7 Easy Steps For Beginners How to Prime a Well Pump

I grew up in a household using water that comes from our deep well. Hence, when someone talks about wells and pumps, I could not help but listen. Since I am familiar with how it works, I know how to prime a well pump too. The pump is a vital component in the water system. It is responsible for sucking water from the well so it would run through the pipes and to our houses.


Primarily, you need to prime a well pump before it works and serves its purpose. In the process, you need to get rid of the air from the pump first. Fill it with water after. Take note that if it does not work, the chance of leaking pipes or defective foot valves, and damaged check valves are high. You may be happy to see the pump running, but the water usually stops halfway, or you will have concerns like low water pressure.

Remember that if your pump cannot produce water, do not continue and let it run for long. Doing this may overheat the pump motor and will result in damages.

Take note: Electrical power should be off when doing this process. Check the base of the pump to ensure that it is completely off.

Steps on how to prime a well pump:


There is always a rubber prime plug located at the top portion of the pump. Some types of plugs have plastic material that usually is in square or hexagonal shapes. Take the plug out and run a water hose to the open hole where the plug was. Make sure that the water system of the donor works well.


Turn on the water and let it pass through the water hose reaching the pump casing. Let the water flow until the pump casing is full. You will know that it is enough when the water overflows from the casing.  


Next is to pull out the water hose from the pump. Put the prime plug back on the hole of the pump but not wholly. Start running the pump water system until there are no more air bubbles that spring out from the bottommost of the plug.


Now, remove the plug again and start filling the pump casing with water for the second time. Place the plug back to the whole but not entirely. Run the water pump until the air bubbles disappear. Do this procedure once more, or until the water finally comes out of the pump instead of air bubbles. You can finally place back the prime plug into the pump hole.


When you have attained the correct water pressure, try to turn on the tap inside your house and let the water run for a while. This method will flush out any water impurities or some harmful bacteria that contaminated your water system during the priming procedure. I suggest placing extra gallons of water near your pump in case you need to do priming again.

Check out this video to see an actual procedure on how to prime a well pump:

How to Prime a Well Pump after a Power Outage?

All is well when the electricity does not have a problem. However, how do you manage to prime a well pump after a power outage? I bet that you have encountered this problem many times.


When the household was using water continuously even when there is a power failure, the tendency is, there will be no water pouring out. Hence, make sure that you are using a pressure switch that you can reset. You need to reset the pressure switch. When there is a power outage, the water pressure lowers below 20- 30 psi, the switch should automatically turn off.


As soon as the power is back, ensure that the well’s key breaker is still on. If it unfortunately tripped, I recommend checking the well and the wirings for probable short before you turn it on. I hope that you have a well-labeled electrical set up so that it would be easy to identify the circuit breaker. The tripping usually occurs when you are using the pump during a power outage.


Next is to look for the pressure switch. The switch should be around 3 x 2 inches, and links to a metal tubing placed up to the primary water line. The line should be coming from the deep well to the pressure tank. Notice that there are electrical wires from the tubing that connects to the pump and directly to the circuit breaker box.

Look for the lever that you need to lift upward and wait for the pressure gauge shows above 30 psi. Let it loose with the pump on until water runs out again. However, not all pressure switch designs have levers, so this may not be relevant to you.

Bottom line, you need to check the pressure switch, circuit breaker, and the rest of your pump protection system.

IMPORTANT: Corrosion or fire ants may be the culprit besides power outage. When you want to clean, always turn off the breaker when you like to take off the cover of the main switch. The screwdriver is the best tool to tighten electrical networks.


Learning how to prime a well pump is an essential skill that is vital when you have this type of water system. As I have given the steps on how to do it, it should not be difficult. I encourage you to master the procedure so that you would be able to acquire water when needed. The rest of the members of the family should also be familiar with the process.

Do you believe that you can do it alone? Try it!

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