Pool pump

From time to time if you have a swimming pool you may experience pool pump prime issues. Dealing with these issues can be troublesome so we have created a list of items that should be checked.

Common indications of a pump that’s unable to prime are when there isn’t any water flowing through it when it’s on or when there is a lack of suction or a lack of pressure within the filter tank. During these times use the below to help you resolve the issue.

Check that the pump lid and gasket are on correctly and are not damaged and clear of any debris. Check pump and lid for cracks and chips.

If you experience issues in lack of suction when vacuuming from a single pipe like the skimmer or vacuum line try cracking open the main drain pipe or any other. Cavitation can form on some pools plumbing causing a lack of suction when it’s directed 100% to one pipe. Allowing another pipe to gain some suction allows more water to flow into the pump keeping prime on all pipes and maximizing suction.

Another cause for lack of suction from a skimmer port while vacuuming is an Ozonator. Check to see if the pool has an Ozonator and if so try adjusting the ball valve for the Ozonator that’s on them. Or, take the small plastic tube off the Ozonator and plug it with something to prevent air suction on the pipe as a temporary measure or kink the pipe while you test for increased and constant suction on the skimmer line. If the ball adjustment doesn’t work but the plug or the kink of the pipe does work then there’s an issue with the Ozonator.

Pool pump

Swimming pool equipment

If there are two pumps of the same kind swap their lids around and see if the other lid gets the pump primed. If so make sure the good lid is on the main filter system pump and leave the other lid on the other pump if it’s just for a water feature or spa that’s not as important as the filter pump.

Check that all the Jandy levers are in the correct position and that they are not cracked or damaged consider changing the Jandy valve gaskets if needed.

Check that the impeller within the pump is not clogged with debris using impeller tool.

Check that the levers all turn freely as there could be debris within them preventing water flow.

Check to see if filters need cleaning or have possibly gone bad. This can be done by removing the cartridges completely from the tank and put the tank back together and run the system without the cartridges. If prime dramatically increases then the filters are bad and restricting water flow.

Check water level it could be sucking in air from a skimmer pipe if the water is low

Check that the skimmer weir door is not stuck closed and preventing water flow into skimmer

Check the impeller turns freely using a screwdriver or impeller tool. Remove pump lid and turn on pump to see if water within the pump gurgles and moves into the pump when turned on.

Check for damp patches around the pump gasket that connects to the motor may have leaked out water preventing it from priming once the motor goes off.

If you think one of the pipes is blocked see if the pump primes from one of them only, try the skimmer with all others closed and then try main drain or spa with others closed.

If you can get the pump running but suspect it will not prime back up after the pump goes off then remove the “Off” pin so that it will continue to run preventing the pool from going green and enable continued filtration or use the automation controls to keep the pump on.

If the pump has run dry try pouring a bucket of water into the pump may get it primed manually but it may not come back on automatically the next schedule.

If the pump has to be left off or you’re not able to get the pump to prime then still treat the pool with chemicals brushing them in so that it at least keeps a chlorine residue and slows the process of the pool going bad.

We hope this helps you get the pump primed again and back able to enjoy your pool.

If you are in the Las Vegas Valley or Henderson area and need help with swimming pool service then feel free to contact PoolStar using the contact us page above


PoolStar™ is a Certified Pool/Spa company that is always dependable, professional, licensed, insured and family-owned. We are a growing and exceptional business that provides swimming pool cleaning service and pool maintenance in Henderson and Las Vegas. Our services include pool cleaning, acid wash, green to clean, drain and refill, filter cleaning and more!
Give us a try today! PoolStar™ is so confident in our service quality, that we will price match any other pool service providers for the first month of service in the greater Las Vegas & Henderson areas!

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