Having trouble priming your Graco paint sprayer? Our experts have some advice to help you troubleshoot the issue and get back to work. 

This article aims to provide guidance on troubleshooting a common issue encountered with Graco sprayers: failure to prime. When a paint sprayer fails to prime, it can impede the painting process and lead to frustration for the user. Understanding the reasons behind this problem and learning how to fix it are essential for achieving optimal performance with your Graco equipment.

We’ll explore various factors that may contribute to the failure to prime, including clogged filters, inadequate sealant lubrication, and incorrect pressure settings. Different methods for resolving the issue will be discussed, including steps to take for airless sprayers and spray guns.

By following the recommendations outlined in this article, users will be equipped with the knowledge to effectively troubleshoot and resolve the priming issue with their Graco sprayers.

How do I get my airless sprayer to prime?

Let’s start with the regular process for priming your airless paint sprayer when everything is going right. The process of priming an airless sprayer involves ensuring that paint is properly drawn from the container and delivered to the surface. Priming is essential to ensure that the sprayer functions effectively and provides a smooth and even paint application. To get an airless sprayer to prime, there are several steps that can be followed. 

  • Firstly, it is important to check that the sprayer is properly assembled and all connections are secure.

  • Next, the paint container should be filled with the appropriate paint, ensuring that the paint is not too thick or too thin. 

  • The sprayer's suction tube should be fully submerged in the paint, and the prime valve should be set to the prime position.

  • Once these steps are completed, the sprayer can be turned on and the trigger can be pulled to initiate the priming process.

During the priming process, it is important to make sure that the sprayer is properly pressurised and that any air pockets are eliminated. This can be done by adjusting the prime valve and allowing the paint to flow through the sprayer until a steady stream is achieved.

Once the sprayer is properly primed, it can be used to apply paint to the desired surface.

What do I do if my Graco paint sprayer won't prime?

When encountering a paint sprayer that fails to prime, it’s best to take systematic steps to identify and rectify the issue, ensuring a smooth and efficient spray application process.

Troubleshooting a Graco airless paint sprayer that is not priming, like the Graco Magnum X, can be done by following a few steps:

  • Firstly, it is important to check the suction tube for any clogs or obstructions. If there are any blockages, they should be cleared to allow proper paint flow.

  • Secondly, inspect the inlet valve and ensure it is not stuck or damaged. The inlet valve is responsible for allowing paint to enter the pump, and any issues with it can prevent priming.

  • Additionally, checking the fluid section for leaks or damaged components is crucial. Leaks can disrupt the priming process and should be addressed promptly.

  • Other potential causes of a Graco Magnum X not priming include a worn or damaged prime valve, an airless spray tip that is too small for the material being used, or a worn or damaged pump.

By systematically checking and addressing these potential issues, troubleshooters can resolve priming problems with Graco sprayers and ensure a successful paint spraying experience.

How do you fix underlying issues with an airless sprayer that is not priming?

graco paint sprayer

To address an airless sprayer's failure to prime, it is crucial to identify and rectify any underlying issues. When dealing with a Graco paint sprayer, such as the Graco Magnum X5 or the Graco X19, it is important to follow a systematic troubleshooting process. 

One common issue that can prevent an airless sprayer from priming is a clogged or dirty inlet screen. This screen is located at the bottom of the sprayer's suction tube and can become blocked by debris or paint buildup. To fix this issue, the screen should be cleaned or replaced if necessary. 

Another possible cause for a sprayer not priming is an inadequate amount of paint in the hopper or container. Ensuring that there is enough paint for the sprayer to draw from is essential. 

A malfunctioning check valve or faulty pump can also prevent the sprayer from priming. In such cases, a professional repair or replacement may be required. By addressing these potential issues, users can resolve the problem of an airless sprayer not priming and ensure smooth and efficient operation.

Possible Causes


Clogged or dirty inlet screen

Clean or replace the screen

Inadequate paint in the hopper or container

Ensure sufficient paint is available

Malfunctioning check valve or faulty pump

Seek professional repair or replacement

Why is my Graco sprayer spraying water but not paint?

paint sprayer

A potential issue that may arise with an airless sprayer is the ability to spray water without dispensing paint. This can be a frustrating problem, as it prevents the user from progressing their project even though there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with their paint sprayer at first glance.

One possible explanation for this issue is a clogged spray tip or nozzle. When the spray tip becomes clogged, it can prevent the paint from being properly atomized and sprayed onto the surface. This can result in the sprayer spraying water instead of paint.

Another potential cause for this problem is a malfunctioning airless spray gun. If the spray gun itself is not functioning properly, it may not be able to draw the paint from the container and deliver it to the surface. This can result in the sprayer only spraying water instead of paint. To resolve this issue, it is important to thoroughly clean the spray tip or nozzle to remove any clogs. Additionally, inspecting the airless spray gun for any malfunctions and repairing or replacing any faulty parts can help to ensure that the paint is properly dispensed. 

Regular maintenance and cleaning of the airless sprayer can also help to prevent this issue from occurring.

Why is my Graco sprayer spraying air but not paint?

One possible reason for the paint sprayer blowing air but no paint is a clogged nozzle or filter. When paint is not being sprayed, but air is being released, it indicates that there may be an obstruction in the nozzle or filter, preventing the paint from flowing through. This can occur when the paint used is too thick or contains particles that can clog the small openings.

Additionally, if the paint sprayer is not properly cleaned after each use, dried paint residue can accumulate and block the flow of paint.

To address this issue, it is important to first turn off the sprayer and relieve any pressure in the system. Then, carefully remove the nozzle and filter from the sprayer and inspect them for any clogs or debris. If clogged, the nozzle and filter should be cleaned thoroughly using an appropriate cleaning solution or solvent. It is essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions when cleaning these components to avoid any damage.

Regular maintenance and cleaning of the paint sprayer, including proper cleaning of the nozzle and filter after each use, can help prevent clogging and ensure the optimal performance of the equipment.

Why is my Graco sprayer not spraying paint?

The previous subtopic discussed the issue of a paint sprayer blowing air but not paint. Building on that, the current subtopic explores the problem of a spray gun not spraying paint.

When a spray gun fails to dispense paint, it can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, a clogged nozzle or improperly adjusted spray pattern can impede the paint flow. It is crucial to ensure that the nozzle is clean and free from any obstructions. Additionally, the spray pattern should be adjusted according to the desired coverage area.

Secondly, an inadequate paint supply can hinder the spraying process. This can occur if the paint container is empty or if the paint viscosity is too high. A sufficient supply of properly mixed paint is necessary for the spray gun to function effectively.

Finally, a malfunctioning or worn-out pump can also prevent the paint from being sprayed. In such cases, a professional inspection or repair may be required.

By addressing these common issues, one can troubleshoot and rectify the problem of a spray gun not spraying paint effectively.

Why is my airless paint sprayer not spraying at all?

An airless paint sprayer's failure to spray paint may be caused by a variety of factors, requiring troubleshooting and potential repairs.

One possible reason for the lack of spraying could be a clogged nozzle or tip. Paint particles or debris can accumulate in the nozzle over time, obstructing the flow of paint. This can be resolved by removing the nozzle and cleaning it thoroughly with an appropriate solvent or by replacing it if necessary.

Another potential issue could be insufficient paint pressure. This can be caused by a worn-out pump or a malfunctioning pressure control valve. Checking and adjusting the pressure control valve or replacing the pump may be necessary to restore proper paint pressure.

Additionally, inadequate paint thinning can hinder the sprayer's ability to atomize the paint particles, resulting in poor spray pattern or no spraying at all. Ensuring that the paint is properly thinned according to the manufacturer's instructions can help overcome this issue.

Overall, troubleshooting and addressing these potential causes can help resolve the problem of an airless paint sprayer not spraying paint effectively.


In conclusion, when a paint sprayer fails to prime, there are several potential causes and solutions.

It is important to troubleshoot the airless sprayer and ensure that the proper steps are taken to achieve proper priming.

Issues such as clogged filters, worn or damaged parts, incorrect settings, or inadequate pressure can all contribute to the problem.

By identifying and addressing these issues, users can successfully prime their sprayers and continue with their painting projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I troubleshoot a Graco sprayer that won't prime?

To troubleshoot a Graco sprayer that won't prime, start by checking the suction tube for blockages, ensuring the inlet valve is not stuck or damaged, and confirming that the pump is properly lubricated. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for further troubleshooting steps.

What are some common reasons for a paint sprayer to not prime?

Some common reasons for a paint sprayer not priming include a clogged or dirty intake valve, insufficient paint viscosity, air leaks in the system, or a malfunctioning pump. These issues can prevent the proper flow of paint and hinder the priming process.

Can a clogged nozzle cause a Graco sprayer to not prime?

A clogged nozzle can potentially prevent a Graco sprayer from priming. When the nozzle is obstructed, it hinders the flow of paint, which can disrupt the priming process and prevent the sprayer from functioning properly.

Is there a specific way to properly prime a Graco sprayer?

There is a specific procedure to properly prime a Graco sprayer. It involves ensuring the suction tube is fully submerged in the paint, turning on the sprayer, and slowly increasing the pressure until the paint flows smoothly.

Are there any maintenance tips to prevent a Graco sprayer from not priming?

To prevent a sprayer from not priming, regular maintenance is crucial. This may include cleaning and unclogging the nozzle, inspecting and replacing worn or damaged parts, ensuring proper lubrication, and following the manufacturer's guidelines for storage and usage.