I'm in the process of draining my water level below my light to do some maintenance on it. I'm using my pool pump to drain it, taking water only from the main drain and suction side vacuum line (both skimmers are turned off via diverter valve). Everything was going fine but I decided to give my pump a break, so I turned it off. A couple hours later I turned it back on but there was no prime. I tried to manually prime the pump via water hose in the pump basket. When I turn on the pump, it'll suck in the water in the basket but nothing else, no prime. I then put a hose in one of the skimmers and opened up the diverter but no change.
So the only thing that's changed from my normal pool operation is that the water level is below the skimmers, which is why they're off via the diverter. Since the water is below the skimmers, and it won't prime, am I correct in thinking that air is probably getting in through one of the skimmers causing the lack of prime? Like I said above, everything was working fine until I turned off the pump then tried to turn it back on. Is it possible that the leak is small enough that it didn't lose prime while it was running but once I shut it off and tried to turn it back on, that it's letting enough air in to not start a prime?