How to Prime A Pool Pump


Having a swimming pool allows you to share truly wonderful moments with your family or friends. However, it can happen that the pump is off. If this happens, the water will stop circulating and get dirty…so you’ll need to know how solve the problem like how to prime a pool pump. 

That the water pump works perfectly is essential to obtain quality water. On many occasions, the pool water pump becomes disabled and stops working. If this happens the water will stop filtering and it will get dirty. To solve this problem you will have to prime the water pump. In this post we will teach you how to do it.

The priming or re-priming of the pool pump is a fairly technical and delicate operation. It requires access to the pump, an understanding of the filtration system, and knowledge of how the various valves work.

Why does the pool pump turn off?

The first thing we will need to know before priming the water pump is the reason why it is deactivated. On many occasions the reason is usually the entry of air. Air entrainment is the enemy of the pool pump and the main cause of its failure. To avoid this, here are some tips to keep in mind when properly maintaining your pool:

  • Always leave the robot, vacuum brush and hose submerged so they do not suck in air.
  • Check that the cover of the prefilter is closed or that the gasket is not damaged.
  • Check the water level, it should reach ¾ of the skimmers.
  • Always close the suction valves when cleaning the prefilter.

Also check that the pre-filter cover is not open or the gasket is broken. It is also advisable to check the level of the water in the pool and that it always reaches ¾ of the skimmers. When cleaning the prefilter, it is advisable to always close the valves through which the water enters.

Simplify pool maintenance

Good pool maintenance is essential and takes about 20 minutes a day (in season). The intervention of a professional for complex operations can simplify some tasks. 

Procedure for filling or recharging the pool pump

To restart it, there are 2 procedures depending on the location of the filtration system. First, where is the problem located? Above the water level (for example, in a house with a swimming pool) or below the water level (usually accessible through a hatch?). Depending on the location, the instructions will be different.

Prime or refill the pump when it is above the water level

Since the pump is higher than the water, gravity doesn’t work (water always flows down, we don’t know about that!). So the pump has to suck up the water to circulate it (skimmers are one way of sucking up water). Therefore, care must be taken to prevent air from entering the circuit.

To fill or recharge the pump, we recommend the following steps:

  1. Shut down the system
  2. Make sure the water reaches ¾ of the skimmers to prevent air from entering.
  3. Close all suction valves (skimmers, brush base and bottom drain).
  4. Leave the drain valve open (if there is air in the circuit, it will go down the drain!).
  5. Turn the handle to the “wash” option.
  6. Open and fill the pre-filter with water to the brim to prevent air from entering (for example, with a bucket or water jet).
  7. Close the cover of the pre-filter, it must be perfectly closed so that no air can pass through.
  8. Open ONE skimmer valve and immediately restart the system, the filter will fill with water.
  9. Open the other valves gradually.
  10. Wait a few minutes for the filter to fill.
  11. Turn off the system again, put the handle on the “wash” option, and restart for a few minutes.
  12. Turn off the system, close the drain valve and put the handle on the “filter” option.

The pump must start again!

Prime or refill the pool pump if it is below the water level

Is the pump below the water level? In this case, the operation is a little easier because the risk of air intake is lower. We recommend the following steps:

  1. Turn off the system
  2. Open discharge valves (to expel air)
  3. Open the suction valves to fill the pre-filter
  4. Set the handle to ‘wash’ or ‘filter’ or ‘circulate’.
  5. Start the system and voila!

Once the pump restarts, let it run for a few minutes and then you can close any suction valves that are not in use (leave at least one open!). After running the pump so that the system filters correctly again, we advise you to check its correct operation for a few days.

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If the system crashes again or you notice another malfunction, it’s best to call a professional who can diagnose the problem and fix it quickly. The pool pump is valuable as it keeps the water clean and healthy, take care of it!


The maintenance of our swimming pools is often not as complicated as they paint it, because although we often have all this information and the steps to achieve it, it is worth having the help of a professional on site when carrying out a treatment. or procedure, so that we can guarantee the effectiveness of the action to be carried out and our safety, of course.

Remember that we must always keep in mind that many of the actions that our pools require, even if we want to save a little money, are completely worth the investment if the intention is to achieve a satisfactory result.

However, it does not hurt that before hiring someone to prepare the pool they inform you so that you do not lose so much during the process.

In the same way, you can also ask him to explain it to you, so that the next time you have to do it yourself, you will do it well and feel proud of what you have achieved for your pool.

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