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Thread: Opening: priming pump & filling filter

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    ivyleager's Avatar
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    Opening: priming pump & filling filter

    The yellow and green stuff is falling from the trees, the water temp is on the rise, and it's time to open or the pool will soon turn into a swamp. Since I drained filter/pump/lines this year, I dread the endless amount of time it takes to refill the filter with water, having to open pump to prime tens of time. Is there an easier way?

    How about this: can I add water directly to sand filter via the pressure gauge opening at the top? I have an old beer bong device that can be used for such an activity. It may be slow, but I won't have to be opening the filter basket to keep priming the pump. I have no other ideas. Yours are welcome.

    CaryB
    CaryB
    36 x 18 IG vinyl, 25K, 1 HP pump, sand filter
    1 skimmer, 2 returns, no main drain
    Old school: PoolSolutions test kit

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    Hi, Cary,

    If your equipment is not too far above the level of the pool water, this should work..... works best with two people but one can do it if your quick.

    Dip a 5 gal bucket from the pool and set it by the pump..(3 gal is enough). Take off the pump lid and pour the water into the pump basket as fast as it will take it without overflowing. Just as the water empties out of the bucket, QUICKLY put on the pump basket lid and seal it tight. Then, just as quickly, (this is where two people works a little better) turn on the pump.

    Of course, the pump will immediately empty the pump basket, but you should have "captured" enough water that was draining back into the pool to prime the pump. It may take just a while and the pump may start sucking water very slowly at first, but that's okay. As long as the pump is getting SOME water, you could run if for 15 minutes easily with no harm.

    The volume of water coming into the basket should slowly increase until it primes and then your good to go. It's a little bit helpful to have the air relief valve at the top of the filter open and it's helpful to have only one suction pipe open going into the pump (if you've got more than one) but it should prime withour either of those "tricks".

    PS - The pine pollen this last week is stunning...looks like fog coming off the trees, huh?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    You guys really have this much trouble getting started on opening? I pulled the plugs filled the pump basket (with the garden hose), opened the skimmer valves, power, basket fills up in 30 sec or so... done. Of course the filter took forever to squeeze the air out but that's no big deal. btw. the first start was on recirculated which I think helps due to less head pressure and it gets siphon action going right away.

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    use piku method above but start the filter on backwash when you get a full prime turn off and put mutiport back to filter turn back on and pool should be running fine

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    All your parts,

    That's interesting. I've never heard that before. I can't figure out how the backwash position is helpful.

    Piku,

    each system is different. How far above the pool level your pump sits is a huge factor in priming....mine's almost 5.5 feet. As far as the position of the multi-port, it seems to me that opening the air relief valve at the top of the filter relieves any head pressure. By the time any water reaches the multi-port, your pump should be primed.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    the pump will pull better when it does not have to go through the filter

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    That doesn't seem to be the case for me at all. Mine will pull (gently) and push around 5psi into the filter until it "catches" in around 10-15 seconds. When it catches, the basket will quickly fill and filter pressure will double to around 10psi. While it's filling you can see the water dumping into the basket so it doesn't run out of water, it's just hasn't "caught" yet if that makes sense. I suppose I might have waited a little longer on first start. To be honest I don't remember. I have inadvertently run my pump without incoming water before for 10 seconds or so hoping it would pull water and get prime. Doesn't seem to have damaged it but now I know not to do that and to stop immediately and refill the basket. This is when I was having problems before I replaced o-rings and seals.

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    I have a few clients with their equipment well above pool level (8+ ft) and have found it easier to catch a prime with only the main drain open. After I have a decent prime I SLOWLY open the skimmers. When I start any pool I start it to waste so any debris or dead worms are immediately shot out of the system. Letting the pump run for 15-30 seconds while waiting for the water to enter the pump is fine. Just dont do it any longer or you can destroy the shaft seal

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    ivyleager's Avatar
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    Y'all are stunning in your suggestions. Thanks so much. I have a one skimmer, no main drain set up. Either the pump sucks or it doesn't. Maybe I don't have as much of a problem as I thought......I initially prime my pump, turn on, water gets sucked in, incoming water gurgles up and down for a long time before fully catching and filling the pump basket. This is when I panic and open basket, add more water. Sounds like I'm just not giving the system enough time.

    So that's a good thing, 'cuz it's just me doing the opening, again, this year. Hubby down in SC (again) turkey hunting. Our season opens this weekend, and I want the pool open and done with then so I can do out and get me one.

    Thanks, gobble-gobble

    CaryB
    CaryB
    36 x 18 IG vinyl, 25K, 1 HP pump, sand filter
    1 skimmer, 2 returns, no main drain
    Old school: PoolSolutions test kit

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    Cary,

    You're good to go.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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