Subscribe to our newsletter for $10 off your next order over $99!

Subscribe to our newsletter for $10 off your next order over $99!
Pool Shop Australia Pool Shop Australia
Mar 1, 2024

How to Prime a Pool Pump

Priming a pool pump is crucial for maintaining an efficient and functional swimming pool filtration system. Without proper priming, your pool pump can run dry, leading to damage or malfunction. Here's a detailed guide to help you prime your pool pump, ensuring it operates smoothly and effectively.

Understanding the Need for Priming


A pool pump is essential for circulating water through the pool's filter, keeping the water clean and clear. Priming the pump is necessary after installation, maintenance, or any instance where the pump loses its prime, such as after being shut off for an extended period.

Step-by-Step Priming Process


1. Turn Off the Power

Safety first. Ensure the pool pump is turned off at the circuit breaker before you start the priming process to prevent any electrical hazards.

2. Remove the Pump Lid

Carefully remove the lid from the pump basket. Some models might require you to release air pressure before opening. Check the basket for debris and clean it out if necessary.

3. Fill the Pump with Water

Use a garden hose to fill the pump basket with water. This step is crucial because the water acts as a seal for the pump, allowing it to create the suction needed to pull water from the pool.

Pentair 5PSP - 50Hz/12.5HP/3P 2850RPM with prefilter

4. Check and Lubricate the O-Ring

Inspect the O-ring on the pump lid for wear and tear. Apply a lubricant if it's in good condition, or replace it if it's damaged. A properly lubricated and intact O-ring is essential for creating an airtight seal.

5. Replace the Pump Lid

Carefully replace the pump lid and ensure it's sealed tightly. A loose lid can introduce air into the system and prevent proper priming.

6. Open the Air Relief Valve

If your filter system has an air relief valve, open it to release any trapped air. This valve is typically located on top of the filter.

7. Turn On the Power

With everything in place, turn the power back on at the circuit breaker. Watch the pump to ensure it's pulling water through the system.

8. Observe the Water Flow

Check for a steady flow of water into the pump basket. If the flow is consistent, close the air relief valve on the filter. If the pump doesn't prime within a few minutes, turn it off and repeat the process.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • If the Pump Doesn't Prime: Check for leaks in the system, ensure the water level in the pool is adequate, and verify that all valves are in the correct position.
  • Persistent Air Bubbles: Continuous air bubbles in the system might indicate a leak in the suction side. Inspect all fittings and hoses for tightness.

Priming your pool pump is a vital maintenance task that ensures your pool's filtration system operates efficiently. By following these steps, you can prevent damage to your pump and keep your pool water clean and inviting. Regular checks and maintenance can help avoid priming issues and extend the life of your pool equipment. Check out our essential tips for regular pool cleaning and maintenance.

Remember, always refer to your pump's user manual for specific instructions and safety information. If you're unsure about any part of the process or encounter persistent problems, consult a professional.

About Pool Shop

Pool Shop is one of Australia's leading suppliers of pool and spa products, offering a wide range of essentials like cleaners, pumps, lights, chlorinators, filters, chemicals, spare parts, and more. We stock the highest quality products as authorised sellers of leading brands such as Zodiac, Astral Pool, Maytronics, Hayward, Madimack, Polaris, Pentair Onga and more. With a price match guarantee and fast delivery, we ensure a seamless shopping experience.

Visit our shop in Unanderra near Wollongong for personalised service and expert advice or order online.

Contact us on or call 02 9137 8914.