Delivery Info

Priming a Water Pump for Starting

Water pumps need to be primed for them to be able to work effectively or indeed at all. Priming is a vital part of starting a pump, what you are doing is is filling it with water so it can build up pressure to begin to pump. Although methods vary slightly for different types of water pumps, the steps below will show you the basic steps of how to prime a petrol-powered water pump.

In this guide, you will find the following steps

  • Check pipes for any damage before fitting
  • Use thread sealer on pipes
  • Connect the hose(s) to pump
  • Priming of the pump
  • Start engine on choke
  • Engage full throttle to run
  • Pump
  • Demonstration Videos

Check the Pipes

Check all of the pipes and fittings for any cracks, or damage, especially if the system was shut down for long periods of time between uses. It is also worth checking things like nut & bolts, drain plugs are in place properly before you continue. It is also worth checking the manual to ensure all of the safety guards, belts and any pulleys are in the correctly in place.

Connect the Pipes

Firstly ensure you use a thread sealing tape and ensure the hose is connected to the couplers as airtight as possible. Use plenty of PTFE tape if needed. 

Priming the Pump

Have a water supply at the ready, most people would use either a typical garden hose or water carrier to do this.

Important: To be done before starting the engine. On top of the pump housing, there will normally be a cap that needs to be removed (check instructions supplied with the pump to locate), you will need to top this up with water until its overflowing and starts pouring out of the pump, once this happens you need to replace cap nice and tight so no water can leak out when in use. You should check on this before trying to start the pump.

Priming a pump

Starting the Engine

You will need to start the engine on choke and run it for a short while, you will then need to take off choke so the engine runs at full speed for the pump to work effectively and start to pump, again if you are unsure then please check instruction manual supplied with your unit.

Please note: Running the pump while dry can damage your pump and also void warranty too.

Start the Pump

Now you are ready to start the pump. Some pumps have a leaver to engage the pump, many just require the throttle to be on full. You may need to check those instructions once again. 


Once the thottle is on full and the pump is engaged it may take a short while for water to start to flow.

Demonstration Videos

The following two videos will give you a guide of not only how to prime but also how long it can take for it to work correctly.

The following video will show you that the further you are pumping the longer it will take get going.

We hoped this has given you a brief understanding of how to prime your water pump before starting it up.

If you wanted to view the pumps that we offer please follow this link HERE to view our range.

Published by on in Useful Information, Using Your Equipment