Newbie to pools and something with my pump seems off


New member
Sep 16, 2010
Hello All!

I just bought a new house and it has an in-ground pool. This is my first experience with a pool and as the seller of the house was only an investor, I have absolutely no history of the pool to work with. I'm just feeling my way around and hoping I don't screw up the equipment.

Cutting to the chase, I am worried that my pump is not working correctly. When the timer turns the pump on, it runs for 5 to 15 minutes before water starts circulating in the pool. I assume it's not good for the pump to run dry, but I don't have the slightest idea where to start trouble shooting.

A little about my setup: It's an in ground pool. There is a Jandy Valve. Two pipes come into the valve and one exits.

When the pump is off, water in the filter basket (not the big filter, but a smaller one that seems to just filter out leaves) goes away. Also, when the pump turns off, a little bit of water splashes from somewhere that I have not been able to determine. However, this amount of water is very small and is no where near the amount of water that was in the filter basket.

When the pump is on, air is coming through the return jets.

Here are some pictures of my setup:

In the third picture, there is a little water around the pipe that comes out of the pump.

I'd appreciate any help anyone could offer!


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
You have a suction side air leak. Air is being sucked into the system somewhere between the pump and the skimmer.

I can't see where the water is leaking out but, if it's BEFORE the pump, that could very well be your issue. You may also have more than one leak to patch......that plumbing has been redone and, frankly, needs to be redone again when you get your feet on the ground.

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
SouthWest Alabama
Air shooting out of the returns means there's a suction side leak as Dave said.

The first places I'd start looking is the pump strainer basket lid. Remove it, clean it and lube it good with silicon pool lube and replace it.
Then take a look at the skimmer while the pump is running to see that the weir is working freely and that the skimmer isn't creating a vortex sucking air in.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
Coastalish 'down easter'
Welcome to TFP!!

There is an article in Pool School that offers advice on narrowing down leaks - try the dribbled water trick once you have prime and the system is running. Then see if you can use the Jandy valve to try to isolate which line is letting the air in (though the valve or a connection after the valve may be the culprit - also, try closing one of the in fluent lines when you start up the pump - it's easier to prime the pump off only one line, then SLOWLY open the other - this may cut down on your priming time :wink: )

We'll be here to help you figure this out and correct the issue :cool: