How To Find Out Why Your Pool Pump Is Not Fully Priming - How To Guides - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 10-19-2009, 08:33 AM   #1
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How to find out why your pool pump is not fully priming

Okay guys, so after all my adventures with my new house and pool, i figured i would share some great information that i figured out over trial and error.

Basically after replacing my pool pump with a brand new $400 one, i still want not getting my pool pump to fully prime!

BTW just in case anybody doesn't know, when your pool pump is running, if you look down into the basket on the pump you should just see water, you shouldn't see swirls or the water flowing in from the pipe, it should look like the basket area is just full of water

The reason i post that above is because when i figure bought my house, i didn't know that! So i thought my pump was running correctly until i had a friend come over that works for a pool company.

Anyways, after he came over i still could not get my pump to fully "prime" or work correctly...somehow there was air getting into my pump.

Turns out, the way i figured it out was such a simple solutions i wish i would have tried it earlier. (i figured this out on accident!)

I was working on cutting out my chlorinator to put in a new valve and i was holding my hose with it running away from my body. I look over to the right and the hose just happens to be spraying where my intake pipe is, i look at the pump and it is working perfectly!

I was amazed! So basically if you cannot get it to fully prime/work, take a hose, spray it around the intake pipe, pump lid, or any other parts or valves before the pump, if the pump starts working correctly you know that's where the air is getting in!

Just thought i would share that because of how amazed i was when i figured it out, and i was working on another problem when i figured out the pump one!


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Last edited by tripflex; 10-19-2009 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:28 PM   #2
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I am going to try this, I have been having issues with my hot tub pump not priming.


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Old 07-28-2010, 07:20 PM   #3
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I get air bubbles in that basket when I run my vacuum and the pump pressure reads zero. I finally figured out that the vacuum makes it work too hard to be efficient. I must also backwash the system after removing the vacuum or else I get all that fine sedement back in through the pool outlet.
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:58 PM   #4
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I'am having the same problem,can see the water swirl around in the basket before it enter's the pump,and the return is alot weaker then it used to be,the vacuum is also weak,I'am going to try the water hose tomorrow around the lid,
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:09 PM   #5
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I installed an oversized pump
So I get the swirls when the water level gets low
In many cases you need to add water to the pool
My pump will pull water in so fast it can drain the basket if the water level is too low
Eventually I need to add a 2nd skimmer
.....I want one actually on the bottom of the pool
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:29 AM   #6
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A common air leak is at the rubber O-ring to the lid of the basket at the pump. A coating of vaseline is often needed to help it seal.
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:31 PM   #7
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Vaseline can be a poor choice unless you know it is compatible with the o-ring material. I used waterproof silicone grease (available in plumbing supplies) on the o-ring for our pump and we got 10-15 of years of use from it, sitting out in the weather all year long.
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:45 AM   #8
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Sometimes leaves or other debris get caught in the impeller and doesn't allow the pump to prime all the way. That's why shoving a hose into the inlet and blasting water in there like @tripflex said works (most of the time). It basically flushes out the crap blocking the impeller. I saw this quite a bit when I used to work for a pool service company. Other than the hose trick, you can also just use a pair of needle nose pliers to pull out the leaves and twigs and junk. But if neither of those work, you can also dislodge whatevers in there by flipping on the pump with the cover off till it starts sucking air (no longer than 5 seconds), flip it off, it'll 'burp' out water, flip it on again for a few seconds, and back off and that should do the trick. Pull out any remaining debris, fill it, put the cover on, and fire it back up. Open up the pressure relief valve a little to help purge the air and it should prime with no problem now.

Unless of course your O-rings are cracked, split, or have debris on them causing a less-than-perfect seal. In that case, just clean it off with the hose or get a new one (but don't apply lube to the seal in any case, since they come pre-lubed from the factory already and you still want it to be able to grip the housing to get a good seal). It'd also be a good idea to get a new strainer basket too.

Last edited by JustScrewIt; 06-15-2015 at 05:08 AM. Reason: Grammar. Havin one a helluva time forming complete sentences today! I just did it again didn't I?
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:15 AM   #9
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The joys of having a swimming pool! Makes you wonder sometimes if it's worth having one, but when you see the kids having a ball in there during the summer, you forget about all the headaches it causes.


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