WhisperFlo not flowing, but motor is normal

Apr 12, 2014
United States
Yesterday, I noticed that my volute wasn't filling completely, regardless which valve was on (floor, skimmer, or vacuum). Due to an aftermarket dark blue basket, it's hard to see down in there now, but I could see water swirling around, like in a flushing toilet. I also *thought* I was seeing water come in, but now I'm not sure.

I changed out the seals and gaskets today, but with no improvement. (They were about 2 years old, so I guess it was due anyway...)
  • No whine or hum (I've had bad bearings and caps before). Spins freely. Motor sounds normal, just dry-ish.
  • No air hissing sounds anywhere.
  • Top lid and gasket are *very tight*, clean, have no cracks, and I've already tried some silicone grease.
  • Zero pressure at the filter.
  • I've primed the volute well.
Thinking maybe my filter or return line was massively clogged, I disconnected the pump output from the filter, got a little splash of water in the line, but when I turned on the pump, no water is coming out at all. Water in the volute is just swirling around, nothing new is coming in.

I only run it for about a minute so it doesn't overheat. Usually I have water coming in within about 10 seconds and fully primed well under a minute.

Everything inside looks normal. Gaskets are all seated well and greased.

I cleaned the impeller, no clogs. And with the volute detached, if I turn on the motor, I can see that the impeller is spinning just fine.

Any ideas? I'm stumped. Based on everything I can think of, this pump should be pumping.


In The Industry
May 24, 2016
Fill the pump with water. Let it sit full and look for leaks.
Next open the lid, fill the pump with water, turn the pump on without the lid on and let the water swoosh into the filter while filling the pump with a bucket of water.. Put the lid on. Use a water hose to pour over the pump while you prime the pump to find air sucking into the pump as you prime it. Start with the lid, and work your way down the suction side. Tell me what the pump does with the water while you pour a bucket into the basket as it's running.


Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
Spring Valley, NY
A couple of things, eventhough you opened up all the valves that may have made things worse. You need to close off say the skimmers and try the main drain only and vice-versa to try to isolate where your issue is at. Is your water level up to half the skimmer hight and is the weir door operating and not getting stuck by not letting the skimmer be full all the time. If you have two skimmers try to isolate them one at a time if valves allow for it. If all checks out it's time to invest closer to the pump perhaps a union sucking in air or even the pump basket drain plug can cause this issue.
You haven't filled in your signature so we don't know your equipment. What pump is this?
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