If your pump won’t prime, you are going to need to fix it as soon as possible! When it comes to your swimming pool, the pump/motor is the hub and by far the most important piece of equipment. This is what gets everything moving; the water, the chemicals, and the filtration. Without a functioning pump, your swimming pool will not work. That’s why if you’re having issues with getting your pump to prime, you will need to go through a variety of steps to get it to work.
First and foremost, if your pump won’t prime, it means there isn’t enough water running through the system to allow filtration to occur. When this happens it could be a variety of different things that we are going to make you aware of in this blog post. Whether you are a pool professional or a pool owner, walking into your backyard and seeing that your pump isn’t primed can be very frustrating. This could be a simple fix (lack of water) or a more complicated fix (internal damage to the pump). In the end, it is vital that troubleshooting occurs immediately to prevent the pool from turning green or burning out the motor.
When you turn on a system, you will want to make sure water fills up the pump basket all the way up to the lid. When this happens you might see a small air bubble at the top but most importantly the water should be pushing all the way up against the lid. Many people will confuse this with water close to the top. If the water isn’t fully hitting the top of the lid, then the pump isn’t fully primed and there is an issue with your filtration system. Other issues you might see is that the pump is half primed or not primed at all because of lack of water. As stated before, this should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent expensive fixes or your pool turning green.
The following are reasons why your pump isn’t priming and how you can fix it:
- Pool water level is too low– if the water in the pool is below the skimmer the system will suck in air and the pump will not prime. Be sure to add water to the pool as soon as possible.
- No water in the pump basket– sometimes just adding water from a hose or bucket directly into the pump can cause it to prime right away.
- Clogged skimmer/pump basket– you are going to want to make sure the skimmer basket is empty and free of debris to allow water to pass through. Even if you have a weekly pool service make sure to check this from time to time or after a storm.
- Pump cover is leaking– if you have a crack in the cover or an o-ring that is cracked this can let air into the system which won’t allow it to prime. You might need to buy a new lid or o-ring. Try applying pool lube to the o-ring to see if that helps. If you’re still having issues you might need to buy a new one. Remember to always apply pool lube to the o-ring.
- Leaks anywhere in the plumbing– this will allow air into the system. Be sure to check all fittings and the ground around the filtration equipment for leaks. If you see any, this could be allowing air in the system which will prevent the pump from priming.
- The impeller is clogged– If the pump’s impeller is clogged with any debris, water from the pool will not be able to flow out the side slots and generate a vacuum. Without a vacuum, the pump will not be able to suck water into the pump and it will not prime. Remove the impeller and clean out the debris. Please note, just because you have a skimmer and pump basket doesn’t mean that this can’t happen. Heavy storms or clogged baskets might allow debris to pass through.
- Burnt out motor – if your motor isn’t working properly, this can cause your pump to not prime. Make sure the motor isn’t making any strange noises which can be a sign that it might be broken or failing.
The points listed above are the most common reasons why a pump won’t prime. Again, you will want to troubleshoot this as soon as possible to prevent filtration issues with your swimming pool. If you have any questions or are having challenges with your pump not priming, please contact us today for help!