Leak at pump

gbrenham

Well-known member
Apr 4, 2017
70
Cypress, TX
After the freeze in Texas earlier this year, I had to replace my motor. When doing that, I couldn't find the impeller ring. Thinking it had broken off & was in the strainer basket. I couldn't get the strainer lid off & had to basically beat it off.

This evidently caused my leaks seen in the pictures. If you can't make out the leaks, they seem to be right at the junction of PVC & the top of pump.

First, are these leaks enough to cause the pump to not prime?

Is there an easy fix? If not, do I need to replace everything up to the filter?
 

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crusemm

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Sep 1, 2011
412
North Texas
From the pictures, it looks like it's leaking where the PVC threads into the pump casing. That is on the discharge side of the pump. That can cause your pump to lose prime when it shuts off, allowing air to leak into the pump and the water to drain back to the pool, but it will not prevent it from priming. I would do the following:
  1. Inspect closely the area around the connection, look for hairline cracks in the pump casing
  2. If you have room to spin that pipe off of the pump discharge without cutting it, drain your filter, uncouple from the filter and unthread the connection from the pump discharge
  3. Cartefully inspect pump casing and PVC connection , looking for cracks.
  4. If no pipe cracks found, reassemble with new silicone lubricant on the union o-ring and TPFE pipe dope on the PVC threads.
  5. Run pump and look for leaks.
 

crusemm

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Sep 1, 2011
412
North Texas
Alternatively, Cut out PVC, re-attach with a union on both ends of that leg (one on the filter side and one on the pump side)
 

cowboycasey

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Jul 3, 2013
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Southern OK
Pool Size
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Those leaks should not stop the pump from priming as that is on the pressure side...

An easy fix would be to replace that pipe to the filter.. you would need another filter union and a pump union so you could easily take the pump out...

Make sure your pump is 2 inch


 

gbrenham

Well-known member
Apr 4, 2017
70
Cypress, TX
I don't think I can separate the PVC from the pump without cutting it out. If y'all are saying the leak has nothing to do with priming the pump, then any hints on getting it to prime? Seems as though it's working correctly. I can sort of reach in from the basket side of the pump and move the impeller (though its a bit tough). In addition, I can turn on the water fall and that motor primes and runs great in less than 10 seconds.

I also shut off the main drain (leaving both skimmers open) and added water directly into the pump. What else should I be doing?
 

crusemm

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Sep 1, 2011
412
North Texas
I see that you have an attached spa. If it is elevated above your equipment pad as most are, with your pump off, I would line up the pump suction to the spa only with the return aligned back to the spa. Isolate all other suction and discharge paths as much as possible. Open the system high point vent (usually on your filter) and let everything equalize as much as possible. If you want to, use a hose and fill your pum p basket until you can't get any more water in (i.e. pump basket is overflowing). Then shut your vent and start your pump. This should give you a decent prime very quickly. The added head on the suction side and short /small volume flow path should allow you to quickly purge any air in the lines and establish good flow. After you have that loop running slowly valve in the other suctions one at a time. If you start getting large gulps of air, shut that valve, let prime re establish and then start opening that line again. In this way you should be able to move any air in suction lines out until it is completely filled. If you cannot esdtablish prime on the hot tub loop, then you have a suction side air leak. Start checking your pump casing and lines for cracks. After the freeze two of my 3-way suction valves had cracks that weren't visible until I took them apart.
 
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gbrenham

Well-known member
Apr 4, 2017
70
Cypress, TX
First, sorry this has become a priming thread!

My spa is at the same level as my pool, so I'd say the pump is slightly above the spa water line. I have Spa Mode, Spa Drain, and Spa Fill (pic1.png) function on my controller. So turn on Spa Mode? I believe that turns this valve to allow water only into the spa (pic2.png)

Should I also turn main drain and 2 skimmers off (pic3.png - red) or will the automatic valve (also pic3.png - yellow) take care of that?

You can also see that I have disconnected the motor assembly to see if I did something wrong, but all looks good. On your 3-way suction valves, which I'm assuming you are referring to the automated valves in my pictures, did you take off the top cover (pic3.png - blue circles) or down below (pic3.png - orange circles)?

Thank y'all for your help!
 

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crusemm

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Sep 1, 2011
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North Texas
In spa mode, it will only pull from and return to the spa. I would start in spa mode and try to get a prime. Then switch to spa fill with the main drain and furthest skimmer closed. if you lose prime, switch back, re establish prime and start over again. If this doesn't work, then switch to one of the other suction points and try again. Once you have one suction point running well, slowly valve in the other two, one at a time.
I don't have motor operated valves, but I would pick one of the non-motor valves, take it apart (remove the silver screws) inspect and re assemble. If you find no problems, then move on to the motor valves.
 
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