How to Prime an Above Ground Pool Pump


A pool pump is considered “primed” when air has been purged and the pump is moving water efficiently. You will notice when your pool pump has lost its prime when the pump no longer pushes water through it with force. Priming your pump, in order to purge the air and restore water flow, takes a few steps and sometimes has to be repeated multiple times before the prime is restored, but is necessary for quality pool water.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Turn off power to the pump by unplugging the electrical cord or turning off the circuit breaker.

  • Close all valves on the suction side of the pump; there will be one on the skimmer and one on the pump. Twist open the lid on the pump a little at a time, allowing air to escape slowly.

  • Clean out the strainer basket to remove all debris, such as sticks and leaves. Place the strainer basket back in place.

  • Fill the strainer with water using a garden hose. Replace the strainer lid by placing it on the strainer and pushing down while twisting it back into place, making sure it’s tight and secure.

  • Turn on your pump by plugging it back in or turning the circuit breaker on. Slowly open the suction side valve and allow the pump to catch its prime. You will notice a good flow of water going. Reopen the strainer valve and allow the water to flow. You may have to repeat these steps a few times before all the air is purged and the water is moving efficiently.

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