Maintaining a pool helps keep things running smoothly.
Part of maintaining your pool requires you to make sure to balance the water pH, add sanitizers, and clean the filter.
Good pool maintenance is vital to make sure there is no damage to your pool, which can be expensive to repair.
One of the pieces of equipment you should keep an eye on at all times is the pump.
A damaged unit is expensive to replace or repair, and until you have it fixed, and you will need to make sure your pool remains shut down.
Water cannot circulate without a functional pump, and this means it can’t run through the filter, meaning stains remain stagnant.
Various issues can cause your pump to stop working properly.
Luckily, most of these things can be prevented if you know how to prime pool pump units with water.
How to prime a pool pump – Basics
Many pool pumps are self-priming.
This means they automatically generate water flow once turned on even when there are significant amounts of air in the system.
However, not all pumps can carry out self-priming, especially if there is excess air present in the system, and pool owners need to make sure they manually prime pool pumps before they turn them on.
If you do not know how to manually prime the pump, there is a high chance you do not know the importance of pool priming.
Why do I need to prime it?
Most swimming pool equipment is designed to withstand moisture and remain submerged most of the time.
This is mainly because this equipment requires being close to the water when functioning, and is not supposed to fail when in a wet environment.
However, this is not the case with the pump.
The pump is designed to function with water inside it.
It can get damaged if it’s not wet or there is an insufficient water level inside it.
If it runs dry for too long, it overheats, which can cause damage to the connected PVC water pipes and other components in your pool water plumbing system.
Apart from damaging your water plumbing system, the unit itself could break beyond repair as a result of overheating.
Depending on the pool type and brand, replacing it could cause you thousands of dollars.
It would hurt to spend time and such an amount on something you could have prevented.
Premature malfunctioning, PVC damage, melted seals, and overheating can be prevented by priming your pump.
Tips/ Techniques when pool pump is not priming
The priming process should not be complicated if you do it right.
To be sure you are doing it right, below are a few tips to help you get started:
- Ensure your pool is full enough to create suction
- Check to see there are no clogged water pipes or obstructions in the main drain.
- Make sure they are no cracks in the filter basket.
- Inspect the O-rings for cracks and dryness – do not prime your pump unless it’s properly lubed.
- Listen for whether your pump is producing different sound than you are used to.
- Tighten the air relief valve and other fittings and be sure they have a tight seal against water.
These tips are essential and should be put to use every time you are priming the unit.
Pool pump won’t prime? – Correcting Common Problems
In this section, we are going to look at steps to follow in the priming process.
Make sure you follow these steps to be sure you are doing it right.
Turn off the priming pool pump
It’s always safe to ensure there is no electrical current present anytime you are working with water.
When priming, we recommend pool owners to turn off their pool breaker system as a safety precaution.
Switch the multi-port valve to recirculate
The multi-port valve ensures water goes direct to your pool pump first instead of the filter.
This is an important step as it helps cool it and remove any occurring air.
Remove excess air to prime pool pump
To remove excess air, open the air relief valve on the top of the filter.
Opening the air relief valve helps release any excess air pressure.
Clean out the priming pool pumps basket
The next step when priming is to remove debris and silt that might have accumulated in the pool basket.
Where necessary, rinse with a garden hose.
When cleaning the pump basket, inspect whether they are any cracks or damage on the O-ring.
Fill the pool pump priming basket
Once you are done cleaning the pump basket, fill it using a garden hose, and tighten the pump lid.
After you refit the pump lid, fill the pump slowly to ensure water is seeping into the pump lines, and to fill the pump.
The main aim of filling your pump basket is to create suction by filling the lines from the skimmers to fill the pump with water.
Turn on the pump
It’s now time to turn your pool system back on.
This should have your water flowing regularly. But if the pool pump NO FLOW indicator shows, turn the pool pump off and repeat the process. A NO FLOW pool pump scenario shows that something else is not right with the pump.
Close the air valve
Once the water starts flowing well, shut off the air valve and switch the multiport valve back to “filter”.
Pool pump won’t prime – Best Practices
The mentioned seven steps should get your pool water flowing and everything running right. However, if they don’t, here are a few steps you can take:
- Step 1: Turn to a pool expert to assess if your pump or air relief valve is damaged
- Step 2: Replace your pump as soon as possible.
To avoid this scenario, always invest in the best pump available.
Tools you can use for priming pool pumps
When priming a pool pump, you do not require a lot of tools.
You only need to put on protective clothing.
Priming a pool pump – Conclusion
Learning how to prime your pump can help you solve a lot of problems.
However, if you are unable to fix the problem using the above steps, it would be best to call a pool expert.
If you cannot figure out what the problem is, even after repeating the above steps a couple of times, the problem could be your motor or plumbing system.