A pool pump is one of the most important components of any swimming pool. The pump provides a constant flow of water that keeps pools clean and looking nice.
Not having a functional or a prime pool pump can lead to major issues with getting your pool up and running, including costs associated with hiring someone else to do it for you, wasted time, money, and lots of frustration.
Many things can prevent a pump from functioning correctly. Fortunately, you can avoid many of these pool issues by simply learning how to prime a pool pump.
What Does Prime Pool Pump Mean?
A pool pump is said to “lose prime” when too much air has entered the pool’s piping system. Conversely, it is called “priming a pool pump” when you remove the trapped air so the pool water flow will start up again. This is one of the most essential things in pool maintenance.
What Causes Air to Enter My Pool?
A few things can cause air to enter your pool water lines. First, air only travels through the piping system when you turn on the pump. If it hasn’t been appropriately primed, out-of-order pumps may cause trapped air, which will lead to decreased circulation or outright “pump failure.”
Secondly, as the pool water level in the pool rises and falls, air can enter the pipes. This is fairly easily solved by regularly emptying your skimmer basket, which will prevent a lot of air from entering.
It may not be a serious deal to have a bit of trapped air in your pipes – it can be released with a couple of cycles of the pump–but it is much more problematic when you have a lot of trapped air.
Why Should Pool Owners Need to Prime Their Pool Pump?
Priming your pool pump is a precautionary measure you may take to avoid unintentionally running the pump dry.
Operating a pump dry will almost certainly result in mechanical failure and could perhaps harm nearby fixtures. Pool pumps are only meant to function when they are full of water.
How to Prime Your Pool Pump?
Follow these easy 8 steps to prime your pool pump:
Step 1: Turn Off the Pump
Double-check that the power button is in the off position or that the device has been removed from the power source. When dealing with water and electricity, you should take additional safety precautions before doing this task.
Step 2: Turn On the Recirculate Mode
You can set your pump’s multiport valve to recirculate the water. This will let water flow directly into the pump, then circulate it back into the swimming pool. The recirculate setting enables the water to bypass the filter, ensuring there is enough water in the pump.
Step 3: Release Air
You can relieve excess air pressure in the lines by opening up the air relief valve situated on the upper part of the filter.
Step 4: Clean the Pump Basket Thoroughly
Remove any debris that accumulated in the basket and rinse well with a hose to remove any remaining residue. Search for signs of wear and tear and replace worn-out components such as O-rings as necessary.
Step 5: Fill the Pump Basket With Water
Fill the pump basket gently with water from a garden hose, then put the lid back in place.
Step 6: Open the Air Release Valve and Turn On the Pump
Once the pump basket has been filled and tightened, open the air release valve and turn on the pump.
Step 7: Check the Pump and Ensure the Water Is Flowing Correctly
The water should flow continuously and consistently within thirty seconds. If the water is not steadily flowing, turn off the pump and repeat the previous procedures. Check all of your hardware for signs of wear and tear thoroughly.
Step 8: Close the Air Pressure Release Valve
Once the water flows steadily, close the air pressure release valve.
Troubleshooting Swimming Pool Pump Problems
Add More Water to the Pump Basket
In most cases, if your pump won’t run, it is because it is unable to get sufficient water through the pump. Turn off the system once more, fill the pump with more water, and rerun it.
Always remember to turn off the pump before removing the lid to add water!
Add More Water to the Skimmer
The reason you’re having trouble starting your pump system may be because you have pockets of air trapped farther down the line. Alternatively, you may try putting extra water through a skimmer instead of the pump basket.
Check for Leaks in the Pump
If you have tried everything, including adding water to the pump basket and skimmers, and still have trouble, a leak may be the source of your problems.
If there is a leak in the pump, it could be causing an overflow in your pool and causing your pump to run dry. Check all of your fittings to make sure everything is tightened correctly.
“While pool pumps can be a bit pricey, costing pool owners about $300 – $800 on average, it is very important for the longevity of your pool.”Michael Dean, pool enthusiast
Hopefully, these small tips will help navigate your way around priming your pool and any issues with your pool pump.
If you cannot prime the pump no matter what you do, the problem is probably with the motor or the piping, so consider calling a pool pro. Sure it will cost you more than having to do it yourself, but letting a professional handle it can prevent additional damage to your pump.
Nonetheless, don’t give up on your first attempt; sometimes, it just takes a few tries to get it right! Additionally, below are more pool articles that you will definitely find useful. Check them out!
To view more pool articles, click here. Have fun enjoying your swimming pool!