why a pool pump will not prime


Author: Poolking - Swimming Pool Equipment Manufacturer

A pool pump plays an important role in keeping your swimming pool clean, safe and beautiful. It ensures that water circulates properly, and all the debris, dirt and dead insects are eliminated. This not only makes the pool look good but also prevents the growth of algae and other harmful bacteria. But if your pool pump fails to do its job, it can be frustrating. One common issue that pool owners face is a failure to prime.

If you have encountered this problem, don't worry, there are several reasons why a pool pump might fail to prime, and most of them are fixable. This article will discuss the possible causes of the problem and the steps you can take to resolve it.

1. Introduction to pool pump priming

First of all, let's understand what priming means. A pool pump needs to be primed to function efficiently. Priming means removing the air that has accumulated in the pump and the piping system. The pump relies on water and not air, so if there's air in the system, it won't work. Priming is the action of ensuring that water is continuously circulating in the pool.

When you switch on your pool pump, there's a series of actions that takes place before it can start working. The pump motor starts and then creates a vacuum. Then, the valve changes the flow of water from the skimmer and the main drain, sending it to the pump. The water then passes through the pump and is received by the filter. The filter removes any impurities and debris, then the water is sent back to the pool via the return jet.

2. A clogged skimmer basket can lead to pump failure

One reason why the pool pump might not prime is a clogged skimmer basket. The skimmer basket is designed to keep debris from getting into the pipes and the pump. If it gets clogged with debris, it will impede the water flow and cause the pump to lose suction. To resolve the issue, you first need to switch off the pump, remove the skimmer basket, and clean off any debris. Once it's empty, you can reattach it and try again.

3. A dirty filter can prevent pool pump priming

Another possible cause is a dirty or clogged filter. If the filter is dirty, it will not let the water pass through it, which means there will be no water reaching the pump. As a result, the pump will not be able to create enough suction to start the process, and it won't prime. If this is the cause of the problem, the best solution is to clean the filter. You can do this by opening the filter compartment and removing the filter. Rinse it thoroughly with water, then replace it and try starting the pump again.

4. Air leaks in the pump and pipe system

Air leaks in the pump and pipe system prevent your pool pump from priming. They can be caused by poorly fitted O-rings or non-lubricated seals. When the pump creates a vacuum, air is drawn into the system. If the system is not airtight, the air will remain in the system, preventing it from being filled with water. To resolve this issue, you need to check all the seals and O-rings to ensure they're correctly fitted and lubricated if necessary.

5. A Prime by-pass mechanism may be triggering the failure.

Lastly, some pool pumps have a prime by-pass mechanism. This allows the pump to draw water from the pool directly, and not go through the skimmer and pump at the same time, making it more efficient. However, if the pool water level drops below the skimmer, then the prime by-pass may activate, and make the skimmer ineffective as a gateway to pump water to the pump.

In conclusion, a pool pump that won't prime can be caused by various reasons. However, with the knowledge about them, you can identify the cause and resolve the issue. Failure to take action could result in bigger problems that could be even more expensive to fix. Be sure to regularly maintain and inspect your pool pump, to avoid this problem. Enjoy your pool!


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