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Thread: System Losing Prime

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    System Losing Prime

    I am having the same problem. The pool seemed to be fine just the other day. We re-plumbed it this spring. Now, when we turn on the filter, it primes and pulsates (pretty decent water flow) but the air with occassional water spurts out the air valve when we open it. I do hear a hissing sound coming from our push pull backwash valve. It is very hard to open and close and has been for some years. Could this cause a problem. I feel like water is suctioning into the pump but then isn't making it to the filter. The only valve that I know of between these two points is the one I mentioned (backwash valve). The pressure reads 0 to less than 5 (pulsates). I tried taking an air compressor to blow out anything that may have been stuck, but it didn't dislodge anything this time. We did fix a leak today that was before the valve (backwash). I have no idea what it could be. I did spray all piping etc with soap water and that is how the leak above was found. No other leaks are detected. The O ring for the pump motor is new, as are all the seals. At least, new this Spring. Any info would be greatly appreciated. I did take water in for a sample today because it seemed a bit cloudy but was told all is well just to run pump longer. Can't run it now.

    Thanks

    forgot to mention the air is coming out where the backwash valve gushes water (took of the hose to find leak). I did backwash and water came out, good amt, but not the typical river rush. No water is coming out when on filter just air noise and I can feel it.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: System Losing Prime

    Your problem is most likely a leak before the pump. The strainer basket lid and drain plugs are common sources. Low water level in the pool or a sticking skimmer weir would have the same effect.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: System Losing Prime

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Your problem is most likely a leak before the pump. The strainer basket lid and drain plugs are common sources. Low water level in the pool or a sticking skimmer weir would have the same effect.



    Found air/water bubbles coming out where the strainer basket w/lid meets the pump....could that cause all these problems? Also, what is used to lube the o rings on the strainer basket lid? I think that needs to happen, too. It seems to leak however; the gasket is new. I will take it in today to see if I need another one! I prefer getting help here so that I know what I am talking about at a pool store before I have to buy everything under the sun for a simple fix.
    Thanks again!

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    Re: System Losing Prime

    Welcome to TFP!!

    As long as the gasket is in good shape (i.e. it doesn't have a pinch or flat spot on it, a silicone or teflon based lube is what you want (please don't EVER use Vaseline or petroleum based lube on your pool parts - they will wreck the gasket material!)

    Is your pump lid round? If so, the pump basket may not be properly seated and is keeping the lid from fully tightening

    We are and will continue to be here for you 8) But since we can't actually be in your yard, we've gotta ask questions to find the source of the problem before we can tell you what needs to be done to fix it 8)
    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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    Re: System Losing Prime

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Welcome to TFP!!

    As long as the gasket is in good shape (i.e. it doesn't have a pinch or flat spot on it, a silicone or teflon based lube is what you want (please don't EVER use Vaseline or petroleum based lube on your pool parts - they will wreck the gasket material!)

    Is your pump lid round? If so, the pump basket may not be properly seated and is keeping the lid from fully tightening

    We are and will continue to be here for you 8) But since we can't actually be in your yard, we've gotta ask questions to find the source of the problem before we can tell you what needs to be done to fix it 8)

    Well we did do the gasket thing and replaced the push pull valve rubber pieces, all of which were in terrible condition. We also lubed them. Still having issues. The water going into the pump seems good, when we shut it off it is full, when it is running, it isn't and the pressure is zero. I know the gauges aren't perfect but we can tell that the pressure is next to nothing becuase it only blows air out of the air valve and eventually spurts of water. This is incredibly frustrating. I hear, if you use a garden hose on the outer piping, if there is an airhole leak, then it can be detect this way...true? Any and all ideas I'd try. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks

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    Re: System Losing Prime

    If your pump will not prime, it is almost always due to a leak before the pump. That leak is sucking in air and will not allow the pump to fill with water.

    Start at the skimmer and make sure you have enough water in the pool so the skimmer is not sucking air, then go to all the fittings before the pump.

    There is a drain plug somewhere low on the pump strainer basket....make sure that is airtight.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: System Losing Prime

    Got the cleaner to run, it's going strong. But there is still no pressure the gauge reads close to zero. The water out of the air relief valve is trickling out. I am at a loss. Going to try more DE powder, as we haven't done that yet.

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    Re: System Losing Prime

    Just so all know. We fixed the leaks, to no avail. I mean, I am sure they didn't help matters any. What we ended up doing after trying an air compressor and a garden hose, was plunge with a normal bathroom plunger, the hole (inlet?) that we plug our baracuda in. Anyway, it is the only one to the filter. We could hear something in the piping but it wouldn't come out. We left the pump on, and lid closed and plunged. Then, we snaked a wire hanger in and got it past everything and it went in with ease. We started it again, and low and behold out came a small green orange from a tree, and many sticks. Works like a charm now. Thanks for everyone's help.

    A plunger and a wire hanger, works wonders.


    Thanks again! We will be swimmin' in a few short hours.

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