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Thread: what can cause loss of prime/suction

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    what can cause loss of prime/suction

    Finally-- have the pool chemicals at a good manageable level of understanding--- now have question regarding our Polaris 360-- was doing just fine. Now seems the hoses are letting air in around the connectors--- seemingly leading to loss of pressure and water--the skimmers seem to make gulping noises and the pump will not prime and pressure low on filter. Have tried tightening the connectors and shortened the hose on the Polaris. After measuring the proper length it looked like we could do without seven feet and still reach all around the pool. So instead of cutting the hose (by removing short sections of each piece)--we removed a full section of the hose (7ft). The problem continued--decided to disconnect the Polaris to trouble shoot without it. The problem continued in spite of this. I suggested we add a bit more water--as the level was slightly below ideal--to see if that will fix it--in the mean time does anyone have suggestions? Can the air seepage in the Polaris hose result in low pressure, decreased prime? What is the best way to stop the air from leaking on the hose and was it ok to remove a section versus cut shorter pieces from each section? Or what else should we be considering or looking at to troubleshoot? Please help. Thank you---

    TJ
    16,500 gal, IG plaster, restoration January 2014; 1 HP Energy Flo pump, 48 sqft DE filter-Hayward ProGrid 4820, 360 Polaris Sweeper; Taylor Complete K2006 FAS-DPD; Timer

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: what can cause loss of prime/suction

    Sounds like a clogged cleaner hose or head.

    Does this happen without the cleaner attached?
    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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    Re: what can cause loss of prime/suction

    I was able to get it going last week--after posting this thread. Added water to the pool and manually primed the pump. Magically this cleared the problem up. Yeah right?! Well that was last week-- tonight the same problem has occurred again. With the pump detached--the gulping stops--but all the other symptoms described in the initial post continue. Still lost as to what the issues could be.... any suggests?

    Thanks---
    16,500 gal, IG plaster, restoration January 2014; 1 HP Energy Flo pump, 48 sqft DE filter-Hayward ProGrid 4820, 360 Polaris Sweeper; Taylor Complete K2006 FAS-DPD; Timer

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    Re: what can cause loss of prime/suction

    It sounds like the pool is gulping air at the skimmer (your water level is too low).

    As long as air is allowed into the system (including at the skimmer) anywhere on the suction side, your system will never operate properly.

    Does the pump prime if the hose and cleaner are removed from the system?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: what can cause loss of prime/suction

    No the pump would not prime when the hose and cleaner were removed--. Additional question, wondering if removal of the little flaps attached to the pool just before the skimmer would cause something like this? A pool guy came to find a leak awhile back and removed those flaps--stating we did not necessarily need them. Is this true?
    16,500 gal, IG plaster, restoration January 2014; 1 HP Energy Flo pump, 48 sqft DE filter-Hayward ProGrid 4820, 360 Polaris Sweeper; Taylor Complete K2006 FAS-DPD; Timer

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    Re: what can cause loss of prime/suction

    Possibly, but not likely (They are called "weir doors".

    Simply turn on your pump and walk to the skimmer to see if it is sucking air. If it is, you need to raise your water level.

    There is an article in Pool School about suction side air leaks that may help you.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: what can cause loss of prime/suction

    We bought our house a year and a half ago and had this same problem with the pool.
    Turned out the water level is pretty finicky on our pool with a fine line between the drain and the skimmer water level. Sometimes water can be at one level and be fine, other times it started sucking air at the same level. We watched and learned and finally found the best water level that takes into account the wind patterns at our house during the day. It seems that once the wind kicked up and the skimmer started sucking air it created a vicious circle for the rest of the day.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: what can cause loss of prime/suction

    If you are getting a vortex developing in the skimmer, you should be easily able to stop it. Something as simple as adding rock* to the skimmer basket may stop it.

    *make sure it is larger than the skimmer pipe in case you drop it.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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