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Thread: DE Filter Losing Prime

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    DE Filter Losing Prime

    I have an above ground pool DE type I have taken it apart twice and cleaned according to specs. I have put it together and it keeps losing prime. I pump it 5 times drain the bottom runs good for an hour then dies down. any help.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    Many possible causes. Most likely an air leak somewhere between the skimmer/drain and the pump. Are you seeing bubbles in the pump strainer basket?
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    Check the o-ring on the pump strainer basket lid first. If it isn't that then there is an air leak somewhere.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    thank you it does seem that the view glass is never full, I always see the water rushing around, I was suspect of the "o" ring but thought if it was faulty water would rush out. I will try the a new "o" ring.

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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    The air leak would most likely be on the pump side?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    If I am reading correctly, the pump loses prime while it is running. If so, the leak will be between the pump and the skimmer.

    One way to check for leaks is to run a garden hose on various parts of the pipes and fittings. If you run water on the place where it is leaking, the air in the pump strainer basket will go away.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    How would I check the pump strainer?

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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    There is only a flexible hose to the pump strainer.

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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    Welcome to TFP!!


    The hose itself could have a small tear in it, as Jason said, try applying water to the connections and the hose itself and see if the pump fully primes. Another thing that I've seen a lot of this year is debris on the sealing gasket on the pump. Dribbling water on the top of the pump lid would let you know if the issue was with the sealing gasket, there should also be a plug or 2 on the bottom of the pump that might be letting air in.

    Please let us know if you can't find the cause and we'll walk you through what and where to check 8) - And, just 'cause we're nice, we'll tell you how to fix it
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    By losing prime, do you mean the strainer basket empties? In an AG pool, that's almost always a clog, a bad hose that is collapsing or a malfunctioning skimmer weir.
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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    I am going to replace the "o" ring on the pump, hope that works. the hose coming from the strainer looks good but I will replace it too. When i got home yesterday the pump strainer was low again, so I turned off the pump retsarted and discharge flow was good again for 15 minutes. I will change the ring and hose today if the Thunderstorms stop. Again thanks for all the help I am receiving.

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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    I replaced the pump strainer o ring and a new line from the strainer to the pump. This time after running 15 min the hose was pulsating. I will try the running water over the entire suction side and see what happens. by the way I have a Hayward Perflex EC50AC with a Power flow Matrix (SP15931) motor.

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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    I just ran the water over the suction lines they were good, and when i ran the water over the lid of the pump strainer I did here a suction noise also when i ran the water over the union from the pump to the filter, but no change in the water flow to the pool. I guess I will take a part the union and re tape and put together again, unless any other suggestions. I did recheck the pump strainer lid for tightness and I could not tighten any further.

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    AV8TOR's Avatar
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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    How do you test for leaks then if no water is visible?
    16,000 gal IG Double Roman Plaster Pool (16yrs - plaster redone 2014)
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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    what do you mean? do you think your pool is leaking? there is some good info in pool school under leak detection.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    AV8TOR's Avatar
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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    Quote Originally Posted by reebok
    what do you mean? do you think your pool is leaking? there is some good info in pool school under leak detection.
    No I just see air bubbles from time to time in my return jets and although I never had my pump loose it's prime when the motor turns on it does take a little while to start pumping water and go to pressure. I have done the 24 hour bucket test for leaks but the pool is not loosing any water.
    16,000 gal IG Double Roman Plaster Pool (16yrs - plaster redone 2014)
    Pentair FNS-48 DE filter with WhisperFlo 2HP single speed pump
    Polaris 280 robot
    BBB all the way and tested with a TF100 kit
    Pool Calc user

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    oh. well that answer is in the same pool school article, as well as this thread. the whole running water over the connections part.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    This weekend I replaced the pump strainer cover complete, the gasket behind the eight screws and the impeller gasket. Now the pump strainer fills with water but the return is still very low or nothing at all still. The psi on the filter is 25 psi.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    Quote Originally Posted by jacksonhouse
    Now the pump strainer fills with water but the return is still very low or nothing at all still. The psi on the filter is 25 psi.
    What was the "normal" PSI for the filter before you began having problems? 25psi isn't bad, but it's probably a little higher than typical. High PSI with low flow usually indicates a restriction in the filter. Have you disassembled to filter to clean the grids recently?
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    Re: DE Filter Losing Prime

    I cleaned the fingers twice and soaked over night in soapy water. replaced the pump strainer top, the gasket behind the 8 screws and the shaft seal assembly. I added De to the filter and still same problem low return flow to the pool.

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