So I've been fiddling with the pool all week trying to get it up and running properly.
I'm new to owning a pool as we just moved into this house in September and promptly had the pool closed. When I had the pool guy come out to open it he advised me that it was not closed professionally (different pool company closed it and is now out of business). The gizzmo was not installed properly, only 1 out of 4 jets had a freeze plug installed and based on the black color of the water probably didn't have proper chemicals added either. The pool guy couldn't get the pump to 100% prime, it will maintain about 80% water level but never fully prime. He recommended a full pressure test and quoted approx $1200.
So I started researching and trying a few different things, I think I have it narrowed down but am looking for more advice.
The pump seems to maintain a nearly 100% prime for an hour or so after startup. After that it slowly loses more prime until its down to about 80% where it remains stable. It seems that if it won't retain its "startup prime" unless the pump is off for a while and cools down.
Since I didn't see any heaved concrete or dirt or sand in the filter, I was pretty sure no pipes were broken as a result of the sub-par winterizing. My suction side to skimmer and main drain have old gate style valves, however, when starting the pump up and trying to achieve prime, running the hose over the valves seems to make no difference in achieving prime so I don't believe they are leaking.
I see no difference in prime when keeping only skimmer or only main drain, or both open.
To do my own version of a pressure test on the skimmer I bought a drain king tool and inserted it in the skimmer to pressurize the line between the skimmer and the pump, when I fully closed the valve to the skimmer the drain king eventually built enough force to blow out of the pipe (it came out like a shot!).
I noticed when turning the pump off, as the pressure equalized inside the pump it would spray water from the lid. I replaced the gasket on the lid and applied some pool goop, tightened it up and it no longer sprays.
So... for all of the reasons I listed above, I'm fairly certain that one of the other seals (impeller?) on the pump is actually the source of my suction leak... thoughts?