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How to Prime a Well Water Pump?

Updated on March 11, 2022

Please keep in mind that submersible pumps don’t need to be primed because they operate underwater and do not face the pressure problem. Shallow well pumps require priming after installation or after some time due to several reasons.

Here’s how you can prime a well water pump!

Safety First – Turn off the pump and remove all the electrical connections. Make sure that there are no naked wires around you as the priming process involves water.

Check for Damages and Cracks – It is a good time to inspect the well pump’s overall condition. Look for any obvious damages or cracks.

Remove the Priming Plug and Open Release Valves – Most of the models have a priming plug located on the head of the pump. Open it. If you can’t find it, refer to the owner’s manual. Open the release valves as well to avoid pressure buildup. Make sure that all the taps in your plumbing system are closed tightly before you start priming to avoid water loss.

Attach a Water Source – Connect a water hose to your neighbors well if they allow you or you can use a water bucket to prime the pump. Fill in the pump casing until the water comes out from the prime plug and release valves. Check the pump, close the priming plug and release valves if its working normally.

You may need to repeat the process. Just a pro tip: If the priming opening is too small, use a funnel to pour water in it. Pay proper attention while adding water to the pump. Do not let it come in contact with the electrical components of the pump. Moreover, make sure you use clean water for priming.

method to prime well water pump

Benefits of Priming the Well Pump

  • Good flow rate
  • No leaks in the system
  • The water does not backflow
  • Well system works optimally

Why do you need to Prime a Well Pump?

  • Faulty foot and check valves
  • To create water pressure
  • Leakage in water pipes and fittings
  • Damaged seals
  • Dry well
  • Damaged pump
  • Clogged plumbing pipes

Related Guide: 12 Reasons Why Your Well Pump Is So Loud

Final Words

Priming your well pump is the first step in troubleshooting it. You may need to prime your well several times before it can get back to normal working condition.


  • Earl Rojo

    Earl Rojo has been a senior mechanic in well drilling and maintenance firms for 3 years. He is from Longview, Texas, and he loves sharing his experience with others. He frequently writes on various well water issues with a special focus on well maintenance and drinking water quality.

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