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Thread: Pump Losing Prime on EVERY Start-Up - HELP!

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    Pump Losing Prime on EVERY Start-Up - HELP!

    I am in year 3 of our pool, and have finally run into something I just can't figure out. I have a Jandy 2-speed pump with an inline secondary filter basket, chlorinator, and cartridge filter setup. For the past month, my pump loses prime on every start-up and I have to pull the lids off both filters and close them back down and eventually it will pull enough suction to get the water to the pump. Before, I have never had this problem and the pump basket was always kept full of water when idle and the pump started right up.

    I have lubed all o-rings, can't find where any air is getting in, and there is no water evidence of a seal leak. I am also not losing more than the usual amount of level in the pool, so it is very unlikely I have an underground leak.

    Are there any more troubleshooting things I can try before I pay someone (NOOOOO!) to come take a look at it? Any help is appreciated!

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    Re: Pump Losing Prime on EVERY Start-Up - HELP!

    Have you popped open the pump to look at the diffuser and impeller? It could be as simple as a bad diffuser gasket or clogged impeller. Or something more hairy could be the matter, like a cracked diffuser.

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    Re: Pump Losing Prime on EVERY Start-Up - HELP!

    Also, look to see if you have a check valve allowing water to drain back into the pool. I had that and it caused the pump basket to be dry at every startup.
    Walnut Creek, CA. 18k gallon Pebble Sheen + 1.5k gallon IG spa, 1.5hp whisperflo main pump, Pentair clean and clear 420, Intellichlor IC20, Polaris 360 w/booster,Jandy lite 2 natural gas, plus solar with Heliomatic 5000 controller and 3/4 hp booster

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Losing Prime on EVERY Start-Up - HELP!

    Does the water drain out of the pump basket after it is shut off or does it loose water when the pump starts up?
    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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    aussieta's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Losing Prime on EVERY Start-Up - HELP!

    try turning pump back on after 6 hours and determine amount of air in system
    it may give you an idea of the size of the air leak
    when you turn pump back on do you immediately get air bubbles in returns or after five seconds(trying to guess which end of the line air is getting in)
    is this an inground pool
    do you have any photos of your equipment pad
    after half hour during normal run do you still get tiny bubbles in return
    SWG inground peanut shaped eco-bright concrete pool
    50,000 litres 13,000 gallons
    Lincoln Salt Chlorinator, 25 gram cell Sand Filter with glass media
    Taylor K2006-C test kit, Taylor K-1766 salt test, Dolphin M500 pool cleaner
    are you taking care of your pool or is the poolshop taking care of you

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Losing Prime on EVERY Start-Up - HELP!

    My pump was doing the same thing earlier this summer. I couldn't figure out what was happening, so I put a Jandy check valve on the inlet pipe to the pump. That holds the water in the pump and allows it to start up fine. I have since discovered that my multiport valve has a tiny leak around the handle that allows water to puddle there, which probably allows air back in when the pump turns off. I think my spider gasket is letting air get pulled back in from the backwash port also. It doesn't leak water out when it's under pressure, but the weight of the water is pulling air back in. Those may be things to check. I can hear the water drain from my filter when the pump shuts off.
    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Pump Losing Prime on EVERY Start-Up - HELP!

    It sounds more like your pump is losing prime on every shutdown....not start up. I assume the pump basket is empty when you restart and then it takes quite a bit of time for pump to start pushing water, correct?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Losing Prime on EVERY Start-Up - HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    It sounds more like your pump is losing prime on every shutdown....not start up. I assume the pump basket is empty when you restart and then it takes quite a bit of time for pump to start pushing water, correct?
    That's the way I was reading it.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Pump Losing Prime on EVERY Start-Up - HELP!

    That is correct - very little level in the pump basket upon startup.

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Losing Prime on EVERY Start-Up - HELP!

    Check your spider gasket and all pipe connections for leaks. Some people don't agree with it, but I think a pump suction side check valve is a good investment. In my situation I discovered the leak after I put in the valve. With a SWG I couldn't afford not to have the pump prime, and I couldn't afford to buy a new pump when it burned up from running dry.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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