Priming A Swimming Pool Pump  

by Pool Builders on 01-20-2012 in Articles

If a pump is switched on and working when not fully primed then it will not be working efficiently and could become damaged. It is therefore essential that a pump is regularly checked for prime and re primed if necessary.

A pump is primed when all the air has been purged from the pump and it is moving water.

A pump has lost its prime when either it is not moving water when switched on or moving it ineffieciently, mixed with air.

It may be necessary to re-establish prime in a pump for various reasons, such as when you re-connect the pump at the beginning of the season, when you have cleaned the strainer basket in the pump or if you have a leak in your filtration system.

If you need to re-establish prime in your pump follow these steps.

1. The first step is to turn off the pump.

2. On the suction side of the pump, close all valves, including the Main Drain, Skimmer and Vacuum Lines.

3. Slowly open the strainer lid of the pump, releasing any built up pressure carefully.

4. Inspect and clean out the strainer basket. If there is any damage to the basket, check the impeller for loose debris and replace basket with a new one.

5. Check the o ring on the pump lid to make sure it is in good condition without any damage. Replace if necessary to ensure a good seal.

6. Replace the basket and fill the strainer with water.

7. Replace the strainer lid making sure that it makes a good seal. Do not use tools to tighten the lid, as this could result in over tightening and damage to the o-ring and possibly the lid and pump body.

8. Turn the pump back on at the mains.

9.Slowly open only one suction side valve, such as the main drain. At this stage the pump should prime itself after about thirty seconds, and you will see the water surging through the pump.

10. If the pump has not primes itself, then close the valve and turn off the pump at the mains. It may be necessary to repeat the process of filling the basket with water, turning on the pump and opening a valve several times before the air is sufficiently removed from the system.

11. Once you have established that water is flowing freely without air through one line, then slowly open the next valve on the suction side.

12. If there is no evidence of air in the pump or pipe work, then continue to open valves until they are all opened and the pump remains primed. If at any stage it appears that air is in the pipeline related to the valve that you have just opened, then close that valve, turn off the pump, and repeat the air purging process as above, loosening the strainer lid, re fill with water and start the pump again. Repeat until all valves are open and no air is present.

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