How to Prime a Water Pump? A Quick Guide [The Top Water Pump Picks]

Water pumps usually stop working if they run out of pressure. This is a plumbing issue that happens over a certain period of time, most commonly during the winter season. In such situations, you need to get your water pump ready to start working again, and you can do that by priming it. In order to prime your water pump, you will have to flush the water back forcefully. This will create extra pressure and allow the water to flow freely again without a hitch.

There are several ways to prime a water pump, and they may vary depending on the kind of device you use. In this guide, you’ll find all you need to know in order to learn how to prime water pumps. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing Your Water Pump

Check out our quick steps below to make sure you’re prepared for fixing your water pump.

  • Make sure to turn off your water pump

When you begin to work on your water pump, it is very important to make sure that it’s not plugged in. It’s never a good idea to leave your pump switch on. Leaving it on is dangerous because something might break off the panel, exposing you to the risk of electric shock. Therefore, the first step is to turn off the power and double-check to make sure it’s off.

We recommend checking the base of the pump to ensure that the electricity is switched off before you begin. One of the easiest ways to check whether your power is turned off is to take a look at the breaker panel. Once you’re certain, you can start working on your water pump.

  • Access the water pump system

The second step of how to prime a water pump is to gain access to the water pump system. This will help you fix the plumbing issue that is causing the lack of pressure.

You have to address the problem with your plumbing before you can work on the water pump itself. You can do this via the plumbing fixture, which will help you gain access to the pump system. The fixture can usually be found near the water tank. If you’re fixing a pool pump, you can find it in the strain of the basket. Gaining access to the water pump system is the most important step in priming your water pump.

  • Inspect for damage

The third step is to ensure that you inspect your water pump fully and pay attention even to the tiniest of details. You need to check for cracks in the fittings which can be found in the piping. If your water pump system has been fully closed during the winter season, it is vital to perform a thorough check for damages.

Be sure to drain the plugs and check for other issues. Consider tightening and re-tightening all the mounting bolts. You can also manually operate the valves, which is a very good way to check whether they are functioning properly or not. Then check all the hardware on your water pump, such as bolts, nuts, etc. Ensure that these parts are firmly attached and tightened. Next, inspect the pulleys, safety guards, and belts.

Checking for the damage is one of the most important steps in priming a water pump. Doing so will help you bring the water pump back to its original form. Be thorough and meticulous to make sure you don’t miss any signs of damage.

  • Test the hosepipe

Locate the hose pipe and check it for damages, tears, holes, and cracks. Next, flush it out with water to remove any remaining pollution. This crucial to ensure you get clean water. Beware of drinking the water that comes from the hosepipe as it may be contaminated. Water from a garden hose is not filtered. As such, it’s not a good source of clean water, and thus not suited for drinking.

If your water pump is attached to a water well, your drinking water still needs to be cleaned before it’s safe to use. Make sure to filter the water before drinking and do not drink straight from the hosepipe. The safety of your drinking water is the main reason to test the hosepipe. This is because any damage made to the pipe might contaminate your water.

  • Open the relief valves

Our next step in how to prime a well pump will have you open the relief valves. This will help you stop the pressure from building up in your water pump system. While doing this, keep an eye on the pressure gauge. It’s important that the pressure doesn’t build up further, as this could damage your entire water pump system.

Before you proceed, make sure that the relief valves are open in order to stop the pressure and fix your water pump.

  • Attach the hose

Once you’ve opened the relief valves, connect the fixture of the hose to the water pump system. It’s important to make sure the water pump itself is in a good condition before you attach the hosepipe. This is why you checked for potential damage before — if you haven’t done that yet, do so before attaching the pipe.

You should always attach the hosepipe in the standard location on your water pump. If you’re using a pool pump, keep the hosepipe on a strainer within the pump. Attaching the hose pipe is one of the major steps in how to prime a well pump. This procedure needs to be done carefully, so make sure everything is attached tightly and securely.

  • Turn on the water and let it flow into the tank

After finishing the aforementioned steps properly, you should be able to hear the sound of water entering the tank. Pay attention to the pressure readings that show you the pressure of the water that is rising inside the tank. At this point, all you have to do is wait for the tank to fill up.

In case you’re dealing with pool pump, close the lid of the strainer basket until it’s filled with water. Check whether the water from the hosepipe is coming out from the other end as the water fills the strainer basket. Wait patiently until the tank is full in order to check the water pressure

  • Turn on the power

The last step is to turn on the power and let the water pump run for about a minute. If you haven’t closed your relief valves, keep them open until the water starts pouring out of them. At that point, close the relief valves.

If your water pump turns off automatically, well done — your water pump has been primed! However, if it doesn’t turn off, you don’t have to worry. All you have to do is repeat the above steps and try again. 

Extra Tips to Prime Your Water Pump

  • The main goal is to prime the water pump with the required pressure. This helps your water system draw water by itself.
  • Make sure to check the gauge pressure every now and then so that it doesn’t get too high or too low. Doing so regularly will help you maintain your water pump and finish the priming process in one go, as opposed to having to repeat the entire process several times.
  • Keep in mind that it’s not unusual to have to repeat the steps before your water pump is fixed. Going through the process a few times will also ensure that your water pump has been fixed thoroughly.
  • When working on a pool pump, first ensure that the pool skimmers have been fixed. Only when that’s done you can move on and work on the main drain. You can fix the pool skimmers by turning the valve diverter’s main indicator drain. 
  • You can also shut off the water flow in that particular section and allow the water to flow through the pool’s skimmers. Next, turn on the diverter valve, which is set away from the main indicated drain. This ensures that the water will be able to flow properly.
  • Before you start priming your water pump, make sure to install all the required devices near a source of water.


  • Keep a close eye on the pressure gauge throughout the entire process.
  • Make sure to keep the relief valves open for a long time — longer than might seem necessary at first.
  • Release the pressure inside the water pump regularly and fully. This ensures your water pump will stay in top shape.
  • Keeping a check on the pressure of your water pump plays a very important role in your regular maintenance. This is because high levels of pressure might permanently damage your water pump system.
  • Before you start the procedure, ensure to keep the electricity switch off. This helps you avoid causing severe damage to the water pump system.
  • The procedure might be different for some types of water pumps. If you’re not sure, check your owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer before attempting to fix your pump.

Top 3 Best Water Pumps Currently On The Market

Superior Pump 91250 1/4 HP Thermoplastic Utility Pump

Superior Pump 91250 1/4 HP Thermoplastic Submersible Utility Pump with 10-Foot Cord
  • 1/4 HP Utility pump moves up to 1,800 gallons per hour; pump will lift water up to 25' of vertical height
  • Tough thermoplastic construction; 10' cord length

Superior Pump manufactures pumps that are really Made to Last. Superior Pump incorporates high-quality components such as solid copper motor windings, heavy-duty stainless steel jacketed shaft seals, double o-ring seals on the motor plate, and electronically regulated split capacitors. Superior Pump’s 1/4 HP thermoplastic submersible utility pump, model 91250, can move up to 1800 gallons per hour. It has a suction screen to filter out big particles and can handle solids up to 1/8 inch in size. This pump is UL/CUL classified (E238091, UL, 2019) and CSA approved (230584, by CSA, 2019).

Discharge and Construction

  • Thermoplastic structure resists corrosion and provides years of performance and dependability.
  • Discharge is 1-1/4 in. NPT.
  • Garden hose adapter 3/4 in.

There are several discharge hookup possibilities.

  • Connect easily to a Garden Hose* or Discharge Hose* (*not supplied).
  • The carrying handle makes it simple to transport.
  • The power wire is 10 feet long.
  • The intake screen prevents dirt from entering the impeller. This reduces clogging and extends the life of the pump.
  • It is easily cleanable and detachable.

Performance and Motor

Motor: Performance of a 1/4 HP Superior Pump continuous duty, thermally shielded – split capacitor motor.


  • At 0′, the flow rate is 1800 gallons per hour.
  • 1200 gallons per hour at a height of 10′
  • At 20′, the flow rate is 540 gallons per hour.
  • Continuous duty, 1/4 HP Superior Pump, thermally shielded – split capacitor motor.


The length of a sump pump’s hose isn’t nearly as significant as the lift. A lengthy horizontal run with relatively little flow loss is possible. At these low pressures, friction loss (the loss due to hose length) is negligible. The real limiting element is height (also known as lift). (PSI stands for pounds per square inch; the water pressure flowing into your house from the main is around 50-80psi; someone asked what psi meant.)

According to the graph, this pump moves around 30 gallons per minute (gpm). When you elevate ten feet, the flow reduces to approximately 20 gpm; when you lift twenty feet, the flow drops to about 10 gpm. You can flush a tankless water heater using a 50/50 mixture of simple green and water in a 5 gallon bucket. Once done, you can further wash it out with clean water either warm or cold.


Does the pump come equipped with an adaptor that can connect to a standard garden hose?

Hose for the garden the standard 1.5″ discharge hose – YES. The adapter included with the hose will not function. You must purchase one, which is unusual because standard adapters are male but this pump requires a female.

Does it have an automatic shut off?

The pump does not have an automatic shut off. You may add a float switch in case your want it to pump out a sink that had a slow-running clogged drain or there is a similar situation like this. When the sink is more or less pumped out you can turn off the float switch off the pump. It will work great with this pump for a couple years. This is a good pump, since the sink drain got taken care of, you can even use the pump to pump koi pond water over a 5′ fence using about 150′ of garden hose. The pump runs continuously for 5+ hours without issues in this process.

VIVOSUN 800GPH Submersible Water Pump

VIVOSUN 800GPH Submersible Pump(3000L/H, 24W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 10ft. High Lift, Fountain Pump with 6.5ft. Power Cord, 3 Nozzles for Fish Tank, Pond, Aquarium, Statuary, Hydroponics
  • Specs & Dimensions: 4.1*2.6*3.5 inches; The 6.5 ft. long power cord offers convenient installation and an adjustable knob allows you to control of water flow rate and pressure; Max flow rate: 800 GPH (3000L/H); Max lift height: up to 10 ft.; Wattage: 24W; Voltage: 110-120V
  • Detachable & Cleanable: This powerful yet small-sized water pump is easy to hide and disguise; No tools necessary for disassembly and it’s very easy to clean

This pump performs well in both wet and dry applications and has wet rotor and wet bearing technology for cooler operation. Large particles are kept out by a pre-filter screen, which reduces the need for maintenance. *Intended exclusively for usage with fresh water*

Its small size is ideal for conserving space in aquariums and fish tanks. Water outlet inserts and suction cups of various sizes are supplied. High-performance, energy-efficient pump well-suited for use in ponds, fountains, waterfalls, hydroponic systems, irrigation systems, and other water features. The maximum flow rate is 800 GPH (3000 L/H). The lift height may be increased to a maximum of ten feet.


  • 3 oz. Adapters
    Included are three nozzles with varying diameters: 0.51 in., 0.62 in., and 0.74 in., each of which provides a distinct water flow effect for your specific demands.
  • Control Valve for Water
    The water flow rate may be controlled using an easy-to-adjust knob. The maximum flow rate is 800 GPH (3000L/H).
  • Suction Cups 4
    The four suction cups are powerful and do not require any additional equipment to fasten. You may install it vertically, horizontally, or in any other configuration that meets your needs.


  • Voltage: 110-120V; Wattage: 24W
  • 3000L/H flow rate; 5 ft power cord length
  • 33.8-96.8 °F (1-36 °C) working temperature range

Detachable and cleanable: This strong yet small-sized water pump is simple to conceal and conceal; no tools are required for disassembly, and it is very simple to clean.

There are several possible placement positions: Place the pump flat on its base, on an inclined or vertical surface, then manually spin it into whatever position required.

Numerous Applications: This is a high-performance, energy-efficient pump that is ideal for use in ponds, fountains, waterfalls, hydroponic systems, irrigation systems, and other water features.

Warranty: It is extremely robust and reusable, and it comes with a one-year warranty. If you have any problems with the item you received, please do not hesitate to contact the manufacturer.

PULACO 95GPH 5W Mini Submersible Water Pump

PULACO 95GPH 5W Mini Submersible Water Pump for Aquarium Fish Tank, Pond, Fountain, Hydroponics
  • ★【Ultra Quiet Design】: The relible and duarable motor does not produce much noise, giving you quiet environment.This submersible pump is designed for small to medium size aquarium, Fish tank, Pond, tabletop fountains, water gardens and hydroponic systems.
  • ★【Adjustable Flow Rate】: Designed with a adjusting knob, allowing to adjust the water flow rate, the maximal flow rate can be up to 95 GPH. It can elevate column of water up to 3.0 ft.

The reliable and durable engine produces little noise, resulting in a peaceful atmosphere. This submersible pump is intended for use with small to medium-sized aquariums, fish tanks, ponds, tabletop fountains, water gardens, and hydroponic systems.

Adjustable Flow Rate: Designed with an adjustable knob that allows the water flow rate to be adjusted, the maximum flow rate may be up to 95 GPH. It has the ability to raise a column of water up to 3.0 feet.

Detachable and cleanable: No tools are required to detach it; it is simple to separate and clean.

Mini Size: The pump’s small size allows it to be easily hidden or disguised in the water. Size: 1.8 x 1.8 x 1.4 inch.

Pump Accessories that come in the package include: 3 suction cups, 1 nozzle, and 1 tubing: Suction cups are ideal for attaching to a glass surface. The kit includes a 0.3″ diameter nozzle and 3.3ft of free tubing.

Things To Consider:

Because this aquarium pump is submersible, it must be fully immersed in water before being powered on to prevent the aquarium pump from burning out. No-load running is prohibited. It would reduce its lifetime and cause loud noises if left in the air for an extended period of time. When changing water, please turn off the power supply.

If the product abruptly stops operating or makes sounds, this might be due to a debris obstruction. Please clean it at least once every two months.

Inadequate power and frequency would reduce the flow rate of the fountain pump. The flow rate of 95 GPH is the flow rate without the use of a pump water pipe. If connected to a pump water pipe, the maximum flow rate of the fountain pump would be less than 95 GPH.


  • Flow Rate Maximum: 95 GPH (360L/H)
  • 3.0 ft H-Max (Lift Height) ( 0.9m)
  • 5 Watt of power
  • Power Cord Length: 5.9 feet (1.8m)
  • Shaft made of stainless steel
  • Anti-corrosion, anti-rust, wear resistant stainless steel standard rotor with a long service life.
  • Motor made of copper wire. The motor is made entirely of copper wire, which makes it more stable and efficient, as well as producing less noise.
  • (I/D 1/4inch) tubing
  • One piece of 3.3ft free tubing is included in the package.
  • (I/D 1/4 in.)


Works effectively in shallow water and moves a lot of water given its size. If you pull the pump above the water line, it will stop pumping. To get the pump to start circulating again, disconnect and re-submerge it.

The pump may arrive in the mail with the tubing that came with it stuffed into the little box along with the pump. Because it is a soft tubing, it may be kinked at every curve. To unkink, fill your sink with hot water and immerse the tubing in it to enable it to relax. Pour some hot water into the tube, grip one end with one finger, and blow into the other to assist the kinked regions expand with the hot water.


The steps described above are easy to follow even for a new water pump owner. Good news is that you don’t need a professional in order to learn how to prime a well water pump.

Keep in mind that the process will require a lot of care and attention to detail. If you follow our guide closely, you will be able to prime your water pump a single attempt instead of trying it out several times. Furthermore, we have discussed just a few top water pump choices that are currently hot on the market. You’re just a few steps away from a water pump that works like a dream, so don’t hesitate and give our guide a try! 

In case of further suggestions, concerns or simply more information about the topic of your top water pump picks, don’t hesitate to drop a comment below. We are happy to hear your thoughts.

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