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Thread: Best way to prime pump?

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    steveb21's Avatar
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    Best way to prime pump?

    Is it not viable to let the pump prime itself?

    I poured pool water in the pump but couldn't get it to fill as it kept on dispersing elsewhere - I had the skimmer vavle open, not sure if I should have had this half open when starting the pump?

    Just so I know I am doing it right, what would be the best procedure?

    My pump primed in about less than 30 secs.
    Outdoor Inground Heated Concrete Tiled Pool - 25ft x 12ft and 3ft 4" to 6ft 6" deep - 45k Litre Water Capacity
    Valve - Hayward Vari-flo 711-13 ------ Pump - Sta-Rite 5P1R
    Filter - Hayward S244T -------- Test Kit - Taylor K2006C

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to prime pump?

    While it's common to fill the pump's strainer basket with water to help facilitate the priming process, it can still take some time for the pump to fully prime and maintain it's own water depending upon various pool factors such as length of the suction line(s), pump height compared to pool water line, available check valves, etc. Some pumps will prime almost immediately, while others can easily take a minute or two. If you review some pump owner's manuals, you'll see some manufactures even say it could take 5 minutes or more to fully prime. Not what we could think of ideal, but it can happen.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Best way to prime pump?

    A couple of minutes for a pump to prime is fine.

    Keep in mind that a really good circulatory system never needs priming. You have a leak somewhere that is causing the water to drain from your pump.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    steveb21's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to prime pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    A couple of minutes for a pump to prime is fine.

    Keep in mind that a really good circulatory system never needs priming. You have a leak somewhere that is causing the water to drain from your pump.
    hmmmm...

    I fill pump with water to top... it then levels down to about 1/3rd - I assumed this is because water is flowing back down the pipe towards the open skimmer valve?
    There is are no signs of water leaks around the pump.
    As mentioned earlier the pump will prime itself in 30 secs - maybe even less.

    If I close the skimmer valve and then fill the pump with water I'm sure it will hold it.
    Outdoor Inground Heated Concrete Tiled Pool - 25ft x 12ft and 3ft 4" to 6ft 6" deep - 45k Litre Water Capacity
    Valve - Hayward Vari-flo 711-13 ------ Pump - Sta-Rite 5P1R
    Filter - Hayward S244T -------- Test Kit - Taylor K2006C

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to prime pump?

    Right. It is normal for the water to drain from the basket with the lid off, if your pump is above the water line of the pool. But, once the lid is on and the system is primed it should stay primed forever. There should be no need for the pump to prime again after it is shut off every day.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    steveb21's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to prime pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Right. It is normal for the water to drain from the basket with the lid off, if your pump is above the water line of the pool. But, once the lid is on and the system is primed it should stay primed forever. There should be no need for the pump to prime again after it is shut off every day.
    Yes I think that's how it is. Once primed the pressure in the pump will stay unless the lid is removed again.
    On another question, how often would the basket/filter (in the pump) need to be cleaned out?
    Outdoor Inground Heated Concrete Tiled Pool - 25ft x 12ft and 3ft 4" to 6ft 6" deep - 45k Litre Water Capacity
    Valve - Hayward Vari-flo 711-13 ------ Pump - Sta-Rite 5P1R
    Filter - Hayward S244T -------- Test Kit - Taylor K2006C

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to prime pump?

    On another question, how often would the basket/filter (in the pump) need to be cleaned out?
    It's different for every pool based on debris that may get to the water. The pump basket at the pump shields the pump from larger stuff that gets by the poolside skimmer basket, or was sucked-in during vacuuming. But once you look into that clear lid and see some leaves and stuff, it's always best to shut-off the pump and clean it out real quick. We recommend cleaning the filter itself when filter pressure on the gauge increases by about 20-25%.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    steveb21's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to prime pump?

    Thanks for info.

    Another quick question; When switching pump off for a few days, what position should the filter be left in?
    Outdoor Inground Heated Concrete Tiled Pool - 25ft x 12ft and 3ft 4" to 6ft 6" deep - 45k Litre Water Capacity
    Valve - Hayward Vari-flo 711-13 ------ Pump - Sta-Rite 5P1R
    Filter - Hayward S244T -------- Test Kit - Taylor K2006C

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    Re: Best way to prime pump?

    "Filter" would probably be best but I question why you would switch it off "for a few days". That's generally not good practice.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    steveb21's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to prime pump?

    Switched off for a few days as ive just opened the pool (green/black pool) and planning to start SLAM in the next few days.
    What is the general rule of running the pump and filter (once pool water is SLAM'd and set) ? An hour or 2 every day?

    Sorry for the obvious questions however I am trying to get in as much info as I can before I start my SLAM.
    Outdoor Inground Heated Concrete Tiled Pool - 25ft x 12ft and 3ft 4" to 6ft 6" deep - 45k Litre Water Capacity
    Valve - Hayward Vari-flo 711-13 ------ Pump - Sta-Rite 5P1R
    Filter - Hayward S244T -------- Test Kit - Taylor K2006C

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to prime pump?

    Yes, a few hours per day, 2-6 is pretty common. Here is an article from Pool School that helps with that, Pool School - Determine Pump Run Time
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Best way to prime pump?

    For a pump above the pool water level (most inground pools), when you open the pump lid the water is going to drain to the bottom of the inlet pipe, and any water you try to add above that is just going to drain out to the skimmer because, well, the lid is still open letting air in!

    Instructions to fill the pump basket must mean that when the pump is completely empty (new pump, blown out lines, etc) just fill it to that level of the inlet pipe; any higher is really impossible in most cases. When you clean out the pump basket, there should be no need do that. I put the lid back on, start the pump, then go open the filter's air relief valve until water comes out (technically I think you should open the air relief before starting the pump, but I don't). Tip -- get a length of clear hose sized for the filter's air output to let you direct the water away from you and the equipment.
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

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