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Five Simple Things You Need to Prime a Water Pump

by Kyle Marshall

If you haven't used your water pump for a few months, you should prime it before using it again. This process removes all of the air from your pump to ensure it works correctly. To prime your pump, you don't need a lot of supplies, but here are five things that can help. 

1. Watering can

During the priming process, you are going to be pouring a lot of water into your pump and into the hoses you use to connect your pump to your water source. So that you can pour the water easily and accurately through a relatively small opening, use a watering can. Its spout is ideal for this application, and its portability lets you prime the pump almost anywhere.

2. Wellington boots

Because of all of the water, priming your pump can be messy. To ensure you don't ruin your shoes with splashes of water or with the mud that will inevitably form as water spills to the ground, wear a pair of gumboots. By preparing to get messy, you can tackle this task more comfortably.

3. Soft hose clamp

To ensure water is out of the hose that you connect to your pump, you need to fill the hose with water so the water can push the air out of the hose. However, you also need to make sure that the water doesn't just run through the hose. To prevent that, attach a soft hose clamp to the end of your hose.

You can buy soft clamps made for the end of the hose, or you can make your own. Simply, fold the end of the hose, and wrap waterproof tape around the hose to hold it tightly in a crimped position.

4. Screwdriver

Priming a pump doesn't require any special tools; you only need a screwdriver. Once you have filled the pump and the hose with water, connect the hose to the pump. Before connecting them, blow into the hose several times to push down the water and add more as needed. Similarly, jostle or shake the pump a bit to force the water to settle and again, add more as needed.

When you are ready to connect them, you will see a small metal clamp with a screw in it. Use your screwdriver to tighten this seal so that the hose doesn't slip off from the pump. If you see any other loose seals or clamps, tighten them as well.

5. Heavy duty outdoor extension cord

When everything is connected, it's time to turn on your pump and make sure it works as expected. If it doesn't generate the pumping speed you expect, you need to refill everything with water and try again. When powering your pump, however, you either need to plug it directly into your power source or use a heavy duty extension cord designed for outdoor use. An indoor extension cord isn't durable enough to use outside safely.