How do you prime a well pump after a power outage?

(919) 737 - 2926

When you are using a well to get your water supply, you would know that it comes with a lot of benefits for you and your family. Wells are known to provide cleaner, safer, water and also lessen the water bills you have to pay every month.

Although wells are very convenient and cost-effective, owners must be prepared to have their wells maintained and repaired every now and then. This will help keep their wells functioning for a much longer time. There will also be instances when they will need to do an inspection or a little “restarting”, especially when the water from the faucets is not coming out. This can happen after a power outage. In the event that there is no water after an outage, you might need to have your well primed. 

What does priming a well pump mean?

The method of priming a well pump would mean that you are removing the air that might have been stuck inside the pump, causing it to not be able to get in water inside your home’s piping system. This would usually be done by putting water into the pump to refill it.




A well pump’s function, as its name suggests, is to pump water into the water system of a certain household. Because a well’s pump is considered to be its heart, it is absolutely important for it to continue doing its job correctly.

During a power outage, a household may continue to use its water. If there is no generator, the water that is being taken is usually the one that is closer or is already on their piping system. If the water is still being used by the household, it is possible for the well’s pressure switch to be turned off. This is because most pressure switches automatically turn off when the well’s water pressure is already below 20-30 psi (pounds per square inch).

The correct way to prime a well pump

If there is no water getting out of your faucets after a power outage, you will need to prime your well pump for the water to be out again. Priming can be easily done and will not usually take a long time to finish. 

Here are the steps on how to prime a well pump properly:

Step 1: Do some safety precautions

Check all your faucets and see if they are closed, as the water might immediately be back after the priming. Before attempting to do any fixing, make sure that you have turned off the well’s electrical power, as there is always the possibility of electrocution when working with water and electricity. 

Step 2: Identify your well pump

There are many variations of well pumps out there. Depending on the type of well pump you have, there will be some differences in how you prime each of them. For priming, we will include how to do the method on three types of well pumps: the deep well, shallow well jet, and one or two line well pumps. 

Step 3: Do the method that will fit your pump

To prime your deep well pump

Deep well pumps are usually installed if your well is placed on a well that is around 25 to 400 feet.  

  1. Remove the prime plug of your well. Most deep well pumps usually have a hole on their casing which is often covered by a plug made of rubber or plastic. 
  2. Once you have taken the prime plug out, get a water hose and insert it into the open hole of your well casing. 
  3. Turn on the water and let it run from your hose to your well pump’s casing. 
  4. Let the water flow until you notice that your pump’s casing is already full. To make sure that it is indeed full, you can wait until the water from the casing is already overflowing.
  5. Remove the water hose from the pump. 
  6. Install the prime plug of your well’s casing back into the hole, but do not do it completely. Leave a little space for the plug to breathe. 
  7. Turn on the well pump system and let it run. See if there are no more air bubbles coming out from the bottom plug. 
  8. If you can still see air bubbles, remove the prime plug again and reinsert the hose to fill in the pump casing. Let it overflow again and put the prime plug inside the hole, just like what you did before. 
  9. Turn on the system and see if air bubbles are still present. Do the process again and again until there are no air bubbles left. 
  10. Once there are no air bubbles left and the well’s water pressure is back to normal, it is advisable to turn on all the faucets in your home. This will help flush out any bacteria and other sediments and impurities that have contaminated your system during the priming.

To prime your shallow well jet pump

Shallow well jet pumps are the type of pump that is usually used if your well is only around 25 feet deep or less. 

  1. Remove the prime plug of your well.
  2. Get your hose and start to fill your pump casing and suction line with water.
  3. Once the pump casing and suction line are already filled with water, shut off the jet pump’s control valve. You would know that it is already full of water when there are no more air bubbles that are present around the casing and suction line.  
  4. Return the prime plug but do so without tightening too much. 
  5. Let the pump run until the air bubbles have stopped bubbling around the area. 
  6. Check your water pressure. If there is still no water coming out from your faucets or if the pressure is still weak, you will need to repeat the process again and again until the water pressure is back to normal.
  7. If you notice that the air bubbles are still not ceasing, remove the prime plug, refill the water in the pump casing and suction line, and turn on the control valve again.
  8. Once the water pressure is back to normal, let the water flow from your faucets for a couple of minutes so that the sediments and bacteria will be let out. 

To prime your one or two line well pumps

If you have one or two line well pumps, this means that you will also have one or two pipes. A one line well will only use a single pipe to draw in water. For a two line well pump, the downpipe is usually smaller in size while the up-pipe is often larger. 

  1. Turn on your hose and let the water flow for a while.
  2. Open your pump/s valve and let it expel the air that might have accumulated inside. The trapped air is usually the culprit of why the pressure of your water has weakened or has stopped.
  3. Connect your hose to the valve and let it fill the reservoir. It would be best to let it run until it overflows for you to make sure that it is indeed full.
  4. Turn off your water hose and start the pump motor. 
  5. Test the water pressure. Once it is back to normal, remember to turn on all the faucets in your home to release the bacteria and sediments that may have resulted from the priming.