Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: When to prime the pump

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Harrisburg, NC
    Posts
    25

    When to prime the pump

    I've owned a pool for about 1 month so far and up until now I didn't realize that you were supposed to prime the pool pump! I watched some videos on Youtube about how to do this, but it is not clear when this step is necessary. I reasoned it was not necessary because the pump seemed to "self-prime", although a lot of air was getting into the lines.

    Here is my understanding for when it makes sense to pour a bucket of water in to help things along:

    1. After backwashing the sand filter.

    2. After cleaning the pump strainer basket.

    Situations where you DON'T need to prime the pump:

    1. Turning the pumps on and off under daily cycling. This is probably obvious because if the pump is on a timer, you wouldn't be around to prime when it kicks on. However, not sure how long between cycles the system stays pressurized.

    Any helpful feedback is appreciated!
    2005 build, 16K gal, IG - vinyl, 3/4 hp WhisperFlo pump, sand filter, Polaris cleaning robot

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: When to prime the pump

    Most pumps should self-prime ... assuming it is not WAY above the pool water level. If you do not see air in the pump basket after a few minutes, you are fine and no need to do anything other than put the lid back on and fire it up and purge the air out of the filter (assuming you do not have a top mounted multi-valve which does not have an air release valve).
    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!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Harrisburg, NC
    Posts
    25

    Re: When to prime the pump

    Thanks for the reply. So you're saying that as long as I stand there long enough to make sure it sounds normal after startup, there is no need to add the water beforehand? I have an air release valve on top of my filter and the pump sits above water level.
    2005 build, 16K gal, IG - vinyl, 3/4 hp WhisperFlo pump, sand filter, Polaris cleaning robot

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: When to prime the pump

    Correct. You should see the water start flowing in to the pump pretty quickly and the bubbles should be mostly gone in a few minutes.
    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!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Harrisburg, NC
    Posts
    25

    Re: When to prime the pump

    Cool thanks. I guess my first instinct was correct in that if it manages to self-prime, no need to pour in more water. Glad I wasn't doing damage this whole time!
    2005 build, 16K gal, IG - vinyl, 3/4 hp WhisperFlo pump, sand filter, Polaris cleaning robot

  6. Back To Top    #6
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    11,487

    Re: When to prime the pump

    Quote Originally Posted by eskewj View Post
    Thanks for the reply. So you're saying that as long as I stand there long enough to make sure it sounds normal after startup, there is no need to add the water beforehand?
    I think it is always a good idea to make sure that the water level in the pump basket is at least up to the inlet pipe so you may need to add some water to the pump basket. This makes it a little easier and faster for the pump to prime. If the water level is too low, it can take much longer to prime which is hard on the seal.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Harrisburg, NC
    Posts
    25

    Re: When to prime the pump

    mas985,

    So if I understand correctly -> just because the pump will self-prime, it doesn't mean it is good for the system.
    2005 build, 16K gal, IG - vinyl, 3/4 hp WhisperFlo pump, sand filter, Polaris cleaning robot

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: When to prime the pump

    It is all relative ... 20 seconds is not problem ... even a few minutes to fully prime is probably not that bad as some water will be moving through and cooling things, but if it is running dry with no water movement at all for a many minutes, that could cause problems.

    Just make sure the pump is filled to the intake opening, cover it and fire it up. I guess I have never worried about adding water as my pump is barely above the pool water level. I see water movement in seconds.

    - - - Updated - - -

    BTW, when you are just backwashing (like in 1 in your first post), you do not open the pump so there is no where to pour water. You should only loose prime if you open up the system (like the pump basket almost immediately or if you open the filter for long enough that the water can all drain back through the pump).
    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
  •