Pump not priming on startup

rainman168

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2007
46
Hello, my pump is losing its prime when it gets turned on. Initially, when I turned on the pump, nothing happened. I had a repairman come out and he turned off all the valves, primed the pump, turned the pump on, and everything was working fine. Prior to this, all I had to do was turn the pump on and the pump was working fine.

When I came out the next day to turn the pump on, the same thing that happened initially happened again. I followed the same procedure as the repairman and the pump was working again. However, I still need to find the problem so that I don't have follow these procedures all the time. Not to mention, I can't put the timer back on. It would have to be done manually. Does anyone have any ideas as to what may be causing this? Is the pump okay? I would appreciate any thoughts / opinions. Thanks in advance for your help.
 

andysutt

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2007
88
Arkansas
Im no expert... but have you tried using the air release valve or whatever it is?

Mine got some air in the line once and I had to loosen it off and let the air out and it started pumping almost instantly.

Im not sure what kind of pump you have however... or above or inground pool. Just offering what I have learned myself in the last month
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,624
SW Indiana
A little more info about your pool would help. The obvious thing is an air leak. Pump basket lid and pump drain plugs would be the first place to look. Any leaking fittings between the pool and pump?
 

rainman168

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2007
46
My apologies for insufficient info. I have a Hayward max flo pump connected to a hayward star clear plus c900.
inground pool.

Replies to

> Andysutt - I don't see any air release valve.

> JohnT - Okay, how do you determine which area is having the air leak? The pump is okay, then?

Thanks again to both of your quick replies.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,624
SW Indiana
rainman168 said:
> JohnT - Okay, how do you determine which area is having the air leak? The pump is okay, then?
When the pump shuts off, does any water come out anywhere? That's a sure sign. Try relubing the strainer basket O-ring. You can cover any suspected areas with shaving cream, and a little dimple will form where the leak is.

Can't say whether the pump is okay or not, but I wouldn't think it was the problem. Usually just air entering the system allowing the water to drain back down the intake lines.
 

matt4x4

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2007
312
air leak..

if your pump does not prime, your problem lies between the skimmer or bottom drains and the pump, anything beyond the pump back to the pool is at this time irrelevant - unless something's blocked on that side...
I'd work my way back to the pool from the pump, you should lube the lid seal and make sure everything there is ok, tighten the pump drain plug, test again, if it still will not prime, work back towards pool, isolate either the skimmer or main drain first by shutting the other off and testing - if you don't have shutoffs for these, it'll be a bit harder to determine where the leak may be - it could well be in the pipes under ground somewhere.
if you can get the system working with something shut off on the feed side, it'll be on the currently shut off arm where the problem lies.
 

rainman168

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2007
46
Pump not priming

Hello, everybody. Here is an update on my pump not priming on startup situation. It is definitely an air leak someplace. When you are in the water, you hear the air coming out of the return lines. I spent most of the weekend trying to find the air leak. I tried putting shaving cream on pump areas with no success. I spoke with a pool repairman at the local pool store and explained my situation to him. He said to look for any type of water leak and I didn't see any. Only possible places for air leak would be (1) pump cover, (2) drain plugs, (3) shut off valves, and (4) male adapter located on top of the pump. I have also shut off the skimmer and left the main drain on and vice versa. Neither way worked. I don't think it is the PVC piping since I would think I would see dirt in the water. The only thing that sounds suspect is when the skimmer shutoff valve is off, you can hear less water draining away when I turn off the pump. Again, there is no water leak dripping from the valve. Is it possible that something may be working correctly within the pump itself that is letting air in but no water out? Does anyone have any other ideas? Thanks in advance for everybody's feedback.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,624
SW Indiana
I don't think you can rule out the pipe due to the lack of dirt. There's only air moving into the pipe, and it won't bring much dirt with it. The first elbow next to the equipment where the pipe begins its horizontal run is a common place for a leak. Suction side leaks will usually squirt a little water when the pump shuts off.
 

rainman168

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2007
46
Hello, I found my air leak last night. It is in one of my three PVC valves. In my limited testing last night, I did the following four times after waiting 3 - 5 minutes after turning off the pump. When the valve is off, the pump will prime when it starts. I would be curious to see what happens today when there is more time between shutting off the pump and turning it back on. My question is aside from replacing the valve, what other options are there to fix the leaky valve? By the way, my pool is a little bit over a year old. Thanks for everybody's feedback.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,624
SW Indiana
rainman168 said:
Hello, I found my air leak last night. It is in one of my three PVC valves. In my limited testing last night, I did the following four times after waiting 3 - 5 minutes after turning off the pump. When the valve is off, the pump will prime when it starts. I would be curious to see what happens today when there is more time between shutting off the pump and turning it back on. My question is aside from replacing the valve, what other options are there to fix the leaky valve? By the way, my pool is a little bit over a year old. Thanks for everybody's feedback.
Depends on what kind of valve. Some can have the insides removed and a repair kit will get you new seals. If it's not a Jandy or other high-end repairable valve, just replace it. About $7 for the valve if I remember right.