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Thread: Pump is not running

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Pump is not running

    To start... I just bought a house with a pool in it. I have no idea what I'm doing. I've read the articles located in the Pool School and feel I'm better off now than I was last week. I feel I'm still in need of some guidance, though. Also, everything was working when I bought the house but I had turned on the pump because I didn't know how to maintain it - a couple of months ago.

    My issue is I believe the pump may not be working correctly. I have a manual timer and when I turn it on, the filter stays at 0% and no water seems to be circulating in the pool. I opened up the impeller and removed the basket. I removed any debris in the basket. I then put the basket back in according to the slot. I filled it up with water (which by the way kept draining and never stayed full). I then put the lid back on and turned the pump on. The impeller (I think that's what I was messing with) didn't seem to stay full with water. I tried tying plastic bags around the two ends of the impeller but I was not successful in getting it to work.

    In the mean time, I did get the water tested at a pool store. They gave me a bag called Power Powder Plus. He gave me two. He recommended I put it in the pool and it will help prevent the pool from getting greener until I can get the issue with the pump worked out.

    I've attached a picture of what I think is the impeller as well as the manual timer I have. I wasn't sure why there were two timers. When I was testing them pump, I turned them both on. Thanks for any assistance you can provide!

    Overall... can anyone provide me with any advice on getting the pump working? I will most likely be contacting a professional but I wanted to ask on the boards to see what input I could get.

    IMG_1627 (640x480).jpg

    IMG_1628 (640x480).jpg
    1) 28,274 gallons
    2) DE Filter
    3) IG
    4) Plaster/Marcite (This may be wrong.)
    5) Pump Size: Don't know.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pump is not running

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    If the pool is already green, there is no point is throwing a little powder in it, and that could be hurting your cause as well. You need to follow the SLAM Process and to do that correctly you need one of the Recommended Test Kits, so get that ordered ASAP.

    Now on to the pump, which obviously needs to be dealt with before you can clear the pool.
    Is the pump making any noise?
    Do you see any water churning in the pump basket?

    Likely the 2nd timer is for the other pump I think I see in the picture (maybe a booster pump for a cleaner?)
    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
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Pump is not running

    Thanks for the advice. I won't put in the chemicals in the pool and save them for later.

    The pump does make noise.
    The water in the pump basket makes some small bubbles when I initially turn on the pump but then they stop after about 10 - 20 seconds and the water appears to stand still except for some vibration which I'm assuming is caused by the pump.

    When I turn on the pump, I usually only turn it on for a minute or two to prevent over heating. Am I letting it run long enough to actually test the pump, though?

    Here's a picture of the other pump. Should they both be running at the same time?

    Thanks for your help!

    IMG_1622 (640x480).jpg
    1) 28,274 gallons
    2) DE Filter
    3) IG
    4) Plaster/Marcite (This may be wrong.)
    5) Pump Size: Don't know.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pump is not running

    The booster should only be on when the main pump is on, but the main pump can run by itself whenever you don't need the cleaner.

    Are there any valves that might be closed?
    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
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  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Pump is not running

    I took the liberty of labeling your photo. . .
    Lucker.jpg
    The impeller is inside the pump. You can't see it without taking the pump apart. You can find blowup diagrams on line.

    Since you hear sound, the motor is getting power, but I can't tell if it's spinning or not. If it's not spinning, that would explain why it shuts down so quickly. At the back side of the motor there should be a cap. Mine just falls off when you touch it. Some are threaded. Behind that is the shaft of the motor. You can try turning it and you can watch if it spins when the motor is on. Don't do both at the same time! That shaft runs all the way through the motor and into the pump. At the other end of the shaft is the impeller, which spins to move water. I'm guessing your motor isn't turning. Either because it's frozen (barrings are bad, the impeller is jammed, etc) or there's something wrong electrically (starting cap, shorted winding, etc). If it is spinning under power, then maybe your lines are blocked or a value is closed.

    Another way to answer if it is spinning or not. When a pump is frozen, it's more of a hum or vibration. When it's spinning, but can't move water because the line is blocked, it's more of a roar. My pump is very loud when water flow is blocked.

    Get you main pump working first. Ignore the booster pump for now. The booster requires the main pump to function, since it's not self priming. To clear your water, you're going to need circulation, so once again, getting the pump running is your first goal.
    20,000 gal in-ground plaster pool with sand filter. Replastered recently. Mostly adding bleach and acid. CYA was high when I took over.

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    bridgman's Avatar
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    Re: Pump is not running

    Quote Originally Posted by SwimAustin View Post
    Behind that is the shaft of the motor. You can try turning it and you can watch if it spins when the motor is on. Don't do both at the same time!
    Yeah, as soon as I read this I was thinking "fingers... rotating machinery... eww... lockout to make sure nothing gets turned on unexpectedly..."
    Cedar hot tub, 680 US gallons - Snorkel wood-burning heater, canoe paddle, "offline" Intex 1000 GPH pump/filter with skimmer

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    Re: Pump is not running

    I looked at the back of the motor and there was something that can be removed but it looked like I needed a wrench. The nut did sort of budge but I wasn't strong enough to move it with my bare hands. Before I remove it, can you confirm I'm looking at the right cap, though?
    IMG_1632 (640x480).jpg

    The noise was a bit difficult for me to describe. It sounds like it's a humming noise - maybe. I tried to youtube some pump noises but I couldn't find anything that sounded like mine so I've uploaded a small clip available here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ippErE_76Ks

    Also, jblizzle, I believe I only have one valve. There are 3 positions in all and I've tried all 3 when turning on the pump. I've encountered the same affect. Here's a picture of what it's currently set to:
    IMG_1630 (640x480).jpg


    Thank you guys again for all your help. It's much appreciated.
    1) 28,274 gallons
    2) DE Filter
    3) IG
    4) Plaster/Marcite (This may be wrong.)
    5) Pump Size: Don't know.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Pump is not running

    That sounds like a spinning pump to me. Removing that center black cap will let you see the shaft, if you want to be sure. If your pump is really spinning, then something is blocking the water. I can understand not wanting to mess with it.

    As far as the Jaunty value, which ever direction "off" points, that line is blocked. In the photo you have both lines open which is good. One is probably your skimmers and the other is probably your drain.

    I noticed your motor isn't properly bonded (grounded). There's a bonding lug on the back of the motor, but the copper wire is missing. That makes me wonder what other safety problems you might have.

    I assume you have some kind of filter. That would be down stream of the pump over to the right of your first picture. Most (all?) of those have a valve as well. You might be able to bypass the filter and see if that's what's blocked. I've never had to deal with a blockage.

    EDIT: Is it possible it's just not getting enough prime? You could run a hose into the pump basket and fill up the lines with water just to be sure. My pump is below my pool enough that priming isn't a problem.
    20,000 gal in-ground plaster pool with sand filter. Replastered recently. Mostly adding bleach and acid. CYA was high when I took over.

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    Re: Pump is not running

    When I get home tonight, I'll remove the cap on the back of the motor to see if it spins.

    I do have a filter. I had reviewed the Encyclopedia available on the site and I've determined it's a DE Filter. I'll post pictures tonight of the whole setup to make sure I'm not completely wrong.

    The filter does have a valve that lifts up. I messed with this yesterday. When I lift it up and turn, water drains out of a blue hose that's connected to it. I'll try turning the pump on tonight with this open and update with my status.

    So this is the first time I've heard the word prime in reference to a pool. I did some google searching and this may be the issue. Unfortunately, my lack of experience lead me to not mention that my filter shows 0% even when I turn it on. I'll give the instructions a shot to see how it works out as well.

    Instructions used for reference: http://www.wikihow.com/Prime-a-Pool-Pump


    Also... when filling up the strainer basket with water, is it normal to hear the water drain? It never actually fills up to the top. It just quickly drains. I'm not entirely sure where it goes - the filter I guess?
    1) 28,274 gallons
    2) DE Filter
    3) IG
    4) Plaster/Marcite (This may be wrong.)
    5) Pump Size: Don't know.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pump is not running

    IF the pump is above the pool water level, then you can never fill up the pump basket since it will just drain back to the pool. You really should not have to do anything but put the lid on and turn the pump on ... they should prime by themselves. If it does not, then you either have an air leak, or something stopping the flow either on the suction side or pressure side.
    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
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  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Pump is not running

    The pump is above water level. That explains why it always drains every time I put water in the pump basket.

    I did try to bypass the filter by switching the valve to the big blue hose. That didn't seem to do it. I tried checking the pipes connected to the pump. They seem to be clear - at least as far as the screw driver will go in. Also, I did take the cap off the back of the motor and I confirmed that the shaft is spinning when turned on - that's good, right?

    I need to go get some silicone to test to see if the O'Ring is bad on the pump basket lid. I saw a youtube video... Is there a good way to test to see is something is stopping the flow of the water? Would lifting the pump basket lid and turning the pump on not be recommended?

    Thanks all your help. Just FYI, they're coming to clean my pool next Wednesday and will be taking a look at the pump. I'm going to try to fix it by then but if not, I will allow them to fix it.
    1) 28,274 gallons
    2) DE Filter
    3) IG
    4) Plaster/Marcite (This may be wrong.)
    5) Pump Size: Don't know.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pump is not running

    Running the pump with the lid off will not accomplish anything but letting the impeller spin.

    See if you turn to suction valve to only one side helps and ensure any return valves are open.
    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!

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Pump is not running

    Here's a picture of my entire pool setup. Is the lever on the left hand side that has the two pipes connected to it the suction valve? And the lever on the right with the blue hose coming out right next to the filter of it the return valve?

    IMG_1631 (640x480).jpg
    1) 28,274 gallons
    2) DE Filter
    3) IG
    4) Plaster/Marcite (This may be wrong.)
    5) Pump Size: Don't know.

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pump is not running

    Valve on left is suction valve. Valve with blue hose is the filter backwash valve. You apparently do not have a return valve since you only have 1 pipe returning to the pool (not counting the booster plumbing)
    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!

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Pump is not running

    Thanks for reviewing the pictures and clarifying. I really would not have known.

    The suction valve has 3 possible spots that I can place it in. I've tried all 3 and I seem to get the same results. Maybe I'm just not sure what's supposed to be happening, though.

    Is water supposed to spit out from inside the pool? There appear to be some jets in there. Also, when I turn it on, is the water supposed to be visibly moving without a doubt in the pump basket - not just vibrations?

    Thanks again.
    1) 28,274 gallons
    2) DE Filter
    3) IG
    4) Plaster/Marcite (This may be wrong.)
    5) Pump Size: Don't know.

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pump is not running

    Hi, I have some questions for you.
    1. How high is the water level in the pool?
    2. When you opened the valve to let water out of the blue hose, did a lot of water come out?
    3. Did any white-gray thick milky looking stuff come out with it?
    4. Have you checked the pool skimmer to see if it is plugged? (When you look in the pool skimmer take out the skimmer basket and look at the opening in the bottom of the skimmer.)
    5. What did the pool look like when you moved in?
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Pump is not running

    Sorry for such a late response but I wanted to provide an update / conclusion.

    The pool guys came out and the problem was leaves in the skimmer was clogging up the pipes. They brought a machine that sucked them out. He doesn't believe all of them have come out yet but he believes the chemicals will help clear it up as well. The pool is shining blue right now. They had to empty it out and do an acid wash because it had gotten so green.

    Thanks for everyone's help. It was much appreciated.
    1) 28,274 gallons
    2) DE Filter
    3) IG
    4) Plaster/Marcite (This may be wrong.)
    5) Pump Size: Don't know.

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