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Priming Your Pool Pump

Priming creates the suction needed to get the water moving through the pump, creating circulation in the pool. Most pumps today are self-priming. However, when the strainer pot of the pump is opened, and water is draining from the pot area, re-priming of the pump is often required to get the water circulating once again.

Pentair WhisperFlo Pool Pump

Pentair WhisperFlo Pool Pump

Basic Pump Priming

  1. Make sure to check the water level in the pool, and that it's halfway up the opening of the skimmer.
  2. Check the path of the water, and make sure there are no obstructions in the system such as trash covering the main drain and packed debris within the skimmer.
  3. Open the strainer pot lid with the pump turned off. Then clean and remove any debris from the basket. Put the clean basket back.
  4. Close any suction valves such as skimmers and main drain, then fill the pump strainer with water until it is overflowing. Reseal the lid of the pump and then immediately turn the pump on while slowly opening one of the suction valves. Watch for the flow. Once a good flow of water is achieved, open the rest of the valves one at a time, individually purging air from each line.

Pump Still Won't Prime?

  1. Repeat the steps above two or three times if needed. Refill the pump pot, and be sure in between each filling you close the suction valves. To purge the system of air, sometimes a system will require multiple priming attempts.
  2. If you still cannot get the pump to prime, there may be problems with the plumbing and/or pump, and the help of a trained pool service technician from Memphis Pool may be required.

What If Your Pump Motor Won't Start Or Quits?

Excess water due to rain or a leak in the system may have gotten into the motor, causing it to short. If you think this has happened, dry the motor and let it sit for 24 hours before attempting to start it up again. The motor can short even by a small amount of moisture. Also, try resetting the breaker at the breaker panel. If it continues to trip, call a pool service technician from Memphis Pool for further assistance.

Motor Is Humming, But Won't Start

This often means trash has clogged the impeller or there is a bad motor capacitor. You may need to call a pool service technician at Memphis Pool to assist you.

Motor Is Making A Loud Noise Or Is Vibrating

Oftentimes, this is caused by worn out bearings or a motor shaft that is bent. Take your motor to any of our 3 retail store locations, or our service department at 901-795-8950 for an on-site motor replacement.

Spring Pool Start Up Tips

Designed For A Super Start Up!

Super Boy Swimming

Super Boy swimming into action.

Our spring start-up tips will help get your pool ready for summer fun. We highly recommend, however, that you first get a thorough free water analysis completed at our Memphis Pool water care lab located in any of our three retail stores before tackling the job of balancing your water and preparing it for the upcoming swim season.

If, upon removing your pool cover, you discover your water is cloudy or green, ask for our Pool Care Solutions leaflet titled "How to Remedy Green and Cloudy Water" to clear up your problem. Only after following the procedures on that pamphlet, should you then proceed to the instructions below.

  1. Start your system and begin filtration.
  2. Remove any and all debris from the pool. Leaves and debris consume chlorine and chemicals
  3. Clean your pump and skimmer baskets and backwash/clean the filter.
  4. Adjust pH to 7.2 - 7.5. (If pH is between 7.0 and 7.2, do not raise now. Reset pH again after after following directions for #9 below)
  5. Add 1 pound of Turbo Shock for each 10,000 gallons of water. Note: if your water turns green after the shock, it's generally an indication of high levels of organics that have built up during the winter and early spring. If the water retains a green or hazy cast AFTER 24 hours, shock your pool again.
  6. Pool Opening Chemicals

    What you will need to open your pool:
    • Pool Baron's 3" Chlorine Tabs
    • Turbo Shock
    • Pool Baron's Rescue Algaecide
    • Pool Baron's Ultra CLarifier

  7. Begin normal chlorination by feeding concentrated tablets through the feeder or skimmer.
  8. Begin algae prevention by adding 2 oz of Pool Baron's Rescue algaecide per 10,000 gallons each week.
  9. Begin filter enhancement and improve water quality by adding 2 oz of Pool Baron's Ultra Clarifier per 10,000 gallons each week.
  10. Adjust total alkalinity to 80-130 ppm after the water has remained clear for two days.
  11. Bring another sample of water into our free Water Care Lab to verify the following elements are in balance:
    a. Free Chlorine Level
    b. pH
    c. Total Alkalinity
    d. Calcium Hardness
    e. Chlorine Stabilizer
    f. Metal levels
    g. Total Dissolved Solids

If there appears to be any problem with your filtration system or automatic cleaner, or if you'd rather have us open your pool, contact the Memphis Pool Service Department at 901-795-8950.

Replacing The Sand In Your Sand Filter

Filter sand can typically last anywhere from five to ten years, depending on how often the sand is cleaned. Filter sand will lose its effectiveness to filter the water from years of granular erosion, as well as matting and impacting of the sand due to oils, dirt, calcium, and clay.

Pentair Triton 2 Pool Sand Filter

Pentair Triton 2 Pool Sand Filter

If any of the following statements apply to you, it may be time to change your sand.

I have to backwash more often due to the pressure rising faster.
Example: If you used to backwash every eight days, but now you're backwashing every five days because of your pressure reading, it's time to replace your sand.

Even though my pressure gauge is saying it's time to backwash, I see very little dirt flush out when I do backwash.
If you see very little dirt through your sight glass as you backwash, it's time to change your sand.

After backwashing and rinsing, dirt flows out from my inlets.
If you see this ugly sight, it's time to change your sand.

I've used biguinide products, and was told I need to afterwards change my sand.
You are right! If you've used biguinide products in your pool such as Baquacil, you need to change your sand.

Replacing Your Sand, Step by Step

Certainly, you can call a Memphis Pool Service Technician to replace the sand for you, or you can do it yourself. If you choose to tackle the task yourself, the following are the steps needed to change your sand.

  1. Use only sand with the proper grade for your sand filter. Sand filters usually require filter sand, with granules about .45 to .55 millimeters in diameter. For most sand filters, before the sand is added, a bed of pea gravel is laid at the filter base. Check your filter's owner's manual, or contact us for the correct amount to add to your sand filter.
  2. Open the filter, by following these steps.
    a. Turn off the pool pump, and disconnecting the multiport valve plumbing. Remove the multiport valve.
    b. Inside the tank, some sand filters have a large diffuser basket. If yours does, remove and clean the diffuser basket. You will then be able to access the filter sand.
  3. Scoop out the old sand.
  4. Cover all vertically exposed plumbing with a protective cap.
  5. In order to lessen the impact of the sand on the laterals, fill the bottom one third of the tank with water.
  6. Pour the gravel into the tank slowly, and then pour the sand into the tank. Use caution so as not to damage the laterals. Fill the tank to about two thirds full. The requirements of some filter models may vary, but typically leave 10-12 inches of space between the top of the bed of the sand and the bottom of the diffuser assembly. Adequate space will prevent loss of sand as you backwash. However, if the sand bed is too low, the filter will require more frequent backwashing as it will load with dirt more quickly.

    Note: Installation manuals of different models offer a number of tips to help you change the sand in your filter. For instance, some recommend holding the standpipe to make sure it doesn't come loose while pouring the sand.

  7. Reassemble the filter parts, remove any protective caps from the plumbing or piping, and place the top-mounted multiport valve or dome back on top of the filter. Some assemblies are held by threads and others by a clamp assembly. All assemblies use o-rings, so be sure to use an o-ring lubricant for a tight seal.
  8. Turn the system on. First rinse, and then backwash, which will remove any impurities from the new filter sand. Lastly, set it to "filter". That's it. You are ready to operate it as normal.

Help, My Pool Heater Doesn’t Work!

Before you call a pool service technician, you may want to try these troubleshooting steps first. Often the fix can be very quick and very simple.

Raypak Residential Pool Heater

Raypak Residential Pool Heater

  1. Check to see if your filter is clean. Dirty pool filters can cause a reduction in the flow of water much like a dirty air conditioner filter can cause a reduction in the flow of air. As a safety precaution, your pool heater will automatically shut off if there is not enough flow of water. Backwash your sand filter, or if you have a cartridge filter, clean the cartridges. If you have a DE filter, clean the grids.
  2. Make sure the heater switch is on. At the on-off switch where the heater's control panel is located, check to make sure it's turned on. If it's on, check your timer and breaker as well.
  3. Test your heater's temperature thermostat setting. The heater will not heat the water if the temperature setting is too low. Set the temperature control at least midway to see if it will begin heating.
  4. Check the water flow's direction. If your heater has a bypass system allowing the flow of water to bypass the heater, make sure the valves are turned to the proper direction, so the water can flow through the heater.
  5. Inspect the pilot. Review the owner's manual beforehand. Many newer model pool heaters have electronic ignitions instead of a pilot. If you need to light a pilot, follow the instructions in your owner's manual, or the instructions located on the door panel of the heater.
  6. Still having trouble? Give us a call at 901-795-8950, and let one of our pool service professionals get you up and running again.

Quick Links

Our Locations

Memphis Location
2762 Getwell Rd., Memphis, TN 38118
(Two blocks south of I-240)
Phone: 901-365-2480
Germantown Location
7605 Poplar Ave,. Germantown, TN 38138
(@ Germantown Road)
Phone: 901-755-7946
Collierville Location
930 W. Poplar Ave. Collierville, TN 38017
(Behind Perkins Restaurant)
Phone: 901-854-6423