How to Prime an Irrigation Pump: Troubleshooting Methods for You


A proper irrigation method is one of the vital factors for crop growth and yield. People all over the world use various ways of irrigation to water their plants in farm and gardens, one of the most commonly used one is an irrigation pump. This pump is also referred to as lawn sprinkler pumps. It is suitable for lawns and other farms as it can help in watering the plants efficiently. These irrigation pumps use centrifugal forces to water the yard. It draws water from the large pipe using an impeller and the water is then released from the sprinkler head via smaller pipes with force.

How to Prime a Sprinkler Irrigation Pump?

Sprinkles Water Uniformly

A well-primed irrigation pump works effortlessly and also sprinkles water uniformly. Priming or preparing this irrigation pump is vital for the following reasons:

  • To ensure that there is no water bubble as it can lead to the reduced pressure in the sprinkler.
  • For efficient working of the pump.
  • To avoid any difficulty in the pump to take up water from its source.
  • For preventing the burning out of the motor and other pump damage.

Damage Irrigation Motor

The priming procedure for these pumps is easy and can improve its functionality. You can prime the pumps at the beginning of every season to ensure that the water is flowing and there is no damage to the motor. Follow the method given below to prime the irrigation pump in less than ten minutes:

  • The first and foremost step is to inspect if there is any problem in the pump. Check all the valves of the pump and also its connection to the hose. If you find an issue in its connection with the lawn hose, fix it and then proceed ahead with priming the pump.
  • It is suggested to invest in a good plumbing port that is available in many stores. You can also look for it online and buy the one for the irrigation pump.
  • Turn the pump on and using clamps or wrench close the drain valve of the pump. After testing it once turn off the pump. If there is no drain valve in the pump, then you can also place a foot valve at the bottom of the water hose. 
  • The foot valve removes all the debris in the pump. It also solves the issue of clogging in the hose. The priming port is generally installed near the intake line and some feet away from the foot valve.
  • Now open the valve that is a part of the priming port and undo the plug of the irrigation system. Disconnect it to give the space for air to escape when the water fills in the intake line.
  • Now fill the pump with water using a funnel. You can either use a hand-pump or any other source of water in your garden or lawn. Once you fill the water,switch on the pump and to allow the water to flow.
  • Once the pump is switched on, the water will start flowing from its source in some minutes. This primes the pump by pushing out the water and also getting rid of any air in the intake line.
  • Repeat the procedure if there is still air left in the intake line. Close the valve of the priming port and pump housing.

Connect Source of Water to Pump

Connect the intake line to the original source of water and turn on the pump. Check the water flow and voila it’s done. Your irrigation pump is primed for the season and should work well for a while.

Concluding Remarks

Priming a pump is crucial, as it can lead to a burnt motor if the pump is not functioning properly. The sound of the sprinkler pump will change once the water starts flowing instead of air in it. The force of water pushes the residual air and it is ready to use. If you face any trouble while priming it or fear that it might damage the pump, then it is advisable to contact a technician. There are several videos available online that you can use as a reference while priming the pump.

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