How to Prime Your Borehole or Wellpoint Pump

Home Boreholes How to Prime Your Borehole or Wellpoint Pump

How to Prime Your Borehole or Wellpoint Pump


In the realm of water supply, borehole and wellpoint pumps play a vital role, providing a consistent and dependable water source. To maintain peak performance, proper priming is imperative. Additionally, priming ensures that the pump is filled with water, enabling optimal function. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of priming your borehole or wellpoint pump step by step. Whether you’re a homeowner or a professional, comprehending the intricacies of priming is essential for sustaining your water supply system.

Understanding Borehole and Wellpoint Pumps

Understanding Borehole and Wellpoint Pumps

It’s important to clarify that borehole pumps and wellpoint pumps serve distinct purposes. Borehole pumps are designed for deep wells and are installed at significant depths beneath the ground’s surface. On the other hand, wellpoint pumps are devices used to draw water from shallow, underground sources and are typically installed on the surface. It’s crucial to note that boreholes cannot be primed; only surface pumps like wellpoint pumps can be primed. Both types of pumps have widespread applications in residential, agricultural, and industrial settings.

Why Is Priming Important?

Priming involves filling the pump with water before operation commences. It’s indispensable as it expels air from the system, enabling the pump to generate the necessary suction for efficient water draw. Proper priming safeguards the pump from damage and guarantees a consistent water supply.

The Priming Process

1. Priming Process – Gathering Your Tools
  • Water Source (Hose or Container)
  • Combination Spanner or Plumbers Pliers
  • PTFE (Plumbers) Tape
2. Power Off the Borehole or Wellpoint Pump

Disable the power to the pump to prevent accidents or electrical issues during the priming process.

3. Locate the Priming Plug

Identify the priming plug on the pump (usually on the top or side). Use a combination spanner or plumbers pliers to remove it.

4. Filling the Pump
  1. Insert the hose or container into the priming plug hole.
  2. Gradually pour water into the pump until it reaches full capacity.
  3. Add water gradually to facilitate complete air displacement if needed.
5. Reattach the Priming Plug

Once the pump is full, securely reattach the priming plug to prevent water leakage.

6. Power On and Priming Process
  1. After powering the pump, ensure that the outlet tap is not open but closed.
  2. Once the pump is on, place your thumb over the outlet and slowly open the tap to the pump.
  3. You’ll notice resistance from the water as it tries to come out of the pump.
  4. In this part of the priming process, it’s crucial to allow just the right amount of water out of the tap with air in 10 to 20 second intervals.
  5. Simultaneously, listen to the pump after every instance that you release some water and air.
  6. You will notice a hollow sound becoming stronger, indicating pressure is building up.
  7. Release some water from the pump when you sense this high-pressure point during the priming process.
  8. Continue this process until it becomes impossible to hold back the water, indicating that the pump is fully primed.
  9. Never operate the pump for an extended duration with a closed valve or without water in the pump.
  10. If you hear a complete hollow sound during the priming process, it’s time to switch the pump off and restart the process.

In conclusion, priming your borehole or wellpoint pump is a straightforward yet vital process for ensuring uninterrupted water access. By following these steps and proactively priming your pump, you can relish a dependable and efficient water supply system for years to come.


Why is my borehole pump not working after priming it?

If your pump remains non-functional after priming, there might be underlying issues such as a clogged pipe or a malfunctioning motor. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult De Wet’s Wellpoints and Boreholes for a thorough inspection.

How often should I prime my pump?

Priming is typically performed during initial installation or after servicing. Under normal circumstances, frequent re-priming should not be necessary.

Can I use any water source for priming my pump?

Yes, you can employ any clean water source for priming. However, using the same water source from which the pump draws is ideal.

What are the signs of a poorly primed pump?

A poorly primed pump may exhibit unusual noises, reduced water flow, or may fail to operate entirely. Therefore, it’s crucial to address this promptly.

Is it possible to over-prime a pump?

Over-priming is typically not a concern, as excess water will simply flow back into the water source. However, it’s crucial to avoid under-priming, as this can lead to pump damage. Consequently, proper priming is essential.

In conclusion, priming your borehole or wellpoint pump is a straightforward process that ensures the efficient operation of your water supply system. Regular maintenance and inspections are key to preventing issues and ensuring a consistent flow of water. If you encounter any problems, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance to keep your pump in top shape.

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