How to Prime a Pool Pump- The Complete Guide-

priming your pool pump

Priming your Pool Pump

Most pools will need priming at the beginning of the pool season. Priming is when the pump is given enough water to enable it to start pulling from the pool. In a sense, its like encouraging your pump to get moving. The system that is used to for pumping has the air purged from it and the pump and the water lines are filled with water. THE length of time it takes to prime a pool pump will depend on how much water comes out of the lines with the suction and the water that comes from the pool to the pump. If the pool system you are installing is new, the lines won’t have any water in them which means you will have to go through the process more than once until it works. If you are making amendments to certain fittings into the system such as a heater, there might be water left over in the lines and priming won’t be as difficult. The procedure that you are about to go through assumes that there is little to no water in the pump and that the barometer is showing a low pressure reading. Priming a pool pump is a relatively easy process. These are the instructions you will need to follow.

1.         Turn the Power off: Turn all power off, this includes the power connected to the motor’s breaker. This step is essential, it will ensure that you are kept safe during the process.

2.         Shut off Water From the Skimmers: You can shut the water off from the skimmers using the valves suction diverter, or you can do so from the top drain. It is not possible to shut them both off. To prime the system in stages, point the diverter valve towards the top drain side, it should be facing the off side. This will ensure that water is only able to flow from the skimmer lines of the pool. It is important to mention that if you are adding something to the system, there will be water in the lines and there is a possibility that you will be able to prime the system by taking apart the top drain lines and the skimmer at the same time.

3.         Relieve Pressure: If there is any pressure left in the water lines and pool pump, you will need to relieve it. To do this, move the air relief valve backwards, you will find it just above the pool filter. As the air is released, you hear a hissing sound and you will see the barometer go down to 0 psi. This relieve valve should be left open.

4.         Open the Lid: The pump strainer box has got a lid, you will need to open this. You can do so by turning both knobs backwards, you will find them just above the strainer lid. You can also do this by swivelling the knobs downwards so that they come away from the lid. In these instances, you will need to get the lid off the top of the strainer box by twisting it in a counter clockwise direction.

5.         Clean out the Basket: There is likely to be a lot of debris that has accumulated in the strainer basket. Remove it, clean it and then put the basket back.

6.         Recirculate by Turning Your Multiport Valve: You need the water to come into the pump through the multiport valve only, you don’t want it to go through the filter system. You can achieve this by turning the multiport valve. It is important to mention that you will need to take the plugs out of the return jet or skimmer to allow the water to flow into the pump.

7.         Put Water Into the Pump: Remove the lid and open the pool pump; before doing this, you will need to make sure that you have secured all the drain plugs so that the pump doesn’t start leaking. Use your garden hose to fill the pump housing with water. This is basically what priming is, you are filling up the lines so that there is sufficient water to enable suction into the pump. It is advised that you fill the pump for at least two minutes to make sure that the water enters the lines. You can also spray the water directly into the pump housing using a hose nozzle.

8.         Turn the Filter System on: After you have filled the pool pump with water, secure the lid onto the pump housing and turn the system on. You should have filled it with enough water so get the pump to start running again. Once water starts filling the pump housing and you can’t see any air bubbles, you will know that it has enough water.

9.         Put the strainer lid back on carefully and ensure that it is sealed properly. Don’t use a tool to tighten it or you will find it difficult to remove it again. Tighten the knobs by hand if your pool pump has them.

10.       Make sure that the pool returns diverter valve is left open so that the pool pump can pump water out into the pool. Failing to open it will lead to high levels of water pressure building up when the pump is operating. Not only is this dangerous, but it will cause damage to the pool pump.

11.       Turn the power back on.

12.       Check how the water flows through the strainer box. You should expect to see a free flow of water within 30-60 seconds of turning it on.

13.       You should have left the air relief valve open, the relief valve will release air as the pressure builds. Close the valve by turning it in a clockwise direction when the valve begins to spray water.

14.       If after waiting 30-60 seconds there is no water flowing, you will have to go over steps 1-13. Turn the pump off, bleed the pressure off, open the strainer again, fill the strainer and then shut the lid. Turn the pump on. If there is still air in the line, you may have to go over these steps a number of times to get rid of it.

15.       When water starts flowing through the pool skimmer lines, lift up the top drain line slowly at the diverter valve. Let the air out from the top drain by opening the relief valve. The water should start flowing freely within 30-60 seconds. Once the water starts flowing, shut the relief valve, if the pressure on the pressure gauge does not start building up, you will have to go over steps 1-13.

16.       When the pump has been properly primed, change the position of the diverter valve so that its halfway between the main drain and the skimmer for normal operation.

17.       If you have done this several times and you are still not able to prime the system properly, there is a high chance that there is something else going on and you will probably need an expert to come and take a look at it. When priming is unsuccessful, the main issue is typically a major blockage or a leak, you will need to have this problem fixed before priming your swimming pool system.

18.       After several unsuccessful attempts, it is essential that you get the help of a professional; if not, you run the risk of causing further damage to your system which will end up being even more costly to fix. We recommend that you enlist the help of a professional after three attempts.

Polaris 360 Review: Pro’s & Con’s of this Pool Vacuum

polaris 360

Introduction to the Polaris 360

Polaris 360 is a pool cleaner from Zodiac. The pressure side pool cleaner is made by Polaris Company, a subsidiary of Zodiac, and is officially called Vac-Sweep 360. The cleaner can use vacuuming and sweeping to clean a pool, hence the name Vac-Sweep. It is an autonomous cleaner. Once set to task the robot can do its job without any human intervention. It does not need any booster pump. You could hook it up with a compatible booster pump but there is none in the box when you buy the Polaris 360. It is a bestselling pool cleaner right now and has among the highest ratings on Amazon and other online stores. Polaris 360 is preceded by the 280 model and succeeded by the 380 variant.

Polaris 360 Features

Polaris 360 is an automatic cleaner for in-ground or underground pools. The box comes with the cleaner, a filter bag, the main hose and a manual. The robot uses triple jets and is capable of sweeping, scrubbing and vacuuming to clean the floor and walls of an in-ground pool. The length of the hose is thirty one feet and the chamber filter is effective enough in trapping most types of debris. The vacuum inlet is just over two inches, which is pretty much the standard.

The three wheel design of the 360 is also seen in the preceding and succeeding models. The 360 is definitely more power than the preceding 280 but has fewer features than the 380. The cleaner is easy to use. The instructions are clearly stated in the manual. All components are there in the pack for you to get started immediately. The pressure cleaning is effective. The maximized circulation ensures sufficient coverage. The filter traps pebbles, leaves and acorns. The sizeable bag ensures the cleaner can keep functioning without any compulsion to empty it midway during a cleaning session.

Polaris 360 sports a patented design. It can be deployed in pools regardless of size and layout. The robot can not only vacuum and sweep floors but also scrub walls of a pool. All a user needs to do is set it up with a pressure line, preferably dedicated, and the cleaner will go about its job without any assistance. Polaris 360 does not just get rid of debris and clean the pool but also eliminates contaminants. Zodiac Pool Systems, Inc. has ensures the Polaris 360 is supported by advanced engineering and durable construction for the cleaner to be reliable for years.

Polaris 360 Review

We have found four key strengths of the cleaner while conducting our Polaris 360 review. The first major strength is the multipronged approach to cleaning. The sweeping, vacuuming, scrubbing and cleaning action is effective. This is not the only pool cleaner available in the market today that can do these but the efficiency and efficacy with which it delivers these is remarkable. For instance, many cleaners are effective at cleaning or rather scrubbing the floor or bottom of an in-ground pool. Not many of these cleaners can do the same with as much efficiency and efficacy when it comes to the walls. Our Polaris 360 review clearly inferred that it is a much superior cleaner if you need a thorough cleanse, not just the bottom or floor of the pool but also all the walls.

The second major strength of this cleaner is the coverage. The robot is autonomous, as one expects such a cleaner to be. But many such cleaners are advertised as autonomous and they really are not. Users have to intervene, either to empty the filter bag or to help it overcome a hurdle. Automatic cleaners have the habit of getting stuck in tricky places, especially around the stairs or when there are other fixtures at the walls or on the floor of a pool. Navigating such accesses or the lack thereof is crucial if a cleaner has to be truly automatic. Our Polaris 360 review has shown that the cleaner is capable of handling such challenges. It truly covers the entirety of the pool. Barring the shallow stair or step in a rare instance, the cleaner can cover the entire pool.

Polaris 360 is a smart climber. It somehow makes the whole process look convenient. Treading down to the deep end and climbing up or down to clean the walls is not a problem for this robot. The fourth strength is the backup valve. This is basically what enables the robot to maneuver those tricky situations. Whenever it finds itself in a tight corner, the backup valve lets it find a way out. A few other features are also praiseworthy. The size of the filter bag, the length of the hose, the three wheel design and the reliability of the cleaner without much upkeep demand are appreciable attributes.

Polaris 360 Pros and Cons

Polaris 360 is as effective as a pool cleaner that comes with a much higher price tag. This model is by no means one of the cheapest pool cleaners but if you compare the performance and durability then a robot from another brand priced twice as much offers similar result. The 360 is convenient to use. It does not consume a lot of electricity. Zodiac has not compromised on the quality of construction or the range of functions. This cleaner can easily last ten years if timely maintained and serviced. It should be stored properly as well, especially during the offseason when the pool is not in use.

There is no major shortcoming of the cleaner. The only issue you may have is with the shallow stairs. Since the first and in some cases the second step at one end of the pool is not that easily accessible for such an automatic cleaner, you may have to attend to this small portion manually. If you have a ladder, then this is not a concern at all. Those who have pools that are forty feet or longer will need an extra hose. Most pools in houses are smaller than forty feet so the hose in the package should suffice. The price may not be ideal for some pool owners but given the fact it is less than half than what some other companies ask for while presenting the same cleaning, the tag is definitely not unreasonable or a deal breaker.

Polaris 360 Price

Polaris 360 is now selling for $429.95.

Polaris 360 Customer Reviews

Most customers are content with the cleaner. Many users have commented on the compatibility of the cleaner to be just as effective for gunite as it is for concrete and tiles. Some users have said that the cleaner moves faster than other models and can also churn up the water much more effectively. We have observed the same while conducting our Polaris 360 review. Content customers have described the 360 as a necessity for an in-ground pool.


Polaris 360 is available for sale online right now. There are discounts from different sellers. Since there is more than one seller and fulfillment is not always the responsibility of the eCommerce site or that of Polaris Company and Zodiac, customers should choose the right vendor. Find a credible seller and you will have no issues. Some customers have experienced problems with a few sellers. This is crucial as ensuring everything is there in the box and the warranty is enforced are two quintessential aspects. Many users also need some initial support to get familiar with the model. Those considering the preceding model should instead go for 360 as the 280 costs just as much.

How to Repair a Pool Pump

pool pump repair

The complete guide to Pool Pump Repair

The pool pump keep the water in a pool clean, hygenic and warm. When a pool pump malfunctions; depending on the problem, you can either fix it yourself or you will need to get an expert to assist you. According to the majority of manufacturers, the lifespan of the average pool pump is 8-10 years. The internet is a great resource tool, and there are plenty of instructional videos to assist you in the repair process. Here are some common pool pump problems and how you can fix them.

Defective Bearings or Stock-Up

Bearings are susceptible to corrosion, vibration and shock , when you start hearing an abnormal sound coming from the motor, its time to get some new bearings. You will need to replace both of them, the front and the back even if only one of them is causing the problem. What you will find is that after replacing one bearing, the second one will break down shortly after, so you might as well sort them out at the same time. Bearings go through more stress than any other part of the motor, which is why they typically break down first.

Dehydrated Pump

Pumps need enough water to run properly, this is referred to as priming. Some models prime themselves, while others need to be primed manually. When the motor is run without any water, it causes the shaft to over speed which eventually leads to it slowing down. To prevent the system from getting even more damaged, turn the motor off or it will overheat and the windings will burn out.

Stock-up Impeller

Impellers get clogged up easily, this is especially true when the water being pumped contains large pieces of debris that could pass through the filter or the strainer accidentally. Sand filters rarely go through this problem. It is also possible that the diffuser bolts, nits and the impeller washer get warn out or become loose and this clogs the system. Large pieces of debris can also clog up the system.

Short Circuit

A short circuit happens when fluid gets trapped inside the windings of the motor. Water can slip through the cracks when it rains heavily.

Overheated Motor

A motor will become overloaded when the grid-current suddenly surges up,  the ampere reading increases, bad bearings or dehydration causes the motor to overspeed. When the bearings are bad, it can cause the stator to rotate and become unbalanced. This causes the windings to become overheated which then burns the coils.

Pump Assembly Unmatched

One of the mistakes that pool owners make is to mismatch the pump assembly. You can avoid unmatched parts by making sure that the drive assembly has the same power as its counterparts. The other part of the motor that must also match are the flanges, the gasket needs to fit and there shouldn’t be any leakages. The flanges bolt holes should also match; if not, the gap will cause the pressure to drop. This pressure drop will keep the pump running which will increase your electricity bill.

How to Fix These Problems

The above problems are pretty common and you can usually fix them yourself by doing the following:


•           Take off the timer box cover start the pump by switching the lever to the “on” or the “manual” position.

•           Take a look at the pump and see if there is a leak where the pipe is connected. Use adjustable pliers and a pipe wrench to tighten the connection. You can do this by fixing the wrench onto the flats on one side of the pipe connection, this will serve as a backup and then use the pliers to tighten the fitting.

There is an attachment between the motor and the basket housing, check to see if there is any water leaking in this area. If you find a leak, turn the motor off at the control box. You will also need to turn the electrical supply off at the breaker panel.

If the pump is not powering up, the breaker might have tripped, have a look to rule out this possibility. Most pool pumps have got two breakers, the one that’s directly connected to the pool pump, and the one that is connected to the sub-panel.

If there is nothing wrong with the breakers, your next step will be to check the timer.

Your next step will be to check to see whether the motor has been plugged in. You will be shocked at how many people make this simple mistake.

O-ring Or Motor Gasket

Turn the outlet and inlet valves off at the pipes for filter system and the pump. This will stop the water in the pipes from flowing back up during the repair.

Unscrew the bolts at the motor mount using a socket and racket or an open-end wrench. Remove the basket housing from the motor by taking off the bolts at the connection. Put the bolts to one side. Don’t lift the motor upwards but pull it away from the housing. Lifting it upwards can break the internal impeller.

Take off the o-ring or gasket at the housing of the rim. Smear some automotive grease around the rim. Measure the holes together so that they are aligned and then push the gasket into place.

Smear some grease along the end of the motor shaft in the middle of the impeller. Put the motor back into position at the rim of the housing and screw the bolts that you put to one side earlier into position. You can screw the motor-mount bolt in using your hands.

Fasten the bolts at the rim, to make sure that the new gasket is not compressed out of shape, you will need to do this in equal increments. Securely tighten the mount bolts.

Open the outlet and inlet valves for the filter system. Switch the electricity supply on at the breaker panel. At the timer box, switch on the motor.

Leave the pump to run for several minutes and pay attention to where the new o-ring or gasket has been connected. Turn the pump off and tighten the bolts. Put the timer control on “automatic” to stop any leaks or drips.

Additional Information

There are also other processes you can follow in order to troubleshoot the problem with your pool pump. For example, if you are having problems with your pump not priming, you need to think about why it won’t prime. There is a possibility that the system has got leaky pipes so you will need to look for leaks. If you can’t find a leak, the problem might be with seal and you will need to replace it.

The good news is that pool pump problems are not that complicated, the average person can fix an issue as long as they are aware of what the problem is. You can purchase the required pool pump parts from your local pool supply store. However, you are more likely to find the cheapest prices if you source the parts on the internet.


If the pump keeps leaking, you will need to contact a professional to take a look at the filter system and the pump.

You might need to replace the O-rim at the rim where the filter basket lid is attached.

You can prevent leaks by maintaining the pump on a regular basis. You can get a maintenance manual at a pool supply store or you can purchase one online.


Before you start working on an electrical motor, make sure you have turned off the electrical supply.