How to Prime a Well Water Pump?

A well pump is an essential equipment in modern-day well systems. Some people install a hand pump for backup purposes, but most wells have an electric water pump as the primary means to obtain water from the well.

The critical question that arises is why pumps need priming?

A well pump is primed so that internal pressure is created inside the water pipe extending from the pump and going in the water. This pressure is needed to supply water to your home. Priming a well pump is a simple process. You can do it yourself without any worries. Apart from pressure creation, a pump may need to be primed because of:

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

How to Prime a Well Water Pump?

Please keep in mind that submersible pumps do not need to be primed. They operate underwater and do not face the pressure problem. Only shallow well pumps require priming for the first time they are installed. If the installation process is not faulty and done according to the instructions, you don’t need to prime a shallow well pump again. Installing a check valve to ensure that your well never loses suction also guarantees priming-less pump operation.

Let’s look at the priming Steps.

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. We don’t want you to end up in trouble, so please be extra careful here.

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. Otherwise, the water you are adding during the priming process will be lost through the open tap or taps.

Attach a Water Source – We recommend that you use a water hose for the priming process. It is easy to connect and work. A bucket or a water bottle will be difficult to manage. However, you may have to ask your neighbors to connect your water hose to their tap as your pump is not working at the time of priming. Fill in the pump casing until the water comes out from the prime plug and release valves. Check the pump for its working. If it is working normally, close the priming plug and release valves. You may need to repeat the process if the results are not fine. 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.

method to prime well water pump

Precaution – Make sure you use a clean water source for priming purposes. If you are using a water pump for drinking and cooking purposes, you must use potable water. Using drinking water bottles will be a great idea.

Benefits of Priming the Well Pump

A properly primed pump ensures that you get a good flow rate, there are no leaks in the system, and the water does not backflow. It also ensures that the entire well system is working properly without any issues.

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. We suggest that you confirm the problem with your well before buying a new one. Priming your old pump 6-8 times is far better than spending hundreds of dollars on a new pump.

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