Most pumps are self-priming centrifugal pumps. These pumps must have a vacuum chamber, commonly known as a pump housing. The pump housing must be filled with water in order for any pump to create a vacuum, resulting in your pump pulling the water out of your pool or spa. The pump housing will remain full of water while the pump is on, and will remain full or partially full of water when the pump is shut off.
When you turn on the pump the motor will begin to rotate on high speed (dual speed pumps rotate at the preselected speed). The motor drives the pump impeller, located inside the pumps center portion at the opposite end, away from the electrical switch portion of the motor. While the motor is rotating, the tips of the impeller are sealed hydraulically inside of the pump diffuser, this allows self-priming to occur.
Self-priming can only occurr when the pump has a diffuser. Some pumps have a separate diffuser, others have the diffuser molded into the pump’s cover, refer to your Owner’s Manual for your pump. The diffuser helps to eliminate any air coming into the pump housing, suction piping, or hoses. When all the air is being removed from the system, you will notice the bubbles returning to the pool through the return fittings. The impeller acts to convert water velocity into water pressure, which is registered on your filter pressure gauge. The actual Gallons Per Minute (GPM) varies with the type of pump and the horsepower. Check your Owner’s Manual for more information (owner’s manuals can be found online under the detailed page of your pump).
Self-priming pumps are very dependable and easy to operate. They require a sufficient supply of water from the pool or spa, and no air in the suction lines. Air could come from a loose strainer cover, a leak in any valve, a pin hole in any suction line or any crack or loose connections in the underground piping. Your pump should be kept free of dirt and also located where it can be protected from flooding during heavy rain fall. If your pump motor becomes flooded you will probably have to replace it (pump motors damaged by flooding are not covered by warranty).
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