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Thread: Just had solar installed... Now pump losing prime!

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    Just had solar installed... Now pump losing prime!

    So I just had a FAFCO solar system installed and started up. The next day, i found that my pump lost it's prime. The company came out for some extensive troubleshooting.... and found that the problem was with the water sampling line that is for the Autopilot TC chemistry controller.

    pool suction ---->pump -----> filter -----> Solar heater -----> gas heater ------> Autpilot manifold -----> pool return
    ^ |
    ------------------- Autopilot TC Chemistry sample line <------------------------------------------------|

    So when the solar system is activated, it needs to purge accumulated air out of the solar lines, but instead of going to the pool, air is pumped into the TC sample line, forming a cycle of increasing air, causing pump to lose prime. The problem is confirmed by closing the valves to the sample line, then the solar circuit air is correctly purged into the pool and the pump does not lose prime.

    So the question is, how to fix this situation? I have a separate circuit for the water feature that is completely independent from the main pool circuit (separate pump too). Water feature used rarely. Can I just connect the sample line discharge to the low pressure side of the water feature pump? Is there a better solution? I need to do this quickly before my chemistry goes out of whack... Thanks for any help.

    17,500g, IG pool/spa, pebblesheen, Autopilot TC SWG, Pentair 4x160 variable speed pump. Sta-rite cartridge filter, Sta-rite Gas heater, Polaris 280 cleaner

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD
    The complete solution is to move the probe cell intake line from the manifold to a point after the pump/filter and before the split to the solar system. That way it will always get water straight from the filter, without any of the air from the solar system. That will require a new hole in the pipe and a way to patch up the old hole.
    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: Just had solar installed... Now pump losing prime!

    Mak and pentair have been troubleshooting the same problem of not being able to prime an Intelliflo VS+SVRS. Pentair believes that it is the SVRS. I just shut off the two sample lines and the priming problem sees to have gone away. I need to talk to the Poolpilot people to see if the sampling line can be relocated.
    Richard, Temecula, CA
    28,000 Gal. In-Ground Black Marble Pebble Tec and tile, Intellichem with Chlorine and PH control, Pentair EasyTouch 8, ScreenLogic Wireless, Intelliflo VS+SVRS pump, Intellibrite lighting, Pentair Quad 100, Solar heating, Pentair Mastertemp 400 Gas Heater, Water feature spillover from SPA.

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