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Thread: No prime/suction after hard freeze

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    No prime/suction after hard freeze

    Just as the freeze guard relay decided to quit we had a few days of hard freeze afterwards... Now that all has thawed out, can't get the pump to prime.

    I've tried closing skimmers and spa and leave main drain open. Also put spider valve on recirculate. Once the basket is filled, the pump empties the basket quickly as normal and the water begins to trickle in but after about 3-4 minutes it dries up. Even filled the basket and closed the inlet valve and simultaneously start the pump and open the valve; there's a big inrush (getting my hopes up), but eventually dries up. Made sure there's grease on the lid o-ring and it's tight. Ugh!

    Attached is a picture of my setup.

    I'm hoping there's just air in the line and it's a matter of time (and effort). Even tried to run a garden hose and fill both the main drain and skimmer lines from the pump basket side.

    Anything else I can try?

    Northeast PA (Mt Cobb) 16,000 gallon in ground salt pool with all Pentair automation and Intelliflo VS pump. Also part of the pool is a two 5-horsepower 3-jet Badujet swim system. For heating we use a 384 sq-ft Heliocol solar pool heating system and additional solar from the 160 sq-ft house solar heating system.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: No prime/suction after hard freeze

    Sounds like you may have a air leak, possibly from a cracked pipe on the suction side of the pump
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: No prime/suction after hard freeze

    If it was priming before, you probably just need to be persistent. My pump is hard to prime, also.

    I close one of the 2 suctions lines to the pump so the pump only has to pull from one. I put the multiport on "recirc" so the pump doesn't have to push through the filter.

    Next, I fill the pump basket with water and seal the system and turn on the pump. The water quickly disappears back into the returns.

    Next, I shut off the pump, open the pump basket lid and fill it again....same procedure as above.

    Repeat a third time if it doesn't prime.

    Mine usually catches on the second prime but it still takes a minute or more to get the flow started, then it's fine.

    If you have a system where you can shut off one of the returns like mine, open it back up VERY slowly or it will drop prime again.

    PS - would ditch the auto-freeze and turn on the pump manually when it gets cold.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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