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Thread: Simple vacuum, pump not fully priming

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    Wildcat's Avatar
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    Simple vacuum, pump not fully priming

    I have a pool with pop ups and with occasional manual skimming and brushing I never needed a vacuum. But this year has been drier than normal and windy so I am getting leaves. Bought a simple hose and vac to attach to my pole. Works ok, I am hooking it to the suction side of my skimmer as I have no other way to connect with my piping setup. I have an Ecostar VSP which fully primes at most rpms with only a few tiny bubbles at 1000 RPM.

    But when I use the vac it only fills about 3/4 way with water with a lot of turbulence. Seems not to matter if I run at 1500 RPM or 2500 RPM.
    Is this normal? I try and prefill the hose with water but that isn't easy to do, or I don't know the trick. Is that the cause of this?
    Will it hurt my pump if I vacuum for only a few minutes every week?
    10000 Gal, IG Pebbletec, pop up cleaners,Hayward EcoStar VS, 425 sq ft Hayward Cartridge, waterfall feature

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Simple vacuum, pump not fully priming

    The pump should already be primed before using the vacuum. You should never try to prime a pump with a vacuum attached. Also, the pump should not lose prime if turned off.

    If the pump basket is filling with air after you attach the vacuum, then you have an air leak somewhere. Probably the pump lid gasket.
    Mark
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    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

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    Wildcat's Avatar
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    Re: Simple vacuum, pump not fully priming

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    The pump should already be primed before using the vacuum. You should never try to prime a pump with a vacuum attached. Also, the pump should not lose prime if turned off.

    If the pump basket is filling with air after you attach the vacuum, then you have an air leak somewhere. Probably the pump lid gasket.
    No indication of an air leak under any other circumstance. I presented it wrong, the pump is primed, but when I attach the vacuum it gets a void in the basket. Maybe I should have the pump running before attaching the vac so there is continuous flow of water?
    10000 Gal, IG Pebbletec, pop up cleaners,Hayward EcoStar VS, 425 sq ft Hayward Cartridge, waterfall feature

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Simple vacuum, pump not fully priming

    I hook mine up while it's running, and you can really hear the difference in pitch, and I see a lot of turbulence in the strainer basket, but it's not air, it's actually a vacuum. The pump is starving, since I use the hose straight into the skimmer. When I'm done, everything immediately goes back to normal. No air comes out the bleed, therefore, no air got in.

    If you fill the hose with water before attaching it you shouldn't draw any air. You'll know if you're sucking air because air bubbles will come out the returns, or the air bleed (if equipped) will hiss when it's opened.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Wildcat's Avatar
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    Re: Simple vacuum, pump not fully priming

    Thanks, I do see a lot of turbulence, as you say. If one fills the hose with water first will that reduce the turbulence or is it inevitable?
    10000 Gal, IG Pebbletec, pop up cleaners,Hayward EcoStar VS, 425 sq ft Hayward Cartridge, waterfall feature

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Simple vacuum, pump not fully priming

    Yes, you should fill the vac hose with water so the pump does not lose prime.
    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

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    Wildcat's Avatar
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    Re: Simple vacuum, pump not fully priming

    Stupid question, how do you fill the hose with water, submerge it or with a hose?
    10000 Gal, IG Pebbletec, pop up cleaners,Hayward EcoStar VS, 425 sq ft Hayward Cartridge, waterfall feature

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Simple vacuum, pump not fully priming

    There are a couple of ways to fill the hose with water. The best is to position yourself near a return and connect the hose to the vacuum head, lower it into the pool, then hold the free end of the hose against the return so the air is forced out and the hose fills with water. Cap off the free end with your hand while submerged and connect the hose to the skimmer.

    Otherwise connect the hose to the vacuum head, lower it into the pool, then submerge the entire length of hose until no more bubbles come out. Cap off the free end of the hose with your hand while submerged and connect the hose to the skimmer. You may need an extra pair of hands to submerge the entire hose at once. Using a garden hose to fill the vacuum hose with water will not work.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Simple vacuum, pump not fully priming

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildcat View Post
    Stupid question, how do you fill the hose with water, submerge it or with a hose?
    I connect the hose to the vacuum and lower it into the pool, with the hose on the deck, then slowly feed the hose in holding a length at a time vertical so any air in the hose gets pushed up and out the open end. I can usually keep it underwater as I shove it through the skimmer opening and down into the suction port.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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