Swiming Pool

How to Prime a Pool Pump – Easy Steps to Follow

Read Time:6 Minute, 42 Second

A pump may not function properly for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, a lot of those occurrences can be prevented by simply understanding how to prime a pool pump.

For your pool to stay clean and healthy, it’s crucial to keep the pump running. To avoid exorbitant repairs and replacements, it is imperative to understand how to maintain your pool pump.

What is Priming a Pool Pump?

Air can occasionally enter your pool pump without your having done anything to invite it.

For instance, before you close your pool, blow the water out of the plumbing lines if you live in an area that experiences freezing temperatures during the winter. By doing this, the pipes will avoid freezing and potential damage from the water. You are replacing the water in the plumbing system with air when you blow it out.

If you simply start the pump when it only has air in it when opening your pool in the spring, you’ll encounter all those overheating issues. Before turning the system on fully, the pump needs to have water flowing into it and through it. To accomplish this, prime the pump.

How Pool Pumps Work

Water is continuously pumped through your filtration system by a pool pump, which uses a motor. It is intended to always have water inside of it. If the pump is run dry, the motor will burn out, forcing you to replace an expensive piece of pool equipment.

If a pump is allowed to run dry, heat will build up and could eventually melt the pump and possibly nearby plumbing fixtures. You run a higher risk of facing a hefty repair bill the more harm it causes.

By priming the pump before use, you can prevent running it dry.

What Does It Mean to Prime a Pool Pump?

Pockets of air can frequently accumulate inside a pool pump. There is a chance for air to get inside the pump whenever it is not running with water, such as when the pool is shut down or reopened for the season.

The lines must be blown out with water to remove any air and replace it with water before you can operate a pool pump that contains air. Pump priming is being done at this time.

Why You Should Prime Your Pool Pump

Costing several hundred dollars, pool pumps are common. A swimming pool requires maintenance costs, but they are not ones you should incur frequently or needlessly. You can be cautious and prime your pool pump to make sure you don’t inadvertently run it dry.

Operating a dry pump will unquestionably result in mechanical failure for your pump and may even harm nearby fixtures. Only when they are filled with water should these devices be used.

Steps to Prime Your Pool Pump

The process of priming your pool pump is straightforward but crucial.

  1. Although your pump is probably already off if you need to prime it, make sure the power button is actually in the off position or that power has been cut off to the device before turning the pump off. Always take extra safety measures before starting any task when working with water or electricity.
  2. Replicate is the new setting. You can configure your pump’s multiport valve to circulate water. By doing so, water will be directly pumped into the pool and recirculated there. In the recirculate setting, the water skips the filter and enters the pump directly, ensuring that the pump is filled with water.
  3. By opening the air relief valve on top of the filter, you can let out extra air that has built up in the lines.
  4. Clear out the pump basket. Clear out the basket of any debris that has accumulated and give it a thorough hose-down. Check for signs of wear and tear and replace components like o-rings as necessary.
  5. Put the lid back on after slowly filling the pump basket with a garden hose.
  6. Make sure the air release valve is open and turn on the pump power after the pump basket has been filled and tightened.
  7. A pump’s water flow should be checked. Within thirty seconds, water should be flowing steadily. Turn the pump back off and repeat the previous steps if you are unable to maintain a steady flow. Examine your hardware’s condition for damage in detail.
  8. Close the air pressure release valve once the water is flowing continuously.
5. How to Prime a Pool Pump2

Troubleshooting Pool Pump Problems

Rarely does anything work the first time. At the start of the season or right after installation, if you are having trouble getting your pool pump to run, you might want to try a few different things. For more advice, visit my guide on what to do if your pool pump breaks down.

Try Adding More Water to the Pump Basket

Try adding more water if the flow of water into the pump is inconsistent. Sometimes the simplest solution to a problem is the best one. Remove the filter basket’s lid, turn off the pump, then pour more water in.

Adding more water should have resolved your issue, assuming the only issue was that there wasn’t enough water in the system to produce adequate suction. Water, or the lack thereof, is the key to fixing the majority of pool pump priming issues.

To generate enough suction to start things moving, your pump needs a sufficient water supply. The usual cause is low water levels in the filtration system, usually due to a leak or inadequate fill.

Try Adding Water through a Skimmer

Perhaps there are air pockets further along the line that are preventing your pump system from starting. Try adding water through a skimmer rather than directly to the pump basket.

Look for Leaks

A leak may be the cause of your poor suction if you have added water to the pump basket and through the skimmers but are still having trouble. Check your pump carefully for wear or broken components. It’s probably time to buy a new pump if the housing has cracks in it or other obvious damage. Pool pumps typically last three to five years.

What Happens When a Pool Pump Goes Dry?

Water is the circulation system’s lifeblood, and the pump is like the heart of your pool. Without constant water flow, the pump’s motor will start to develop friction, which produces heat. The seal will melt as a result of this overheating.

The plumbing system’s other components and connected PVC pipes may sustain damage if the pump runs dry for an extended period of time.

The pump will eventually seize up and possibly break beyond repair because it won’t be able to withstand the heat any longer.

Your pump may need to be replaced, and the cost will depend on the brand and model. Additionally, it hurts to spend that much money—or really any amount of money—when the harm could have been avoided with such ease.

By priming the pump, you can prevent overheating, melting seals, PVC damage, and premature pump death.

The Takeaway on Priming Your Pool Pump

The pump is a crucial, frequently expensive piece of pool equipment that circulates water through the filtration system to remove debris. For a clean and sanitary swimming environment, it is essential. Although this equipment can be somewhat expensive, costing pool owners $300 to $800 on average, it is very crucial.

Priming is the process of filling the pool pump with water and releasing any trapped air before starting the pump. A pool pump’s motor will quickly burn out if it is not properly primed. Before using their pumps, pool owners must spend the necessary time priming them safely and correctly.

It’s really quite easy to do; with the pump off, you just need to empty the system of as much air as you can and then replace it with water. Always add more water as a first resort if you are having trouble priming the pump. The most effective method and one that is advised is to directly add water to the pump basket.