pump losing / hard to prime
I just bought a new home with a pool and I am trying to get as much info as possible on some problems I am having. My pool is approx. 13.5K gallons with a Sta-Rite 1hp pump and a Hayward DE filter. I have been told that the Sta-Rite models are notorious for leaking causing problems with suction. I have trouble trying to prime the pump each time I open it to clean the basket. I try and try with a garden hose filling the basket and eventually am able to get it to prime. And each time I turn the pump off a small amount of water squirts out from under the lid. I have been told this is normal, but I am looking for advice. The lid does go on tight and the seal or o-ring seems to be in good shape. Once primed it seems to be ok, but I just installed a Hayward Navigator cleaner and realized that my pump is not staying primed each time it turns off. I'm worried that I am going to run my pump when dry (set to run from 10 pm to 1 am) and eventually burn it out. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.