Troubleshooting no water flow

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  #1  
Old 06-17-15, 07:45 AM
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Troubleshooting no water flow

Thanks for any tips... trying to figure out if I have a small problem that I can fix or a major one that only a professional can. I have in-ground pool about 10 years old. Everything was working fine then suddenly my water feature (small waterfall) stopped working even though the motor is running. Sometimes water will come out but no where near what it used to be. On top of the water filter, pressure is down to zero. Both baskets are clean of debris. I even took out the 4 long filter cartridges from the filter and ran the pump to see if the filters were clogged up. They are dirty but taking them out made no difference. At this point I am thinking underground leak or blockage or a bad motor. How can I rule out the motor ?
 
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Old 06-17-15, 07:52 AM
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You said the motor is running then asked how to check the motor? How do you know the motor is running? Can you see the end of the shaft or the shaft between the motor and pump turning? If it's turning the motor is running. If it's humming but you don't see the shaft turning it's possible the motor or pump are seized or there might be debris in the pump preventing it from turning. If that's the case the motor may be toast by this point as powered up and not turning is very bad for motors. If the motor is turning I would verify that the pump is primed. Also double check any valves to and from the pump to make sure they are open.
 
  #3  
Old 06-17-15, 09:13 AM
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Frankly, I can't verify if the motor is actually turning. It is making noise though. Water does flow in the skimmer basket at the edge of the pool, but sometimes it stops flowing completely. Also, I tried to prime the pump by filling the strainer right next to the motor with water. It never fills up to the top. Water line remains at the opening to the drain pipe no matter how much water I fill. It seems water is going back in the pipe, but I'm thinking even then at some point it should fill the strainer. This is not good ?
 
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Old 06-17-15, 09:22 AM
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"I can't verify if the motor is actually turning."

How long have you let it run for? If it runs for more than a couple of minutes, the motor is not froze up (if it was, it would overheat and automatically shut down).

"Also, I tried to prime the pump by filling the strainer right next to the motor with water. It never fills up to the top. Water line remains at the opening to the drain pipe no matter how much water I fill."

This is normal as the water is simply flowing back down the pipe into the pool.

"It seems water is going back in the pipe, but I'm thinking even then at some point it should fill the strainer."

Yes, once the water level in the pool is above the strainer basket, it will fill. But if the pool is below the pump, it'll never fill.

After you fill the basket (as far it it will fill), and put the lid back on, then turn on the pump, what happens to the water in the basket? Can you see any movement of the water? Does it disappear?
 
  #5  
Old 06-17-15, 02:24 PM
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when I close the lid and turn pump on, the water in the strainer moves a lot for a second or two and then stops moving completely. I will not see any water moving. After a few minutes while the motor is running, the same thing will happen... a gush of water for a second or two and then nothing. Water movement never stays consistent or strong.
 
  #6  
Old 06-17-15, 02:42 PM
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Good observation! So, the pump basically pulls water through the suction pipe and pumps it back to the pool. Most pumps though are not self priming. e.g. if there's air in the suction line, they can't push the air past themselves and begin pumping water. As such, typically there's a check valve (one way valve) somewhere in the suction line (generally installed below the water line of the pool), that would allow the pipe to be filled with water through the trap. It sounds like your check valve has failed. You could try adding another one, as far away for the pump, as close to the pool, as convenient to install. Even if it's not below the waterline, by filling the strainer basket, then running the pump for a few seconds, then repeating over and over, you'll eventually get the air purged from the line and it should work.
 
  #7  
Old 06-17-15, 04:40 PM
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My inground Sylan pool does not have a checkvalve. Several of the inground pools that I maintain don't have checkvalves either. I prime the pump so that the seal isn't dry and then after approx 30 seconds the pump will pick up the prime.

If there is an air leak anywhere in the suction line then it may never pick up a prime.

Here in NJ winterizing the lines is critical due to freezing and cracking lines. You shouldn't have that problem.
 
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