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How to Prime a Hot Tub Pump – Quick & Easy Steps

One crucial component of a well-functioning hot tub is the pump. However, when your hot tub pump isn’t primed correctly, an airlock can arise, which can prevent water from flowing correctly. So here’s how to prime a hot tub pump:

  1. Locate Pump: Identify the pump, usually near the tub’s equipment area.
  2. Bleed Air: Open any air relief bleeder valves to release trapped air.
  3. Monitor Pressure: Watch the pressure gauge; it should stabilize as the pump primes.
  4. Check for Leaks: Inspect for water leaks around the pump and connections.
  5. Reopen Jets: Once primed, gradually open the jets to let water flow smoothly.
  6. Regular Maintenance: Consider routine checks to prevent future priming issues.

Remember, proper priming ensures your hot tub’s pump functions efficiently.

In this section, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to prime your hot tub pump correctly. We will cover everything from the importance of proper priming techniques to troubleshooting common priming issues.

Key Takeaways

  • Properly priming your hot tub pump is essential for the smooth operation of your hot tub.
  • Troubleshooting priming issues is crucial to keep your hot tub running correctly.
  • Regular maintenance can help extend the lifespan of your hot tub pump.
  • Following the step-by-step process outlined below will ensure your hot tub pump is primed correctly.

Understanding the Importance of Priming a Hot Tub Pump

Hot tub pumps provide the essential circulation needed to keep your hot tub clean and maintain optimal temperatures. However, before you can use your hot tub pump, you must prime it to ensure it’s functioning correctly. Hot tub pump priming involves filling the pump with water and removing all the air to prevent damage to the pump. In this section, we’ll discuss the importance of hot tub pump priming, including hot tub pump priming techniques and proper hot tub pump priming.

Hot tub pump priming is crucial for maintaining your hot tub’s performance and longevity. Without priming, air can cause damage to the pump, resulting in reduced efficiency and costly repairs.

Proper hot tub pump priming techniques are vital for ensuring your hot tub continues to function optimally. Priming the pump is a straightforward process, but it must be done correctly to avoid problems in the future. When the hot tub is not in use, the water can drain from the pump, which can cause air to get in and damage the pump.

The Benefits of Proper Hot Tub Pump Priming

Priming a hot tub pump comes with several benefits. Firstly, it prevents damage to the pump by ensuring all the air is removed from the system. Secondly, it helps to maintain the correct water flow and temperature. Lastly, it ensures that the hot tub is ready for use as soon as you turn it on, saving you time and hassle.

Potential Issues with Improper Priming

Improper priming of a hot tub pump can cause several issues. These include reduced efficiency, increased power consumption, and expensive repairs. Inadequate hot tub pump priming can also cause the pump to overheat and fail, which can lead to costly repairs or even require a replacement pump.

Step-by-Step Guide to Priming Your Hot Tub Pump

Proper hot tub pump priming techniques involve filling the pump with water and removing all the air. If you don’t have bleeder valves, can’t find them, or that didn’t work, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the power to the hot tub.
  2. Open the pump’s access panel.
  3. Locate the pump
  4. With vice grips or channel locks gently open the PVC connector on the incoming side of the pump.
  5. Open it just enough to where you hear air escaping
  6. Once you see water start to drip out re-tighten
  7. Replace the access panel and turn on the power to the hot tub.
  8. Allow the pump to run until all the air is removed from the system.
  9. Check the water flow and temperature to confirm the pump is functioning correctly.

Gathering the Necessary Tools and Materials

Before you start priming your hot tub pump, it’s important to gather all the necessary tools and materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

Flathead screwdriver
Phillips screwdriver

It’s always helpful to have additional towels on hand to clean up any water spills. We recommend using a rubber hose instead of a bucket to avoid splashing and spills, but either will work. If you don’t have any priming agent on hand, a small amount of dish soap can be used instead.

Here are some tips to make the priming process easier:

  • Make sure the hot tub is filled with enough water to cover the pump’s inlet.
  • Turn off the power to the hot tub while priming to avoid any potential hazards.
  • Check the pump’s manual for specific priming instructions.

Troubleshooting Common Hot Tub Pump Priming Issues

Despite following the steps outlined in the previous section, you may experience issues while trying to prime your hot tub pump. Don’t worry; in this section, we’ll discuss some common problems and offer troubleshooting tips to help you overcome them.

Problem: Air Bubbles in the Pump

If you notice air bubbles in the pump, it means that the water isn’t circulating properly. This could be because of a blockage in the pump or air trapped in the system.

Solution: Check the pump and filters for blockages. If you find any, clear them out and try priming the pump again. If the issue persists, you may need to bleed the air from the system. Start by turning off the power to the pump and opening up the control valves. Then, slowly and carefully release the air until water starts to flow out. Turn the power back on and try priming the pump again.

Problem: Pump Won’t Prime

If the pump won’t prime, it could be because of an air leak in the system or a problem with the pump itself.

Solution: Check the system for any visible leaks and repair them if necessary. If the system appears to be leak-free, the issue may be with the pump. Check the impeller to ensure it’s not clogged or damaged. If everything seems to be in order, try increasing the water flow to the pump or using a garden hose to force water through the system. If none of these solutions work, you may need to contact a hot tub technician.

Problem: Pump Loses Prime

If the pump loses prime, it means that the water isn’t circulating properly, and the pump is struggling to maintain pressure.

Solution: Check the water level in the hot tub to ensure it’s at the correct level. If it’s too low, the pump won’t be able to circulate the water correctly. You should also check the pump for any blockages and make sure that the valves are open. If the issue persists, it could be because of a problem with the pump or the motor, and you may need to call in a hot tub technician.

By following these troubleshooting tips, you should be able to overcome common hot tub pump priming issues. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a few attempts to get it right; with a little patience and persistence, you’ll be enjoying a smoothly running hot tub in no time!

Maintaining a Properly Primed Hot Tub Pump

Congratulations! You have successfully primed your hot tub pump. To ensure your pump continues to operate smoothly, it’s essential to maintain proper priming techniques. Here are some tips to help you maintain your hot tub pump:

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is key to keep your hot tub pump running efficiently. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance routine, which may include:

  • Checking and cleaning the pump strainer basket every 1-2 weeks
  • Flushing the hot tub lines and cleaning the filters every 3-4 months
  • Lubricating the pump o-rings and gaskets every 6-12 months

By following these steps, you can prolong the life of your hot tub pump and prevent potential issues from arising.

Checking for Leaks

Regularly check your hot tub pump and surrounding area for any signs of leaks. If you notice any drips or water pooling around the pump, it may be an indication of a leak. Addressing leaks promptly can prevent further damage to your pump and hot tub.

Monitoring Water Levels

Ensure the water level in your hot tub never falls below the minimum level recommended by the manufacturer. A low water level can cause the pump to run dry, which can damage the pump. Maintain proper water levels to prevent this issue from occurring.


In conclusion, priming your hot tub pump is crucial to ensure smooth operation and prolong the life of your pump. By following the step-by-step guide we provided, you can easily prime your pump and avoid potential issues. Remember to gather all the necessary tools and materials before starting the process and to perform regular maintenance to keep your hot tub pump primed.

If you encounter any problems during the priming process, refer to our troubleshooting tips to address common issues. By maintaining proper priming techniques, you can enjoy a relaxing and properly functioning hot tub. We hope this guide was helpful in teaching you how to prime a hot tub pump.


How often should I prime my hot tub pump?

It is recommended to prime your hot tub pump whenever you refill or drain your hot tub. This ensures the proper flow of water and prevents any potential damage to the pump.

Can I use any type of water to prime my hot tub pump?

It is best to use clean, fresh water that is free from impurities or contaminants. Using dirty or untreated water can potentially clog the pump and affect its performance.

How long does the priming process take?

The priming process typically takes around 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size and model of your hot tub pump. It is important to be patient and allow enough time for the pump to fully prime.

What should I do if my hot tub pump doesn’t prime properly?

If you are experiencing issues with priming your hot tub pump, check for any air leaks in the system, ensure all valves are open, and make sure the water level is sufficient. If problems persist, it is recommended to consult a professional technician.

Can I prime my hot tub pump without using any tools?

While it is possible to prime a hot tub pump without tools, having a hose, bucket, and pliers can make the process easier and more efficient. These tools can help you remove air pockets and ensure proper water flow.

Jeff Campbell