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Reasons Why Your Pool Pump Won’t Prime

Pool pump

Reasons Why Your Pool Pump Won’t Prime

A pool pump is a vital piece of equipment for your swimming pool system. It is responsible for circulating the water that helps even out the spread of chemicals throughout your swimming pool. 

Moreover, it is also the one who helps the water flow into your filtration system and filter all the debris present in your pool. It is why ensuring that your pool pump is working is vital.

However, there are times that you will notice your pool pump will lose prime. Here are some common reasons why your pool pump may lose Prime

Air Sucks Into Your System

Pool pump

The number one reason why a swimming pool pump won’t prime is that it sucks air into your pool pump system. This problem is because of a low swimming pool water level. Another reason for air getting sucked into the system is the hairline cracks on your pump lid. 

Air can get through these thin cracks and cause your pump to lose its prime. Another reason air ends up on your pool pump is when there is an air leak on your suction line. Fortunately, there are ways you can identify an air leak and provide a solution to this problem.

How to Check Air Leaks

Here are the steps you should follow to help you identify air leaking into your pool pump system.

  • Check your swimming pool strainer pot. Look for bubbles that move through the strainer pot. Once you notice air on your strainer pot, it indicates that the air leak is somewhere on the suction side of your system. 
  • Once you notice that your pump won’t prime, and the water level of your pool is below the requirements, your pump indeed sucked up air. Add water to your swimming pool until it reaches the marker to fix this problem.
  • Inspect the plumbing elements. Before the inspection, it is better to turn the master breaker first. 
  • Inspect the o-ring of your strainer lid. Look for signs of damages such as warped, stretched, or broken o-ring. If this happens, the chances of air getting in your pump is high. Replace the gasket or the o-ring of your see any damages.
  • Another reason why air can get in your system is a broken union. If your pump starts losing prime and all other parts were checked, maybe the problem is in the union. If you see that the union is damaged, you indeed have air stopping your pump to Prime. 
  • Check the epoxy sealing of the elbows, tees, and valve ports if it already becomes brittle and washed out. 

There Is No More Water in the Strainer Basket

If there is not enough water in your basket, expect your pool pump to not prime. The pump needs to suck in enough water to get it going, and without water in the strainer basket, there is no water sucked into the pump. 

If you figure out that this is the case of why your pump is not functioning properly, what you will need to do is open the cover of the strainer basket and supply lines. Leave it like that for about two to three minutes and place back the cover. 

Clogged Strainer Basket

strainer basket replacement

A clogged strainer basket is as bad as not having enough water in it. Leaves, dirt, and insects can get caught on your strainer basket, making it clogged. Once the strainer basket is clogged, the water won’t circulate properly and will not create a vacuum. 

If there is no vacuum, your swimming pool pump won’t prime properly. Check your strainer constantly and remove debris stuck in the basket to avoid this scenario from happening. Once you make it a habit to check your strainer basket for clogs, your pool pump will continue working perfectly. 

Suction and Discharge Valves Are Closed

The swimming pool pump will also have difficulty priming if either the suction or the discharge valves are closed. It is best to check the valves and open them up if it is indeed closed. Opening the valves will help the water flow, which helps your swimming pool pump to Prime.

Clogged Impeller

Your strainer basket is not the only thing that gets clogged. The pump impeller is also prone to clogging, which affects your pool pump’s priming. If this happens, the water won’t move through side slots and creates a vacuum. 

Check your impeller for debris that possibly clogged it up. Remove the impeller and clean it to remove all the dirt. Once you are certain, it is thoroughly cleaned, put it back in place and try to run your pump. If you see a difference, a clogged impeller is your culprit, but if otherwise, you should move forward and check other parts to figure out why your swimming pool pump won’t prime.

When You Are Using a Two-Speed Motor

Pool pump

If your motor is only two-speed, losing your pump prime should be expected. You should keep in mind that you should start the motor at high speed to create enough suction. 

Your pool pump must have enough suction for it to Prime. Once the pump is primed, you can now lower the motor speed and keep it at a low speed.

If you find it inconvenient to use a two-speed motor, you might want to consider replacing it with a variable-speed motor. This way, you will never have to worry about waiting for your pump to prime and switching the speed down. 

Start the Inspection

Start inspecting your swimming pool equipment following the steps provided in this article. Make sure to go through each step to ensure that you cover all the parts.

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