Do submersible well pumps need to be primed?

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A single well is constructed and operated using multiple parts, each with a function that makes it possible for clean water to be transported into a home or building.  Having a well in your property would mean that you will have to invest your time and resources for proper care and maintenance.  No matter how reliable and efficient wells are considered to be, there will come a time that they may stop working due to various reasons

Well owners need to be responsible with their wells, as they will be the only ones to make sure that they will contain water that is safe for their day-to-day consumption needs, whether for personal, commercial, or agricultural purposes.

If you are a well owner, you would know that you might need to prime your well pump every now and then to regulate your water pressure. Some types of well pumps need to be primed more often than others, such as the shallow well pump variants. There are also other types of well pumps that do not need to be primed, such as submersible pumps.

What are submersible well pumps?

A well pump mainly functions to pump water into the well’s piping system so that it can be transported in all the faucets of your home. Well pumps need electricity to work, and if there is no generator, they would also stop when there is a power outage.

Back in the earlier days, the only way to get water from a well would be by scooping it with a bucket. Thanks to the advancements in technology, it is now possible for a well to be the main source of water for an entire household conveniently, just like getting water from the local providers. 

There are two main types of well pumps: Jet pumps and submersible pumps.

Jet pumps are more often used in shallow wells, but can also be used in deeper wells, and are usually more inexpensive compared to other well pumps. On the other hand, submersible well pumps are more suited in deeper wells, and are usually placed at the bottom of its structure. Depending on the type of well you have, one of these two types would work best for your needs, though submersible pumps are now more popular due to their reliability. 

What does priming a well pump do?

In simpler terms, priming a well pump would mean putting water into its casing to remove the air that might have accumulated inside. Priming needs to be done occasionally, as there are times when there is not enough water pressure to draw water up in the system.

You will need to prime your well pump if:

Here are the common scenarios that would indicate that your well has lost its prime and needs to be restarted.




You are using a jet pump.

Jet pumps are a type of well pump that particularly needs to be filled with water for them to function. They are often installed above the well, although there are jet pumps that can be placed below the water. If your well uses jet pumps, you should expect that you will have to prime them sooner or later.

There was a power outage.

Well pumps use electricity, and when there is a power outage they will not work unless connected to a generator. When a household continues to use water during the outage, air can accumulate inside the pump, causing a weak water pressure even after the electricity returns to normal. If this is the case, get ready to prime your pump as it will most likely be the culprit behind the weak water pressure.

There is no water coming from your faucets.

There can be a lot of reasons why there is no water coming out of your faucet. This may be due to drought, a low water supply, or a clogged pipe system. Well pumps that need priming can also cause the water to stop temporarily. 

Your water pressure is weak.

The stability of a well’s water pressure mainly lies on a well pump, and if you have noticed that it is weaker than normal, it may be time to refill your pump casing with water until all air is gone and the pressure is back to normal.

Is it necessary to prime a submersible well pump?

do submersible well pumps need to be primed

Submersible well pumps are made to be submerged in water for them to work, which would mean that they do not need to be primed and will not lose their prime. Unless, of course, when the water supply has reached lower than the pump, which would be another different issue.

If you are having problems with your water pressure and are using a submersible pump, priming is not the culprit and would most probably be due to a failure in the well or the well pump system itself.

What are the benefits of using a submersible well pump?

Remember what we said earlier about submersible pumps being popular? Aside from the convenience of not needing to be primed, they also come with other advantages, such as:

Submersible pumps typically last longer. 

When compared to other types of well pumps, submersible ones usually last longer and can take years before they will need to be repaired.

Submersible pumps are more secure.

Submersible pumps are installed underwater and are made to be watertight. In fact, they can last 25 years before needing repairs, which proves that they are indeed secure and efficient. 

Submersible pumps lead to bigger savings.

Although submersible pumps cost more to purchase than shallow jet pumps, you will save more money when you get a submersible pump. This is because jet pumps would need more maintenance and repairs than submersible ones as they are more prone to failure and damage. Of course, this does not mean that jet pumps are weak, it just boils down to the fact that more people use submersible pumps due to their durability.