Pump Not Priming on Opening

kchinger

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2017
220
Southeast PA
Not sure what I'm missing. I feel like I struggled a bit last year, but eventually got it. But today it's just not happening for some reason.

I've followed all the instructions I can find at various places. I've tried with the pool drain, I've tried with the shallow skimmer. I've tried with recirculate and I've tried with filter, and all combinations thereof. When using the skimmer I set the discharge to both the drain and returns. I've tried it at the pump's priming speed (Green VS 1.65) and at full speed. I've run it up to like 4 minutes at a time. There is water in the SWG up to about 3/4 level, the check valve before the heater is full of water, all drains are replaced and tight. I've probably tried it 10 times at this point. I'm pretty sure I have good suction, because when I remove the pump basket lid after an attempt it sucks in a bunch of air and I hear water flowing, but not until I open it. My Jandy valve just before the pump has a broken grease port, but for one, that hole is tiny, and for two it doesn't feel like it's sucking there. It was broken last year during the season and never caused a problem (and is in a location that's going to be a pain to replace because there's like no pipe left anywhere, so I'm avoiding it). I've removed the return plugs, removed the skimmer gizmos. When I look into the pump basket it looks like a tiny bit of water comes in at first and then stops.

So my latest attempt that makes the most sense to me is as follows:

1. Suction side set to main drain only. Skimmers shut off. (I feel like it's easier to pull from the drain than the skimmers, dunno).
2. Multiport set to recirculate (to avoid having to fill the filter at first?)
3. Discharge set to returns only (to prevent short circuit).
4. Filter air outlet opened, just in case, I don't think this matters.
5. Full speed for like 3.5 minutes or something.

What am I missing? Do I need to run it longer?
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
33,647
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
KC, you might post a pic of your equipment pad set-up. Maybe we'll see something. But some notes from me ...
- I would try pulling suction from the skimmers first as the drain might take more pull at first. If you are able to pull from just one skimmer that would be ideal.
- Filter setting "shouldn't" matter; neither should air relief
- Discharge (return water) should go to return jets only. Drain is a suction source.
- Did you ensure the clear lid O-ring and pump drain plugs were lubed with pool silicone?
- Water level high enough at pool? At least halfway up the skimmer opening; weir door (flap) working properly and not stuck?
- Did you pre-prime the pump basket by filling with water?
- That damaged valve; is there a way to cover or plug that spot just to be sure?
 

kchinger

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2017
220
Southeast PA
Thanks for the reply. I'll try the skimmers first, I can do one at a time, so I'll focus on the shallow (shorter run) one first. My main drain can be discharge or suction, but I'll leave it totally off for now I guess.

Forgot silicone, I'll see if I have a packet I can use or I'll run to the store I guess. I'm pretty sure I don't have a leak though, since it pulls and holds suction until I remove the pump basket cover.

Water level is plenty high, I'm actually draining it a bit with a hose and pump, not sure if the weir was stuck, I'll check, but I did go out and the water level in the skimmer wasn't dropping or anything while the pump was running, so it can't really be the issue yet.

I did pre-prime and fill with water (and I keep filling each time I try). I can probably put a dab of something on the broken valve grease port to seal it.
 

kchinger

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2017
220
Southeast PA
Found the issue. Dumb user error (as usual). I left a plug in the inlet pipe just in front of the pump when I installed the pump. Couldn't see it. I was wondering why the water wasn't flowing down that inlet at all when I was filling it.

It primed in about 5 seconds once I removed that.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
33,647
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Ah yes, the mystery plug. :brickwall:

full
 
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