Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Elevated Pump Won't Prime. Is This Normal?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    ChuckDavis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    73

    Elevated Pump Won't Prime. Is This Normal?

    I have a Hayward SuperPump located roughly 4 feet above the surface of the pool. The pump is 20-25 feet away from the pool, and the piping is 1.5". It won't prime itself. Is this normal given the elevation above the water?

    To prime the pump I have to close all the valves, fill the lint basket using a bucket, and quick-like-a-bunny turn on the pump and open a valve. The pump does hold prime as it cycles on and off. The problem only occurs if I open the lint basket or if the pump otherwise loses prime.
    15,000 gallon IGP, epoxy surface, waterfall, borates (!), not closed in winter
    SuperPump with 2.4 THP EcoTech variable speed motor, Tagelus TA-60 filter with zeolite media, Liquidator, AquaComfort heat pump, Blue-White flowmeter, Smartpool Wall Climber
    TF-100, LaMotte metal sequestrant test kits
    Sundance Capri hot tub

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Elevated Pump Won't Prime. Is This Normal?

    Technically the pump should just be able to prime, but at that height/distance, however I would expect it to be very finicky about it. The normal solution is to put a check valve in the suction line down at roughly the height of the pool water. That will keep water in the suction pipe, greatly easing the priming process.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    6,711

    Re: Elevated Pump Won't Prime. Is This Normal?

    To add to what Jason said you would probably want the check valve to be of the flapper type, not the spring type so as to minimize head loss.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  4. Back To Top    #4

    ChuckDavis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    73

    Re: Elevated Pump Won't Prime. Is This Normal?

    Revisiting this issue as a result of installing a variable speed motor that spins up more slowly than my old 2-speed. The system holds prime without any problem during off cycles, but you have to be very careful to not lose prime when switching the multiport valve to backwash or rinse. I know how to manage this (count to three.......), but I've got some upcoming travel when my wife or a pool service will be taking care of the pool.

    Unfortunately the suction lines at pool level are under concrete so I can't install check valves at pool level. I'm thinking of installing a Jandy (flapper) check valve just in front of the pump. This probably wouldn't hold prime when I open the lint basket, but I would hope that it would provide a time cushion when turning the pump off, changing the multiport valve and turning the pump back on. There is a couple feet of head and maybe five feet of pipe up to the top of the filter, so there would be some backpressure on the check valve while the pump is off.

    Does anybody see any problems with installing a Jandy check valve in front of the pump?
    15,000 gallon IGP, epoxy surface, waterfall, borates (!), not closed in winter
    SuperPump with 2.4 THP EcoTech variable speed motor, Tagelus TA-60 filter with zeolite media, Liquidator, AquaComfort heat pump, Blue-White flowmeter, Smartpool Wall Climber
    TF-100, LaMotte metal sequestrant test kits
    Sundance Capri hot tub

  5. Back To Top    #5
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Elevated Pump Won't Prime. Is This Normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckDavis View Post
    Does anybody see any problems with installing a Jandy check valve in front of the pump?
    Unless it is several feet in front of the pump it will just make things worse. Several feet in front will allow it to provide a supply of water to the pump for a short while. But very close to the pump has no advantages and the very slight flow restriction from the extra fitting/flap/spring will make everything just a little worse.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  6. Back To Top    #6

    ChuckDavis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    73

    Re: Elevated Pump Won't Prime. Is This Normal?

    Here are pictures of what I have to work with. Could I get the Jandy check valve far enough in front of the pump? Would an alternative be to put the Jandy check valve between the pump and the filter? All I need is 5-10 seconds (for a "civilian") to turn off the pump, change the multiport valve and turn the pump back on (which takes a few seconds to spin up).

    WP_20140413_002.jpgWP_20140413_005.jpg
    15,000 gallon IGP, epoxy surface, waterfall, borates (!), not closed in winter
    SuperPump with 2.4 THP EcoTech variable speed motor, Tagelus TA-60 filter with zeolite media, Liquidator, AquaComfort heat pump, Blue-White flowmeter, Smartpool Wall Climber
    TF-100, LaMotte metal sequestrant test kits
    Sundance Capri hot tub

  7. Back To Top    #7
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Elevated Pump Won't Prime. Is This Normal?

    You could put the check valve right up against the 90, and then move the pump back as far as you can towards the filter. That might help a little.

    Between the pump and the filter isn't going to help.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •