Return Lines Won't Fill

Pool pumps, pool filters and the plumbing of
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afj
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon 10 May, 2010 13:05
My Pool: approx 10,000 gallon, in-ground liner pool, Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump & Hayward 200 series sand filter.
Location: Mont Clare, PA

Return Lines Won't Fill

Postby afj » Mon 10 May, 2010 13:14

Hello,
First time user, but I've skimmed all of the topics in this section and haven't seen a problem like mine posted yet. I bought a house with an in-ground liner pool, around 10,000 gallons. I knew it needed some attention, but growing up with a pool, didn't think it would be this difficult. The previous owner said the pump needed to be replaced and that the pool would be ready to use again. It is currently green. I replaced the pump and changed the sand in the sand filter. Now the mystery. I cannot get the return lines to fill so that I can run the pump and get the system flowing. I had a hose in the filter box on the pump for a long time and it looks to me like the pool is filling up, but I cannot get the lines to fill. My father and I have maintained an in-ground pool for 2 decades at his house, but we cannot figure this one out. Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to offer.


Xclusive
Swimming Pool Wizard
Swimming Pool Wizard
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed 14 Apr, 2010 09:17
Location: Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester County, NY

Return Lines Won't Fill

Postby Xclusive » Mon 10 May, 2010 14:29

I'm sorry i'm not understanding. Are you saying in other words the you cannot get your pump to prime? Is the water level up to the skimmers? What is your plumbing setup? Main, skimmers. How many and if anything is tied in. Can you provide me with that info to the best of your knowledge?
afj
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon 10 May, 2010 13:05
My Pool: approx 10,000 gallon, in-ground liner pool, Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump & Hayward 200 series sand filter.
Location: Mont Clare, PA

Return Lines Won't Fill

Postby afj » Mon 10 May, 2010 15:05

Thanks for your response. It's very much appreciated. Yes, I cannot get the pump to prime. In all fairness, as I've been going over these posts, it appears I may not have been letting it run long enough. I noted that I could let it run up to 5 minutes while it is priming. The longest I gave it was about a minute, because I was afraid of damaging the new pump. For the plumbing, I have two returns, one from the main drain and one from the single skimmer. Nothing is tied in. A single line then returns back to the pool after it goes through the filter. The pump is located about 20 feet from the pool with a 2 foot rise. In the past when we opened my father's pool, we filled the lines from a garden hose at the pump through the filter box, and then closed it up, turned everything on and bled out the excess air. Our concern here came from the fact that we could not get the return lines filled up to the filter box on the pump, before we turned it on. Thanks again for any help.
Xclusive
Swimming Pool Wizard
Swimming Pool Wizard
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed 14 Apr, 2010 09:17
Location: Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester County, NY

Return Lines Won't Fill

Postby Xclusive » Mon 10 May, 2010 15:14

OK good. I agree with what you read. You can let the pump for sure run longer than that without worrying about any damage. But before you try lets see if we have the basics in place. What's the water level in your pool? You said you replaced the pump. Did you do it yourself? If so did you make sure all the fittings were properly sealed when installing so there is no air leak? Is the o-ring properly seated around the pump basket lid? Are all skimmers free of debris and can you make sure the skimmer weir (flapping door) is not stuck? Let me know I will help you along the way.
afj
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon 10 May, 2010 13:05
My Pool: approx 10,000 gallon, in-ground liner pool, Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump & Hayward 200 series sand filter.
Location: Mont Clare, PA

Return Lines Won't Fill

Postby afj » Mon 10 May, 2010 15:26

Great. Thanks! The water level is just above the half way point on the skimmer weir. I did the pump replacement and made sure to seal everything up to the best of my knowledge/ability. I even used pipe dope in the threaded fittings to try and be sure. We double-checked the o-ring on the pump basket lid as this has caused problems for us in the past. I also checked the skimmer basket to see if it was clogged. When I go home tonight, I will make sure that the skimmer weir is moving freely, but I believe it was.
Xclusive
Swimming Pool Wizard
Swimming Pool Wizard
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed 14 Apr, 2010 09:17
Location: Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester County, NY

Return Lines Won't Fill

Postby Xclusive » Mon 10 May, 2010 15:38

Ok good, sounds like the basics are covered then. I had one more question and you can verify tonight. See if you have a check valve installed also. If it's stuck it may also be causing the problem. Once everything is verified try these steps and let me know. If you fail to catch prime after these steps you may have either a clogged or broken line...but we'll try to ascertain that once we get to that point. no worries right now.

Turn off all valves in FRONT of the pump.
Stick a garden hose in the pump basket and fill it all the way.
Put the top back on the pump quickly, turn the pump on
Slowly open the MAIN drain valve until it catches prime.
If it catches prime, proceed by opening the skimmer valve(s) and open the main valve all the way
afj
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon 10 May, 2010 13:05
My Pool: approx 10,000 gallon, in-ground liner pool, Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump & Hayward 200 series sand filter.
Location: Mont Clare, PA

Return Lines Won't Fill

Postby afj » Mon 10 May, 2010 15:44

Ok. I'll give this all a try when i get home and report back tonight or tomorrow. Last question - and I should know this - but how can I identify if I have a check valve?
Xclusive
Swimming Pool Wizard
Swimming Pool Wizard
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed 14 Apr, 2010 09:17
Location: Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester County, NY

Return Lines Won't Fill

Postby Xclusive » Mon 10 May, 2010 15:59

A check valve is easy to spot. It is installed on the suction side of the pool pump and it should look more or less like this Image
afj
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon 10 May, 2010 13:05
My Pool: approx 10,000 gallon, in-ground liner pool, Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump & Hayward 200 series sand filter.
Location: Mont Clare, PA

Return Lines Won't Fill

Postby afj » Tue 11 May, 2010 09:54

Turns out I do not have a check valve and the skimmer weir was functioning properly, so I followed your instructions and after a nerve-wracking 4 minutes, the pool primed and got up and running! Turns out I need to replace the gasket on the pool filter and one of the fittings going into the pump, but at least I know I can get the system up and running. Great news after a very frustrating weekend. Thanks very much again for your assistance. I really appreciate it and will be sure to pay it forward if I am in the position to do so for someone else in the future.
Xclusive
Swimming Pool Wizard
Swimming Pool Wizard
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed 14 Apr, 2010 09:17
Location: Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester County, NY

Return Lines Won't Fill

Postby Xclusive » Tue 11 May, 2010 10:55

Hey I'm thrilled it worked out. Have a great swimming season!

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