How to Prime a Pool Pump

Priming a pool pump is an essential task for any pool owner or operator. Here’s how to prime your pool pump in ten easy steps. 

  1. Shut Off the Power: Always turn off the power to the pool pump at the circuit breaker to ensure safety during the priming process.

  2. Check the Water Level: Ensure that the pool water level is above the skimmer intake poolside. A low water level can make priming challenging.

  3. Close Valves: Close all necessary valves on the suction and discharge lines. These are generally the lines directly before and after the pump. 

  4. Clean Strainer Basket: Open the strainer basket lid on the pump, remove the basket and clean out any debris or leaves. A clean strainer allows for better water flow.

  5. Set the O-Ring: Make sure to place the O-Ring appropriately. Lubricate if needed by applying a thin coat of pool-safe lubricant to the O-ring on the strainer basket lid. This helps create a proper seal.

  6. Fill the Pump Basket: Fill the strainer basket with water to its capacity. Use a hose or a bucket if needed to add water until the basket is full.

  7. Open the Air Release Valve: Many pool pumps have an air release valve or plug on the pump housing. Open this valve to release trapped air in the pump.

  8. Turn On the Pump: Turn the power back on at the circuit breaker and then turn on the pump. Be ready to close the air release valve and open the valves leading to and from the pump. 

  9. Open the Valves Gradually: Slowly open the suction and discharge valves, allowing the pump to reach full flow gradually. This prevents the sudden rush of water, which can cause air to be pulled into the system.

  10. Monitor the Pressure Gauge: Watch the pressure gauge on the filter system. When it stabilizes or reaches a normal operating pressure, it indicates that the pump is adequately primed.

Remember that priming may take a few moments, and it’s essential to be patient during the process. If the pump doesn’t prime after several attempts, or if you notice persistent air bubbles in the pump basket, there may be a suction-side leak or other issues that require professional attention.