How to Prime a Sta-Rite Well Pump

G.K. Bayne

Sta-Rite is a manufacturer of submersible and aboveground water pumps. Submersible pumps do not require priming as the pump physically sits under the water level of the well. Aboveground water pumps will require the addition of water to the suction pipe, which aids in the drawing of water to the pump’s chamber.

A lower foot valve or check valve holds the column of water inside the suction pipe. Priming the Sta-Rite pump will be necessary after initial installation, servicing of the pump system or replacement of parts.


If the pump fails to gain water pressure after two to three minutes of operation, stop the pump and re-prime. Do not operate the pump for longer than three minutes with no water pressure as the internal seals will become damaged due to excessive heat.

  1. Shut off all electrical power to the pump system. If the suction piping is fitted with an onboard control valve, open the valve. Fit the screwdriver into the control valve’s adjustment opening. Turn the screwdriver in a counterclockwise direction.

  2. Remove the square-neck priming plug located on top of the Sta-Rite pumping chamber. Fit the jaws of the plumbing pliers over the square-neck plug. Turn the pliers in a counterclockwise direction. There may also be another priming plug located on the suction line itself; remove this square-neck plug as well.

  3. Place the funnel into the priming opening. Fill the pump chamber with clean water. Move the funnel to the other priming plug location in the suction pipe, if applicable. Fill the suction line with clean water.

  4. Replace the square-neck plugs to seal the pumping chamber and suction pipe. Tighten the plug in a clockwise direction. Return the control valve to its original position, clockwise, with the screwdriver.

  5. Switch the electrical power on. The pumping system should begin to build water pressure in less than three minutes.