Help! Pool has little to no suction for all pool options(recirculate,backwash,etc)

Ashley23!

Member
Apr 3, 2020
19
Alabama
The pool has a large suction at the beginning then dramatically drops to almost none. We have checked leaks in pipes,fittings,motor,o-rings, etc. When we checked for pipe leaks, I bought pipe to stick into pool to see if it would still have suction or none, when you add the hose plus cut off air it would prime no problem, drop it into the water and suction gone. Hook original pipe back up and still no suction. Put the sand filter on closed and it primes right up. I have no idea what is wrong and need any help I can get!
 

Ashley23!

Member
Apr 3, 2020
19
Alabama
They are def on correctly , Even when the pool people come out they say oh replace this and that and I end up spending lots and still isn’t the issue. Any other ideas?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Ashley, can you post a picture of your equipment pad please?

Also, about this statement ....
I bought pipe to stick into pool to see if it would still have suction or none, when you add the hose plus cut off air it would prime no problem, drop it into the water and suction gone.
Are you saying that you took a separate piece of PVC pipe from the pump and ran it above ground directly into the pool? I want to make sure I understand that one.

Other questions:
- Is this a brand new issue this year? When did it start happening?
- I wouldn't think so in AL, but was your pool closed last winter?
- Did anyone take apart the multiport valve recently?
- How old is you filter?
- Did the pool techs or anyone else do any other filter maintenance lately that you recall?
 

Ashley23!

Member
Apr 3, 2020
19
Alabama
Ashley, can you post a picture of your equipment pad please?

Also, about this statement ....

Are you saying that you took a separate piece of PVC pipe from the pump and ran it above ground directly into the pool? I want to make sure I understand that one.

Other questions:
- Is this a brand new issue this year? When did it start happening?
- I wouldn't think so in AL, but was your pool closed last winter?
- Did anyone take apart the multiport valve recently?
- How old is you filter?
- Did the pool techs or anyone else do any other filter maintenance lately that you recall?
So we normally close the pool during winter bc of all the leaves, this year we did not but I’ve cleaned it all out. Yes our ground is very hard and we didn’t want to dig up the suction line unless it had a leak, so we bought pipe to run on top of the ground to do the same job, it didn’t work still little to no suction. When we tried the “new” pipe we put it into pool and nothing, so then we put the water hose in and closed it off and it would prime just fine. The sand filter is older but the sand has been replaced twice, the spider gasket the whole head has been replaced (per pool guys thoughts) every thing has new o rings etc. no leaks anywhere. **When the sand filter is closed the pump pools the water fine. Turn it to a different setting and it’s gone.
 

Ashley23!

Member
Apr 3, 2020
19
Alabama
So we normally close the pool during winter bc of all the leaves, this year we did not but I’ve cleaned it all out. Yes our ground is very hard and we didn’t want to dig up the suction line unless it had a leak, so we bought pipe to run on top of the ground to do the same job, it didn’t work still little to no suction. When we tried the “new” pipe we put it into pool and nothing, so then we put the water hose in and closed it off and it would prime just fine. The sand filter is older but the sand has been replaced twice, the spider gasket the whole head has been replaced (per pool guys thoughts) every thing has new o rings etc. no leaks anywhere. **When the sand filter is closed the pump pools the water fine. Turn it to a different setting and it’s gone.
Oh and it started at the end of last season, replaced basically everything, got new pump at the beginning of season last year worked perfect for 6 months. Pump is still good it’s been checked and i bought a new just in case.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
**When the sand filter is closed the pump pools the water fine. Turn it to a different setting and it’s gone.
That almost sounds as if the multiport valve top section (handle) was installed incorrectly-not aligned with the lower (channels) of the valve. Humm? But this is odd .......
so then we put the water hose in and closed it off and it would prime just fine.
Where did you insert the garden hose? Directly into the pump inlet?
 

Ashley23!

Member
Apr 3, 2020
19
Alabama
I didn’t move the position valve...it came on that thing has a whole piece and it worked fine all last year till end of season. We inserted hose from the above ground pipe “the temporary pipe” and closed it off so no air would get in. Auctioned fine no problem. Lay pipe and hose in the water and nothing. I wonder now if the skimmer valve is messed up 🤷🏼‍♀️ I’m not sure. The pool is green so I can’t see it without draining water which I can’t do bc the pump won’t suck it out.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
So we should be able to rule-out the valve.

The pipe thing is really odd. Just so I'm clear in my weekend brain :hammer: ..... I can understand the original (ground) pipe perhaps having a clog. But then you used a temporary pipe above ground, connected it directly to the pump and fed water through the end with a garden hose and it work fine. But if you took that same temporary pump and let the end fall into the pool water to suck water (instead of using the hose) it lost prime? Am I understanding that correctly?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
One other thing to consider since the pump and equipment appear to be new, and water doesn't seem to be able to get "sucked-up" on its own to maintain prime ... check the inside of the pump (the impeller) for a partial clog or something wrapped around that impeller. With power OFF, open the clear pump basket lid and reach down in there. You should feel the impeller (fan-like item) and it should be smooth and rotate freely. If junk got wrapped around it, it could be interfering with the pump's ability to pull water.

While you're at it, look for a couple basic suction air leak items:
- Clear lid o-ring in place, not damaged, and lobed with pool silicone
- Pump basket drain plug(s) also sealed well, lubed if necessary.
 

Ashley23!

Member
Apr 3, 2020
19
Alabama
So we should be able to rule-out the valve.

The pipe thing is really odd. Just so I'm clear in my weekend brain :hammer: ..... I can understand the original (ground) pipe perhaps having a clog. But then you used a temporary pipe above ground, connected it directly to the pump and fed water through the end with a garden hose and it work fine. But if you took that same temporary pump and let the end fall into the pool water to suck water (instead of using the hose) it lost prime? Am I understanding that correctly?

yes correct. So no matter which pipe the original or temporary it doesn’t have prime. I wish I could post a video of what it does, it’s getting water in there but not enough to fully run.
 

Ashley23!

Member
Apr 3, 2020
19
Alabama
One other thing to consider since the pump and equipment appear to be new, and water doesn't seem to be able to get "sucked-up" on its own to maintain prime ... check the inside of the pump (the impeller) for a partial clog or something wrapped around that impeller. With power OFF, open the clear pump basket lid and reach down in there. You should feel the impeller (fan-like item) and it should be smooth and rotate freely. If junk got wrapped around it, it could be interfering with the pump's ability to pull water.

While you're at it, look for a couple basic suction air leak items:
- Clear lid o-ring in place, not damaged, and lobed with pool silicone
- Pump basket drain plug(s) also sealed well, lubed if necessary.
yes checked impeller, no issues and o rings in place, and siliconed and lives.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Well, you appear to have ruled out basic suction side air leak or clog issues. From your description, the pump is not able to "pull" water on its own, but will push water "fed" to it (i.e. garden hose). Hummmm. You're giving my brain a workout this morning. :crazy:

Let's also ensure there is nothing obstructing flow "out" of the pump which can also impact water movement to the pump and its ability to prime. So:
- When was the last time you backwashed?
- With the small/limited water movement you were able to achieve, does the MPV operate properly in each setting?
- In the past, did you always turn off the pump before changing MPV settings?
- In the short amount of time water does get pulled, are you able tp see any water come out of the return jets?
 

Ashley23!

Member
Apr 3, 2020
19
Alabama
Yes trust me my brain hurts too lol I can’t think of anything that’s what led me to this site! We have tried to backwash but little to nothing comes out, it works the same on each setting, little push of water and then a trickle then hardly none. Water slowly comes out of the jet, nothing more than what’s going in.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
26,546
Laughlin, NV
Radical idea - so Pat please chime in - what about loosening the union on the input side of the filter and see if that allows the pump to prime. It will spray water everywhere if it works -- so be ready.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Radical idea - so Pat please chime in - what about loosening the union on the input side of the filter and see if that allows the pump to prime. It will spray water everywhere if it works -- so be ready.
I agree Marty. It may be time for that. Ashley, one other check first though. Put the MPV on recirculate. Confirm if that allows water to flow. If not, let's give Marty's suggestion a try. With the filter removed from the equation as Marty suggested, water should blow out of the pump quickly (so get ready). Fill/prime the pump basket with a bucket of water and have the temp pipe connected to the inlet of the pump and dropped in the pool on the other before you test the pump. If it blows out of there and runs for a few seconds without failing, your filter would be something to check next. If the pump can't pull water like that, something in the pump has failed.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Ashley, if that test doesn't work (removing the filter from the equation), that leaves the pump. Either something has gone bad with it, or there is something gummed-up around the impeller area you simply can't feel with your fingers from inside. So if we believe the pump to be the issue, you have the option of separating the wet & dry ends to inspect more closely.

Now if the pump moves water fine on this test with the filter disconnected, we can assume there's something impeding water flow from the MPV through the filter at which point opening up the filter and inspecting may be you next course of action. I would also say the MPV, but you stated it was fairly new and worked fine up until winter. So we'll wait to see what you have to say.
 

Ashley23!

Member
Apr 3, 2020
19
Alabama
So let me say this, the water flows through the sand filter to the salt system but doesn’t have enough flow to keep a prime. So it trickles, is there a way to post a video? So you want me to loosen the Union and let water spray out and see if it keeps a prime that way?