of problems with my equipment. My pumps (suction and booster) are constantly leaking. The impeller on the booster pump just burnt out and the pool guy told me that was because the pump was running without water.

    I did notice that the water level was at the bottom of the skimmer basket. So it was probably not getting water from the skimmer. Shouldn't the pump get water from the main drain in that case? Does that mean that my main drain is not working? How can I confirm that? Do I need to change the valve in the skimmer (the one that switches to main drain when the water level is low)?

    Apologies if I did not use the right terms. Still learning the terminology!!
    15K gal, IG, Pentair WhisperFlo, Cartridge Filter

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    9,198

    Re: Pump damaged due to water level below skimmer

    Hi welcome to TFP! I need to ask a couple of questions to clarify things. When you say the water was at the bottom of the skimmer basket, do you mean the water is that low in the pool? Does you booster pump have a skimmer pot on it?

    If the water level is halfway up the skimmer in the pool but there is low water level in the pump's skimmer pot you may have an obstruction between the skimmer and the pump that is reducing the flow of water to the pump.

    Hopefully all your valves are marked and you can just look and make sure the main drain is open. If they are not marked and you are having trouble determining what goes where take a picture and post it here and we can help you figure it out.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
    Love TFP? Become a
    TFP Supporter!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,077

    Re: Pump damaged due to water level below skimmer

    Shouldn't the pump get water from the main drain in that case?
    No. If you uncover the skimmers so air can get in, the pump will un-prime and run without water....causing damage most of the time.

    If you had a shut-off valve to the skimmers only AND it was closed, then it would pull from the main drain but that doesn't sound like the situation.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    114

    Re: Pump damaged due to water level below skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by kichi
    I just bought a house with an inground pool and have been using BBB for pool maintenance. While that is working out well, I am having a host of problems with my equipment. My pumps (suction and booster) are constantly leaking. The impeller on the booster pump just burnt out and the pool guy told me that was because the pump was running without water.

    I did notice that the water level was at the bottom of the skimmer basket. So it was probably not getting water from the skimmer. Shouldn't the pump get water from the main drain in that case? Does that mean that my main drain is not working? How can I confirm that? Do I need to change the valve in the skimmer (the one that switches to main drain when the water level is low)?

    Apologies if I did not use the right terms. Still learning the terminology!!
    I have a main drain and a skimmer as you described. If the water level drops below the level of the skimmer the main drain does not keep up. The pump will draw air from the empty skimmer basket and loose prime. As long as nothing is blocked what you described sounds normal to me.
    16,500 gallon, 18" x 38" Grecian; IG Vinyl, Hayward DE

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Pump damaged due to water level below skimmer

    The float diverter (which I think you are calling the valve in the skimmer) {looks like a spaceship?} ideally would keep pulling water from the floor or equalizer line when the water level drops below the skimmer. But, the float is not air tight and some air will still be pulled in ... whether or not TOO much air is present to keep the pump running is questionable.

    At my previous house, my filter case split and the pool was almost completely drained from the floor drain through the skimmer ... so in that case the float diverter did its job. I lost a LOT of water, but the pump was fine.
    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!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Pump damaged due to water level below skimmer

    Thanks everyone. I will get my pump fixed.

    Btw, the pool guy mentioned that my booster pump location is not ideal. My current set up for water flow is pool -> suction pump -> filter -> roof solar heater -> booster pump -> gas heater -> pool. He said that the booster pump should be before the solar, not after to maintain good pressure. Intuitively, that makes sense, but I wanted to confirm with folks more knowledgeable on the topic. Any thoughts?
    15K gal, IG, Pentair WhisperFlo, Cartridge Filter

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Pump damaged due to water level below skimmer

    I do not think the boost pump location matters in this case. I mean if a booster pump has no problem working when the filter pump is run on a very low speed of a VS pump and thus the pressure is only a few PSI, then it should be fine with the small pressure drop across the solar array when running the filter pump at a higher speed.

    If the pool water level was maintained and thus the filter pump was moving water ... the booster pump should not have a problem. The failure in this case sounds like it was due to the pool water level getting too low and thus the booster had no water to move.
    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!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •