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Thread: what makes a pump lose prime?

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    tagprod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Tomball, Texas

    what makes a pump lose prime?

    My pump today was not priming until I pulled the top off and put some water in. The pump is self priming and I've never had this issue in the two years I've had it. What would cause this?

    I also went to help a contractor friend of mine who told the homeowner he could take care of the pool. He told them this because he's seen my pool and me messing around with it, and I told him, I'd help. Anyway same issue with this pump. This pump was much older - it had a metal lid and some screws you had to loosen to pull the top off. We had to work 10 to 15 minutes to get the pump to prime. Worked fine when we got it going. Does the homeowner need to get another pump or what?
    20K IG Gunite w/ raised 7ft spillover spa. 1.5 HP Hayward Northstar pump 425 sq ft Hayward cartridge filter, Colorlogic lights AquaRite SWG AquaLogic PS-8 control
    1hp pump for sheer descent

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD
    The most common cause of a loss of prime is a leak in the plumbing. It is also possible for air to get drawn into the system through the skimmer if the water level is too low, which can also cause a loss of prime.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    friendswood, tx
    air leaks into pump through sealed points/dried o-rings/gaskets..

  4. Back To Top    #4
    IkeRay's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Houston, Tx
    first things first, I would re-lubricate the o-ring on the lid, also if you have the lid off of the pump basket for a prolonged period of time (like more than 5 min in some cases, sometimes shorter) enough air will get into the system to cause the "self-priming" to not work. in those cases, take a bucket of pool water and fill up the pump basket and immediately put the lid on, then flip the switch, it should catch prime.
    30,000gal In-ground Gunite Pool DE filter
    Polaris 380 APC

    BBB method all the way - Newb, like to absorb info and chatter, but take the experts' advise

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