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Thread: New pool owner - help please

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    New pool owner - help please

    I've had this house and pool for a couple years and am having a new problem. My pump won't hold its prime, I guess that is the way to say that. When it starts to fill up, it will get full but then flushes and starts all over. I am assuming air from somewhere, but where and how do I find it. I noticed the little glass bulb on the sand filter is also empty, would that have anything to do with it. Very frustrated and can't figure it out. Does anyone have any thoughts? I appreciate it.
    24K gal, IG vinyl, 1 HP pump, Hayward Pro Series S244s filter, Polaris 280 cleaning robot

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - help please

    Air getting into the system points to a suction side air leak. I'll recycle my usual response. You might also try using the search box for suction side air leaks.
    Round up the usual suspects: low water level, stuck weir (flapper) in the skimmer, loose drain plugs on the pump, poor seal on the pump strainer basket, and leaks at the fittings, especially any couplings.



    The glass bulb on the filter is a sight glass. It should show empty unless you're backwashing, when you use it to see when the water is finally clear. When the pump is on, do you see or hear a vortex in the skimmer? Does the flap swing free? The O-ring on top of the pump basket is a really common culprit, it needs to be clean, lubricated, and have no cracks.
    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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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - help please

    Could possibly be something stuck in the pipe as well blocking the flow.
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    aussieta's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - help please

    every time my pump turned on took a while to prime and when it turned off it was as if all the pipe drained in seconds
    checked everything
    put some special lube on strainer basket lid o-ring and instant fix
    Last edited by aussieta; 03-01-2014 at 05:16 PM. Reason: can't spell in the morning, or night for that matter
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    Re: New pool owner - help please

    Thanks everyone. I had thought maybe leaves or something was blocking the pipe, but nothing was ever coming through to the skimmer basket after doing a couple of things to check the line to make sure it was clear. So that is what made me go to air leak. What happens with the skimmer is it fills up to the top, and then is just instantly sucked out, I guess that would be the vortex maybe. I'll double check the o-ring again just to make sure that is not the problem. Thanks everyone.
    24K gal, IG vinyl, 1 HP pump, Hayward Pro Series S244s filter, Polaris 280 cleaning robot

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - help please

    Quote Originally Posted by JSherer View Post
    Thanks everyone. I had thought maybe leaves or something was blocking the pipe, but nothing was ever coming through to the skimmer basket after doing a couple of things to check the line to make sure it was clear. So that is what made me go to air leak. What happens with the skimmer is it fills up to the top, and then is just instantly sucked out, I guess that would be the vortex maybe. I'll double check the o-ring again just to make sure that is not the problem. Thanks everyone.
    Let's be sure we're speaking the same language. By skimmer, you're talking about the opening in the side of the pool where all the leaves and bugs on the surface end up in a perfect world?

    If so, then either the pool water level is too low or the weir (flapper) is sticking shut.
    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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    Re: New pool owner - help please

    I'm sorry, Sunday morning posting without enough coffee. The pump filter basket is what I meant to say. There is a good stream of water that comes in and fills it up, but instead of staying full and working properly, it basically flushes out and starts over. It flushes through the bottom of the pump filter basket (I guess where that would lead to the sand filter).
    24K gal, IG vinyl, 1 HP pump, Hayward Pro Series S244s filter, Polaris 280 cleaning robot

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - help please

    Quote Originally Posted by JSherer View Post
    I'm sorry, Sunday morning posting without enough coffee. The pump filter basket is what I meant to say. There is a good stream of water that comes in and fills it up, but instead of staying full and working properly, it basically flushes out and starts over. It flushes through the bottom of the pump filter basket (I guess where that would lead to the sand filter).
    What you're describing still fits the original diagnosis. What I picture happening is: the pump turns on, takes a few seconds to prime, gets going good, sucks the skimmer dry, sucks air, loses prime, stops pulling water from the skimmer, skimmer refills, pump is able to prime itself again. Repeat. Go take a look inside the skimmer - that's the one on the side of the pool - when the pump is on, and see if the water level drops suddenly. The water level even being an inch too low can cause what you're describing, and if the weir (flapper) is binding some how or is janned with a twig, it will do the same.
    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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