Pool pump hype?

Hello,
We have an inground pool that was installed by a local dealer. It's a vinyl-lined pool with concrete walls, and holds about 22,000 gallons of water.
The dealer also provided a pump, sand filter, and chlorinator feed tank (sorry if my terminology is incorrect).
We've had the pool for 4 years, and the pump/filter system seems to have worked fine, except for 1 overheating incident when the water level got too low in the pool.
This year, the pump motor, hummed, smoked, then quit, so I'm looking to replace it.
Here's my question: This pump unit is a Jacuzzi S15LR-3. Most of the Internet sites on which I've been able to find it list it as an "above-ground" pool pump. I called a couple of places to find out the difference between an "above-ground" and an "in-ground" pool pump.
One place said that above-ground pumps weren't self-priming, and therefore depended upon being lower that the pool water level. This confuses me a bit since every place I've seen it listed describes it as a self-priming pump. My own experience as been that an inch or two of residual water in the pump has always been enough for it to create enough vacuum to fully prime itself. Only when the pump has been completely dry have I had to prime it manually.
Another place stated that because it is an above-ground pump, it doesn't have a "diffuser" (no explanation of what that is) and therefore can't be used with in-ground pools.
Is this all hype? Obviously, this pump has worked for 4 years with my in-ground pool (given that I've occasionally had to manually prime it.) I've noticed that, at a given horsepower, all of the "in-ground" pumps tend to be higher-priced.
Thanks for any info...
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There is a slight but critical difference in above- versus in-ground pumps. However, an in-ground can still self-prime when there is a "head" of a few feet of suction to overcome (because the pump is above the water surface); an above-ground can't do that. So an in-ground pump primes reliably on an above-ground pool, but not vice-versa. The in-ground pump pays for this extra capability with slightly reduced efficiency.
The overheating incident you describe may indeed have been due to the above-ground design not being able to overcome the suction head when your in-ground pool level was a little low.
There are also non-self-priming pool pumps, but these aren't widely used.

The diffuser is just a surface in the pumping chamber that breaks up any air pocket into tiny bubbles that get exhausted out of the pump, instead of the air pocket staying trapped inside the pump.
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Clear explanation. Thanks.
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On Mon, 22 May 2006 14:47:34 -0500, Richard J Kinch

If the water falls below the skimmer it will lose prime.
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So you close off the valve (if you have one) to the skimmer, or put a plug in it.
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I fertilize in the fall only. In the fall grass puts its energy into root growth, in spring blade growth. Sure if you fertilize in the spring your lawn will have darker green color, but you will be mowing frequently. In damp climates lots of blade growth can also lead to mildew and fungus problems. There also tends to be more weed growth in the spring so avoid helping them out. Sometimes I apply broadleaf weed killer in the spring if the dandelions and clover are getting out of control.

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