Air lock might be the reason your pool pump is struggling to prime at start up. Air lock happens when the pool plumbing or spa plumbing rises above the horizontal inlet of the pool pump.
There is almost always a three-way valve involved in air lock situations. Why the original plumber created the raised three-way valve to be plumbed so high is probably to be easily accessible. However, it does cause this problem, and it is the way it is. So, we deal with it.
When air lock happens the pump will struggle until it's replumbed the right way. Additionally, the higher the plumbing, the more the pump will struggle to prime. Experienced pool guys will tell you that when air lock is in action and the pump is struggling to prime, a visible and audible surging action occurs within the pump pot.
Usually, the pump will eventually prime but not before heat is generated on the pump and fittings. Over time the heat will create a vacuum leak or leaks on the threaded inlet and the pump will then have another obstacle to conquer.
Swimming pool's inlet plumbing should never rise above the level of the pump inlet height.
If you are experiencing a pool or spa pump that is struggling to prime at start up, contact a professional today. A good professional knows about pool and spa pumps and the reality of air lock and can get your pool back in working order as soon as possible. Image by Richard Elzey
Want to learn more about pool maintenance? Please check out these articles on our blog:
- Keeping Your Pool Clean: Adult Swim Diapers
- Does Chlorine Makes Your Eyes Sting?
- Dry Drowning How to Be Aware
- Backwash: It's a Good Thing