How to prime your pool pump in just 5 easy steps

Let’s get one thing straight: air pockets are no friend to your pool plumbing system. It’s simple: in order for a pump to work at its highest efficiency, it needs room in the pipes for water to flow freely.


Is air currently infiltrating your system? Then it’s a good idea to get priming. With the help of these five easy steps—along with your multiport valve and a garden hose—you’ll have your pump back in service in no time. No pricey maintenance bookings needed.


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Hold On. What is Priming?


To prime your pool pump is to purge your plumbing system of air by manually sucking water from the pool and through your filtration system—essentially, creating a vacuum effect to push water in and force air out.


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Why Is It Even Necessary to Prime?


These days, most pool pumps—especially in-ground models—are made to be continuously self-priming. However, most new models do require you to prime before using the first time, as well as at the beginning of the swim season. Other circumstances, such as depressurizing your system for maintenance, may also necessitate a thorough priming.


One drastic reason for needing to prime is if you run your pump dry. This can happen for a few reasons—the most common of which have to do with the skimmer, which looks like a little bucket and is built into the side of the pool. With the help of the basket it lines, the skimmer keeps out debris that could otherwise enter your pool plumbing, like leaves and twigs.


If water drops below the skimmer or it gets clogged with debris, you’re at risk of your pump processing air instead of water. You never want this to happen—unless you like buying new shaft seals, or dealing with potentially melting plastic. Right—we don’t either.


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Now That You’re in the Know, Let’s Get Priming.

Step 1: Redirect the Water


With power to your pool turned off at the circuit breaker, turn your multiport valve. Also called a suction side diverter, this valve allows you to choose the pump’s water source. It’ll help you bypass the normal filter system, so water goes straight through the multiport valve and the multiport valve only. This will also concentrate the pump’s suction, making the prime process all the more effective.


Step 2: Prepare Your Pump


Open your filter’s air relief valve, usually positioned on top of your pump, as well as any plugs you might have in your skimmer or return jets. Also open up your pool pump by removing the lid. Clear out any debris that might be sitting at the bottom of your basket in your pump housing. Leaves, sediment, unlucky insects—it all goes.


The collection of debris in your pump can affect performance and drastically shorten its life. Thankfully, this 2 HP Variable Speed Pump has a fully-encased motor, so it stays clean, dry, and working at optimal efficiency. It also includes a lifetime warranty.

Step 3: Fill Your Pump with Water


Using a garden hose, fill the basket up with water for at least two full minutes. While leading to the skimmer, this water will push air out from the pipes and create suction back into the pump. Once the basket is about 80% full—up to the outlet called the intake port—you’ll know the system is air free.


Step 4: Seal Your Pump Up and Turn the System Back On


Reattach the lid to your pump and make sure it’s sealed tight. Keep the air relief valve open, as well as your skimmer and return jet plugs. Turn the power back on via the pool’s circuit breaker.


Your pump’s operating power should always fit the scale of your larger pool system. This Blue Thunder Single Speed Pump has three tiers of horsepower available, so you can ensure your model satisfies your specific needs.


Step 5: Stay Tuned


Watch your pump for a minute or so. If water isn’t consistently flowing through the basket after this time, repeat these steps again. Don’t panic—sometimes pump priming requires a few attempts. Once water is flowing and there are no air bubbles, you’ve done a successful job. Congratulations: you’re a priming expert, and your pool is on its way to working order.


How long should you run your pool pump? Learn about it here. Is your pool pump emitting noise? This article provides solutions on how to fix it.

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