How To Prime A Pool Pump

A pool pump is a piece of central equipment that functions your pool purification system. It keeps the water relocating to make sure that it can remove dirt and debris and that your pool chemicals can do their job correctly.

Without an operating pool pump, your water will quickly come to be stationary. Maintaining your pump operating is necessary to maintain a healthy, balanced, and tidy pool.

Knowing how to prime your pool pump is an essential point in pool maintenance. It will also help avoid costly repair and replacement services.

How Pool Pumps Work

A pool pump utilizes a motor to continually move water with your filtering system. The pool pump circulates the water through the filter system, which cleans any debris from the swimming pool.

Without the water moving around regularly, algae may form in your water. If the pump is allowed to run out of water, it will become boiling, which will melt the pump and most likely the surrounding plumbing fixtures.

The even more damage that it does, the more likely you will certainly have enormous repair work costs. It’s vital to learn how to prime your pool pump and never skip the process when necessary.

What Does it Mean Prime Your Pool Pump?

To prime, your pool pump is to purge your plumbing system of air by manually sucking water from the pool and through your filtration system—essentially creating a vacuum effect to push water in and force air out.

A pool pump frequently obtains pockets of air trapped inside. Anytime it is not operating loaded with water, such as when the pool is shut down or re-opened for the season, it is possible to get air inside the pump.

Before operating a pump with air in it, you will be required to blow out the lines with water to do away with any air and replace it with water. This process is called pump priming.

Why You Need To Prime Your Pool Pump

You will want to blow out the water from your plumbing lines before you close your pool if you live in an area that sees freezing temperatures in the winter.

By doing this, water will not freeze in the pipes to not be damaged. When you blow the water out of the plumbing system, you’re replacing it with air.

You’re going to run into overheating problems if you start the pump while it still has air in it in the spring when you open your pool. It would be best to get water flowing into and through the pump before fully turning the system on.

Operating a completely dry pump will most certainly cause mechanical failure for your pump, as well as potentially trigger damage to bordering fixtures. These tools are only to run when they have plenty of water.

How To Prime A Pool Pump Guide

Step 1. Turn off the pump.

Although your pump may already be off, check again. Observe safety precautions every time you work with water and electricity. In fact, it’s a good idea also to turn off the breaker to the pool system.

Step 2. Switch to recirculation.

The multiport valve on your pump must be set to recirculate water. Provides water directly to the pump and then returns it directly to the pool.

In a recirculation system, water is passed by the filter and also directed directly to the pump to ensure that there is actually water remaining in the pump.

Step 3. Get rid of excess air pressure.

Open your filter’s air relief valve located on top of the filter to release the air pressure. As well as any plugs you might have in your skimmer or return jets.

Step 4. Empty the pump basket.

Remove particles accumulated in the basket. After rinsing the strainer with a garden hose, make sure that all dirt is removed. Assess wear and replace components such as o-rings as necessary.

Step 5. Fill the pump basket.

Use a garden hose to slowly fill the pump basket with water and replace the cover. It would be best if you filled it slowly so that the water could seep into the pump lines. Turn the system on with the pump lid in its proper place and the air relief valve open.

Step 6. Check the water pump and the air valve.

The water should flow freely in 30-60 seconds. Within a minute, the pump should be able to catch its prime and get the water flowing through it.

The water pump may gurgle with air bubbles initially, but it should soon be running smoothly with just water.

Step 7. Close the air valve.

Shut off the air valve and turn the multiport valve back to “filter.”

This should have gotten the consistent flow of water, but if you don’t see it flow through the basket within a minute or so, turn the pump off and repeat the process.

If my pump does not work, what should I do?

Fixing Pool Pump Troubles

multi port valve, consistently flowing, circuit breaker

When you follow these steps, your pool water should start flowing, and the system should run smoothly, but if that doesn’t happen, you should review for possible problems.

Add More Water to the Pump Basket

Try adding more water if water is not flowing into the pump at a constant. It is the most convenient repair that resolves the trouble in some cases. Turn the power off to the pump, remove the cover to the filter basket, and add more water.

The pump is a necessary and often expensive piece of pool equipment.

Check the pool’s water level to see there’s enough water for the pump. If the pump doesn’t have anything to pull water from, it can’t run.

Include Water With a Skimmer

Possibly the factor that you can not get your pump system going is that you have pockets of air entrapped further down the line. Try to include water via a skimmer instead of even more water straight to the pump basket.

Once you’ve repeated the steps, if there are still problems, it indicates that there is probably an air leak in the system.  If the housing is cracked or another visible damage, it is probably time to buck up for a new pump.

FAQs About priming the pump with water

How long does it take for a pool pump to prime?

Allow water to run into the pump housing for at least two minutes. It will fill the pump, so there’ll be enough water to create suction in it.

Why is my pool pump losing prime?

Leaks on the pump’s intake line as well as around the shaft seal of the pump housing itself can cause your pump to lose its prime.

One possible reason your pump may be losing its prime is an obstruction or blockage in a line. Debris blocking the suction strainer or foot valve is the most common cause.

The pool pump runs but has low water flow?

It means your pump needs to be primed because something has interrupted its suction or water flow.

It could be something blocking it, a dirty pool filter, or too much air in the system. You may need to fill your strainer basket with water and reseal it.

How do I get the air out of my swimming pool pump?

Next, if your filter has an air relief valve (usually at the top of the filter), open this while the filter and pump are running until water spits out of the valve and then close immediately.
It keeps air out of the tank and allows for maximum filtration efficiency.

Why does my pool pump not work?

If your pump does turn on but loses power, it could be overheating. Try running the pump during the night to avoid overheating.

If this does not work, check the bottom vents of the motor to make sure nothing is inhibiting the fan. If the problem persists, you’ll have to replace the pool motor or pool pump.

Why am I getting air in my pool pump?

Air bubbles in your pool mean that air is being sucked into the line on the suction side of the pump. The level of pool water is too low.

The strainer pot lid isn’t on tight, or its O-ring is loose/absent/compromised. The union between the valves and the pump isn’t tight, or its O-ring is loose/absent/compromised.

Should the pool pump be full of water?

When working correctly, pool pumps should be full of water. There are instances where a variable speed running on a low speed will not fill up the pump completely.

This is ok as long as the water level does not continue to fall and cause the pump to run dry.

How To Prime A Pool Pump, 
pool equipment


Most pool pumps cost several hundred dollars. You would not want to invest in it frequently or unnecessarily, but you have to keep the pool in good condition.

Prime to your pool pump is a prudent precaution to ensure you don’t accidentally operate it dry. Your pump requires sufficient water to develop sufficient suction to get things moving.

Low water degrees in the purification system, either from leakage or short fill, are commonly the cause. Hopefully, the only trouble was that there was not nearly enough water in the system to develop great suction, and also, adding more water has resolved your trouble.

The method to address most pool pump priming issues entails water or otherwise having enough of it.

3 thoughts on “How To Prime A Pool Pump”

  1. Good morning…

    2 things – I want to lower the chlorine in my pool as we are changing over to a salt pool – where do I find salt thiosulfate?
    I cannot depend on the sun as it is cold here and the 1st of February.

    Also – on the selector (filter, backwash, etc.) too often after turning the handle to backwash (carefully) after turning it on to filter, it has unseated the wheel looking gasket inside. I spray silicone on the bottom of the apparatus to keep this from happening, but……then I have to replace this gasket. Can I use some type of sealant to keep it in place?

    Thanks, Billie Hatten


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