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Thread: Can't prime pump!

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    jillleigh's Avatar
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    Can't prime pump!

    Hello! I have a Hayward 36 sq ft DE filter (don't know model, sticker came off a long time ago) with a 4 port Hayward selecta-flo valve. I just had 3 of the grids replaced, got everything back together, and can't get the pump to prime. This happens every time and every time I mess with it until I'm ready to go play in traffic and then it suddenly starts working. Problem is I never remember what I did. The motor is new, there are no leaks, all o rings are in good condition and lubed, I clean out and fill the strainer basket, open the air release valve, and NOTHING. I can initially hear air escape but no water ever comes out. The psi stays at 0. I checked for blockage in the strainer and the skimmer. I don't know what setting the valve should be on (I've had it on "filter") or what direction the jandy valve should be in. Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can't prime pump!

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Often lack of prime is due to an issue on the suction side, before the pump (assuming there is a return valve open).
    What does the pump basket look like while you are try to prime?
    How long are you trying?
    How far above the pool is the pump sitting?
    Check that the drain plugs on the pump are tight and that the pump lid o-ring is well lubed.

    Can you add a picture of your plumbing setup? How To Post Pictures
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Can't prime pump!

    Hi Jason and THANK YOU for responding! What and where is a return valve? The lid on the pump basket isn't clear (brilliant) so I can't see what's going on in there. I hear gurgling in the pump but no water moving in the glass thingy and no water coming out of the air valve. The backyard is level ground and the pump is around the side of the house on a concrete slab that's maybe 2" high. I haven't left it on more than a few minutes because I was afraid I'd do more damage. I'll get a picture if I can suppress the urge to set the whole thing on fire.....

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can't prime pump!

    A return valve is any valve after the pump/filter.

    What pump does not have a transparent lid?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Can't prime pump!

    IMG_0657.jpg

    IMG_0656.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    The 2nd pic is the valve on the other side of the heater. It can be turned to the chlorinator (which is always off), the intake, or whatever that little thing on the left is. Not sure where it should be pointing.

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    Re: Can't prime pump!

    Are you allowing the pump to run long enough? Try taking top off pump and filling with water hose put top back on and see if it primes then.
    210k gallon pool, IG Plaster, (2) marathon 7.5 hp motors, (6) Triton sand filters, Test Kit Guardex 4-in-1 Plus DPD & Taylor K-2006, Baby pool 6in deep round with stand alone sand filter.

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    Re: Can't prime pump!

    I've tried filling it with water. When I turn it on I wait for something to happen (even though I;m not really sure what I'm waiting for!) for maybe 3 minutes.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can't prime pump!

    Zoom out ... I can not tell what is going on after the heater. Does the water come into the valve from the top of the picture? What is the thing on the left?

    - - - Updated - - -

    You could try priming on recirculate or waste and see if you get water moving.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Can't prime pump!

    I'll take another pic. The thing on the left appears to be world's first timer, though for what I have no idea. I tried priming on waste and it worked fine. So can I use the filter now?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can't prime pump!

    You can try, but that seems to point to something in or after the filter blocking the flow if it works on waste. Does water flow on recirculate?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Can't prime pump!

    The filter valve has "filter", "backwash", "waste", and "pool and spa boost". Is one of these the same as recirculate?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can't prime pump!

    No. Looks like maybe you do not have that option.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Unhappy Another priming the *%#$$! pump question

    Please keep your pump issues together so as to not spread them all over the board. It helps other members to get the whole story and not miss any pertinent information. Thank you. Casey~

    So I, through what can only be divine intervention and this website, have managed to get the devil swamp from black to medium-ish green. It's cloudy as **** and I'm getting sick of it! I am assuming the pump/filter/whatever is working to some degree because I've made progress. However, progress seems to have stopped and I'm blaming the pump again (which I don't think ever primed but I know nothing).

    When I backwash the pump bubbles and the pressure goes up to like 6-8. When I turn on the filter, no water churning that I can see and no pressure on the gauge. I've done the open the air valve, fill the pump with water and re-try thing fifty billion times. I just saw this in another post...

    "It sounds like you just need to prime the pump again. Use your garden hose to fill pump while running with the lid off for awhile. Then what I do is put the garden hose in the skimmer and put it up in the skimmer line and run the water full blast. Turn the pump on and wait a few minutes and it should prime by itself."

    Questions

    1) Does this mean the skimmer in the pool or the leaf catcher thing with a basket on the pump?
    2) He means run the HOSE with the lid off for a while, not the PUMP, right???
    3) This can potentially blow **** out of the line? Is there any other way that doesn't involve me buying more stuff?

    THANK YOU (again)
    Last edited by Casey; 05-23-2014 at 10:40 PM. Reason: Merged topic
    15,000 Inground devil swamp
    Hayward 36 sq ft filter

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    Re: Another priming the *%#$$! pump question

    I think he means pump first, skimmer second.

    What I would do is haul a bucket full of water over to the pump.

    Put the hose in the skimmer and turn it on so that it runs pretty strong but doesn't overflow.

    Take the lid off of the pump, pour some water from the bucket into the pump, then turn the pump on.

    Pour the rest of the water from the bucket into the pump quickly, then put the (pump) lid back on as fast as you can and tighten it.

    Once the pump gets running on it's own, you can turn off the hose, take it out of the skimmer, then put the (skimmer) lid back on.
    21K gallon, plaster, 1hp Hayward MaxFlo pump, Hayward 244s sand filter, 3/4 hp Halcyon PB4-60Q booster pump, Polaris 280 cleaner.

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    Re: Another priming the *%#$$! pump question

    The skimmer being the thing in the ground next to the pool, right? Just lay the hose in it or stick it in one of the two holes in there? Stick the hose in from the hole in the ground or through the pool?
    15,000 Inground devil swamp
    Hayward 36 sq ft filter

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    Re: Another priming the *%#$$! pump question

    Yes, the skimmer is an opening on the side of the pool where water is drawn in and heads towards the pump.

    I don't think that leaving the pump strainer basket lid open is at all a good idea.

    Running a garden hose into the skimmer and down the pipe that heads towards the pump can help, but shouldn't normally be required.

    Trouble priming is almost always caused by an air leak somewhere on the suction side of the pump. Usually the problem is either the sealing gasket on the pump strainer basket lid or the water being low in the skimmer so that running the pump draws air down a votes and in to the pump through the skimmer.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Another priming the *%#$$! pump question

    I tied plastic grocery bags around the pipes going to and from the pump and it primed. Tell me there's a fix somewhere between plastic bags and replacing pipes!
    15,000 Inground devil swamp
    Hayward 36 sq ft filter

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Another priming the *%#$$! pump question

    You have an air leak in one or more of the pipe joints. Take the bags off and drizzle water on the joints one at a time while the pump is running. Watch for water getting pulled into the joint. That will be where your air leak is located. Check all the above ground joints between the skimmer and the pump.
    TFP Moderator
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    Exclamation Leaking tank but no visible problem

    Your questions have been merged into one thread. Please keep all your questions in this thread until the issues are resolved. It does not get your questions answered any faster if they are posted in multiple locations on the site, and it prevents those who are trying to help from having the whole story. Thank you, Zea3

    I've already fixed 500,000 problems and now this. After a week of trying, I got the pump primed and celebrated for half a second, went back out to check it and found the yard around the pump/filter covered in standing water. It's a Hayward Pro Grid 36 sq ft. I see air bubbles in the water around the bottom of the tank. The bottom of the tank was replaced recently. I see no cracks and no visible leak. It just appears to be seeping (but apparently VERY quickly judging by the yard) from the bottom. Please help! This thing has already drained me financially and if there is even a temporary fix I would be so grateful to try it!
    15,000 Inground devil swamp
    Hayward 36 sq ft filter

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    jillleigh's Avatar
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    Big filter leak

    Please keep all info about pump in one thread. Thank you Casey~

    I posted this in the equipment forum with no luck yet and I need help!!!!!!!!

    I've already fixed 500,000 problems and now this. After a week of trying, I got the pump primed and celebrated for half a second, went back out to check it and found the yard around the pump/filter covered in standing water. It's a Hayward Pro Grid 36 sq ft. I see air bubbles in the water around the bottom of the tank. The bottom of the tank was replaced recently. I see no cracks and no visible leak. It just appears to be seeping (but apparently VERY quickly judging by the yard) from the bottom. Please help! This thing has already drained me financially and if there is even a temporary fix I would be so grateful to try it!
    Last edited by Casey; 05-23-2014 at 10:41 PM. Reason: Merged
    15,000 Inground devil swamp
    Hayward 36 sq ft filter

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