Have you checked how much voltage the pump is getting and how much current it is drawing. Maybe the motor on the pump is shot or it is drawing too little current to work properly. Either condition might leave the pump so that it can't self-prime properly. It could also just be a bad pump.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.