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Thread: Confusion on emptying pump basket

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    Confusion on emptying pump basket

    When I change the pump basket, directions say to relieve the pressure. Well soon as the pump is off, the pressure gauge does to zero so not sure what else this means. But to be on the safe side, I open the pressure valve and keep it open. Would the lid of the pump be under pressure otherwise? I just want to be safe.

    But then what happens is that it seems all the water from the filter goes back out, and washes down the suction side and even washes back out into the pool. It takes the leaves with it that were in the pump basket I was trying to clean in the first place.

    So then I'm left with a basket that I can only fill with water until the suction inlet (the rest runs down and out suction side), and starting it up it takes what feels like a long time to prime again.

    I dont want to ruin anything by making in prime in this fashion if its not supposed to do this every week, and also it doesnt seem right for everything to wash back out suction side again defeating the whole purpose.

    The pump sits higher than the pool which probably creates this problem, but I also have no valves on the equipment other than what I think is the backwash valve just outside of the filter.

    Please advise!

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Confusion on emptying pump basket

    The way you are doing it is OK, just cumbersome. If you had a multi-port valve, it could be done a little more gracefully without the long re-prime but there is also no harm in continuing what you are doing.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Confusion on emptying pump basket

    You can also just help a bit and pour a bucket of water in there.
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    Re: Confusion on emptying pump basket

    I've tried sticking a hose in there. The water just runs down out the suction side. The most water I can get in there is up to the inlet. Thats what the manual does say, although I dont quite understand it because that amount of water is gone immediate after starting the pump then its gotta prime.

    What would happen if I did not open the filter pressure valve, and then opened the pump cover? Would the water just run out the suction side anyway since its basically lost "vacuum"?

    Still seems there has to be a better way... I just dont get the point of cleaning the basket when the stuff just gets flowed back into the suction pipe anyway. I can also see very dirty water in the pump basket and also the skimmer basket. It doesnt seem right that this happens.

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    Re: Confusion on emptying pump basket

    First, let me say that I may be doing it wrong.

    I turn off the pump motor. The pressure gauge on the filter drops immediately to 0. The pump remains full of water all the way up to the cover. I remove the cover. I don't open any pressure valve before doing this. As soon as the cover is loose, water begins draining back to the pool through the inlet valve. (Like you, my pump is above ground, and my pool is inground, so the water flows back to the pool at this point.) There may be a leaf or 2 that is sucked back towards the pool, but it is pretty easy to lift the basket out before much of this occurs. I empty the basket and replace it, and put the cover back on. Then I start the pump motor and wait for it to prime so I can make sure everything is fine and watertight.

    If it is dangerous to do this without opening a pressure valve first, somebody please let me know!
    Outdoor 14,000 gallon IG plaster pool built in 2000 with spillover spa, 2 hp WhisperFlo pump with MagneTek motor, Sta-Rite cartridge pool filter with 300 ft2 filtration area and 0.33 gpm/ft2 filtration rate, Aquabot Rapids 4WD robotic pool cleaner, Raypak digital gas heater, and Intermatic mechanical timer located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex

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    Re: Confusion on emptying pump basket

    Thanks for the reply. Thats how I'm wondering if I should be doing it.

    When you do this, does it seem/sound like the filter is draining water? Do you get dirty water in the pump and skimmer?

    Do you try and do all this quickly to limit water loss, or it doesnt matter how much time you take?

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    Re: Confusion on emptying pump basket

    I didn't pay attention to whether water was coming back into the pump from the filter. I'll specifically look for it next time. The water in the pump basket stays clear, but the pool water itself looks clear to me, so that's not an indication one way or the other. If there is water backing out from the filter, it does not appear to "backwash" the filter media, although in my case it's a cartridge filter so backwashing is not a normal concept. What type of filter do you have?

    I don't try to do it quickly, although it usually doesn't happen to take much time. Today, I hosed off the pump basket and it took longer than usual. I noticed that it also took longer than usual for the pump to prime. So, I'd say it matters how much time I take in the sense that there will be a lot more air if I leave the cover off for a while. I should have filled it as much as possible with a hose first today--next time I'll know to do that.
    Outdoor 14,000 gallon IG plaster pool built in 2000 with spillover spa, 2 hp WhisperFlo pump with MagneTek motor, Sta-Rite cartridge pool filter with 300 ft2 filtration area and 0.33 gpm/ft2 filtration rate, Aquabot Rapids 4WD robotic pool cleaner, Raypak digital gas heater, and Intermatic mechanical timer located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex

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    Re: Confusion on emptying pump basket

    Thanks. Ive got a Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter.

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