How to prime a swimming pool pump

I'm having trouble priming my Intex above ground pool pump this year, it's not normally this tricky, I fill the pump housing to the top and then run the pump with the valve closed (actually I've tried every position) but it doesn't fill and then the pump cuts out eventually after a minute or so.

What am I doing wrong?

I think you should have the valves open. If the pump is running against closed valves it can't move any water and will probably overheat which is why it cuts off. Set the main valve to "recirculate" and make sure any isolating valves are also open. After a short time the air will clear and once you have "solid water" flowing through the chamber stop the pump, move the main valve to "filter" and restart the pump.

why would the valve be set to 'close'? Are the skimmer valves open? sand filter set to 'filter'? anything caught in the actual turbine? I once found a piece of plastic liner which was stopping the pump from working properly. Turn it off and stick your hand in as far as it will go and see if you can find a blockage. Debris in the pipe work? Can you stick a hoover on the end of the inlet pipe and see if you can get water in from the pool? Or a hose into the skimmer and see how far the water gets?

this sounds a bit crazy?.. but does the pump make the water you put in the filter housing move at all?

a friend had a similar problem with an above ground pump that worked fine before shutting down for winter, then when trying to re-open the pool, the pump would not prime.. after trying everything possible with hose feeding into the inlet directly.. there was no output from the pump, despite the housing being full.. stripping the pump revealed the impellor had split in two.. the body of the blades rotating, but the front end had split away.. glued and screwed together again, it worked, but not as it should.. new pump was the only answer.. how and why it broke???.. ever fouund the answer..

you coud try to prime with a hose into the pool inlet.. or check for foreign objects [ frogs, dead critters in the input port??

Close the inlet valve. Remove the perspex cover on the pump, fill from a hose, replace the cover, then simultaneously open ONE of the valves - Fond (drain), for instance), and run the pump. When the pumpfull of water has emptied, simultaneously close the fond valve and turn off the pump, remove the perspex cover and repeat the process again, and again, until you can hear the progress of the returning water - it'll probably take fifteen minutes or so, dependiong on how far the water has to go in the pipes. You may have to repeat for the other inlet valves to get the air out of them. Speed is of the essence, to maintain the suction.

If you put the pump on recycle so it doesn't go through the filter and you prime the pump with a watering can it should start. If not you should check for air getting in the tubes which would stop the pump from pulling the water through

I've disasembled everything having had no joy priming using the suggested methods and found this knackered gasket in the mutilport valve. Do you reckon that's the problem? Where can I get one online preferably?

John, can you help please? Do you reckon this could be my problem?


what make is the multiport valve?

Cash piscine in agen have a massive stock of joints if that is to far it is a national chain should be easy o find one close to you.

Intex, I'll drop in to Cash piscine in Dax tomorrow, cheers :)

James, your pump is below the water line so it will flood fill. What you descibed is for pumps above the water line. Is the pump motor rotating? I suspect its the capacitor on the motor start you should find one on line of the same value. If the multiport gasket has failed the by all means replace it as you could put sand into the pool but that is after the pump and higher but still below the water line so wont be the cause. If the pump is knackered you could replace with a better pump and upgrade the filter too but it looks a little tight on space. The up grade would use far less electricity than the 350 or 550 watts you currently use.

I took the pump apart and it looked fine, is was spinning nicely and quietly. It does draw a load of power though so I would be very happy to replace it. Can you suggest a replacement that would fit?