Why a Swimming Pool Pump Won’t Prime

If your pool pump won’t prime it means that it is not able to degenerate all the air from the pump. And it means it is not moving water through it. And for the swimming pool to stay in good shape the pool pump needs to prime. And in this article, we study why a pool pump won’t prime.

What are the causes of a pool pump that won’t prime?

  • Water Level

Check the water level in the pool. It must be at least 1/2 way up to the skimmer mouth inlet. If it’s below the mid-level of the skimmer opening, there is a chance of sucking air into the circulation system through the skimmer. Making the system of the pool pump to loose prime. Make sure the water level in the pool is high enough so it can flow into the skimmers.

  • Pool Pump Lid

Check the pool pump lid for any cracks or holes. Also, check the seal of the pool pump lid. Make sure the pump is below the water level.
Reminder: Make sure to shut off any relevant valves before performing this step.

  • Pump Basket

Check the pump basket making sure it’s clean and it’s fully seated in any relevant keyways to allow the pump lid to be fully fastened down.

  • Strainer Basket

Open the strainer cover and fill the strainer basket and supply lines with water for 2-3 minutes. Check it as well for any debris and leaves. If there are debris and leaves present make sure to clean it out.

Check as well for possible leaks of the strainer basket cover. Remove the cover on your strainer basket cover. Then remove the gasket generally in a groove around the top of the strainer basket. Check that it is not cracked or has worn spots.

  • Leaks in Glued and Threaded Fittings

Check for leaks in the glued fittings on the suction side of the pump. If you have threaded fitting on the suction side of the pump, you may have a suction leak there.

  • Inlet and Outlet Fittings

Check that the inlet and outlet fittings that attach your pump to the plumbing. Making sure they are properly tightened.

Now after checking all these possible causes turn your pool pump back on and see if it’s primed. Generally, it should take any longer than 60 seconds for your pump to achieve full prime.


Might as well check the pump, plumbing, or electrical equipment if they are all working correctly. Because sometimes getting the pool pump running does not mean that everything is fine.

And for all your pool needs call My Pool Guy for your pool guy!