How to Prime a Shallow Well Pump

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrenches

  • Container of water

  • Funnel

Priming a well pump becomes a necessity when air has gotten into the piping going down into or out of the pump. This is because the pump creates a vacuum from the circulation of water, which is what helps to pull water out of the well through a special valve located at the bottom of the piping. Priming issues don't normally occur with a shallow pump, but it is possible, and fixing it is not difficult.


Step 1

Turn the pump power off to prevent electrocution.

Video of the Day

Step 2

Turn the valve to the water inlet to the closed position, and remove the plug from the pump impeller housing. It should be about an inch or so wide. Also remove the plug off the water inlet housing. It should be about a half an inch or so wide.


Step 3

Pour the water through the funnel into both openings, and reopen the inlet valve. Look for bubbles to come up. Add water until it is full.

Step 4

Return the plugs to their original positions, and turn on the power to the pump.


Step 5

Turn on the pump and look at the pressure display to see if it is rising.

Step 6

Go into the house and turn on faucets so that the water can start flowing through the lines. This will help to remove air inside the house pipes.


These steps might have to be repeated more than once if there was a great deal of air in the lines.


Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...