How to Prime a Lawn Sprinkler Pump


Read your manual for installation, operation, and safety information. This guide neither supplements nor replaces the Owner’s Manual.

How to Prime a Lawn Sprinkler Pump
Lawn sprinkler pumps are most often centrifugal pumps. This type of pump must be primed at its initial start-up or whenever the prime is lost. Priming is a simple matter of filling the pump and intake line(s) with water.

Cost (0-5 scale): 0
Difficulty (0-5 scale): 2

Items Needed:
• Wrench
• Pail or Bucket
• Funnel
• Source of water

Step One – Open Priming Opening
Ensure that power to the pump is turned off. If equipped, close the drain valve on the bottom of the pump with the wrench. Locate and remove the pump’s priming plug. It is most often found near the pump at the highest level of pipes connected to the pump.

Step Two – Fill With Water
If desired, insert a funnel into the priming opening. Fill the pump housing with water. The amount of water needed depends on the size of the pump housing and the length of the inlet piping.

Step Three – Close Priming Opening and Start Pump
When the pump housing is full of water, install the priming plug firmly. If equipped, open the discharge valve. Turn on the pump switch. Water should flow to the irrigation system within 5 minutes. You may have to repeat these three steps several times until all air has been removed from inlet line.
Once properly installed and primed, a sprinkler pump should be self-priming – it should not need to be re-primed unless air enters the pump or inlet line.