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Thread: Opening Pool and Dry Pump Basket After 5 Minutes

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    Opening Pool and Dry Pump Basket After 5 Minutes

    Well, it's my first year opening our 20x40 in ground pool.

    I have read all I can about it and am having an issue getting my pump to suction water. My pump is 50-70 feet away from the pool. I fill the basket, turn it on, the water whooshes out of basket but nothing else happens after leaving it on for about three mins. I am worried about it overheating. I don't believe there are any air leaks. Should I let it run longer and the pool water will eventually be suctioned up the line? Any other ideas?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Opening Pool and Dry Pump Basket After 5 Minutes

    Welcome to TFP!

    You should not leave the pump running without water for more than about five minutes. If run dry from too long the pump can overheat and possibly damage it's self. If it hasn't primed in that amount of time, it is unlikely to prime at all.

    Problems priming the pump often have something to do with air leaks. The two most obvious possibilities are a bad seal of the pump strainer basket lid, or low water level in the skimmer allowing a vortex to form which draws air down into the system.

    Do you have some valves in front of the pup suction inlet? If so, try priming with each source of water separately and see if that makes any difference.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Opening Pool and Dry Pump Basket After 5 Minutes

    Are you filling the basket until it is overflowing to allow time for the water to fill the pipes?
    Is there a stopper in the skimmer?
    Do you have a bottom drain?
    Have you tried priming from the bottom drain instead of the skimmer?

    A pic of the equipment pad might help.
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    Re: Opening Pool and Dry Pump Basket After 5 Minutes

    Thank you Jason, I will try that. I have shut off the skimmer, i think, would trying to fill the line fom pump to pool work? One would think a MD could do this easily.

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Opening Pool and Dry Pump Basket After 5 Minutes

    So water is being forced out of the wet end but not being sucked in to replace it. It sounds like either blockage in a pipe (debris or closed valve), or the water level is too low.

    If the pump is running and being fed from the skimmer only, what does the water in the skimmer box look like? Completely empty? Full with no movement? Vortex?
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    Re: Opening Pool and Dry Pump Basket After 5 Minutes

    You mentioned this is your first time opening the pool, who closed it? If it was closed by someone else there could be plug that you are not aware of like pooldv mentioned. When I close my pool I put plugs in the skimmers and the returns, so you want to make sure these are removed if they are in place.

    If you do not already have some I recommend getting some pool lube to put on the pump basket lid before you put it back on as well. Also when I prime my pump I will isolate it to one skimmer or the main drain (sounds like you are already planning on doing this), and then fill the pump let the water go down and fill again. I will do this for several minute and my pump will still take about 20 to 30 seconds to pull water/anti-freeze.
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    Re: Opening Pool and Dry Pump Basket After 5 Minutes

    My neighbor and I got it working, we isolated it to just suction water from the main drain. We then ran our water hose in that line for about twenty minutes. We then filled the pump basket and turned the pump on while opening that valve. In 1-2 minutes a small trickle started to suction, then the basket filled. Our pool company closed it, but my neighbor kept insisting I was throwing away $600 every open and close.

    This forum is to be commended for the knowledge and savings it is passing on. My heartfelt thanks to you all.

    Paul

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Opening Pool and Dry Pump Basket After 5 Minutes

    yay!! Always nice to have a good outcome.
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