How to Prime a Water Pump?

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 based on the kind of device you use. In this guide, we will tell you 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 — especially if you might walk on the pump. Leaving it on is dangerous because something might break off the panel, exposing you to electricity. 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 is to gain access to the water pump system. This will help you fix the plumbing issue that causes 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 that causes damage. If your water pump system has been fully closed during the winter season, it is vital to perform a thorough check for damage.

Ensure 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 function properly or not. 

Ensure to check all the hardware on your water pump, such as bolts, nuts, etc. Check whether 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 will let you have clean water. Keep in mind not to drink 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.

However, 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 why you should test the hosepipe. This is because any damage made to the pipe might contaminate your water.

  • Open the relief valves

Our next step 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 gauge pressure. 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, make sure to 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 priming your water pump. This procedure needs to be done meticulously and carefully, so make sure everything is attached tightly and securely.

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

After finishing the above-mentioned 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 have a 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 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 gauge pressure 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.


The steps described above are easy to follow even for a new water pump owner. Good news — you don’t need a professional in order to prime a 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. 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!

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