Pump not priming


Jul 13, 2015

I opened my pool last week At the opening, the pump would not prime when set to main drain. After the level reached above skimmer, the pump did prime for a week. Just this morning, it stopped priming from skimmer

The pool person said the main drain issue could be clogged suction line or a leak. But now with the skimmer side not priming, could ii be the pump that is bad?

Please help



Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

It is a lot harder for the pump to prime from the main drain than it is from the skimmer.. I suspect you have a suction side air leak that kept you from priming from the main drain and this leak has now gotten worse, making it impossible to prime from the skimmer.

The number one reason for a pump not priming is a bad, or leaking, O-ring under the pump basket lid. I would remove and inspect the O-ring, make sure it is coated with pool lube and then reinstall it. The little o-rings on the pump drain plugs can also cause loss of prime.

If your pump has unions that are used to remove the pump in the winter, then that can be another source of an air leak.

If you just recently used your pump to vacuum a bunch of leaves up from the bottom of your pool, it is also possible that your impeller is clogged.


Jim R.