Pool pumps are 'self priming'. You can dump a bucket of water or run the hose into the pump basket if you like, then replace the lid after cleaning and lubricating the gasket with Pool Lube, secure it tightly, and then start the pump. It should prime in a minute or so. Especially if your pool equipment is not more than a foot or two above the pool water line. Be sure to have your filter relief valve open until it shoots out water.