Pump is running but no pressure/water

Mar 31, 2014
South Carolina
I recently had the motor replaced on my pump and everything was working fine. Two days ago I shut the motor off and switch it to the automatic setting. I noticed today that the pump is running but there is no water running through the filter or lines. Also, there is no pressure. I tried backwashing and I cleaned the skimmer and the pump basket of debris. Could this be a clog in the line? Does it need to be primed (I've never had to prime it before)? Is there anything else I can try?


LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
You do need to prime the pump. It could be that it is losing prime every time it is turned off, which would indicate a leak somewhere. It is also possible that this is a one time thing, but that seems less likely.

To prime the pump, open the pump strainer basket, fill it with water, close up the basket making sure the seal is clean and forms a good seal, then turn on the pump and see if it starts working.

The pump can be damaged by running too long without water flow, so it is important that you figure this out.


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
Tucson, AZ
First, you should never let the pump run for more than a couple minutes without water flowing or you could damage the pump

Can you post up pictures of the equipment pad? There are a few things that could prevent water from moving and show 0 pressure in the filter:
1. Valves closed on the suction side
2. Clog on the suction side
3. Massive air leak on the suction side
4. Clog between the pump and the filter (not likely).

What happened when you backwashed? Did water come out?
Is the pump full of water?


Active member
Jun 3, 2014
Lee County, FL
Just experienced a similar issue. Noticed loose pump canister O-ring during basket cleaning. Left it as-was since it had been working OK.
Turned on the system after finishing other maintenance, but couldn't achieve pressure / water flow while pump was running. Shut down system.
Replaced the loose / stretched out O-ring with a new one. Lightly lubed it and cleaned all contact surfaces, screw threads... lubing them as well.
Turned on pump and all is well again.
Appreciate this forum so much!